There’s nothing quite like making a trip to all the best state parks in Maryland! Which is exactly why we know you’ll love what we have coming for you!
If you’re on a weekend getaway in Maryland, you’ll definitely want to add in a few state parks to your itinerary! It will give you the outdoor time that you may be looking for, and give you some of the most beautiful views!
There are a lot of small towns in Maryland that are located near Maryland state parks, so why not take a trip to not only an awesome state park, but also check out some small unique Maryland towns that provide an experience you won’t find anywhere else?
No matter what brought you to Maryland, we know you’ll love these state parks and want to add them your list of great adventures!
11 Best State Parks In Maryland You Must Visit
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park
Located in Church Creek, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park is one of the best state parks in Maryland for people that love history and want to get a hands-on experience!
This is a 17-acre area that is full of historic facts and is a great place to learn as much as possible about how Harriet Tubman played her huge role in American history!
While exploring this Maryland state park, you’ll get to understand more about Harriet Tubman’s years in the Choptank River area. You’ll learn about her humanitarian work, how she became a resistance leader, and about how the Underground Railroad came to be!
The park is labeled as the trailhead for the 125-mile Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad all American Road, and is visited frequently by people from all over the country.
This park is full of heritage sites and even has ranger-led tours through the park. While planning a tour through the park, you can also stop by the museum or gift shop to find a unique memory to take with you from your travels.
We know you’ll love this and understand why it’s one of the best Maryland state parks!
Cunningham Falls State Park
Next on our list of Maryland state parks is Cunningham Falls State Park!
This Maryland park is located in the Catoctin Mountains and is a great place to find one of the best hikes in Maryland state parks!
Cunningham Falls State Park is made up of two different sections, The William Houck Area and The Manor Area. Both of which are great for different aspects of the park, so make sure that you make time to experience both areas when visiting!
The William Houck Area has the lake, the falls, and camping areas. So this is a great place for swimming, hiking, fishing, or even canoeing! The camping area is only open through April through October, so make sure you plan ahead if you plan on making a camping trip to this Maryland state park!
The Manor Area has the Scales and Tales Aviary, as well as the Catoctin Iron Furnace if you want to check out something historic!
If you’re heading out here during the summer, make sure to book ahead because this place is popular! They fill up to capacity pretty quickly!
We know you’ll love Cunningham Falls State Park as it’s one of the best state parks to visit in Maryland!
Assateague State Park
Assateague State Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Maryland because it is the only ocean view park!
That makes this Maryland state park an excellent place to come swim or lounge for the day!
Located on Assateague Island, this park is known for being the number one choice for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and even surfing! You can come here for some kayaking or canoeing, but no matter what you choose, we know this is one of the state parks in Maryland that you will love for water activities!
If you prefer to stay on land and experience some of the wildlife, then the marshes are a great place for you! You can walk the marsh and see waterfowl, deer, and even some feral horses!
You can explore the 2 mile ocean beaches, and you can even spend some time camping!
Along with camp shelters, there are also picnic pavilions if you want to just spend the day enjoying the sunshine and good times! Whether you want to camp or reserve a picnic spot, you may want to call ahead and make sure you can reserve a time! With this being the only ocean front park in Maryland, it’s likely to fill up quickly!
This park is also great for big events like weddings! This Maryland state park provides a great backdrop for wedding photos or monumental experiences!
This is one Maryland state park you won’t want to miss!
Washington Monument State Park
Washington Monument State Park is located on South Mountain and is named due to it being the first monument that was completed in honor of George Washington!
That makes this a great place for outdoor lovers and history buffs!
The monument acts as a great place for bird watching! In mid-September, this is a great location for watching eagles, hawks, and falcons. You may not have another opportunity to see these birds in another great view than the Washington Monument State Park!
Maybe you’d rather take in some history! This is a great spot for that! This Maryland state park has a museum on the grounds where you can learn more about the Civil War battles that took places in Maryland.
You can also spend some time having lunch at one of the picnic pavilions on the grounds after taking a walk through the museum!
Whether you prefer the history, or the bird watching, this state park is a great place for you!
Deep Creek Lake
This 1800-acre Maryland state park is a great getaway during your visit to Maryland!
This is the perfect location for all of your lake day wants and needs! Deep Creek Lake is the man-man lake that the park is named after, so you know it’s a must when coming to experience all this park has to offer!
Deep Creek Lake is one of the best parks in Maryland in part because of the mile-long shoreline that you can stroll and take in the fresh air! From the shoreline you can access two swimming beaches to help you stay cool if you’re visiting during the swimming season!
This Maryland state park also has a ton of activities you can participate in while enjoying the park! Other than swimming, you can fish, take boating lessons, or just have a casual picnic.
You can even come and spend some time camping! You can choose between the tradition style campsites, or for a campsite with electricity. So there’s options for how deep into camping you want to get during this trip!
Make sure to plan ahead as the campsites are not open year around, and typically just during the month of April through the beginning of December.
This park has so many benefits, we know you won’t want to leave!
Sandy Point State Park
Sandy Point State Park is located near Chesapeake Bay and is roughly 786 acres of beauty!
This Maryland state park is an excellent place to come fishing as they allow fishing year-round! Not only is it allowed year-round, it is also offered 24-hours a day! So you never have to worry about being there by a certain time, or leaving by a certain time! That means you can focus on what’s important.. the fishing!
Even better, there’s also 24-hour AND year-round boating access!
Sandy Point State Park has a marina with boating rentals, so you never have to worry about whether you can enjoy boating within the park! There is also a shop for any boating or fishing supplies you may need, as well as food and concession areas!
You can even take a break and enjoy one of the playgrounds located on the grounds!
