Discover Maryland's Hidden Natural Treasures: State Parks You Can't Afford to Miss

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This compilation of Maryland's state parks comprises all state parks and battlefields, indicated in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' current report on acreage. Typically, the MD Park Service, a subsidiary of and under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), administers these parks, with a few entrusted to local authorities.

Maryland's state parks [edit]

Name[2]

County

Area[1]

Established

River / lake / other

Remarks

Image

acres

hectares

Assateague State Park

Worcester

855 acres

346 hectares

1956

Atlantic Ocean

Barrier Island with opportunities for swimming, beachcombing, sunbathing, surfing, and fishing

Horses in marshland

Big Run State Park

Garrett

300 acres

120 hectares

Savage River Reservoir

Options for camping, flat water canoeing, picnicking, fishing, and hiking trails.

Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park

Dorchester, Talbot

There are several state parks in Maryland that offer a range of outdoor activities suitable for visitors. The Choptank River State Park spans 24 acres (9.7 ha) and was established back in 1987. Activities at the park include fishing, hiking, and cycling. Meanwhile, the Bohemia River State Park, which is still under development, will ultimately span 460 acres (190 ha) upon completion in 2022. Visitors can look forward to a variety of outdoor activities here including hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, and fishing.

RiverscapeRiver flowing over rocks

Another noteworthy state park in Maryland is the Calvert Cliffs State Park. First established in the 1960s, the park spans 1,311 acres (531 ha) and features a range of activities such as hiking trails, fishing, hunting, and picnicking. There's also youth group camping facilities, a playground, and shelters that visitors can use. Chesapeake Bay, a popular fishing location, is also situated at the park. The Casselman River Bridge State Park, located in Garrett County, spans four acres (1.6 ha) and was established in 1957. This park is best known for its historic bridge and is a popular fishing spot.

Single-arch stone bridge over river waterCliffs overlooking water

Finally, the Chapel Point State Park, located in Charles County, spans 821 acres (332 ha) and was established in 1972. One of the park's main draws is the Port Tobacco River, which visitors can explore and enjoy.

This region boasts a vast expanse of largely untouched land, teeming with opportunities for fishing and hunting. Visitors can explore the stunning natural beauty of Chapman State Park, spanning 829 acres or 335 hectares in Charles County, Maryland. This park offers views of the serene Potomac River and is home to Mount Aventine, a must-see attraction for avid anglers, hunters, and hikers alike.

Mount AventinePark signage

For a more expansive park experience, Cunningham Falls State Park in Frederick County, Maryland is an excellent choice, spanning a whopping 6,080 acres or 2,460 hectares. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing and swimming on Big Hunting Creek, explore the historical Catoctin Furnace, traverse the many hiking trails, or simply relax with picnics and other family-friendly activities.

Water coursing over grey rocks

For a more intimate experience, Cypress Branch State Park in Kent County, Maryland, set to open in 2022, offers a cozy 314-acre or 127-hectare setting, perfect for a tranquil picnic near a 3-acre fishing pond.

Dans Mountain State Park in Allegany County, Maryland, established in the 1970s, covers 482 acres or 195 hectares, and stands out with its Olympic-sized swimming pool and waterslide, along with opportunities for fishing, hiking, and picnics.

Finally, Deep Creek Lake State Park is one of the area's natural gems, offering an unparalleled range of outdoor activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking, in addition to many family-friendly features such as playgrounds, pavilions, and refreshment stands.

Deep Creek Lake State Park Pier

Explore the magnificent 1,169 acres of natural wonder in Garrett County, Maryland by clicking on the available link. This area is also home to the largest man-made lake in Maryland called Deep Creek Lake boasting of stunning views and recreational activities such as fishing, boating, camping, hunting, and hiking trails. Elk Neck State Park in Cecil, spanning over 2,369 acres, offers an array of outdoor adventures such as picnicking, beach fun, camping, hunting, biking, water sports, and more, making it an ideal getaway for anyone looking to connect with nature. Experience history at Fort Frederick State Park in Washington, Maryland, built by the Province of Maryland during the French and Indian War, by visiting its visitors' center, enjoying its recreational activities such as camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, and hiking. Fort Tonoloway State Park, also located in Washington, spans over 26 acres of untouched wilderness. For more information on Franklin Point State Park, click on the available link.

Stonewall fortificationsTurkey Point Lighthouse.jpg

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    - Discover Anne Arundel, a sprawling area of 484 acres (equal to 196 hectares) located in the state of Maryland and boasting breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay. This land remains undeveloped, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in nature and recharge their batteries.

