Boondocking in Maryland

Last updated on May 25th, 2021 at 08:31 am. Originally published on May 12th, 2021

Maryland is a place that is known for its shores, and there is no better way to enjoy them than to enjoy a boondocking trip with your family. The Chesapeake Bay has a lot to offer, especially during the summer. Ocean City is a popular vacation spot in this state, but you can also go inland and enjoy the Potomac River, Cunningham Falls, and Peaks of the Appalachian Mountains that can be found here. Boondocking in Maryland is also a great option when you want to explore vineyards.

A young person in a dress sits on the beach, watching several horses close to the shore.

Boondocking Sites in Maryland

E.A. Vaughn WMA

Located in Stockton, the E.A. Vaughn Wildlife Management Area has a primitive camping section where you can park your RV for overnight stays. The area is unpaved, so it can get muddy after a rainstorm. The area is also near several marshes, and bottom fishing is permitted, assuming you have a license. You’ll be able to fish for trout, croaker, flounder, and bluefish. Despite being a WMA, you can also hunt here as long as you’re hunting in-season and aren’t killing endangered species like the local fox squirrels.

Deal Island WMA

The Deal Island State Wildlife Management Area is an expansive tidal marsh area that spans over 13,000 acres. You can enjoy some dispersed or primitive camping off of Riley Robert Road when you’re visiting this boondocking site. This is a non-hunting site, but visitors that wish to come and take in the wildlife experience are welcome. Insects are common at Deal Island, so to avoid numerous mosquito bites, you may want to bring repellant.

Potomac State Forest Wallman Laurel Run

Potomac SF can be found in Oakland, MD, and has 36 sites that you will find in five separate areas. This means that there’s a bit of a communal feel when you’re boondocking here. There’s even a group site available if you have buddies that want to join you when you’re dispersed camping. Still, this is a first-come, first-served site that can fill up quickly.

Fifteenmile Creek

Situated in Pratt, Fifteenmile Creek has an unpaved primitive camping area that’s first come, first served. As a boondocking site, there are no hookups, but there are several large spaces with grills and even chemical toilets. This site is located at Mile 140 on the C&O Canal Towpath. There is a local canal that you can visit, and the creek has several types of fish.

Ocean Downs Casino

You’ll have to check in with security to camp at this Berlin-area Casino, but there is a wide-open paved area where you can stay for a few days. You can’t have sides out and stabilizers down while parking here, but the land is level, and there is plenty of room for a Class A or big rig.

Where to Boondock in Maryland

When boondocking in Maryland, you’ll be surprised by the sheer number of sites that are near water or near marshland. Fortunately, many of these sites embrace fishing, so it’s very easy to subsist off what you catch when you’re around a dispersed camping area. Some of the sites that you’ll find in areas include useful items like fire rings. Additionally, while many of the sites are free, some require that you reserve your campsite beforehand.

Free Camping in Maryland

When preparing for your boondocking trip in Maryland, remember that the state has plenty of marshes and waterways. Also, with so many miles of coast, mosquitoes are very common in the camping areas in every season except winter. For this reason, bring repellant and mosquito netting if you’re going to be sleeping outside of your RV. Also, many of the sites around Maryland aren’t paved, so be ready for some muddy areas, especially since the state sees an average of 44 inches of rainfall throughout the year. For this reason, try to call ahead if you can; sometimes, dispersed campsites are forced to close down due to flooding.

The presence of fire rings in state parks and forests is also very advantageous. With these, it’s much easier to start a fire and get some cooking done. Some of the primitive camping sites here also have nearby toilets and outhouses, which adds a bit of convenience to your boondocking experience. The majority are first come, first served, but finding a spot can be relatively easy when you arrive. Cellular service can also be found in most campsites around the state, so you should easily be able to keep in touch with the loved ones who didn’t accompany you on your trip.

While in the state, there will be quite a lot to do. For example, a few wildlife management areas and state forests allow dispersed camping, so prepare to see various animals. This is especially true of the areas with marshy land; here, you’ll see waterfowl, hunting birds like peregrine falcons, and more than a few large mammals like bears, beavers, and mountain lions. You’ll also find that Maryland has miles and miles of abandoned railways that you can explore. If you’re still wondering what to do, before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about boondocking.

Maryland is a great state in which to boondock, especially if you love coastal and marshy areas. Many of the places are nearly untouched, and you’ll experience some truly epic wildlife as you camp. Renting an RV provides you with some truly unique opportunities to experience nature in all its glory, and there are so many RV-friendly boondocking locations that you can choose here. If you don’t have an RV, consider renting one from RVshare.

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