Although the area had settlers, who farmed and hunted, the town of Emmitsburg, MD, didn’t form until William Emmit built a home and a tavern/inn in 1785. Once the inn was established alongside a major route, a town sprang up around it. A few short years later, after the Revolutionary War ended, a Catholic missionary Reverend Jean Dubois built a church, and later, a seminary. Elizabeth Ann Seton joined the flocks and established a convent. Many years later, Sister Seton was the first American to be canonized and become a saint. She is known as a patron saint of seafarers and widows.
Emmitsburg gained a little attention during the Civil War due to it being situated right on the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania (which would become known as the Mason-Dixon Boundary). Although there were no formal battles in the town, there were a few minor skirmishes. Half of the town burned to the ground in 1863, and historians suspect it was started by a Union sympathizer to prevent the Confederates from setting up camp in the town or raiding their stores.
The Great Outdoors
Being right on the border of Pennsylvania-Maryland, visitors have access to a bounty of natural parks. Pure wilderness right at the doorsteps. When you rent a motorhome in Emmitsburg, MD, it's easy to explore the pristine wilderness. Just a few miles to the south is the Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Fall State Park. The two parks combined cover about 10,000 acres of land. There are over 30 miles of multi-use trails, ideal for hiking and biking. The lower elevations are suitable for horseback riding, as well. The waterfall, though no Niagara, will delight any landscape photographer. Mature oaks and maples blaze orange and red in autumns, setting a pastoral scene.
To the northwest, a few miles past Gettysburg, the Caledonia State Park, Pine Grove Furnace State Park and Michaux State Forest altogether covers around 100,000 acres of land, following the South Mountain Ridge. A portion of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, travels through these parks. Dubbed the “Cradle of Forestry,” the National Forest agency was founded here to manage this stretch of woodlands. Hike, bike, horseback ride through hundreds of miles of trails that wind through pristine woods, open meadows, and around small lakes. During the appropriate, designated seasons, hunting is allowed, provided that hunters have the appropriate license and permits. Bring your Emmitsburg camper rental because camping is encouraged, and some campgrounds have hookups.
When you rent an RV in Emmitsburg, be sure to scope out a few campgrounds beforehand. Although this area is rural, street parking is still discouraged. Both of the larger state parks and state forests in Maryland and Pennsylvania have campgrounds with hookups and restroom facilities. Owen’s Creek Campground, for example, is at the northern end of Catoctin Mountain, near Sabillasville, MD. Heads up: the max length for RVs and trailers is 22 feet.
Marsh Creek of Gettysburg Campground is on the southern outskirts of Gettysburg, on the banks of Marsh Creek. Though the creek isn’t deep enough for boats, kayaking and canoeing are possible in spring and early summer. Aside from 30/50 amps hookups, amenities are basic.
Exploring the City
Renting a luxury motorhome in Emmitsburg makes perfect sense. It’s a central spot in between the major cities: roughly 75 miles from there to Lancaster, PA, Baltimore, or Washington, DC, and about 50 miles to Harrisburg. Gettysburg is conveniently close, too.
Gettysburg, as most Americans know, is the site of a major battle that was the turning point of the Civil War. In addition to self-guided tours, the park also has guided tours led by highly trained history experts. The Gettysburg Museum has thousands of artifacts from the battle on display. Locals say that on early misty mornings, ghostly figures wander around the battlefield, calling for help. Spirits that look suspiciously like women in nursing garbs dash around the rear lines, eternally searching for the wounded. Unsurprisingly, there are ghost tour agencies who will gently explain who they think these lost souls are along with the history of the fateful day.
Emmitsburg has its share of ghosts and spirits. The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton offers living history tours of the grounds. The demonstrators spin a haunting tale of Seton’s life and struggles, and how her faith carried her through the dark days.
The city is also where National Firefighters train to combat wildfires and residential fires. On the grounds is the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, which is accessible to the public. The stone monument lists all the firefighters who perished in the line of duty. Nearby, the Frederick Firefighter Museum displays artifacts and tools used by firefighters over the past two centuries. The museum has a genuine fire engine that was first put into use in 1764.
At the end of a long day of exploring and adventuring, stop in at Rube’s Crab Shack. A no-frills pub, it has operated since the late 1960s and is a local favorite. The seafood is imported straight from the closest Chesapeake Bay harbor, as fresh as possible, and steamed on-site. Your Emmitsburg RV rental will grant you an adventure of a lifetime!
Emmitsburg, MD is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Emmitsburg. Outdoorsy's Emmitsburg RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.