Intro: I was camping before I could walk. I grew up camping in the middle of an overgrown vineyard on the shores of Lake Erie in Westfield, NY. My very favorite camping trip was with the Teton Wagon Train in Bridger-Teton National Forest.
There is a trampoline next to the driveway and a “pirate ship” playground off to the left as you pull in. Free range chickens and turkeys(?) hung out next to the house. The house Itself is actually a beautiful log cabin chalet. There is a bathroom easily accessible in the finished walk in basement. There were some air bnb guests as well. We had a nice conversation over the campfire near the cabin. There was parking at this site making car camping easy and convenient. Ken was there to greet me upon arrival and showed me all over his land. He was super friendly and had firewood ready to go for a small fee.
I choose a private and secluded site down a hillside next to a pond. I heard occasional cars passing in the distance, but the sound of the nearby creek nearly drowned them out. There were several short paths crisscrossing the property and Ken allowed camping anywhere that was flat enough to pitch a tent. The moon was so bright that evening, I was able to climb and explore the hillsides after dark.
Between the playground, close in fire ring and access to a bathroom, this campsite is ideal for a first time family camping trip. The location is less than an hour away from DC depending on traffic and convenient to a lake with swimming, hiking and perfect for kayaking or canoeing. There is also a winery minutes away. I highly recommend this campsite whether you prefer car camping or walk in sites.
First thing you see is a pretty yellow farmhouse with a sign out front for Quail Hollow Farm, followed by Steve and his enthusiastic sporting dogs. The campsite was down a dirt road, but even though it was muddy in spots, the van had no problem making it through. It was secluded and completely private, no neighbors, buildings or roads in sight. A creek ran along one side and a ridge along the other. There was plenty of firewood to forage for along the tree line and Steve was kind enough to lend a lighter when it turned out mine preferred butane to lighter fluid. Dusk turned the sky a beautiful purple and the stars were amazing. The only sounds were water trickling along the creek, dogs and/or coyotes in the distance and an owl very close by. I might have heard half a dozen cars the entire time I was there and they were far away and out of sight. Steve reminded me it was hunting season, but only after 9am on Sundays. This was fine with me seeing as I had a date with a roman bath in Berkeley Springs. I highly recommend Quail Hollow Farm, immediately followed by an appointment at the Berkeley Springs State Park Mineral Spa. I’m planning a return visit to both as soon as possible.
Two deer welcomed me onto the property and even though I got there after dark, the directions from Laura and Jeff made it easy to find the campsite. The moon was bright enough to take a nighttime stroll back down the drive to the road. The rest of the evening was spent stargazing next to the campfire while listening to the sounds of the stream.
There are cool hiking trails at Sky Meadows State Park that take you from forests to farmland and up a mountain, and an amazing bakery in Marshall called Red Truck Rural Bakery. But the cider tasting was hands down my favorite part of the day. The tasting room is charming and Jeff was great, explaining each style and passing the time. I ended up leaving with lots of cider to take home and it definitely won’t be my last visit.
The surrounding countryside is beautiful. We drove past picture perfect farms and pretty little towns, but the real magic begins once you cross the wooden bridge onto Dennis’ land. Dennis, by the way, is this super friendly guy who seems to have found his highly caffeinated bliss in the middle of Amish country, PA.
The first wow was this amazing rock formation jutting out of the earth with striations at a near perfect 45 degree angle. The titular cave entrance was at the base. Down the drive and around a bend was the larger quarry with rock cliffs curving around three sides. Dennis walked us around all the sites, but the campsite next to the cave entrance was too fascinating to turn down. The fire pit was built with stone from the quarry and the first thing we did was check out the cave. Tight fit, but so cool!
Side note: our water, food and wipes were all frozen by morning. Something to keep in mind next time I camp when the overnight temp drops to 24 degrees. My phone was not having it either. My cell signal was spotty, but hopefully other carriers have better coverage.
Next time we stay we’ll try to bring friends and family because this seems like a great option for groups.
Moire was my favorite host ever! She was so welcoming and she let us tag along during her evening chores. Her stories and history of the farm were compelling and her border collie was so sweet and friendly, even Stan the greyhound was charmed. He got to encounter his first sheep, chickens and miniature donkeys.
