Allegany County is home to Maryland's beloved Rocky Gap State Park, and an area of public land that features breathtaking views and an ever-popular lake. The park expands over 3,000 acres, showcasing rugged mountains, an impressive mile-long gorge, sheer cliffs, dense forests, and the centerpiece, Lake Habeeb.
Guests can come here to utilize the day-use area as well as camp overnight in the main campground. There are over 270 campsites available for reservation from May to December. The unique charm of the park calls in all sorts of visitors and it's easy to see why so many choose to spend a few nights out here. It's the only real way to get an in-depth take on the park and have the opportunity to fit in as many recreations as can be enjoyed.
Whether you're interested in the steep trek through the gorge, the leisurely walks to the fishing pier, the rugged biking trails, the lake's placid waters, or simply soaking up a few rays on the shoreline, Rocky Gap has the surroundings you are looking to immerse yourself in.
While the state park offers all sorts of areas to stop, rest, and take in the many points of interest, overnight guests with larger hauls may find that getting around is much easier without the four wheels. Get parked and get to it. There are many trail heads to choose from.
RV Rentals in Rocky Gap State Park
Transportation in Rocky Gap State Park
The drive is quite leisurely, with fairly straightforward signage and easy access between various areas of the park (including the Casino). Getting to the campground and setting up shop is pretty easy, too. Just watch out if you have a longer haul, as certain loops may make for some tight maneuvering.
There is plenty of parking space here, and at various locations, as this place doesn't just fill up with campers, but with day-use visitors as well. There are areas to park for the different trail heads, the gorge overlook, and casino. If you've brought your rig along with you, it's likely best to get it parked in the campgrounds instead of lugging it all around the lake.
Campgrounds and parking in Rocky Gap State Park
Campsites in Rocky Gap State Park
Rocky Gap State Park Campground
The campground of Rocky Gap State Park features 278 campsites; some, found in Ash Loop, are equipped with 30 amp hookups for electric. This is usually a popular destination for RVs and campers to set up shop, though, rigs and trailers can choose any site within the campgrounds (unless otherwise noted). While reservations are not required, families looking to spend a few nights here are advised to book ahead, as holidays, weekends, and summer months tend to bring in a decent sized crowd. Reservations can be made for any time between May and December.
Some larger rigs may have a bit of trouble maneuvering through some areas of the campground, where things get a little tight for travel. There are only two pull-through sites, so snag these if you can. While most sites are quite spacious, some larger hauls may find themselves intimately parked among the trees. Most of the loops here are wooded, making for some lovely scenery, but this can cause some difficulty for campers with slide-outs.
Once situated, guests can also take in the rest of the campground services and amenities. RVs will find a dump station located within the park, two bathhouses for visitors, and hot water is available in each loop. Guests can enjoy a whole list of activities during their stay, with the campground only a hub where the adventure can begin. This place has something for just about everyone, as even your dog can get in on the fun. Pets are allowed to stay with campers in designated loops, and many of the trails allow for their accompaniment.
With all the excitement and adventure waiting around you, it's nice to know there is such a refreshing, calm, and relaxing location to come back to at the end of the day. This campground is the perfect spot to relax and reflect.
When you haven't brought your home on wheels, guests of the park are also privy to other means of staying overnight - and not just good old tent camping. The park hosts 15 mini cabins, located throughout the campground, that can sleep up to six people. Accommodations don't stop there. Rocky Gap State Park also provides guests with the options of saying in either a yurt (which accommodates up to 8 guests) or within the Easter Hill Chalet (also hosts 8 guests).
This area is fairly rural. so there aren't many other places to camp that are within walking distance from the park. Cumberland, Maryland is one of the closest cities, and can be another nice stop for this trip. Just be advised. if you choose to stay in Cumberland, you're looking at a decent 15 minute drive to get to the state park.
