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Best Spots for Winter Camping in Maryland

Best Spots for Winter Camping in Maryland

cabin in the woods in Maryland in winter

Winter is an underrated season for outdoor activities, but there is plenty to do in Maryland, from the mountains to the coast. You can go skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and hiking and engage in winter fishing, hunting, birdwatching, and wildlife photography. And don’t forget winter camping in Maryland!

Maryland has several state parks and forests that remain open during winter. Some offer cozy cabins; others have spaces to park your RV or pop your tent. They all provide winter camping benefits: fewer people, no mosquitoes, no bears (probably), and quieter trails.

Here are several spots for winter camping in Maryland worth exploring: 

Central Maryland

If you prefer glamping to camping, then the Mill Pond Cottage at Gunpowder Falls State Park is the place for you.

Forest river in the middle of winter with snow everywhere
Photo Credit:

This private cabin is in the scenic Hereford Wildlands, where you can be close to nature but still soak in a claw-foot bathtub before tucking yourself into a cozy bed.  

Outside of a cottage and farmhouse
Credit: Mark Coffman

The Mill Pond Cottage sleeps eight people and has many modern, comfy amenities, including a television, a full kitchen with modern appliances, and a gas-burning fireplace. When you venture outside, you’ll find miles of hiking trails nearby and the Gunpowder River, which has lots of wild brown trout that are catchable year-round.

Eastern Maryland

The Pocomoke River State Park is situated in the 18,000-acre Pocomoke State Forest. It is known for its towering loblolly pines, cypress swamps, and the Pocomoke River.

The Shad Landing portion of Pocomoke River State Park, located on the south side of the Pocomoke River off Route 113 in Snow Hill offers year-round camping in the Acorn Trail, Robin’s Nest, and Water’s Edge campsites. The Milburn Landing portion of Pocomoke River State Park, located on the north side of the Pocomoke River off Route 364 in Pocomoke City offers year-round camping at primitive youth group campsites. 

Cabin in the woods covered in snow
Credit: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Mini cabins are also available for much of the year. One-room cabins sleep up to six, and two-room cabins sleep up to eight. Cabins are not equipped with bathrooms or kitchens, but they have electrical outlets, small heating units, and other amenities like outdoor grills, open-air porches, and fire rings.  

Capital Region

Cunningham Falls State Park is located on Catoctin Mountain in the historic town of Thurmont in Frederick County. People often visit the park to see Cunningham Falls, Maryland’s highest cascading waterfall, and a historic iron forge called Catoctin Furnace. 

Waterfall during the winter
Photo Credit:

Winter camping is available in the park’s Manor Area Campground, which has 20 basic and seven electric sites. If you do not have your own recreational vehicle, you can call the park office to learn how to get an RV or camper rental delivered to your campsite before arrival.

Southern Maryland

Point Lookout State Park is situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River on the southernmost tip of Maryland’s western shore in St. Mary’s County. The park’s Tulip Loop is open year-round for self-contained recreational vehicles. Attractions include a self-guided nature trail, winter waterfowl watching on the Chesapeake Bay, a historic Civil War memorial and cemetery, and the Point Lookout Lighthouse.

Photo: PointLookoutLighthouse

The lighthouse was built in 1830 and is reportedly one of the most haunted sites at Point Lookout State Park, with many people reporting paranormal experiences.

Western Maryland

Year-round primitive camping is permitted at 100 campsites in the 49,000-acre Green Ridge State Forest in Allegany County. Each primitive site has a picnic table and a fire ring. Backpack camping is also allowed in the forest.

Tent in the woods with the sun rising
Photo Credit: Nancy Neely

Green Ridge State Forest has more than 50 miles of hiking trails and a 44-mile self-guided driving tour that takes you past some of the forests’ most scenic overlooks. 

If sleeping outdoors isn’t your thing, Herrington Manor State Park, located in the Potomac-Garrett State Forest in Garrett County, offers 20 year-round cabin rentals with electricity, hot water showers, fully-equipped kitchens, and fireplaces.

Three of the cabins are ADA-accessible cabins. The park also offers 10 miles of trails for winter sports, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding, and rents out skis, poles, boots, and snowshoes when conditions allow for safe skiing.  

Preparing for Winter Camping

Camping always requires some preparation, especially during the winter when temperatures are lower and the weather is less predictable. These tips will help you prepare for some of the challenges of winter camping.

  • Dress in layers, wear a hat and gloves, and consider a waterproof jacket and pants.
  • Use a warm sleeping bag and ensure you have a proper tent or shelter to pass the night.
  • Learn how to prevent hypothermia and frostbite and how to administer first aid for these conditions.

For additional suggestions, check out this list of 5 Ways to Prep For Your Visit to a Maryland State Park.

About the Author

Anna Champagne is an outdoor writer, photographer, and traveler. She can often be found gardening and birdwatching in her backyard and exploring creeks, trails, marshes, and parks with her husband. Anna lives in Frederick County, Maryland. You can learn more about her on her website

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