Greenbrier State Park has one of the few swimming lakes in Maryland! This swimming hole makes a perfect day trip from Washington D.C. on a hot summer day.
You cannot swim in most of the lakes and rivers around Washington DC, so I was super excited to discover Greenbrier State Park as a man-made swimming lake!
Greenbrier State Park Location & Hours
Greenbrier State Park is about 1.5 hours from Washington DC in Greensboro, MD, at 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713.
It’s a pretty easy drive, just take 270 North to 70 West and get off at exit 35.
There will be signs to the park. Google Navigation will give you slightly different directions but you will still get to the right location.
The park is open from 8am to sunset.
There is an entrance fee to this swimming lake and park. It’s $3 per person during the week for anyone not in a car seat. On the weekends it’s $4 per person.
Are Pets Allowed?
Greenbrier allows pets but not in the beach area and day-use area during summer:
- Pets are allowed in the Cedar and Dogwood camp loops
- Pets are allowed on trails outside day-use area (access from outlying parking areas)
- Pets are allowed in day-use area and lake from the day after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day
How Crowded is Greenbrier?
Because this swimming hole is in between Frederick and Hagerstown, it gets really crowded on the weekends!
We actually took a day off and went on a random Tuesday afternoon and I thought it was pretty crowded already. It started to thin out around 4pm.
According to google the hours we went should have been “not busy,” but I found that not to be the case. I found it to be kind of busy around the beach area. But the other areas of the park were definitely not as busy.
If you want to swim here I would come early in the morning when it first opens on a weekend or during the week day. They do close the park if it gets to capacity which happens on weekends.
Social Distancing at Greenbrier and Face Masks
Though I thought the beach area at Greenbrier was somewhat crowded we were still able to maintain distance between others. It was harder in the water because the swimming area is rather small.
I can’t imagine anyone social distancing here on a weekend when it’s a capacity!
In terms of masks, Maryland requires you to wear a mask when indoors and outdoors when you are not able to maintain social distance. You do not have to wear a mask in the water.
I noticed most people did not wear masks on the beach but we were far enough apart not to need one. When we walked around the park however we definitely wore our masks!
What’s great about Greenbrier is that there is a concession stand, relatively clean bathrooms, and even showers! There’s also a bunch of picnic tables and grills all over the park.
I saw lots of people grilling. I can imagine these tables would go quickly on a weekend so go early if you want to snag one!
Swimming at Greenbrier State Park
Greenbrier has a small swimming beach perfect for toddlers and kids. It’s a fantastic little swimming hole that’s so close to DC. The water is super shallow, clear, and warm.
This is the main reason we wanted to check out Greenbrier!
Our daughter had the BEST TIME HERE!! I’ve never seen her in the water so much, probably because there’s no waves at this beach.
Greenbrier roped off 2 areas for swimming. Both are pretty shallow, I think the deepest section is around 3ft. You cannot go beyond the roped section because of the boating in the lake.
The beach is very narrow, but there’s plenty of grass behind the beach for you to set up a tent or blanket away from others. We spend about 3 hours here just playing in the water. And you can bring floats here like we did!
There is a concession stand to buy food, but we packed a little picnic for ourselves to enjoy on the beach and plenty of water because it was super hot! Unlike Assateague Island, it wasn’t windy here at all so we could set up our umbrella for some sun protection.
Overall our little day trip to this swimming hole in Maryland was so much fun and I can’t wait to go back!
Fun Things to Do at Greenbrier
- Hike the 11 miles of trails
- Camp at one of the 164 campsites
- Boat in the lake and fish (you can bring your own boat or rent)