Swimming in Maryland: Lake Habeeb

Where? Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park, Flintstone, Maryland, USA

Click on the picture to get directions from Google Maps.

Address

12500 Pleasant Valley Road
Flintstone, MD 21530

Note: If you type in your GPS “Lake Habeeb” it will give you multiple options. Make sure you select the one that says Rocky Gap State Park. If not, you will likely be sent to the campground parking area which you cannot access without a reservation. There’s a code you need to input to get into that parking lot. Shall this happen to you, it’s not a big deal since the regular state park entrance is close by. It’ll just delay you for roughly six minutes.

Hours of operation from their website, swimming is allowed on this lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day from 7:00 AM to sunset.

Fee The following fee information applies only during swimming season:

State residents $2.00 per vehicle on weekdays / $4.00 per person on weekends and holidays

Out of state residents $4.00 per vehicle on weekdays / $6.00 per person on weekends and holidays

After labor day, the fees change to:

Maryland residents $2/vehicle; out-of-state residents $4/vehicle

Top: from Fabletics. Is meant to be a sport bra but it works just fine as a top swimsuit. You can get it here. Bottom: Ripped Mom short from American Eagle. I love their jeans! Great quality at an affordable price. You can get it here.

Pets Allowed in specific locations on the park. But during swimming season, pets are NOT allowed in the sandy portions of the lake. To read the details on the pet policy click here and scroll all the way to the end to find it.

Fecal matter on the sand. Presumed to be from a dog. But it could be geese or what else?

On the visit from which this blog post is based on, we spotted fecal matter close to the shore by late afternoon. From the looks of it, I think it’s from a dog. We alerted the lifeguard who proceed to call park rangers for cleanup. But this is why pets aren’t allowed on the sand stretches. Not every dog owner is responsible. I didn’t see geese at all, but it could have been them too. I know they are notorious for pooping all over the place. Read my blog post about Gravelly Point State Park where there’s a lot of geese poop.

Other activities allowed:

There’s plenty of other activities allowed at Rocky Gap State Park and Lake Habeeb such as kayaking, canoeing, paddling, fishing, hiking, camping and more. You can rent a mini cabin too and if not, there’s a casino resort with a golf course on site. Kayak rental is open as well.

Here’s a list of the official websites so you can find the pertinent information:

  1. Lake Habeeb
  2. Rocky Gap State Park.
  3. Park Information
  4. Maryland State Parks Summary Info

About the Facilities

In a nutshell, Rocky Gap State Park has the best “beach” lake facilities that I’ve seen so far. It’s beautiful, well taken care of, and very spacious. Continue reading to learn more about the facilities: parking, shade, restrooms, food kiosk, playground, water quality and the essentials.

Parking

There’s ample parking right beside the lake and three beach areas. One of them can only be accessed through the campground via car. The general entrance parking lot sits on a leveled pavement overlooking the lake. This is important to note because if you’ve been to Greenbrier and/or Hunting Creek Lake, you know that the parking is spread out on hills and curves.

Shade

The sand stretches are preceded by a big grassy area with many trees that offer shade. You can also hang hammocks from the trees. Just make sure to bring lengthy ropes because some three branches are pretty high.

Resting under the shade of a tree on the grassy area. Watching my kids from afar.

Although there are trees, most of them are not necessarily close to the sand stretch. Therefore, if you need to be close to the sand and/or water to watch your kids, it’s better to bring your own shade tent, canopy or beach umbrella.

Top: from Fabletics. Bottom is from Old Navy but I bought it when I was 18. No referral link!
For the past year, I’ve worked hard to lose weight (about 25 lbs) following BeachBody workout programs and Autumn Calabrese portion control fix. Happy to chat if you are interested. For more information,
click here!

Restrooms

There’s the main restroom with showers and multiple smaller ones on site. I can’t say that the main one is very clean but it’s expected. Some people give themselves a long and messy bath so the floor was completely wet, all the way to the toilet stalls!

I did see the park staff closing it mid-day for cleaning. Unfortunately, there was a huge mess again by the end of the day.

Video of the restroom at Hawk’s Nest Cafe. I didn’t record or photograph the one with showers. It was too smelly and I wanted to leave fast!

The good thing is that right next to this shower restroom, there’s the food place, Hawk’s Nest Cafe, that has a restroom. And it was very clean and dry! Yay!!!!

Picnic Tables

There’s many picnic tables all around the grassy area with park grills.

Seating area outside of Hawk’s Nest Cafe.

Food and playground

As I mentioned on the restroom section, there’s a food place called Hawk’s Nest Cafe that sells light meals such as personal pizzas, pretzels, hot dogs and sausages. It also sells snacks like chips, ice cream and different beverages. I have to say that this is the first food kiosk at a state park that has reasonable prices. When I visited, it was selling 3 hot dogs for $5.00. That’s a great deal!!!

There are patio tables with chairs outside of the cafe. When we ate there, the sun was shinning bright right over the tables. So we moved them!

Playground overlooking the lake, nearby the shower restroom and the cafe.

Therefore, for your information, you can move them to an area with shade. But the best part is that, the seating area is right in front of the playground. So, while we waited for the food to arrive, the kids played and hubby and I had some quiet time to catch up.

The park has grills that you can use, so bringing the things you want to cook is an option. If not, there’s multiple restaurants and fast foods nearby, in Cumberland.

As you can see the water is clear and bluish.

Water Quality

I once read that Lake Habeeb has the bluest water in Maryland. I haven’t seen all the lakes in Maryland, yet, but it surely looked beautiful, clean and blue.

The water clarity is defined as clear. You can see where you are stepping on all the time.

The swimming area is very shallow, which makes it perfect for little ones.

The surface is rocky though. I was advised by maryland_my_maryland to wear water shoes and although I didn’t (because I don’t mind rocks while barefoot, I am use to it), I can imagine this is something that can bother people. I see it as an opportunity to naturally scrub and exfoliate my feet. It’s not like the rocks are huge, dangerous and painful. It’s more like an inconvenient grainy gravel. But if you hate the feeling of rocky terrain against your feet, bring water shoes with a strap so you don’t lose them while swimming!

Beach toys and inflatable from Walmart.

Don’t forget to bring the following essentials: Sunscreen, Hat, Floaters, Beach toys, Hammocks, and whatever else will make you happy!

Created by my kids. Beach toys from Walmart, shark puppet from Dave & Buster’s, plants, water and sand from Nature.

I hope you have a great time visiting this beautiful place. Being in contact with nature is proven to make you feel better and happier. Let me know if you go how it goes and remember that the easiest way to stay on the loop is to follow me on insta, where I also share videos and more on my stories/highlights!

Please, share with your family and friends and comment below, and/or send me an email/message with suggestions of what else you would like to see here. I want this page to be as helpful as possible. Thanks for reading!

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