Camping at Antietam National Battlefield
Antietam National Battlefield is a historic site commemorating one of the most significant battles of the American Civil War—the Battle of Antietam. This battle took place on September 17, 1862, and remains the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000 soldiers killed, wounded, or missing. The battlefield is now maintained by the National Park Service and serves as a place of remembrance and education regarding the Civil War.
Antietam National Battlefield is located in Western Maryland, near Sharpsburg. The battlefield is about a 1.5-hour drive from Washington, D.C., and is close to other Civil War sites like Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
While camping is not allowed directly on the Antietam National Battlefield grounds, there are several camping options nearby:
- Greenbrier State Park: Located about 12 miles from the battlefield, this state park offers camping facilities with amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, and shower facilities.
- Cunningham Falls State Park: Roughly 30 minutes' drive from Antietam, offering campsites in a forested setting.
- Hagerstown / Antietam Battlefield KOA: A private campground located just a short drive from the battlefield, with facilities for tents and RVs.
When camping near Antietam, the following information can be vital:
- It's recommended to reserve your campsite in advance, especially during peak times such as summer and around the battle's anniversary.
- Available amenities will vary depending on where you camp. Always check what is provided, such as fire pits, electrical hookups, or bathhouses.
- Be aware of campground rules, such as fire regulations, quiet hours, pet policies, and trash disposal.
- The park typically offers a range of historical programs, including ranger-led tours and educational presentations. Check the Antietam National Battlefield website or visitor center for a schedule.
- The visitor center at Antietam National Battlefield houses exhibits, a museum store, and provides information about the battle and the park. It can also provide information on local camping options.
- Before camping, check the weather forecast, as conditions can impact your visit. Summers are usually warm and humid, springs and falls are milder, and winters can be quite cold.
Things to Remember
- While exploring the battlefield, remember it is a site that commemorates those who died there. Respect the solemn nature of the place.
- Pets are typically allowed in national battlefields, but they must be kept on a leash.
- If you plan to hike throughout the battlefield, be sure to bring adequate water, sunscreen, and sturdy footwear.
- Insect repellent is advisable, especially during warmer months when ticks and mosquitoes are active.
Leave No Trace Principles
Always follow Leave No Trace principles when camping near any natural or historical area to minimize your impact on the environment and preserve the site for future generations.