Photo of Governor Martin O'Malley with group of children - Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature

Cool Places to Go in Maryland

We asked DNR employees where the great places are to take kids to experience nature.

Here is their list.

  • The North Face announces the launch of the Explore Your Parks program, a partnership with the Maryland and Virginia State Parks, American Hiking Society and The National Park Trust, to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy state parks in the Washington, DC, area this fall. By providing families the tools they need to enjoy the open spaces near them, these groups are actively supporting Let's Move Outside, the outdoor recreation component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to end childhood obesity.
  • Photo collage of Cool Places in Maryland

    Visit a Farm

  • National Colonial Farm, Accokeek – Prince George’s County

  • Alice Ferguson Foundation- Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center, Accokeek - Prince George’s County

  • Oxon Hill Park/Oxen Hill Farm, Oxon Hill - Prince George’s County

  • Kinder Farm Park, Anne Arundel County Parks and Recreation – Millersville - Anne Arundel County

  • Go Hiking

    Eastern Shore:

  • Walk, bike or rollerblade the Cross Island Trail on Kent Island on Kent Island - Queen Anne’s County

  • Bike or paddle the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Cambridge – Dorchester County

  • Hike the trail along the cliff’s edge at Sassafras NRMA and then venture down to a beach on the river – Kent County

  • Walk the trail to Ferry Point and see wildlife at Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area, Queen Anne’s County

  • Hike Assateague Island – See wildlife; go beachcombing, hiking, and birding – Worcester County

  • Central Maryland:

  • Take a canal boat ride or kayak the Great Falls Park and C & O Canal National Historical Park - Montgomery County

  • Hike to a wonderful waterfall made famous by the Movie “Tuck Everlasting” - Kilgore Falls, a part of Rocks State Park - Harford County

  • Hike at Lake Waterford Park in Pasadena – Anne Arundel County

  • Look for Bald Eagles as you enjoy a scenic hike at Wapiti Pond or walk out to Turkey Point Light House for a breathtaking view of the river in Elk Neck State Park.  – Cecil County

  • Western Maryland

  • Hike the C & O Canal National Historical Park

  • Harpers Ferry - Hike three states in one day (VA, WV, MD)

  • Ft. Frederick State Park – Washington County

  • Green Ridge State Forest - Allegany County

  • Hike Sugarloaf Mountain - Frederick County

  • Discover the 75-foot crashing Muddy Creek Falls and the continuously flowing Swallow Falls as you walk through a virgin stand of Old Growth Hemlocks along the way in Swallow Falls State Park - Garrett County

  • Southern Maryland

  • Walk the boardwalks at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary – Anne Arundel County
  • Hike the trails at Point Look Out State Park and observe a Civil War Prisoner of War site and former hospital – St. Mary’s County
  • Hike the boardwalk at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp - Calvert County
  • Explore the Bay’s Beaches and look for shells, bay glass, fossils and shark’s teeth
  • Calvert Cliff State Park – Calvert County
  • Purse State Park – Charles County
  • Flag Ponds Nature Park– Calvert County
  • North Beach – Calvert County
  • Chesapeake Beach – Calvert County
  • Go Swimming

    Eastern Shore:

  • Surf, body board, watch wildlife and wild horses, go beachcombing, hiking, and birding at Assateague Island State Park - Worcester County

  • Home of the former Betterton Beach Waterfront Park, Betterton Beach is on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Sassafras River - Kent County

  • Central Maryland:

  • Falling Branch at Rocks State Park - Harford County

  • North East River at Elk Neck State Park - Cecil County

  • Gunpowder River at Gunpowder Falls State Park - Hammerman Area in Chase - Baltimore County

  • Western Maryland:

  • The lake at Herrington Manor State Park - Garrett County

  • Deep Creek Lake at Deep Creek State Park - Garrett County

  • Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park - Allegany County

  • Greenbrier State Park Lake - Washington County

  • Hunting Creek Lake at Cunningham Falls State Park - Frederick County

  • The Olympic size pool at Dan's Mountain State Park has an accessible ramp for visitors with disabilities and a fenced wading pool.- Allegany County

  • Southern Maryland:

