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Set on the Youghiogheny River, Swallow Falls State Park showcases the natural beauty of the Old Line State. As you explore the park, you'll discover a wonderland of old-growth hemlock forests, rocky gorges, and, of course, cascading waterfalls. Stretch your legs on scenic hiking trails, enjoy lunch at a secluded picnic spot, and retrace the footsteps of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone, who camped in the park during the summer of 1921.
Venture further afield and you'll discover the patchwork of historic towns and artist villages that make western Maryland so unique. At two hours from Pittsburgh, Swallow Falls is popular with day trippers and weekend warriors from the Steel City, as well as long-distance road trippers from the United States and beyond. Planning a trip to the Old Line State? Browse RV rentals in Garrett County and other popular motorhome camping destinations in Maryland.
Muddy Creek Falls thunders more than 50 feet down the Youghiogheny River and is the park's signature attraction. It's easy to access via the mile-and-a-half-long Canyon Loop Trail that winds through sun-dappled hemlock groves – some trees are more than 300 years old. A side trip to Tolliver Falls will take you off the beaten track to a smaller but equally as picturesque waterfall. In summer, the natural pool is a great place for a dip.
For a more challenging hike, take on the five-and-a-half-mile trail that meanders through Garret State Forest and connects Swallow Falls with Herrington Manor State Park. More outdoor activities await in Swallow Falls State Park, with horseback riding, rock climbing, and mountain biking on offer. Much of the park is also ADA-accessible, which makes it a great option if you're traveling with a stroller or wheelchair.
The Youghiogheny River is a hotspot for catch-and-release fishing, with the chance to reel in brown and rainbow trout. During the spring, Muddy Creek is also stocked with rainbow trout. Experienced paddlers can take on the white water rapids of Muddy Creek and the Youghiogheny River. Alternatively, join a thrilling whitewater rafting expedition with one of several local companies in the area.
RV camping at Swallow Falls State Park offers a unique chance to sleep under the Maryland stars. The campground features 65 wooded sites, each with a picnic table and fire ring – perfect for late night s'more roasting sessions. All sites offer easy access to modern bathroom blocks with hot showers and flush toilets. A handful of sites include full electric, water, and sewer hookups, with reservations available from Memorial Day through to Labor Day. For the rest of the year, campsites are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Swallow Falls State Park campground caters to rigs of up to 30 feet, which makes the park a good option for smaller rigs. Pets are welcome, but be sure to keep your dog leashed and clean up any leftover food as Swallow Falls is in black bear country. Speak to one of the friendly park rangers or camp hosts for more information about best practices.
RV camping at Swallow Falls State Park puts you in the heart of western Maryland, a captivating corner of the state known for rugged mountains, shimmering lakes, and ancient forests. The region is particularly beautiful in the fall, with nearby Oakland once voted the best town in America to admire fall foliage. For a glimpse of Maryland's creative side, head to the Spruce Forest Artisan Village in Grantsville, where you'll find hand-carved homewares, metal sculptures, artisan soaps, and other one-of-a-kind gifts.
While the frothy rapids of Swallow Falls make it unsuitable for swimming, the 53-acre lake at nearby Herrington Manor State Park is a great place to cool off in the summer. Bask on the sandy swimming beach, rent a kayak and enjoy a leisurely paddle, or soak up the sunshine on the grassy foreshore. Deep Creek Lake is another outdoor gem, with canoeing, fly fishing, and fiery fall foliage. It's also home to Wisp Resort, one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier snow sports destinations.
For gas stations, grocery stores, and other basic services, head nine miles south to Oakland. The town was founded in 1862 and is anchored by a historic Main Street lined with independent cafes, old-fashioned diners, and antique stores. A one-hour drive away in West Virginia, Morgantown is a great place to rent a camper near Swallow Falls State Park. Major Mid-Atlantic cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C. are also popular hubs for RV rentals.