Big Run State Park: Where to Primitive Camp in Maryland

Big Run State Park

Looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle? Then get ready to turn off your screens and shut out the world at Big Run State Park in Western Maryland.

Big Run State Park Bulletin Board located at the state park entrance. The Dreams Built In's RV is shown parked on the left-hand side
Our Grand Design RV in Campsite #81 at Big Run State Park

This state park features mountains and semi-primitive camping for tents and RVs. Keep in mind, there is no cell/internet service available at this campground. The Savage River Reservoir runs through Big Run State Park and is surrounded by the Savage River State Forest.

Mountains and River at Big Run State Park
River and Mountain Views at Big Run State Park Campground

Big Run Campsites

There are a total of 29 campsites. Each campsite includes a picnic table and fire ring. You can purchase firewood about a 15-minute drive away at the nearest Ranger Station. However, tent and RV campers are also permitted to use wood that is dead and down.

The main campground sports four composting toilets. Two for those identifying as a male and two for those identifying as a female. Each section offers room for those in wheelchairs as well. This facility is located at the entrance of the main campground.

The river is just a short stroll from every campsite. It is shallow enough for the kids to play in. Additionally, this location also offers a spot for fishing and using non-motorized boats as well.

Lea from Dreams Built In at pointing to the direction of the creek at Big Run State Park
This way to the creek!
Big Run State Park: Where to Primitive Camp in Maryland
Great spot for fishing and boating!
Big Run State Park: Where to Primitive Camp in Maryland
Creek is shallow enough to play in

If a campground is not your style, there are campsites located just off of the main roads. Reservations can be made by phone or online via this link: Maryland State Park Reservations. However, keep in mind that same day reservations are not permitted.

Monroe Run Hiking Trail

Big Run State Park also serves as the trail head for the six-mile Monroe Hiking Trail. This trail has a rainforest feel to it and we highly recommend it. However, this trail does require navigating fallen trees and shallow river crossings.

Big Run State Park: Where to Primitive Camp in Maryland
Entrance to Monroe Run Hiking Trail

Our Experience at Big Run State Park

We stayed in our RV at Big Run State Park over Labor Day weekend 2021 at campsite 81. We stayed at this campground in-between our two stays at Fort Frederick State Park. This spot was perfect for our less than 35′ long Grand Design RV and offered ample shade from trees. Overall, the space was relatively level for a grassy field but we did use some of those links levelers we list in #4 on our RV essentials blog post.

All sites are a close walk to the nearby river and composting toilets. Surprisingly, we found the composting toilets to be cleaner and less offensive to the nose than the typical port-a-john.

The Monroe Run Hiking Trail is an absolute must. The kids and I found multiple Red Spotted Eastern Newts on the trail as it was a slightly rainy day. The views of the forest and water were absolutely gorgeous. Despite it being labor day weekend, the campground was not full. Additionally, on the hiking trail, we only ran into a few small groups on the hiking trail.

Red Spotted Eastern Newt spotted on a rainy day in Big Run Maryland State Park
Red Spotted Eastern Newt found at Big Run State Park

Now, we only stayed here for three nights but I think that’s all you need to see what Big Run has to offer. Did we miss anything?

What questions do you have about Big Run State Park? Or, if you’ve been, what did you enjoy about this location?

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