  • A popular family destination, Sandy Point State Park lies along the Chesapeake Bay, just north the Bay Bridge - Anne Arundel County

  • Point Lookout State Park - St. Mary’s County

  • North Beach and Chesapeake Beach - Calvert County

  • Kayak, Canoe, Boat or Tube

    Eastern Shore:

  • Canoe or kayak Tuckahoe Lake at Tuckahoe State Park and count the turtles - Queen Anne’s County

  • Canoe along the sandy beaches and bays of Assateague Island - See wildlife, go fishing, canoeing, kayaking, birding - Worcester County

  • Follow the water trails of Janes Island State Park - Somerset County

  • Enjoy a leisurely paddle down the Pocomoke River and through the swamp land and loblolly groves of Pocomoke River State Park - Worcester County

  • Travel to Martinak State Park for a paddle in Watts Creek and the Choptank River - Caroline County

  • Paddle the the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in Cambridge – Dorchester County

  • Enjoy Maryland's Eastern Shore Water Trails
    For an interactive map, see: http://dnr.maryland.gov/boating/mdwatertrails/

  • Kent Island Water Trails - Queen Anne’s County

  • Eastern Neck Island Water Trail - Kent County

  • Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center Water Trails - Queen Anne’s County

  • Tilghman Island Water Trails - Talbot County

  • Fishing Bay Water Trail - Dorchester County

  • Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Paddling Trails - Dorchester County

  • Smith Island Water Trails - Somerset County

  • Corker’s Creek Blackwater Canoe Trail - Worcester County

  • Bog Iron Water Trail - Worcester County

  • Nassawango Creek Canoe Trail - Worcester County

  • Sinepuxent Bay Water Trail - Worcester County

  • E.A. Vaughn Kayak and Canoe Trail - Worcester County

  • Assateague and Coastal Bays Water Trails - Worcester County

  • Central Maryland:

  • Go Tubing
  • Gunpowder River- Put in at Blue Mount or Monkton - Baltimore County
  • Deer Creek in Susquehanna and Rocks State Parks - Harford County
  • Take a canal boat ride or kayak - Great Falls Park and C & O Canal National Historical Park - Montgomery County

  • Paddle or rent a boat at Clopper Lake in Seneca Creek State Park - Montgomery County
  • Paddle some of the reservoirs of Baltimore County
  • Loch Raven Reservoir
  • Prettyboy Reservoir
  • Liberty Reservoir
  • Enjoy Central Maryland's Water Trails
    For an interactive map, see: http://dnr.maryland.gov/boating/mdwatertrails/

  • Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal, Middle Potomac - Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery Counties
  • Lower Susquehanna River Water Trail - Harford and Cecil Counties
  • Western Maryland:

  • Kayak on the scenic and wild Savage River Reservoir in Savage River State Forest - Garrett County

  • Rent a canoe and paddle Herrington Manor State Park – Garrett County

  • Paddle by kayak around the coves and across the wide open Deep Creek Lake. Rent kayak and canoes at Deep Creek Lake State Park, Oakland – Garrett County

  • Up for a little more adventure? Paddle the Rivers of Western Maryland
  • Potomac
  • Youghiogheny
  • Savage
  • Go Tubing
  • Little Orleans
  • Harpers Ferry, WV
  • Enjoy Western Maryland's Water Trails
    For an interactive map, see: http://dnr.maryland.gov/boating/mdwatertrails/

  • Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal, Middle Potomac - Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery Counties
  • Potomac River Water Trail: The North Branch - Allegany County
  • Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal: (Upper Potomac) - Allegany County and Washington County
  • Antietam Creek Water Trail - Washington County
  • Youghiogheny Wild and Scenic River - Garrett County
  • Monocacy River Water Trail - Frederick County
  • Southern Maryland:

  • Paddle the Point Lookout Water Trails while visiting Point Lookout State Park - St. Mary’s County
  • Enjoy Southern Maryland's Water Trails
    For an interactive map, see: http://dnr.maryland.gov/boating/mdwatertrails/
     
  • St. Mary’s County Water Trails - St. Mary’s County
  • Potomac River Water Trail: (Lower Potomac) - Prince Georges, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties
  • Charles County Water Trails - Charles County
  • Kingfisher Canoe Trail - Prince Georges County
  • Patuxent River Water Trail - Anne Arundel, Prince Georges, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties
  • Go Boating!