In addition to the campsite, there was also a separate guest house and a BnB in her home with a farm to table home cooked breakfast. When the weather forecast turned ugly, she offered shelter in her home. Little did she know that driving rain and sleet delivered via gale force winds is one of my favorite camping conditions.
Our campsite was on the banks of a picturesque stream tucked next to acres of forest. If it had been warmer we would have waded and splashed to our hearts’ content. The pond looked postcard perfect and inviting as well. The road ran nearby, but the traffic was light and the wind was the loudest sound we heard.
It was too windy for a safe campfire, but there was plenty of firewood supplied and the fire ring was encircled by a rustic stacked stone border. The half bath was in Moire’s home and close by the campsite. It was a rare luxury next to a beautiful campsite and I can’t wait to return in January for our box of farm raised lamb chops.
What a beautiful place to spend camping. Yates was there to meet me upon arrival. I parked at the first campsite which faced the fields and backed up to the woods. The farmhouse and barn were visible in the distance and the view was pastoral and lovely.
Yates helped me pack my gear into his truck to head to the second campsite. It had rained the day before so he wanted to make sure my van didn’t get stuck (so considerate!). This campsite faced the same fields and also backed to the woods, but was even more secluded. The path down to the river was here. There was a boardwalk through the marsh to a dock on the river. It will be exciting to camp again when it’s warmer and we can take advantage of the river access. In addition to plenty of firewood, he offered the use of an elevated fire ring and table to help mitigate the damp ground. Again, so considerate.
I ended up walking my gear down to the creek where I was welcomed to take my pick of spots to camp. It was beautiful and shielded from the wind. The ground was soft from the rain, but all the fallen leaves kept it from getting muddy. I heard a ton of birds, lots of geese, dogs, foxes and an owl. It was not quiet or peaceful, but I go to the woods for all the sounds of nature, small and big. I can use noise canceling headphones for peace and quiet. The next morning, there were massive flocks of swifts(?) over the corn fields. They would all go quiet at the exact same time, then there would be a huge “whoosh” as they took to the sky. I could actually feel the wind they generated. If you haven’t seen birds in a murmuration, look it up on youtube, it’s an amazing sight.
It was hard to say goodbye to this beautiful farmland (but I was hungry after dropping my entire breakfast all over the ground) and I plan to return when it gets warmer.
The driveway in is long and bumpy but we drove a van and a passenger car to the site. You just need to take it slowly. There are also some religious signs but no proselytizing from the host.
Once there, Dan showed me all over his property and it was beautiful. There were woods, ponds, creeks and a deep water lake begging to come swimming, fishing and boating. Even in late fall there was greenery all around and trees changing colors.
Our site was a short easy walk through the woods from our car. We were surrounded by trees bordered by a creek and next to some interesting rock formations. We never even heard the campers in the next site except when we said hello while hiking, and our site felt private and secluded. Aside from some distant sounds of cars and airplanes, all we heard were birds calling, squirrels rustling leaves and the fire crackling. This is a truly special place and I plan to return often to experience it in all the seasons.
Fay was there to meet me as I pulled in. She was friendly and charming and a fount of knowledge about local attractions, eateries and great spots along the C&O Canal. She also introduced me to Jake, her retired gaited horse. He was so sweet, he didn’t even mind Stan the greyhound sniffing him.
The campsite was tucked behind her barn near Jake’s pasture. There were two neighboring houses in sight, but distant enough to maintain a feeling of privacy. The animal sounds at night were amazing. I couldn’t even identify some of what I heard. Will definitely return to see the farm in a new season.
Joe was there on arrival with a warm welcome and tour of his organic farm and I got to meet his goats, chickens and ducks.
My first impression was that the campsite was not as private and secluded as I had hoped, but it turned out that the neighbors did not have direct sight lines and there were several areas to pitch a tent, from open lawn next to the fire pit to wooded sites completely hidden from view. There was distant noise from the highway but the sounds of nature were all around.
There were woods bordering one side of the farm with paths, a lovely creek, pond and pasture. The birds were everywhere and diverse. I saw a woodpecker, swifts, jays and many others.
I spent hours at the fire pit, cooking and just being still. It poured that night and the sound of rain on the tent was calming and peaceful.
My visit to Joe’s farm gave me the precious gift of stepping outside my normal hectic life and I plan to return soon.