Camping near DC
June 16, 2008 7:11 AM   Subscribe

What are some good places to go camping near Washington, DC?

My wife and I are looking for a place to go camping near Washington, DC. We're not super outdoorsy, so we're not looking for the middle of nowhere back packing type experience, just a park with some campsites where we can set up a tent and spend a weekend. We would like to be near some natural body of water where we could swim. My understanding is that some parks, like Westmoreland State Park are near water, but only let you swim in the pool. Ideally, we might want to rent some kayaks and paddle around. Any one know any good places?
posted by Bulgaroktonos to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Prince William Forest Park

or

Greenbelt Park

posted by mhaw at 7:35 AM on June 16, 2008


Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania County

Also, this place is right on the Rappahannock River and they run canoe and tubing trips from the campground.

Both are within 90 minutes of DC if you are lucky enough to traverse I-95 at the speed limit.
posted by COD at 7:47 AM on June 16, 2008


I've seen folks swimming unsupervised at Fossil Beach in Westmoreland, which is a short hike from the main rec area. The Potomac is like a hot bath in summer. Plus, Westmoreland has the benefit of having fossils to hunt.
posted by steef at 8:22 AM on June 16, 2008


I've been to the Low Water Bridge Campground, and it should satisfy your needs--close to DC, right on the water, lots of canoing and kayaking possibilities. There's no real privacy there, though--it's pretty much a big field with a few trees.

Four Quarters Farm will let you camp, too. I was just there, and it's beautiful, with a river on three sides and several swimming holes. The sites are fairly private, and very shady. You will need to plan around their special events, which can be quite wild.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:30 AM on June 16, 2008


It's a little bit further, but what about Assateague/Chincoteague? There's several campgrounds, all are ~$30 night for a plot for a tent with no utilities but have shower & bathroom facilities. It's a 3-4 hour drive and there are some tolls, but it's very quiet, decent beaches, and you also have the wild ponies to look at. It can be brutal during mosquito season though.
posted by Challahtronix at 10:11 AM on June 16, 2008


I loved Trout Pond in West Virginia when I was a kid. It'll take you a while to drive there, but, it's really nice as I remember it.
posted by trbrts at 10:36 AM on June 16, 2008


Thanks guys, those all look really good. I'll check them out.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:58 PM on June 16, 2008


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