    Many Maryland State Parks have boat rentals –See http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/mdmap.asp

    Go Biking!

    Eastern Shore:

  • Bike the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Loop - Dorchester County

  • Bike or rollerblade the Cross Island Trail on Kent Island on Kent Island - Queen Anne’s County

  • Bike or Paddle the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway in Cambridge - Dorchester County

  • Take a relaxing stroll along the bike trails at Assateague Island State Park - Worcester County

  • Central Maryland:

  • Great Falls Park and C & O Canal National Historical Park - Montgomery County

  • Bike the biker friendly trails of Patapsco Valley State Park - Baltimore and Howard Counties

  • Travel to Seneca Creek State Park and bike the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail - Montgomery County

  • Susquehanna State Park offers over 15 miles of wooded trails.

  • The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail runs between the Conowingo Dam and Stafford Road at Deer Creek and is an excellent flat trail for family hiking and biking. - Harford and Cecil Counties

  • Go for a day trip to Fair Hill NRMA and pick one of the many biker friendly trails - Kent County

  • Bike to PA and Back on the North Central Rail Trail - Start anywhere on trail. - Baltimore County

  • Western Maryland:

  • Bike or Hike the C & O Canal National Historical Park
  • Harpers Ferry - You can hike three states in one day (VA, WV, MD)
  • Fort Frederick State Park - Washington County
  • Green Ridge State Forest - Allegany County
  • Bike the biker friendly trails of Herrington Manor State Park and Swallow Falls State Park - Garrett County
  • Check out the mountain bike trails in Green Ridge State Forest and Savage River State Forest - Allegany and Garrett Counties
  • Venture to Dan’s Mountain State Park for some downhill biking - Allegany County
  • Journey to the hills above Middleton and do some mountain biking at Gambrill State Park - Frederick County
  • Southern Maryland:

  • Visit Cedarville State Forest for some flat terrain mountain biking. - Prince George’s and Charles Counties

  • Take a trip to St. Mary’s River State Park for some scenic flat terrain biking - St. Mary’s County

  • Visit Rosaryville State Park for some off road biking adventures. - Prince George’s County

  • Go Fishing!

    Eastern Shore:

  • Go Fishing at Unicorn Lake near Millington. - Queen Anne’s County

  • Fish at Tuckahoe Lake in Tuckahoe State Park - Queen Anne’s County

  • Surf or bay fish at Assateague Island State Park - Worcester County

  • Go Fishing or Crabbing at the Bill Burton Fishing Piers open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Cast a line and try to catch the 'big one” – Dorchester County

  • Fish the Tangier Sound and the marshy banks off the shores of Janes Island State Park - Somerset County

  • Fish from a dock or from boat along the Pocomoke River at Pocomoke River State Park Shad Landing Area - Worcester County

  • Central Maryland:

  • Head north for some premier fishing at Elk Neck State Park and the Fair Hill NRMA - Cecil County

  • Hike and Fish at Lake Waterford Park in Pasadena - Anne Arundel County

  • Head to Baltimore County for some fishing at Gunpowder Falls State Park and Hart Miller Island State Park - Baltimore County

  • Patapsco Valley State Park will provide some enjoyable river and stream fishing as well as a handicapped and the “children only lake” Lost Lake. - Baltimore County

  • Morgan Run NRMA provides some scenic secluded fishing - Carroll County

  • Fish Clopper Lake at Seneca Creek State Park - Montgomery County

  • Fish the mighty Susquehanna River and the adjoining Deer Creek at Rocks and Susquehanna State Parks - Harford County

  • Western Maryland:

  • Fish the Savage River Reservoir at Big Run State Park - Garrett County

  • Fly fish the Casselman River for some trout at the Casselman River Bridge State Park – Garrett County

  • Fish by boat or from land at Deep Creek State Park - Garrett County

  • Fly fish the Youghiogheny from Swallow Falls State Park - Garrett County

  • Go Fishing at Fountain Rock Park and Nature Center near Walkersville - Frederick County

  • Southern Maryland:

  • Fish the trophy bass lake at St. Mary’s River State Park - St. Mary’s County

  • Enjoy some Chesapeake Bay fishing at Sandy Point State Park - Anne Arundel County

  • Check out the pier at Point Lookout State Park for some great fishing spots. – St. Mary’s County

  • Find Fossils and Sharks Teeth!

