Where? Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park, Flintstone, Maryland, USA
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!
There’s many picnic tables all around the grassy area with park grills.
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!
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.
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!
Don’t forget to bring the following essentials: Sunscreen, Hat, Floaters, Beach toys, Hammocks, and whatever else will make you happy!
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!
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