We stayed for 2 nights/3 days in a tree cottage, and before our trip ended, the girls (aged 6 and almost 8) were already asking if we could return next summer. They thought I was sleeping when I heard one of them say, “Isn’t the tree cottage so cool?” and the other replied, “Yeah, it’s so quiet and peaceful!”
Here’s what the kids liked about the Tree House Camp and the area:
- Living without running water & electricity in the home, “like in the olden days” (their words).
- The cuteness of the place, like staying in a life-sized play house.
- Knowing that we were on the side of a mountain.
- Climbing up and down the bunk beds (they don’t have those at home!).
- Eating breakfast outside on the patio under the trees.
- Reading the names of the different tree houses and tree cottages (we were in “Cypress”).
- Finding animals in nature (including deer, fish, cranes, squirrels, butterflies, an insect that looked like a leaf, and lots of daddy-long-legs).
- Looking up & seeing the sky while taking a shower.
- The friendliness of the owner (Louise) who talked with the children directly, and let them borrow a book about fairies.
- Seeing nearby farms whenever we drove in or out of the campground, and pointing out silos, cows, horses, barns, corn, and even soybeans.
- Making smores at the campfire.
- Using their own flashlights.
- Playing the board games that we had packed.
- Tubing on the Shenandoah River in the sunshine, followed by wading in the water, & then a picnic and ice cream.
- An afternoon at Harpers Ferry, running in & out of the historic buildings that have been made into museums, learning about John Brown’s raid, and completing the free children’s activity book provided by the park service to earn their junior ranger badges.
Here’s what the adults liked:
- We could afford it!
- We didn’t need to pitch a tent.
- Our cottage was clean and ready when we arrived.
- Being under solid shelter from the rain during an evening thunderstorm.
- We had mattresses to sleep on.
- Showers with hot water at the main building.
- Having lots of family-friendly activities in the area to pick from.
- Despite lack of electricity in the cabin, we could still charge our cell phones at the office.
- The friendly owner really wanted us to have a good time, and asked for our feedback.
- Telling the girls about our own camping experiences when we were growing up.
- Good distance from the DC area – close enough that we didn’t have to spend too much time driving there, but far away & different enough that it felt like we were “getting away from it all.”
- Being able to drive 10 minutes to Dan’s Restaurant & Taphouse in Boonsboro, MD for dinner on the night we just didn’t feel like grilling.
- Big smiles in the adorable pictures that we took.
- Not needing to be on a tight schedule - definitely a change of pace from our day-to-day lives.
- Lots of time and space to have quality conversations with the kids and each other.
- The kids were happy.
Can you handle staying at a place without a fridge/air conditioning/electricity, and walking a couple minutes down a hill for running water for a few days? (If not, then you shouldn’t be at any place called a “campground.”) If your answer is “yes,” then I definitely recommend the Tree House Camp for an affordable family trip that will result in some fond memories.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One and a half hours from D.C. and Baltimore we have a small tree house campground and are open year round. There are a variety of camping options, the Hobbit House and Tree Cottages have wood stoves and mattresses, there are new ones and older ones. There are a variety of tree houses, they do not have mattresses or wood stoves. Each site has a fire circle, picnic table, and grill.The bathrooms and showers are centrally located. We have secluded tent sites. We are 7 miles from river rafting, tubing, horseback riding, zip-lining, and a ten-minute walk from the Appalachian Trail. Also, 10 minutes from a train into D.C. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Maple Tree Campground Hotel Gapland
- Maple Tree Campground Maryland/Gapland