    Eastern Shore:

  • Betterton Beach  - Kent County

  • Southern Maryland:

  • Look for shells, bay glass, fossils and shark’s teeth - Explore the Bay’s Beaches

  • Calvert Cliff State Park – Calvert County
  • Purse State Park – Charles County
  • Flag Ponds Nature Park – Calvert County
  • North Beach – Calvert County
  • Chesapeake Beach – Calvert County
  • Central Maryland:

  • Fossil Hunt at Dinosaur Park, in Laurel – Prince George’s County

  • Historical Sites

    Eastern Shore:

  • Check out a clone of the famous Wye Oak, the official State Tree, in Wye Mills at the Wye Oak State Park -- see science in real life! – Queen Anne’s County

  • Central Maryland:

  • Forts McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine and Fort Carroll – War of 1812 – Baltimore City

  • North Point State Park vicinity – Battle of North Point, original Bay Shore Park site – Baltimore County

  • Western Maryland:

  • Ft. Frederick State Park – Washington County

  • Monocacy National Battlefield - Frederick County

  • Antietam National Battlefield – Washington County

  • Southern Maryland:

  • Point Lookout State Park, Civil War Prisoner of War site – St. Mary’s County

  • Visit a Nature Center!

    Eastern Shore:

  • Peer into life below the creek at the Martinak State Park Nature Center – Caroline County

  • Visit the Assateague State Park Nature Center (located in the Assateague State Park campground between D and E loops) – Worcester County

  • Visit the Nature Center and see some rescued wildlife at Pocomoke River State Park – Worcester County

  • Central Maryland:

  • Visit the Irvine Nature Center in Baltimore County

  • While at the playground take the kids to see the Nature Center at Patapsco Valley State Park (Hilton Area) – Baltimore County

  • Marshy Point Nature Center - Baltimore County

  • Learn About Birds at the  Audubon Naturalists Society in Chevy Chase – Montgomery County

  • Western Maryland:

  • Come discover what is going on in Western Maryland at Deep Creek State Park Discovery Center – Garrett County

  • Southern Maryland:

  • Explore the outdoors at Greenwell's Nature Center  

  • Visit the Clearwater Nature Center - Prince George’s County

  • Take a Guided Nature Tour at Patuxent River Park in Prince George County

  • Visit the visitor center/ nature center at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary - Prince George’s County

  • Visit the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons Island – Calvert County

  • Photo collage of Cool Places in Maryland

     

     

    Photo collage of Cool Places in Maryland

    Learn about Letterboxing

    Soldier's Delight NRMA - Baltimore County
    Cedarville State Forest - Charles County

    Try the Rock Wall and Zip Line at Tuckahoe State Park and visit the park's new Aviary to See Birds of prey up close!

    Look for Horseshoe Crabs and Horseshoe Crab eggs at Skimmer Island in Coastal Bays.

    3-D Archery Range The 3-D Archery Range offers fun and challenging shots at 30 life size 3-dimensional targets. Cost is $7.00 for adults $5.00 for ages 12-16 and free for children under 11. The range opens the first Saturday in April and remains open thru the last Sunday in September, from sunrise to sunset. The range will be free for all who have a valid hunting license on September 24 & 25 in recognition of National Hunting and Fishing Day. Potomac-Garret State Forest.

    The National Wildlife Visitor Center is the largest science and environmental education center in the Department of the Interior. Designed to accommodate one million visitors per year, this unique facility seeks to impart to young and old alike an increased knowledge of and appreciation for the earth's vital resources.

    Return to Children in Nature Home Page

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    Maryland's Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights

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    Find A Park


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    Accessible Areas at Maryland State Parks