Family Group Site
If you're looking to get some group camping in, Rocky Gap State Park has space for that too. There is a Family Group Site that provides enough space for up to 40 people to camp together. In addition, there are two Youth Group areas, but these are available only to youth groups.
Seasonal activities in Rocky Gap State Park
Touch of Nature Trail
When you want to take a simple stroll, guests can enjoy the 1/4-mile stretch of the Touch of Nature Trail. It's an easy walk that offers a paved trail, meaning visitors of all ability levels are able to travel along it. Benches line the tree-edged pathway that leads over to the fishing dock. It's a great spot to spend an afternoon out in the sun.
The lake allows for all sorts of watercraft opportunities, including many forms of paddle boats. It's okay if you don't have a boat that you regularly pack up for trips; the park has you covered. There are rentals available for canoes, kayaks, and even stand up paddle boards. These rentals are available from Memorial Day weekend through to Labor Day and can be found in the Day Use Area and at the campground's beach.
Scales and Tales Aviary
The aviary at Rocky Gap State Park offers an educational program to park visitors. This program utilizes non-releasable birds of prey and reptiles that have been previously injured and rehabilitated by qualified staff. All species are native to Maryland and are often wildlife that you may even get a glimpse of during your stay. It's a highly unique activity that will be worth reliving long after this adventure is over.
The park's staff conducts interpretive programs through the summer, all based out of the Nature Center. The center offers guests all sorts of activities and each is an opportunity to learn more about the culture and natural history of the park. Types of programs include talks, demonstrations, nature hikes, children's programs, nature crafts, campfire programs, and special events. Join on in the fun and see what makes this place really tick.
There are a variety of trails to choose from when looking for a hiking opportunity during your stay at Rocky Gap State Park. The trails here range in both terrain and difficulty levels. The popular Lakeside Loop Trail is one that encircles the entirety of Lake Habeeb. Hikers who take on this 5.3-mile trek will be rewarded with the beautiful scenery of the area. Don't let this be your only view of the place, though. The diverse trails here are sure to keep you busy.
The state park features all sorts of multi-use trails for guests to enjoy during their stay here. That means you don't just have to stick to your own two feet. You'll see plenty of guests taking the opportunity to get out on their bikes. Don't expect paved trails, but you'll at least get a spectacular view, with Lake Habeeb as a constant companion on the Lakeside Loop Trail. This trail is recommended for bikers due to its distance and moderate difficulty.
For park visitors who would like to take advantage of this sport, Rocky Gap State Park provides public access to over 1,400 acres for hunting. This area is easily reached by making a short trek from the parking area at the Touch of Nature trail head or by coming from the campground. There is a separate area of Pleasant Valley Road that encompasses 300 acres and is only open to bow hunting. This is one unique recreation you can take advantage of while visiting Maryland.
If you're a fishing enthusiast, you're in luck. The park offers fishing in the lake all 24 hours of the day and every day of the week. When you're looking to snag a few bites, you can expect to reel in trout, catfish, panfish, and both largemouth and smallmouth bass. In order to assist the fish population, there are park volunteers that add artificial fish habitats in the lake, to increase brown trout and rainbow trout numbers. If you're looking to throw in a few lines, be sure you have an active Maryland fishing license.
The lake at Rocky Gap State Park allows for boating at all hours and every day of the week. After sunset, all boaters are required to travel with navigational lights. Lake Habeeb only allows for electric powered motors to be used; all gasoline powered motors are prohibited. There is a public boat ramp located within the park, right along Pleasant Valley Road. Be well advised that the lake may be quite busy, so coming in the off-season will allow much more opportunity and freedom of boating travel.
Take a Gander at the Gorge
When you're looking for a magnificent view, you'll want to be sure you take the opportunity to witness the one-mile-long gorge. This gorge is shared by visitors who take on the Canyon Overlook Trail, a 1/4-mile long trek that offers a worthwhile scenic hiking destination. Usually, the longer, more difficult hikes produce some of the best views. With this one, most all visitors can witness the awe-inspiring landscape.