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“Awesome Camping Experience!!! Must try this place!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Maple Tree Campground

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Maple Tree Campground
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20716 Townsend Road, Gapland, MD 21779   |  
Hotel amenities
PA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Awesome Camping Experience!!! Must try this place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2010

This was our first family camping experience (my first time camping ever). I have two young children ages 1 and 3 and was looking for a unique first camping trip. A friend recommended the tree houses at maple tree campground. Their website is very detailed and helped me select the appropriate site for my family. We decided on a "tree cottage" since we had two small children. I have am not much of a rugged nature girl and was more than pleased with the accomodations.

The man who checked us in (which I would assume was the owner) was friendly and expained the layout of the campground and where to find everything and provided us with a map. We purchased our firewood which was $12 for a large sack (when you return the sack you get $1 back). I thought the price for the wood was reasonable considering the time and effort it takes to chop up wood. Note: you must purchase firewood at the site you cannot bring your own due to chance of infestation. Yes the drive to the site is a little steep but hey it's the great outdoors. While a small sports car may have some difficulty we did not have any trouble in our SUV.

I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at our tree cottage called "magnolia". It was much larger and cleaner than I expected. We had a king and double bed bunked with nice matresses as well as two twin beds bunked with matresses. The cottage was neat and tidy (a lady was cleaning it when we arrived- sweeping and mopping the wood floor). There was a table with four chairs for dining with a table cloth and fake flowers in a jar which was a cute touch. There was also a woodstove. Out the back was a nice sized deck with chairs to enjoy the view. The cottage is built on a slope so sitting on the deck you were up in the trees hence the name "tree cottage". The cottage was well kept with nice little added touches like the flowers on the table and pictures hanging on the wall. The decor added to the rustic cottage feel of the place. We looked in one of the "tree houses" and they are rugged with only bunks as described on the website. If you are unsure of your needs the website encourages you to call so they can help you select a site. We requested one close to the bathrooms due to the small children and they were happy to accomodate us.

Each side has your own fire ring and we had an actual full size grill and a picnic table. You could see other sites from ours but there was enough space and trees that it still felt very private and secluded. The bathrooms are the cleanest I have ever seen. Everything in the bathroom was spotless. They also have outdoor showers (we only stayed one night so we didn't use these), but I checked them out and they also looked very clean. It seemed like a neat idea to shower outdoors (showers are private). There is also an outdoor sink to clean your dishes and dumpster for trash before you leave). There is a small store with any camping essentials you may need. Quiet time is 11p-7a which is nice because you can get a good night sleep. I also like that the place seems to be family oriented and the $250 fee for people who are a nuisance (litter, don't obey quiet time, etc) certainly deters any bad behavior. Pets are also allowed on leash and of course you must clean up after them.

Our family had a great time. The place is very well kept. The owners live on the property and you can tell they take great pride in this place which is why it is so nice. I thought the prices were more than reasonable, our cottage was $67/night plus the cost of wood. It was a small price to pay for a great family weekend and amazingly clean well kept facilities. I would highly recommend this place, especially to those with small children. It's a great place to stay whether you are new at camping like our family or whether you have been camping all your life. We can't wait to return in the fall.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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84 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
ellicott city md
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2010

Cute place and fun! We stayed at the Robin treehouse, which is supposed to be the oldest and "quaintest' treehouse. It was clean. It is very simple, but we had a blast! My 2 boys (7 and 12) loved being in a treehouse and thought it was a cool novelty. All of the campers seemed so happy to be there and everyone was so friendly, especially Louise, who owns/manages and tries very hard to make it a nice stay. The campers were either kids in kids camp like Boy Scouts for families with kids when we went. All had a great attiutde and were having lots of fun. Quiet time is 11pm and is enforced. There's volleyball and horse shoes set up and a large space for playing. There are plenty of woods separating the sites There is a camp store which has a lot of items in case you forgot anything. It is hilly and I guess the treehouses are somewhat primitive, but what do you expect, you are camping in the Appalachians, that's part of the novelty of camping there. The good thing is that they do have lots of options - tent camping in a field, tent camping in the woods, treehouse camping or cabin camping (the cabins looked really nice on the inside). Louise gave us some great hiking tips for the App. trail and we hiked there one day. Grilled out , made a campfire. Also they are pet-friendly and my dog had a blast.
The restrooms are smallish for the amount of people the facility holds and the 2 showers are outdoors, but they are all cleaner than any state park I've camped at and we had no problems waiting in line for the bathroom (showers a bit of a wait early in the morning, other than that no problem). Very nice communal feel, it has a different feel than a regular park camp. The website has all of the info you need to know about what to expect. We enjoyed it , didn't want to go home , and want to go back in the fall and bring some friends this time!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2010

The campground was adorable and the owner was super nice. We camped in a primitive site. The entire time we were there (a long weekend) there were large groups staying at the pavillion. (we didn't realize when we booked that people could actually stay in it or would have booked a site far away). We were treated to blasting rap music all of Saturday afternoon and evening that included some very easily heard/understood profanity and offensive language. It wasn't the owner's fault that these "guests" just didn't know any better, but they were frankly obnoxious. Not exactly what I was hoping for for our weekend in the woods. I noticed if you weren't in the lower sites near the paviallion you couldn't hear it, so just stay away form those areas and you'll avoid the large groups.