Youth groups also tend to come to this Maryland state park for camping as the park only offers camping in a youth group setting and has two designated locations for it!
There is a small fee to for admission into the park, so make sure to check ahead before heading out!
We know boaters and fishermen alike will think this is one of the best state parks in Maryland!
Dan’s Mountain State Park
This Maryland state park is popular for its Olympic-sized swimming pool!
The pool brings people from all over to Dan’s Mountain State Park because it’s a perfect place for swimmers to train for any of their Olympic dreams! It’s also a great place to just cool off during the hot summer season.
There are 4 shaded pavilions on the grounds where you can set up a day camp and enjoy your time in the park! You can set up your picnic and just spend some time catching sun and enjoying the pool!
If you would rather stay out of the pool, you can head to the pond and take a walk around while watching people fishing in the pond. You may even fish yourself!
If you are more of an adventurer and want to experience something a little more challenging, then you definitely need to check out the biking and hiking trails that are new to the park! This five-mile trail has different levels of difficulty and is a pretty popular new addition to the park, so you may want to show up early before the trail gets packed with park goers!
Whether you want to enjoy the pool, the pond, or the trails, we know this Maryland state park is a great addition to the best state parks in Maryland!
Patapsco Valley State Park
Patapsco Valley State Park is one of the best state parks in Maryland with camping!
Located at the Patapsco River, this Maryland state park goes along for 32 miles! That means there’s a ton of ground to cover when visiting this state park!
Patapsco is a great place for recreational activities! This park has 8 fully developed recreation areas for visitors to enjoy when they come to the park! This included hiking, fishing, boating, canoeing, and even horseback riding! Horseback riding along the river sounds like the perfect way to spend the day if you happen to be looking for the best places for horseback riding in Maryland!
But one of the best activities to do in this park is camping!
Patapsco Valley has what they call “Operation Campout,” where they lend you everything you need to enjoy camping, including the tent! This is free of charge and designed for military families that are wanting to spend some time together around a campfire after being apart for a long time!
Of course, you can enjoy camping at this park without going through Operation Campout, just make sure to make a reservation through the park!
If you want to just enjoy the day here, then you’ve found the best places to enjoy! This is one of the best state parks in Maryland that has numerous trails to enjoy! From biking to hiking to the horseback riding trails, you won’t find yourself bored while enjoying everything this park has to offer!
This is one park you won’t want to miss!
Elk Neck Sate Park
If you’re looking for some of the best things to do in the Chesapeake Bay Area than Elk Neck State Park is perfectly located between the Chesapeake Bay and Elk River and is one of the most popular state parks in Maryland!
This park is split into four different areas. Turkey Point Lighthouse Area, North East Beach Area, Rogues Harbor Boat Launch Facility, and the Elk River Camping Area.
The most popular area is the Turkey Point Lighthouse area! This area has the iconic and historic Turkey Point Lighthouse that attracts visitors from all over! It’s located at the southern point of the Elk Neck Peninsula and provides the perfect view of the Chesapeake Bay Area that you just won’t want to miss!
If you’re wanting to just come out and enjoy the day, the North East Beach area is a great places to sit out and enjoy the sun and swimming! You can enjoy swimming, boating, canoeing, or even the provided grills for a perfect picnic addition to the trip!
The Elk River Camping area provides 250 campsites and 16 cabins making this one of the best places for camping in Maryland! There’s even a nature center where you can learn a little about the area you are camping in while you are visiting!
We know you’ll love Elk Neck State Park while visiting Maryland!
Gunpowder Falls State Park
Gunpowder Falls is one of the largest state parks in Maryland!
This park was created in 1959 in order to protect Gunpowder River and Big and Little Gunpowder Falls. Which is a good thing because if not, we might have to miss out on what this park has to offer!
Since it’s one of the largest parks in Maryland, it makes sense that it would be divided into six large areas! Each area offers something special to the park and you will definitely want to try to make your way to each area!
The Hereford Area is popular for hiking, fishing, or even canoeing! It also is where the popular Mill Pond Cottage is located! While the Sweet Air Area is most popular for horseback riding and hiking!
Another area is the Central Area which is the best place for mountain biking! It is also where the Jerusalem Mill Historic Village is located for any history buffs that want to check it out!
There is also the Hammerman Area and the Dundee Creek Marina! Both of these areas are perfect for water activities like swimming and boating! They also have picnic areas that you can enjoy while taking a break from the water!
No matter which area you get to (hopefully all of them), we know you’ll love your time at Gunpowder Falls State Park!
Martinak State Park
Located in Caroline County, this Maryland state park is one of the best parks to spend the day outside and take in the fresh air!
There is a ton of wildlife located in this state park which makes it the best place to come and experience wildlife you may not get to see everyday! Especially when it comes to fish!
Anglers flock to this Maryland state park for the opportunity to catch prized fish. These fish include bass, perch, sunfish, and even catfish! It’s no wonder that fishing is one of the more popular activities at Martinak State Park!
There are also numerous campsites and boating access located at this state park. You can spend the day on a boat enjoying the water, and then not worry about being too tired to head back to your hotel when you can just pitch a tent and enjoy the great outdoors!
You can also spend the day biking or hiking if you’d rather stay on land!
Whether you want to get in the water, stay on land, or pitch a tent for the night, this is a great spot!
Each of these locations is one of the best state parks in Maryland because they bring something unique to each person visiting!
There’s a little something for everyone at each state park. Whether that’s fishing, hiking, biking, there’s always something to do and experience.
Between the horseback riding or the camping, we know it’s going to be hard to choose a few to visit, so you should definitely add each of these parks to your state parks bucket lists when traveling through Maryland so that you make it to all of them!