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The little town of Sykesville, Maryland sits just a short drive from both Washington D.C.and Baltimore, but you’d never guess it standing on its main street. It has retained its small-town charm even as the urban areas swell and encroach upon it; the downtown still has plenty of historic buildings from the late 1800s with several museums housed in them. It was also rated as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America” back in 2016.
The reason Sykesville has remained untouched though is that it is not well connected to the urban areas around it. Trains and city buses from D.C. and Baltimore don’t run out to Sykesville, and there isn’t even a major highway running through the area. Interstate 70 is a short drive away as is Maryland Route 97, but only those that intend to visit Sykesville actually travel through it. When you book an RV in Sykesville, you can count on enjoying the ride.
In addition to its small-town charm, Sykesville has loads of great places to spend time in nature. The nearby Liberty Reservoir has a number of hiking trails surrounding the lakeshore and kayak rentals are available if you’d like to paddle through it. It’s also a haven for wildlife including white-tailed deer and wild turkey, so be sure to bring your binoculars when you rent an RV here.
There’s also Piney Run Park, which is much smaller than Liberty Reservoir but offers a quieter experience with far fewer visitors. It mostly attracts families from Sykesville that want to do a little fishing off the docks (be sure to have the necessary fishing license first), picnic in the pavilions, or go for an easy stroll on some of the short hiking trails.
For a bigger adventure, you’ll need to circle around the capital to get to Great Falls Park in Virginia. It’s well worth the drive, though, as you’ll have the chance to see the Potomac River beautifully cascading down a series of rock ledges inside a spectacular gorge - excellent hiking trails traverse both sides of the river too.
One of the closest places to go with your camper rental from Sykesville is the Ramblin' Pines Campground just west of town. They have full hookups at each of their RV sites, a heated pool, dog park, mini-golf course, and a small catch-and-release fishing pond. Their location in the forest outside of town will feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital too.
If day trips into Baltimore are on your agenda, you might consider Patapsco Valley State Park just a little way outside of Maryland’s largest city. Sites are equipped with electrical hookups, and they offer drinking water and showers at a central location. Best of all, though, is how wild the surrounding area seems, given how close it is to a major metropolitan area. If you’d like to do some hiking when you get an RV rental in Sykesville, this could be a good campground to choose.
If you’d prefer to stay closer to the attractions of the big city, you might enjoy Cherry Hill Park in the D.C suburbs. Not only do they have a convenient location, but they offer full hookups for your Sykesville motorhome rental, a swimming pool, sauna, miniature golf course, a dog walking service, and movie nights during the summer.
The Historic Colored Schoolhouse is one of the most well-preserved pieces of Sykesville past. While Maryland did not join the Confederacy during the Civil War, it was a slave state at its outbreak and had a particularly difficult era following it. African Americans in Maryland were subjugated during Reconstruction up to the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, and the separate but equal policy is on full display at the Colored Schoolhouse.
There’s also the Gatehouse Museum of History, which is an excellent place to get a look at the town’s past when you choose a travel trailer rental in Sykesville. Much like the town, it’s a bit of a mish-mash of different stories, but one of the more interesting exhibits focuses on the Springfield State Psychiatric Hospital (one of the largest in the country at the time). While many of the details are quite disturbing and may not be suitable for younger children, they’re worth remembering and for seeing how far the country has come in regards to mental health.
The Living Farm Heritage Museum in nearby West Friendship is a fantastic place for the kids to learn about agriculture and what life was like from the Colonial era up through modern times in Howard County, Maryland. It features a “walk through time” exhibit where farming and domestic labor practices are on display along with the role of the railroad in industrializing central Maryland. There are also some hiking trails and horseback riding if you feel like spending some time in nature.