    Pond with trees

    - Another unmissable destination is Gambrill State Park, which opened its doors in 1934 and spans over 1,207 acres (488 hectares). Here, you can partake in a range of activities such as picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, or fishing in the park's pond. If camping is your thing, you'll be pleased to know that this park also has a designated area for it.

    Stone monument

    - The Gathland State Park, named after former owner George Alfred Townsend, is a 140-acre (57 hectares) property that is now home to a museum, a visitors center, and some hiking trails that will take you through the Appalachian Trail.

    Sunset over lake waters

    - Greenbrier State Park is a vast, 1,420-acre (570 hectares) forest located in Frederick and Washington counties. The park surrounds beautiful Greenbrier Lake, where visitors can swim, fish, boat, or rent a boat. You can also hike along the Appalachian Trail, sunbathe, or have a picnic. The park's camp store and camping sites will provide everything you need for a memorable outdoor trip.

    Gray barn

    - Finally, visit Greenwell State Park to explore the great outdoors in Saint Mary's County, Maryland. This park is located in stunning surroundings and has many attractions suitable for nature lovers. Take your time hiking the trails, visiting the playground, or having a picnic.

    Red barn

    With 596 acres (241 ha), the Patuxent River offers the Historic Rosedale Manor House for visitors to enjoy picnicking, swimming, non-motorized boating, hiking, equestrian and cycling trails, fishing, and hunting. Gunpowder Falls State Park, spanning 14,949 acres (6,050 ha) since 1959, offers recreational areas that are not contiguous with each other, including picnicking, hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hunting, and various water sports near Gunpowder River and Dundee Creek. The newly opened Hallowing Point Waterfront Park in Calvert with 13 acres (5.3 ha) on the Patuxent River opened in 2017 with hopes of opening new spaces by 2022. Meanwhile, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park in Dorchester spans 17 acres (6.9 ha) and commemorates the life and work of abolitionist and underground railroad activist Harriet Tubman that had opened in 2007.

    Dike, Hart-Miller Island State ParkVisitors center

    Hart-Miller Island State Park, located in Baltimore, spans across 244 acres (99 ha) and was established in 1977. The park is situated between Back River and Chesapeake Bay and can only be accessed by boat. It boasts of a beautiful sandy beach, which is 3,000 feet (910 m) long. Visitors can catch a glimpse of Herrington Manor State Park in Garrett, which was established in 1964 and spans across 365 acres (148 ha). The park is located near Herrington Creek, where people can indulge in non-motorized boating, swimming, hiking, tennis, volleyball, and picnicking. Cabins are available for rent too.

    Waterway

    Janes Island State Park, established in 1963 in Somerset, spans across a massive 3,160 acres (1,280 ha). The park overlooks Chesapeake Bay and is home to a recreation area, conference center, camp store, various water sports, cabin rentals, and campsites. Visitors can also enjoy the pristine beaches and scenic views.

    Signage and scenery

    Love Point State Park, located in Queen Anne's, came into existence in 2007. Although spanning across just 76 acres (31 ha), the park offers an unforgettable experience with its mesmerizing views of Chesapeake Bay. The park is still in the developmental stage.

    Bayscape

    Martinak State Park, located in Caroline, was established in 1961 and spans across 105 acres (42 ha).. The park overlooks both Choptank River and Watts Creek, where visitors can indulge in various activities such as boating, fishing, picnicking, and hiking.

    Elevated pathway

    Explore the great outdoors with an array of activities including fishing, camping, boating, hiking and a nature center. Queen Anne's lease the beach and offer 21 acres of fun-filled adventures within Matapeake State Park, while Matthew Henson State Park presents 100 acres of greenway for hiking and biking in Montgomery. Get back to nature at New Germany State Park in Garrett encompassing 483 acres of stunning scenery, complete with swimming, boating, fishing, camping, and cross-country skiing. Lastly, immerse yourself in the tranquility of Newtowne Neck State Park situated in St. Mary's, boasting 794 acres next to Potomac River where non-motorized boating, hiking, picnicking, and fishing are just moments away.

    Newtowne Neck State Park, Maryland, USALakescape

    Discover the breathtaking natural wonder that is North Point State Park, spanning a vast expanse of 1,328 acres (537 ha) in picturesque Baltimore County, Maryland. Established in 1987, this stunning park is located along Back River, Patapsco River, and Chesapeake Bay, and was founded on the former site of the Bay Shore Amusement Park. Take a dip in the inviting swimming area, enjoy a leisurely hike or bike ride along the scenic trails, cast your line for a spot of shore fishing, or picnic amid the idyllic surroundings. Don't forget to visit the visitor center for even more interesting information and background on the remarkable natural beauty that surrounds you.

