Swallow Falls State Park RV & Campground Guide

Maryland

In northwestern Maryland, near the West Virginia border, you’ll find Swallow Falls State Park, a 257-acre preserve featuring some of the state’s most breathtaking scenery, including cascading waterfalls and towering hemlock trees, plus a number of rare and endangered plants and animals. Founded on lands donated by John and Robert Garrett and built up by the Conservation Civilian Corps in the 1930s, the park has greeted many famous visitors including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone, who camped there several times and found peace and solace in the area’s natural beauty. 

Visitors are attracted to the park to hike and mountain bike through miles of trails over hilly terrain that leads to Muddy Creek Falls, the state’s highest free-falling waterfall at 53-feet high, and winds through acres of ancient hemlock trees, with some as old as 300 years. In the park, Muddy Creek flows into the mighty Youghiogheny River, offering visitors prime opportunities for fishing and swimming, as well as whitewater rafting and kayaking in sections with strong rapids and swift currents. 

If you’re looking for awe-inspiring views, scenic hikes, and spectacular waterfalls, then come to Swallow Falls State Park — it’s small enough to enjoy in a day but beautiful enough to stay for a weekend or longer. Read more to learn about what to do in and around Swallow Falls State Park if you decide to visit.

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Weather
Spring 35-60 F
Summer 56-78 F
Fall 39-62 F
Winter 19-39 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Swallow Falls State Park

Many people visit state parks to get closer to nature. But if you’d prefer to skip the flimsy tent and cramped quarters, then consider staying in an RV. RVshare takes the hassle out of finding and renting an RV, with dozens of listings near your area or travel destination. So skip the rustic camping and opt for an RV with amenities like a full kitchen and comfortable bed so you can be well-rested and ready to hit the trails in the morning. Close to Swallow Falls State Park, you can find RVs in Morgantown and Pittsburgh and stay in campgrounds nearby, including:

Swallow Falls State Park Campgrounds

Join the ranks of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone and immerse yourself in the great outdoors by staying at the park’s campgrounds. With 65 camping sites available and different hookup types, you’ll stay in a peaceful area with access to the park’s camp store and several hiking trails. Rates are $20-35 per night (two night minimum on weekends).

  • Water hookup: Yes (limited)
  • Electrical hookup: Yes (limited)
  • Sewer hookup: Yes (limited)
  • Wifi: No
  • Pet friendly: Yes
  • Other amenities: Bathhouses, fire pits, picnic tables, camp store, playground, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, whitewater boating

Double G RV Resort

Located 10 miles east of the park, this RV resort offers quiet, well-maintained campsites that are a stone’s throw away from Deep Creek Lake. Soak up the mountain views, go swimming in the lake, or just relax by the shore. Its central location is convenient to many attractions, including restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. Rates are $55 per night.

  • Water hookup: Yes
  • Electrical hookup: Yes
  • Sewer hookup: Yes
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Pet friendly: Yes 
  • Other amenities: Free cable, bathhouse, fire pits, picnic tables, laundromat, camp store, playground, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, corn hole, dumping station

RV Rentals Near Swallow Falls State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Swallow Falls State Park

Inside Swallow Falls State Park

Covering almost 250 acres, Swallow Falls State Park may be small but the opportunities to explore nature abound, whether it’s hiking alongside rows and rows of 300-year-old hemlock trees and white pines, taking photos of the majestic Muddy Creek Falls, or kayaking through the rapids of the Youghiogheny River. 

The waterfalls are the main attractions of the park, leading many visitors to hike or mountain bike to see them, while others enjoy fishing and whitewater rafting in Youghiogheny River and Muddy Creek. During the summer, the park offers nature programs.

Here are more details on the park’s most popular activities:

Hiking and Mountain Biking - Explore the park’s two scenic trails to see glimpses of cascading waterfalls and old-growth forests. The first trail passes through a grove of hemlocks and pines and features magnificent views of the Muddy Creek Falls. The second trail weaves through Garrett State Forest and connects Swallow Falls to nearby Herrington Manor State Park.

Fishing - Anglers will enjoy fishing in the waters of Youghiogheny River and Muddy Creek, which are regularly stocked with brown and rainbow trout. The best fishing spot is along a 4-mile stretch of the Youghiogheny River and is catch and release only.

