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“Great getaway”

Gambrill State Park
Ranked #16 of 63 things to do in Frederick
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Was looking for an alternative to Shenandoah National Park camping when the government shut down and found Gambrill State Park. We had been camping at Catoctin National Park just a few months beforehand, and really loved the area, so we decided to check out this part of the park. Gambrill is a 34-site park that is well-maintained and quite nice. While it wasn't as nice as Catoctin (Owen's Creek campground), it was what we were looking for- quiet, wooded area super close to a trail that meets up with several others that circle the High Knobb area and Rock Run area. Our campsite #34 was probably the most secluded. The site was flat, although we noticed several other sites were not. And, llke another reviewer warned, a few of the sites are in the sun, but not all of them and certainly not ours. I don't know what Cunningham State Park campgrounds look like, but I chose this one because it sounded less crowded and it was. There were only a two other tent campers there Wed-Friday. There were 3 other RV couples. The site has about 20 RV sites with electric hook-ups, about 4 cabins, and about 10 strictly tent sites. The women's bathroom was great- very nice and clean compared to Owen's Creek more rugged bathroom. I had a hot shower and the bathroom with flush toilets to myself every time i went in. Each campsite has a fire ring with a removable grate overtop, a lantern post, and a picnic table. Firewood can be purchased for $5, or just bring your own small axe and go to town on the dead wood. There's plenty of kindling laying around. There's no campstore here like at Cunningham state Park, but I didn't really want nor need a campstore...I think people have different opinions on what camping should be like. Regardless, the site is just 5 mins up from Rte 40, which has a Kmart, grocery store, Home Depot, liquor stores (although it's prohibited in the park), every fast food spot known to man, gas stations, diners, etc. For Maryland residents, drive-in fee is $23. Bring cash.
The hiking is great. Our camping site #34 was right next to the trailhead that led up to all the other trails, which offer great views of the area from native-stone overlooks. Unfortunately, the lookouts were overrun with those pesky stinkbugs. I recommend the Black Locust trail if you're looking for a workout through the beautiful woods. The High Knobb area has plenty of tables, so bring a picnic and feast on your goodies after one of the long, beautiful hikes. Enjoy!

7  Thank CasaSweety4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"nice hiking trails"
in 3 reviews
"red maple"
in 2 reviews
"small pond"
in 2 reviews
"trail running"
in 2 reviews
"trail system"
in 2 reviews
"a great place to spend"
in 2 reviews
"downtown frederick"
in 2 reviews
in 18 reviews
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59 - 63 of 64 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

Walking trails are enjoyable, great scenic overlooks. Nice to visit on a hot day as there is usually a nice cool breeze up there.

3  Thank Goyde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2013

This has got to be considered a hidden jem. Even on 4th of July weekend, it was not very busy. Lots of trails at different rates of difficulty for bikers and hikers. Note to bikers - they are some pretty serious trails, even the moderate are pretty difficult - we did the green and the red - a good portion of the green was walking - where as red was a little more manageable.

I cant wait to go back and hike the black on foot. Everything is very well blazed and marked. There are lots of beautiful picnic spots with grills, and over-look views. It was pretty cool in temperature even on a hot day because of all the shade. The spring located at the top of the green trail is a great place to refresh yourself on a hot summer hike.

We camped for the weekend at Cunningham Falls, but drove to look at Gambrill campsites. They were pretty rough, at least compared to Cunningham falls - a lot of the pads were overgrown, there didnt seem to be enough space for a big tent, and lots of the spots were in full sun. I would recommend NOT tent camping here unless you like it really rugged - from what it looked like driving by the sites.

The area is really great - you can combine this park with a weekend and also check out Cunningham Falls, and Catoctin, and also downtown Thurmont and Frederick.

Cant wait to go back and explore more!

2  Thank Emily W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

I cannot get enough of Gambrill. They have several trails, ranging from 1 mile to 26 (although the 26 mile trail actually stretches across several state parks). All trails loop around so that you always finish where you start.

And for the non-hiker, there are several covered areas for picnics and three gorgeous scenic views that look over Frederick.

Thank Cathy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 29, 2013

The state park located in Frederick, md. Is very pleasant and has wonderful views from it's heights. The park is nice and cool on hot days and is very pleasant.

Thank Bill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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