Little Piece Of The Outdoors In the Middle Of City: Greenbelt Campground (REVIEW)
When I was checking out this site I wasn't sure how it would work out exactly. It seemed close to the METRO, which made for a great option when exploring the DC area and had been raved bout as a great escape for those with larger rigs, but how would that translate for me as a tent camper?
I went ahead and booked for the days I would be there in good faith and spent $100 for 5 days ($20 per night) a great deal by far in comparison to a lot of the other sites I had explored.
I arrived later in the evening that I had expected and the booth was closed (something I learned is common practice since they have changed over from cash to reservations only for this site). I found my receipt from my online booking and pulled up a map on my phone of the loops to help me find the site, it was pretty simple as only the B and D loops were open at the time I was visiting.
Traffic in and out of the camp loops are one way and they have signs posted that you need to back into your sites. I found my site which was close to the bath house and before setting up my tent made my rounds. The bath house had 1 shower per bath house per gender with 2 bath houses per loop. I was a little concerned about what would happen if it got busy with those accommodations, however it never seemed to be an issue.
My site was facing the road to the other loops, which initially concerned me about noise, but because of limited traffic due to loop closures it never was an issue either. The site was pretty even but did have some rocks in the area where my pad would be so I had to do a little clearing.
I had a picnic table but no grill at this site, although others did have grills available. I set up my small cooker on the picnic table and while cooking dinner noticed a family of deer grazing close by, a great way to settle in for the evening.
The camp host came by and welcomed me before I was fully set up for the evening and was great!!!
After staying here for a week I was so pleased by the quiet nature of the campground, the overall feeling of the outdoor space (every morning birds and squirrels) and the proximity to the METRO (only about 10 minutes with traffic).
Reserve online - this is a NO CASH facility which means you CANNOT pay upon arrival so you will have to do so online.
Drive slowly - there are a lot of people who use this space as a green space for walking and running. There is no shoulder so you share the road space with those enjoying this space so be careful.
No hanging things from trees. Even if you love a hammock you cannot hang them at this park on the trees so make sure you are aware of this before camping here.
Book a campfire. You can inquire with the ranger on duty about using the group facility for campfires and gatherings which is located on the back side of the B Loop.
Take the METRO if you are going into the District. There are two stations very close to camp (Greenbelt and University Park). Rides vary depending on how far you are going but on average I spent about $10 per day on METRO versus $20-$40 on parking in the district area and I could come and go as I pleased with a little walking as opposed to having to drive aimlessly until I could find parking in garages which can be very difficult. There was also a small charge to park at the METRO daily but still even with this cost it was more reasonable than attempting to drive around the city and a lot faster as well.
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