Whitewater Rafting - The powerful rapids and steep falls of the Youghiogheny River and Muddy Creek make whitewater rafting a thrilling way to experience their rugged beauty. Bring your own equipment or contact a local company to book a guided whitewater rafting trip.

Outside Swallow Falls State Park

If you think adventure stops after you leave the gates of Swallow Falls State Park, think again. The areas surrounding the park are teeming with outdoor fun and activities, as well as places to eat and shop. Venture into nearby Oakland and McHenry for live music, scrumptious eats, artisan shops, and adventure galore.

Restaurants

Moonshadow Cafe & Bar

If you’re looking for lively ambiance and delicious food, then check out this gastropub. Listen to live bands play while sipping on craft beers and enjoying locally sourced dishes like seared scallops, pork tenderloin, and kale and beet salad.

Type: American, pub

Location: McHenry, MD

Mountain State Brewing Co

This restaurant-brewpub combo specializes in artisan flatbreads, wood-fired pizzas, and hand-crafted ales brewed right next door in West Virginia. With good music, good drink, and good food, you can’t go wrong dining here.

Type: American

Location: McHenry, MD

The Manor Steakhouse

This 1860s Victorian home is now a full-service restaurant, serving up mouth-watering dishes like crab cakes, lobster ravioli, and filet mignon for Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner. Top off your fine dining experience with a fun cocktail or scrumptious dessert.

Type: New American

Location: Oakland, MD

Tomanetti’s Pizza

If you’re looking for excellent Italian food in a casual setting, then check out this restaurant for classic dishes like pizza, pasta, calzones, and salads. Generous portions, delicious food, and friendly staff make this a go-to dining spot.

Type: Italian

Location: Oakland, MD

Shopping

Cabin Fever Antiques

This place is a treasure trove of antiques and collectibles like furniture, glassware, books, signs and toys. Whether you’re a serious antiques hunter or just browsing, take a pit stop at this shop for a blast from the past.

Location: Oakland, MD

Simon Pearce Factory Outlet and Glassblowing

Have you ever seen how glass is created? Head to this factory to see glassblowing in action. Self-guided tours provide front row access to craftsmen as they blow, cool, and shape beautiful glassware, most of which is available for purchase in the showroom.

Location: Mountain Lake Park, MD

Sightseeing

Herrington Manor State Park

Adjacent to Swallow Falls State Park, this park has a 53-acre lake perfect for swimming, canoeing, and boating, plus 12 miles of multi-use trails that wind through oak forests — including one that connects with Swallow Falls. Entry costs $3-5 per person.

Location: Oakland, MD

Adventure Sports Center International

If you’d like to go whitewater rafting but aren’t ready for the open waters, then check out this center for an introduction to guided rafting in a controlled environment. Aside from rafting, you can also go rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking on-site.

Location: McHenry, MD

Monkey Business Adventure Park

This obstacle course takes adventure skyward! Act like a monkey and swing, zip, and climb through aerial courses ranging from easy to hard. Kids can enjoy their own adventure in the “mini-monkey” courses. Prices start at $29.95 for kids and $49.95 for adults.

Location: McHenry, MD

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How to Get to
Swallow Falls State Park

Swallow Falls State Park is located in Oakland and is accessible via Interstate 68, which runs east to west from Hancock, Maryland to Morgantown, West Virginia. 

From Interstate 68, take exit 4 and merge onto MD-42 South / Friendsville Road. After 4.5 miles, turn right onto Bishoff Road. Continue onto Sang Run Road then turn right onto Hoyes Run Road. After 3 miles, turn left onto Oakland Sang Run Road then drive 2.3 miles and turn right onto Swallow Falls Road. After 1.3 miles the park’s entrance is on the right.

Address: 2470 Maple Glade Road, Oakland, MD 21550

Entering Swallow Falls State Park

From Memorial Day to Labor Day and for every weekend in May, September, and October, admission is $5 per person ($3 for Maryland residents). Otherwise, admission is $5 per vehicle ($3 for Maryland residents). The park is open every day from 8am until sunset.

As you get ready to hit the open road and start your adventure, don’t forget to take us along for the ride! Send us your trip stories and photos by email at [email protected] or tagging us on social media — you might just be featured on RVshare’s blog or social media. Happy (RV) camping!