    Elevated pathway

    Let your spirit soar amid the untouched natural splendor of Palmer State Park in Harford County, Maryland. Nestled within 590 acres (240 ha) of stunning countryside, this pristine park was established in 1965 and is situated along Deer Creek. While this park is for the more adventurous nature lover, the undeveloped surroundings offer unmatched hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and canoeing adventures.

    Stone buildingCurving, multi-arched bridge

    The awe-inspiring Patapsco Valley State Park is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts! Encompassing 14,270 acres (5,770 ha) throughout Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, and Howard counties, this spectacular park boasts a rich history dating back to 1907. Discover the hiking, horseback riding, and mountain bike trails that zigzag through the Upper Patapsco River, and enjoy a relaxing picnic along the serene riverbank. Adventure seekers can try their hand at canoeing, fishing, or even camping, while history buffs can take a tour through the area's many historical attractions.

    Riverscape

    Experience the natural beauty of Patuxent River State Park, a remarkable 6,703-acre (2,713 ha) park situated within Howard and Montgomery counties in Maryland. This pristine park was founded in 1963 and is located along the scenic Patuxent River. Enjoy a leisurely hike or bike ride through the lush natural surroundings, take to the river for a spot of fishing or canoeing, or simply relax amid the serene setting. Unwind and take in all the magnificent scenery that nature has to offer!

    Rocky outcroppingsTall monument

    Engage in the thrill of the chase by hunting game, reel in the big catch while fishing, explore the great outdoors on foot through hiking, or take a leisurely ride atop a horse. Within the bounds of 916 acres or 371 hectares of sprawling terrain, the Pocomoke River State Park features scenic landscapes that are rich with varied experiences. The park was established in 1939 and rests in Worcester. A visitors center, swimming pool, bike trails, hiking trails, boat launch, boat rental, fishing spots, flat water canoeing, camping areas, camp store, as well as picnic spots are available in the park.

    Historic American Buildings Survey John O. Brostrup, Photographer May 13, 1936 11-30 A.M. VIEW FROM NORTHEAST. - Mount Airy, Rosaryville, Prince George's County, MD HABS MD,17-ROSVI.V,2-11.tifLake Habeeb

    In St. Mary's, Point Lookout State Park provides 1,079 acres or 437 hectares of land that was set aside in 1963. The park lies towards the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River. The park offers a prisoner-of-war museum pertaining to the American Civil War/Marshland Nature Center, swimming pools, picnicking areas, boat launch sites, boat rental spots, camping grounds inclusive of cabins, camp stores, fishing areas, canoeing locations, hiking trails, and hunting.

    Thin peninsula and blue waters

    Found in Harford, Rocks State Park is an expansive 1,060 acres or 430 hectares of immense natural beauty, acquired in 1949. The highlight here is the Deer Creek, and there are amenities for fishing, hiking, picnicking, wading, canoeing, and tubing. Rock climbing and repelling may also be done at this park.

    Discover one of Maryland's hidden gems by exploring Rocky Gap State Park, a 3,119-acre oasis brimming with natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Located within the borders of Allegany county, this state park was established in 1963 and boasts the stunning Lake Habeeb as its centerpiece. Take advantage of the numerous activities available, including camping, boating, fishing, and hiking. With plenty of room to roam, visitors can be sure they'll get their fill of fresh air and tranquility.

    Lake with fall foliage

    Another must-see state park is Rosaryville State Park, spanning 1,039 acres in Prince George's county. Established in 1976, this park is home to the breathtaking Mount Airy Mansion and offers miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Discover the great outdoors at its finest and take the opportunity to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

    Brick home

    For a day of fun in the sun, head to Sandy Point State Park, located in Anne Arundel county. This 786-acre park, established in 1948, offers a wide range of activities including swimming, fishing, crabbing, boating, picnicking, and windsurfing. With the majestic Chesapeake Bay as its backdrop, Sandy Point is the perfect destination for water lovers of all ages.

    Green vista

    If you're looking for a smaller state park with a more intimate feel, check out Sang Run State Park in Garrett county. Spanning only 81 acres, this park still offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy the beauty of nature. Take a stroll through its scenic trails or simply sit back and soak up the tranquility.

