It was high time for an adventure.
That’s what I told myself heading out on my second RV journey to Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland. My short road trip a few months prior had been my first ever time traveling alone or driving an RV.
That first challenge was an unexpected moment of growth. I had felt braver and more capable than I ever thought. But, the funniest thing happened. Where I had lost my fear of solo travel, I had gained an overwhelming itch to do it again! This is the story of that second journey. This time I had a new challenge: completing my longest hike yet, straight to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain.
But before all that, I needed to find a place to stay!
RV Parks Near Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland
Staying at Little Bennett Campground seemed the best choice for me. The camp has a good balance of a convenient location and cushy amenities. But, Gambrill State Park or Sugarloaf Mountain are both great choices too. Get the rundown of these RV campgrounds below before you decide for yourself!
Little Bennett Campground
Amenities: Though it’s just 10 minutes away from Sugarloaf Mountain, Little Bennett Campground is a lovely getaway in its own right. The grounds are filled with a ton of activities to fill your days without ever leaving camp! Horseback riding, fishing, historical sites nearby, sporting facilities, and even ice skating are all on the table.
Capacity: 91 RV sites
More Information: Little Bennett Campground
Gambrill State Park
Amenities: Gambrill State Park is a 1,200-acre state park 30 minutes away from Sugarloaf Mountain. There are 6 sites with electricity and 1 with full hookups for RVs. This smaller park has shaded sites and a few short hikes. Stone overlooks built in the 1930s offer beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
Capacity: 34 RV sites
More Information: Gambrill State Park
Amenities: Sugarloaf Mountain allows boondocking in its parking lots. You’ll be roughing it without any hookups or amenities to speak of. But, this is the best location possible to be centered around the action. It’s also free (perfect for traveling on a budget).
Capacity: Practically unlimited (massive parking lot below the mountain)
More Information: Sugarloaf Mountain RV Camping
Hiking Sugarloaf Mountain
After getting set up at Little Bennett, I took the short drive to Sugarloaf with my hiking boots strapped on and ready to go. With anticipation running high, I saw no reason to wait to unwrap my presents. So, hiking the summit via Sugarloaf Mountain Loop was first on my agenda.
The trail was well-marked throughout and had a variety of features like dense forest walks, steep inclines, and scenic viewpoints. These points of interest were spread out nicely. The trail totals 6.1 miles (the longest I had ever tried). I usually train with some light running and go hiking a few times per year. But, this hike really kicked my butt!
Make sure you arrive early, go at a comfortable pace, pack plenty of water, and wear solid hiking boots. In spite of my best efforts to prepare, by the final stairs to the summit I was feeling wiped out.
But, when rural Maryland opened up 1,500 feet below me, my tired legs forgave me.
I took my time admiring the scene. Craggy rocky outcroppings overlooked untouched forest as far as I could see. Green trees stretched all the way to the horizon under fluffy white clouds and blue sky.
When I had my fill of the gorgeous scenery I turned to the trail back down, renewed and rejuvenated for the return journey. My Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland hiking trip was an absolute blast.
Rest, Wine, and Souvenirs
I slept like a baby in my RV the night after the hike, more thankful for a comfy bed than I ever thought possible. So, the next day was dedicated to rest and relaxation. A leisurely trip exploring Maryland’s local community seemed like the perfect way to unwind.
Soleado Lavender Farm
Family-owned, Soleado Lavender Farm is a lovely little spot to enjoy quaint scenery and local goods. After you take a stroll through the lavender fields, you can pick up a gift or two for someone special. At the time, Soleado was selling hand-crafted soaps, lotions, candles, and of course –– freshly picked lavender.
Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards
A park with its own vineyard? Of course I had to stop in! Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards is right at the base of the mountain making it easy to squeeze in after a morning exploring.
The grounds are spread over 22-acres with sparse, outdoor seating. I grabbed a glass of red and got lost in a book, surrounded by grape vines, and a gentle country breeze.
There was a lot more exploring local towns and parks. But, I need to leave you some surprises to discover, right? But, I’ll let you in on one not-so-secret spot you definitely won’t want to miss on your own adventure.
Kayaking at Little Seneca Lake
It was quiet, peaceful, and tranquil no matter where I paddled at Little Seneca Lake. And each bend around the small isles therein revealed a more open, spectacular view than the one before. Renting a kayak and casting into the water on that final trip day was one of the best choices I made.
Nearby Little Seneca Lake is a 505-acre paradise. It feels like a quiet hideaway in spite of its sheer size. I was most surprised at sundown. Hues of waning light turned orange, pink, and violet lit the sky like nowhere I’d seen before. It seemed like I had discovered a hidden vantage point for a majestic Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland sunset.
Lessons Learned and Lessons Owed
If you’re doing it right, plenty of details get lost to the moment when you’re traveling. Life is just too big to summarize every picturesque scene, the interactions with friendly locals, or the insightful revelations your mind conjures up with the gift of silence and time.
But if these two trips have taught me anything, it’s that a little courage is rewarded a thousand times over. Even though I wasn’t so confident at first on either of these solo trips, they’re the most memorable I’ve ever taken.
Take the leap yourself with an RV rental from Cruise America –– one of the most independent ways to roam there is.