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.
My family had a great time. The campsites are in a clearing next to the long gravel drive. It was perfect for tents and campfires. Our dogs loved it too. With the leaves off the trees, there were some sight lines to neighboring homes, but I’m sure you would have absolute seclusion in the warmer seasons. Motts Run Reservoir is walking distance and we went on a fantastic hike. Can’t wait to see what Spring looks like!
Puppies, goats and chickens were there to greet me. Rodney was great and answered all my nosey questions about his farm. I chose a campsite next to the woods and built a fire. It doesn’t get better than that.
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.