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Article Archive >> Spring Tourism

Canoeing and Kayaking in Western Maryland State Parks

Canoeing and Kayaking in Western Maryland State Parks

Maryland's state forests and parks offer paddling opportunities for canoeists and kayakers of all skill levels - from flatwater excursions for novice paddlers, to guided birdwatching, historical and cultural adventures along intricate waterways.
In addition to offering paddling access, several of these state forests and parks supply equipment rental. Always contact the facility you wish to visit beforehand to assess conditions.
Big Run State Park
With 300 acres in Garrett County, Big Run State Park offers rustic camping opportunities with 30 unimproved campsites and a youth group camping area. Situated at the mouth of the Savage River Reservoir, the park is 16 miles from exit 24 of Interstate 68. The park is actually surrounded by the acreage of Savage River State Forest and so visitors to the area have an even wider array of recreational opportunities with the facilities at all of these public land sites in Western Maryland. Big Run is a popular base camp for outdoor-lovers intent on fishing, camping, hiking or hunting. Big Run is the trailhead for a 6-mile hiking trail, known as Monroe Run. There is a rental picnic pavilion, which can accommodate 100 people available by reservation.
Campsites, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trail, historic interest, picnic facilities, shelters. Boat launch ramps are nearby along Savage River Road for the Savage River Reservoir.
Big Run State Park
c/o New Germany State Park
349 Headquarters Lane
Grantsville, MD 21536
301-895-5453
Cunningham Falls State Park
Cunningham Falls State Park, located in the Catoctin Mountains, is known for its history and scenic beauty, as well as its 78-foot cascading waterfall. The Falls are located one half mile from the lake in the Houck Area via the Falls Trail.
Features include but are not limited to:
Catoctin Iron Furnace Historical Site, Swimming, Boating, Playground, Trails, Hunting, Picnicking, Fishing, Accessibility for the disabled, and Camping.
Cunningham Falls State Park
14039 Catoctin Hollow Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
301-271-7574
Call 1-888-432-CAMP(2267)
Fort Frederick State Park
America's premier stone fortification from the French and Indian War, boat launch, cross country skiing, camp sites, camp store, food and beverage, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trail, historic interest, picnic, playground, shelters, visitor's center. Call the park for fort hours.
The visitor center offers a 10 minute orientation film, "Legacy of Fort Frederick," upon request. Exhibits highlight aspects of the park's history.
Concession items, including souvenirs and food, are offered at Captain Wort's Sutler Shop. Call the park for shop hours.
Fort Frederick State Park offers an easy trail for hikers. The Wetlands Trail, .3 miles in length, passes along a wetlands area behind the campground. Hikers can see several species of turtles, waterfowl, birds, as well as white-tailed deer and other wildlife.
Located just one-half mile west of Fort Frederick is the Western Maryland Rail Trail, a 23-mile long paved path that follows the former Western Maryland Railway line. The Rails to Trails Conservancy, a non-profit organization, recently chose the Western Maryland Rail Trail as one of the top 12 trails in the United States for viewing fall foliage. The peak foliage season in Western Maryland begins in mid October, and provides an excellent opportunity for picturesque photography along the trail. The Western Maryland Rail Trail can be accessed from I-70, from either exit 12 (Big Pool), exit 3 (Hancock), or from I-68 at exit 77 (Pearre Station).
Fort Frederick State Park
11100 Fort Frederick Road
Big Pool, MD 21711
301-842-2155
Call 1-888-432-CAMP(2267) for reservations
Greenbrier State Park
Greenbrier is a multi-use park providing many kinds of recreation. The Appalachian Trail passes through the park. The 42-acre man-made lake and beach draw many visitors who enjoy swimming, canoeing, hiking, picnicking, fishing and hunting. As with most of Maryland's State Parks, a park map is available at the park office.
Located in the Appalachian Mountains, this state park offers many recreational opportunities. The man-made freshwater lake offers swimming, sunbathing, boating and fishing opportunities. There are also hiking trails, which meander through a variety of wildlife habitats and afford a view of the area's geological history. Picnic tables and grills and playgrounds are available in the day-use area.
Features include but are not limited to: Fishing, Camping, Gazebo usage, Youth Group Camping. Visitors will enjoy a wide variety of birds, animals, fish, turtles, frogs, and snakes as well as many different species of wildflowers and trees.
Greenbrier State Park
21843 National Pike
Boonsboro, MD 21713-9535
301-791-4767
Call 1-888-432-CAMP(2267) for reservations
Rocky Gap State Park
Rocky Gap State Park encompasses over 3,000 acres of public land for guests to enjoy. Rugged mountains surround the park which features 243-acre Lake Habeeb. The lake is fed by Rocky Gap Run which winds its way through an impressive mile long gorge displaying sheer cliffs, overlooks and a hemlock forest dense with rhododendron. Overlooking the lake is Evitts Mountain, named for an early settler in Allegany County.
Rocky Gap offers 278 individual campsites, including 30 equipped with electric hook-ups, dump station, bathhouses, a family group site, three youth group camping areas, one boat ramp, boat rentals, laundry and a camp store. There is also a nature center, game room, swimming beach, and pay phones. Fourteen mini cabins, each with electric, bunk bed and a double bed, are available for rent. Pets are allowed in four designated camp loops. At Rocky Gap you will also find Trails, Boating/Fishing, Hiking, Cycling, Swimming, Nature Center, Special Events, Hunting, Golf and much more.
Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort is located in the heart of Rocky Gap State Park in Western Maryland. Amidst the ridges, gaps and valleys of one of the world's oldest mountain ranges, lies a beautiful new place to relax and conduct business.
The mountains, forests, and serene 243-acre lake will quiet the mind, while the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course will quicken the pulse because the Golden Bear has carved a truly varied and challenging course out of the mountain. Our 220-room lakeside lodge provides everything you need for a productive meeting, including nine modern meeting rooms for 15 to 550 people, full service restaurant and lounge, private dining room overlooking the lake, and lobby with a large stone fireplace for unwinding at the end of the day. We also offer white sandy beaches, fishing for trout and largemouth bass, fitness room, outdoor swimming pool, tennis and volleyball courts, a gazebo dock with paddle and electric boats, and a fire pit for late night lakeside campfires.
Adventure Packages featuring guided kayaking, rappelling, canoeing, biking and hiking excursions are also available through Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort.
Rocky Gap offers a mobility impaired fishing dock, amphitheater, picnic tables and camping. Trail and hunting programs along with interpretive pontoon boat rides are also available. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
Rocky Gap State Park
12500 Pleasant Valley Road
Flintstone, MD 21530
301-722-1480
Call 1-888-432-CAMP(2267) for reservations

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