Click here to watch a video about the following story from WHAG-TV, Hagerstown, Md.
Western Maryland draws a lot of tourists ready to take advantage of the great outdoors in the summer, but that’s not the only time of year they come out.
Just a half mile from the Appalachian Trail, Maple Tree Campground near Rohrersville is far from closed this chilly January. While business slows down, it continues to draw customers from hours away.
While the slopes draw thousands of skiers to the region, the parks, battlefields and trails still bring out their share of hikers, even those ready to stay overnight without a lot of luxury.
“In the summertime, they come from all over the world, we get people traveling from the Netherlands and England, its very interesting, and we get people hiking, through hikers,” says owner Louise Soroko, “But mainly we draw from Washington and Baltimore because it’s so close.”
Northbound through-hikers on the Appalachian Trail typically don’t start until March. And southbound hikers tend to finish up in December, so if you’re hitting the trail these winter months, you can find some peace and quiet.
These college students came from the DC area to disconnect.
“It was just an hour away and it was on the Appalachian Trail, so it was a natural choice,” says hiker Nick Schaufelberger.
“Just such a refreshing change from the urban built-up environment, just kind of coming out here to nature, not having any cars or traffic, getting able to relax,” says hiker Dan Chessen.
The campground’s cottages include wood-burning stoves for heat, bunk beds and a campfire site, enough for a hiker to kick back on a winter night.
The Tree House Camp at Maple Tree Campground is located on 20 acres on South Mountain.