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Smallwood State Park is a 984-acre recreational area nestled on the banks of Mattwoman Creek near the small town of Rison. The park was named after William Smallwood, a Revolutionary War general and, at one point, governor of Maryland. Much of the park’s allure stems from wooded hiking and biking trails, lovely playgrounds, and bright, sunny beaches. These features make the park a great location for family getaways, couples on a honeymoon, fishing, and camping.
Another draw of the park is its proximity to towns like Indian Head, La Plata, and Alexandria, VA, making it easy for guests to find an RV rental near Smallwood State Park. If camping at Smallwood State Park sounds like your idea of a good time, book an RV in Charles County and pack for your adventure. It’s time to see for yourself why they call Maryland state parks "America in miniature."
If fly fishing is a hobby of yours, then you'll be glad to hear that both shoreline and piers of Smallwood State Park are prime fishing spots. All you need to do is bring your gear or purchase it at the camp store, pick an ideal spot, and wait until either catfish, largemouth bass, perch, or carp take the bait. If you're a seasoned angler, you might want to add a little competition to the mix and participate in one of the bass tournaments hosted by Smallwood.
Geocaching, hiking, and birding are also popular pastimes for Smallwood State Park campers. Geocaching might be the best choice for a family activity as you get to go on a treasure-hunting adventure and explore the park at the same time. Trek the birdwatching trail, where you're likely to spot one of the 400 avian species that call Maryland home, like snow goose, mute swan, yellow-billed cuckoo, little blue heron, and many more. General Walk Trail is a quality route for hikers and bikers, but if you plan to conquer it, make sure you're prepared.
For a more educational tour of the park, Sweden Point Discovery Center is where you want to go. The discover center has an amazing lineup of programs for visitors of all ages which allow you to interact with live animals like turtles, snakes, and birds. There's also an interesting ranger program as well as a campfire program, so if you're traveling with your kids, this is sure to be an insightful experience.
There are over a dozen RV-friendly sites where you can set up camp at Smallwood State Park. The sites at the Family Circle Campground accommodate RVs up to 30 feet long. The sites have electric hookups and picnic tables along with other RV camping amenities that guests will find useful. You'll have access to water, fire rings, restrooms, showers, and a lantern post.
Reservations are highly recommended during the peak season from May to September, especially if you hope to snag a creekside site. In addition to tent and RV sites, the park also offers a few camping cabins with heating and air conditioning. Pets are also allowed to join you for your Smallwood State Park camping trip. Just keep your pal on a six-foot leash.
If you'd rather dine out than have a picnic, you'll find a decent number of restaurants in Indian Head, including smokehouses, fast-food places, seafood, and pizzerias. If you'd like a wider selection in terms of cuisine, you should drive to nearby Alexandria. On your way there, you'll find multiple gas stations and markets in case you need to go shopping or top up the fuel in your RV rental.
While in Alexandria, you should visit The Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden. This is an 18th-century family home that organizes insightful tours and events to show visitors how people lived during that time period. Be sure to check the events schedule to see what's happening during your visit. You just might catch a ghost tour!
To make your motorhome camping experience even more memorable, go to the apothecary museum, also in Alexandria. Here, you'll find a massive collection of herbal botanicals and medical equipment, along with the prescriptions, ledgers, and journals of one of the oldest businesses in Alexandria.
In addition to the museums, Alexandria has an impressive art center that was founded back in 1974. Around half a million people visit the place annually to admire the different types of art on display. Explore the center's 80 studios, seven galleries, and two workshops where you can view paintings, ceramics, stained glass, photography, sculptures, and so much more.