Other than that, adorable place, clean and well run!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
treehouse123, Owner at Maple Tree Campground, responded to this review, August 15, 2010
The tone of the campground is different every week end, depending on the character of the campers. It changes like the weather.
98% of the time our campers are truly lovely and respectful, 2% of the time they are problematic.
I wish you would have come to talk to me if you were bothered by noise, or anything. Even if I am not in the office, I always make it clear to people that I am available, they can knock on the door of the house.
I am not a fan of radios camping, because everyones' taste in music is different it isn't fair for people to subject others to their music choices. I didn't care for the music, either, but since it was the afternoon I let it go for awhile, because it wasn't blaring, but it was audible. I went down to the Pavilion at about 7:30 pm and asked them to turn it off. I was making a compromise, they were having a birthday party, I wanted to give them some festive time. Perhaps I should have asked them sooner. If you would have taken the time to seek me out, and I am always available on week ends, I would have acted sooner.
I am sorry you had that experience, I would give you a credit for another time.
The moment you experienced is not frozen in time and repeating itself at the Pavilion. Usually we have boy scouts there or a volley ball game, sometimes a wedding or a church service, or a birthday party, or yoga, there is a huge variety, and it isn't utilized every week end. I will do a better job in the future of monitoring day time noise if it is offensive, or too loud.
If a camper is bothered by another camper's noise, or language, they should come and talk to me so I can fix the situation at the time the problem is occurring. Thanks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

We stayed in a cute tree house for a reasonable price for one night. It was completely enclosed and clean of bugs and spiders. There was a lot of room on our site and we felt like we had ample privacy. We tried to light a fire, but our wood was a little damp, but apart from that, we had everything we needed for a great night sleeping in the woods. The private showers near the main office are the best in outdoor showers: stone floor, hot water, open to the sky, plus separate changing and shower areas...would have brought one home if I could!
Will definitely keep Maple Tree in mind if headed to this area again.
On my next trip I might upgrade to a cottage which offer more space including a front porch for just a few more dollars. The tree house was fun, and I would do that again, but must say it would be an outstanding experience for young kids.

Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
treehouse123, Owner at Maple Tree Campground, responded to this review, August 11, 2010
Hello. Glad you enjoyed it. We go through a lot of wood. It is kept in a shed, and we haven't had any rain to speak of this summer. Once in awhile a semi-green log gets thrown into the mix by accident (they usuaully burn OK once you have a good fire going, but are not best for starting fires. You can tell if a log is too green if you snap off a toothpick sized piece, it should be brittle and snap, but not bend. If you get a piece that bends you can return it with our apologies.) I use a wood stove for primary heat throughout the winter and it is normal for a log to have some moisture, if there is a solid bed of coals the log will hiss initially, and then dry right out.
Also, Oak is a difficult wood to start, but long burning once it gets going. The secret to a good fire is a lot of kindling. And then you have to get a lot of medium stuff really at a crackling blaze before you put your log on. The biggest mistake people make starting fires is putting a log on too soon and that actually smothers the fire. Kindling, and then twice as much kindling after that, is the way to go. Thanks, see you next time.
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Troutville, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

We stayed in two different tree houses at this campground. (We stayed an extra night so they moved us to an open tree house) We really enjoyed ourselves. The owners were very friendly and helpful. There have been some comments about the cost being too high but I would have to disagree. The KOA down the road is much more expensive. Those of you who think it is too costly remember you are also paying for the area you are in. The motels go for 149 a night! To pay 40-60 dollars for a camping cabin is very reasonable. Everything is kept up nicely. The 11:00 noise rule is enforced and that was very helpful to our family. The bathrooms and showers were wonderful!! Cleanest I've seen! We went to Harper's Ferry and walked/hiked the sites and then had a campfire. I would definitely suggest a lantern because it gets dark. WE WILL DEFINITELY RETURN AND HIGHLY RECOMMEND this campsite. Please remember you are camping. Ask the owner for descriptions of the tree houses. They are very honest and try to get you the best fit for your personality/needs. The weather was unusually hot all around and the owners really worked with people. They cant control weather, yet they helped some families out when the heat got unbearable for some. This is a great little campground and everyone who was there seemed to be having a great time. A definite find and very peaceful place to stay. My husband loves to backpack and I like more luxuries such as a bath house and bathrooms. This was a great compromise for us both and we all came away from the experience happy. Thanks for a great time!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
treehouse123, Owner at Maple Tree Campground, responded to this review, July 30, 2010
Thank you very much for all your kind words. I am really glad you enjoyed it, see you next time.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2010

I'll get to the showers in a minute.

