Camping within 2 hours of DC

Where can I go camping within 2 hours of Washington, DC?

I grew up here and know all of the urban areas extremely well, but my family was not at all the camping sort. Some friends want to go camping somewhere relatively close by and I’m not sure what a good place to go.

I’m not looking for one of those cheesy developed campground “resorts,” (the kind with cabins and showers and tennis courts and pools) but more of a traditional “roughing it” campground near water, be it a lake or stream/river for swimming or maybe tubing.

So far all I’ve really come up with is Harper’s Ferry.

Any better suggestions?

Drive where the campgrounds are generallyShenandoah National Park?

Edit: I missed that you wanted to be near a large body of water. White Oak Canyon Trail has a river, but its just a creek that runs over rocky rapids and small waterfalls, you can play in it and people do, but no tubing that’s for sure. So does Cedar Run but I can’t remember if it touches Skyline Drive (I usually enter from the base)

Can’t Edit: argh, please ignore the weird cut & paste typo.

Prince William Forest Park, 35 miles south

Not much swimming, and the fishing is pretty bad, but there are several streams.

Cacapon State Park, WV.

Isn’t that also near a hot springs? Ah yes, Berkeley Springs. Nice side trip if tent camping gets to your back. :smiley:

I remember camping in a Fairfax County park many years ago, so I googled fairfax county park va, clicked on “Parks,” and got this. Looks like some have both camping and water.

The thing to do is google on Maryland and Virginia state parks, and the various nearby county parks. Sometimes there are even city parks that allow camping. Chances are you’ll find several possibilities.

Also check out U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes (select Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia in the upper left window). This site may also be helpful. My experience has been that the various public campgrounds tend to attract people who actually like to camp and experience the outdoors, while private campgrounds tend to attract people who want a place to park their RV while they do something else.

ETA: Once you’ve selected some suitable campgrounds, you can probably google on them to get more info from campers who have used them to see if the camps sound like what you’re looking for.

There are some campgrounds near Manassas National Battlefield. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has some campgrounds.