Best Free Camping in Maryland

Free Camping in Maryland

By Nathan Swartz

With the nation's capital and bustling Baltimore – and the endless sea of suburbs between them – dominating much of the state's acreage, it's no wonder that the Old Line State has little in the way of free camping.

Especially when compared to its wilder and larger neighbors, camping can seem downright sparse. If your boondocking dreams circle around wide-open beaches, hiking trails around a lake, and secluded mountains, you will no doubt be disappointed. On the other hand, you won't likely need to break out the bug spray.

Free Camping in Western Maryland

Thanks to the hospitality of some local businesses, namely a Cracker Barrel and a Walmart in Hagerstown, MD, you can score a free night or two of quiet, respectful camping in these parking lots. Cracker Barrel even has two actual, designated spots, while Walmart's bigger lot will work better for those with large RVs or pulling a toad.

Don't expect a picnic table or fire ring, and these types of free camping areas are not for setting up your tent. They are simply basic RV-sized spots in a parking lot, a place to rest after exploring the local area.

Free Camping Near Baltimore, MD

The last place of note is the Maryland Welcome Center, home to a free dump station. While technically you are not allowed to camp here overnight, doing so is at times permitted with the permission of local staff or the state police. You can call the phone number on the Campendium listing to get a better sense of whether this will be permitted during your stay before making the commitment to drive into the metropolis that is Baltimore.

portable computer displaying map of camping locations
mobile device showing map of camping locations
Roadpass Pro
Signup for Roadpass Pro to get premium access to all of these great road travel apps.
Unlock pro campendium features
Ad Free Experience
Cell Service Overlays & Reports
Public Land Map Overlays
Trail Maps
Filter by Elevation
Pro icon Join Roadpass Pro

Recent Maryland Free Campsite Reviews

Snow Hill, MD

Furnace Town Parking Lot

Sep 29, 2022

"Nice and secluded"

active staractive staractive staractive staractive star
This is a Harvest Hosts site now. I wasn't sure what I was getting into from reading the prior reviews, but this place is great! The site is essentially a dirt (sand) road turned into a long parking lot for Furnace Town, flanked by trees & a preserve. You can hear some road noise but it's not frequent. When I pulled in, a nice woman named...
Read More

OldCrowEW
2 reviews
Hagerstown, MD

Cracker Barrel

Jul 08, 2022

"DO NOT STAY HERE"

active starinactive starinactive starinactive starinactive star
It’s 7am, writing this review from our rooftop tent after a sleepless night. It’s not Cracker Barrel’s fault, but the Sleep Inn (which shares the parking lot) has a MASSIVE drug/criminal activity problem. We were up all night witnessing drug deals, fights, and countless sketchy people coming and going. Eventually we tried to sleep through it...
Read More

Carolyn
1 review
Snow Hill, MD

Furnace Town Parking Lot

May 06, 2022

"Second time we parked there but not so good"

active staractive staractive staractive starinactive star
We stayed 2 years ago and were welcome. 1 year ago we arrived late and parked and were awoken in the early AM by someone pounding on the door saying that we needed to belong to the nature conservancy or something similar and register ahead of time and we had to leave right away.

Ralphyboy
30 reviews
Pocomoke City, MD

Walmart

Jul 04, 2021

"Convenient and easy"

active staractive staractive staractive starinactive star
Right off 13. Small Chinese Buffet in lot. Ruby Tuesday’s within walking distance across from entrance. Fairly quiet although locals come and go most of the night. 1 other RV, several in cars.

Debbie
3 reviews
Pocomoke City, MD

Walmart

Jul 04, 2021

"Right off 13 and close to 113"

active staractive staractive staractive starinactive star
Asked permission. One other RV, several in cars. Fairly quiet although locals come and go most of the night. Parked near entrance of lot. Small Chinese buffet in lot. Ruby Tuesday within walking distance across from lot entrance.

Debbie
3 reviews