A group of friends and I stayed at the tree house camp over a weekend in July. First know that it's a very popular campground - it seems that a lot of urbanites and families from DC and Baltimore go to Maple Tree for a nice weekend getaway. And we had a very nice time ourselves. Go to Maple Tree knowing that this is not like a state park, and doesn't have state park prices, or state park amenities. For two nights and 6 people, it ended up costing us about $125 - which included a bag and bundle of firewood ($20 for wood!). The owner was nice enough to give us a little leeway on the 2 night minimum for two of our friends. And since this campground charges per person per night, instead of per camp site, that model seems appropriate for a group of friends (which can be easily split), but not necessarily a large family.

I couldn't help but notice that this system of charging per person and the ridiculously high priced monopoly of firewood kinda goes against the spirit of camping, which is supposed to be an economical way for people to stay overnight and re-charge with nature. And the friendly owners response is a spiel you could tell is spoken on an hourly basis, the campground is seasonal, there's high property taxes, insurance, and operating costs, etc...That's like going to a restaurant, ordering a lobster bisque, and your waiter explaining its high price is based on the restaurant's high rent and electric bill. Sometimes, your customers just don't want to hear it.

That all being said, if you're looking for a nice escape from the city, definitely check out Maple Tree. The treehouses and cottages look very unique - I may try those next time. Just go in with the expectation that this is a private campground (prices reflect that) that has built very nice amenities, whose owners really go out of their way to implement the 11 o'clock quiet time. You'll sleep like a baby, and be a clean camper once you rinse off in one of the best showers in the history of campground showers.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
treehouse123, Owner at Maple Tree Campground, responded to this review, July 22, 2010
I agree with you, our showers are great. Check back next year, we are going to build a water playground.
Honestly, the only reason I would go into the "spiel" is if someone tells me they think our prices are too high. At that point, I honestly don't see it as a "spiel", I see it as a conversation.
I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight and have that conversation on "tripadvisor."
In a group each individual covers their own way. $20.00 for a two night weekend get-a-way is cheap. If you add up 12 to 15 it sounds expensive, but if each person covers their own, it is still cheap. Field tenting for $8 per person, only one night, is even cheaper.
Our costs run per person: water, sewage and trash removal, T.P., P.T, wear and tear.
A family with 3 children can get a tent site for 50. Last time I checked, the Koa was around 47 for a couple to tent for one night. Couples tent here for 25.69 for a tent site, and get a treehouse for 41.10. To tell you the truth, we are under-priced. The 2 night minimum is an industry standard.
Children 4 and under are no charge, children 5 and 6 are half price. If a family has more than 3 children over 7, I usually give them a break in the price.
On the subject of wood, a BAG for $11 is over 50 lbs of oak, with kindling, and a BUNDLE is 5 huge oak logs, 24 inches long. There is a $1 deposit on the bag.
Fact is, stacked, split, cured, and bagged..... wood doesn't grow on trees.
Every year the Arborist comes, and we have a handful of dead trees to cut for safety reasons. He doesn't step onto the scene without costing $3,000 to $6,000. (because of his insurance) Then, it takes time, labor, gas, hydrolic fuel, and equiptment maintenance to cut and haul and split and bag the wood. For the amount of wood you get, our wood is priced well below what you would pick up in bundles at the store.
And, we are a seasonal business. We have to make enough money over the summer to make it through the winter, a long 5 months with very little income. And then we squeak into another season.
In general, business owners have a lot of expenses that people are not aware of. The property taxes are ridiculous and have somehow managed to double in the last 4 years, even with the recession. There are insurances, fire insurance, and filing fees, and association fees, and health insurance, social security taxes, unemployment insurance, salaries, maintenance, ....I don't want to bore you with the details. The truth of the matter is we struggle to make ends meet like everyone else, and like every ma-and-pa small business. The good news is, the corporations like Wal Mart and Koa won't squash us.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity of setting the record straight about the value of secluded tent sites, and no RV's, and the "best showers in the history of campground showers." See you next time!!!!
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Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2010

We took a few days off last week and were looking for a camping experience but didn't want the hassle of setting up a tent and wanted to sleep a bit more comfortably. We also could not afford to spend a lot. A friend recommended this place as he had been going there regularly. It was perfect for what we wanted! We got to spend time in a beautiful area, cooked on a portable gas stove outside, lit a campfire each night and really enjoyed our time there. The outdoor (but private) showers are neat, there are lots of conveniences like a place to wash dishes, the place was very well cared for and just very peaceful. It was cool to be just a 5 minute jog from the Appalachian Trail and a beautiful state park with Civil War era homes and monuments. I took advantage of that to go running before breakfast. The cabin itself was in great shape and roomier than I expected with plenty of beds for everyone and room to move around. There is a lot of outdoor stuff to do in the area, and they provide a map of the immediate area with lots of suggestions on the back, which is very helpful. One of the best features is the owners who live on site and really care about the camp and its visitors. You can tell theirs is a labor of love. I would recommend this camp to anyone that loves the outdoors but wants a little more comfort than tent camping affords.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maple Tree Campground

Address: 20716 Townsend Road, Gapland, MD 21779
Location: United States > Maryland > Gapland
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Gapland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 30
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

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