    Lighthouse and large cross

    In 2017, a 33 ha area with an 1800s homestead and store can be found at Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery, which is a sprawling 6,313-acre park established in 1958 and covering 2,555 ha. Visitors will find numerous attractions here, including the scenic Seneca Creek, Black Rock Mill, Seneca Schoolhouse, and activities such as boating, fishing, picnicking, and even disc golf.

    Wide waterfall through trees

    Another stunning park is Sideling Hill Creek State Park in Allegany, which was created in 2022 and spans 350 ha. It is located near the Potomac River and features beautiful forest land, trails, and rare species to satisfy the most avid nature lovers.

    Tumbling waters in winter

    One of the oldest parks in the area, Smallwood State Park in Charles, was established in 1958 and covers 984 acres or 398 ha. It is situated near the gorgeous Mattawoman Creek and presents various activities like marina services, picnicking, camping, and nature trails. The park also contains the historic "Smallwood's Retreat" site.

    Paddlers

    Finally, South Mountain State Park is a vast expanse of 7,520 acres or 3,040 ha that spans the length of South Mountain, crossing Frederick and Washington counties. The park is notable for its Appalachian Trail and for being contiguous with other national, state, and local parks. Visitors to South Mountain State Park can take in stunning views at the Annapolis Rocks overlook.

    Barrel-shaped stone monument

    St. Clement's Island State Park spans an area of 62 acres (25 hectares) and was established in 1962. It is located in St. Mary's County, Maryland and is only accessible by boat. The park boasts a reconstructed lighthouse and a memorial to the first settlers who arrived on March 25th, 1634 (Maryland Day). Activities available at the park include hiking, picnicking, and fishing.

    Valley vista

    St. Mary's River State Park is a much larger park, covering an area of 2,643 acres (1,070 hectares). It was established in 1968 and is also located in St. Mary's County. The park is home to St. Mary's Lake and offers various activities such as hiking, horseback and biking trails, picnicking, boating, and fishing.

    Massive spreading oak tree

    Susquehanna State Park, established in 1958, is situated in both Cecil and Harford counties and covers an impressive 2,753 acres (1,114 hectares). The park is located near the Susquehanna River and Upper Chesapeake Bay. Visitors can enjoy fishing, camping, picnicking, boating, and hiking, while the Rock Run Historical Area is a must-see.

    Swallow Falls State Park, located in Garrett County, Maryland, was established in the 1930s and covers an area of 257 acres (104 hectares). The park offers various activities such as camping, hiking, picnicking, and nature programs, and is situated near the Youghiogheny River.

    Deep Creek Lake (16330595625).jpg

    Below is a list of state parks located in Maryland. Each park has its unique set of features and attractions. Some of the popular attractions include hiking, biking, canoeing, picnicking, camping, cabins, hunting, and archery.

    Tuckahoe State Park, located in Caroline and Queen Anne's counties, encompasses an area of about 3,949 acres or 1,598 ha and was established in 1963. The park is famous for Tuckahoe Creek and offers several outdoor activities for visitors.

    Monocacy river at potomac river confluence 20200626 064235 1.jpg

    Washington Monument State Park, located in Frederick and Washington counties, is a historic park that covers an area of about 191 acres or 77 ha. The park features a 1827 stone monument to the first President, George Washington, by citizens of nearby Boonsboro. It also offers hiking opportunities on the Appalachian Trail, hunting, and picnicking.

    Wills Mountain State Park, located in Allegany County, covers an area of about 371 acres or 150 ha. The park is still undeveloped and offers residents a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature.

    Wolf Den Run State Park, located in Garrett County, is one of the newer parks having been established in 2018. The park spans 1,986 acres or 804 ha and is made up of three parcels near Kitzmiller.

    Wye Oak State Park, located in Talbot County, is famous for being the site of a celebrated oak tree that was lost in 2002. The park covers an area of about 29 acres or 12 ha and provides picnic opportunities for visitors.

    In addition to state parks, Maryland also has several natural resource management areas, including Deep Creek Lake, Fair Hill, Merkle, Monocacy River, Morgan Run, Sassafras, Woodmont, and Wye Island. Each of these management areas offers unique features and recreational opportunities.

    WesternMarylandRT.JPGVisitor center Jefferson Patterson Park & MUseum MD1.jpg

    Finally, Maryland has other state areas such as Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden, Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, and Western Maryland Rail Trail. These areas are known for their hiking, educational programs, and exhibits.

    If you are looking for a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors, then any of the state parks or natural resource management areas in Maryland are sure to provide you with an excellent experience.

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