Garrett State Forest

  • Due to the Severe Winter Storm in late October the Potomac/Garrett State forests experienced major storm damage. Please click here to see some of the storm damage.

A section of Garrett State Forest, areas can be dense, as they once were before the colinization of Maryland.

Garrett State Forest is the birthplace of forestry conservation in Maryland. The generous donation of 1,917 acres by the Garrett Brothers in 1906 serves as the foundation of the Garrett State Forest, as well as Maryland's present Public Lands system. Mountain forests, streams and valleys make up the nearly 7,000 acres of Garrett State Forest in Garrett County.

The forest is home to red oak, white oak, scarlet oak, black cherry, hickory, red maple, white pine and hemlock along the stream banks. Mountain streams trickle throughout the region, offering visitors glimpses of beaver ponds and cranberry bogs. Many wildlife species make their home in this forest. Primitive campsites, hiking, hunting, birding, biking, skiing and snowmobiling allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of their surroundings.

State Forest regulations are posted in conspicuous locations throughout the forest. Additional information and a brochure of the forest can be obtained by calling the forest headquarters. Check out a map of the forest.

Firewood Alert

Firewood for camping must be purchased onsite. Please do not bring firewood in to the State Forest The Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in Southern & Central Maryland. For further details on the quarantine, you can read the order. Please help us keep our Ash trees safe. For more information please visit

Self-Guided Recreational Activities:


  • Cross country skiing, campsites, fishing, hiking trails, historic interest, hunting, riding trails and snowmobiling.

  • Trail Maps:

    Snaggy Mt. Road and ORV Trail

    As of Thursday 9/12/13, the ‘Snaggy Mt. Road and ORV Trail’ on the Garrett State Forest is once again open to through traffic. Last month the double culverts at Bull Glade Run had collapsed beneath the road, leaving just a slumped layer of metal grid reinforced / compacted road surface over a 5 ft. deep void. As the road was not safe to support traffic of any kind, the Forest Manager closed the road to through traffic. State Forest staff have secured and completed the installation of a temporary bridge over the Bull Glade Run. The area is once again open to through traffic just in time for the fall hunting season.


    • Piney Mountain: North of Oakland along Piney Mountain Road (6 sites).
      172 Piney Mountain Rd., Friendsville, MD 21531
    • Snaggy Mountain: Along Snaggy Mountain Road near Swallow Falls State Park (11 sites).
      3739 Snaggy Mountain Rd., Oakland, MD 21550
    • Primitive Camping Along Forest Roads: One Group Site and one Shelter Site per area, along with roadside sites. Group Sites (up to 20 persons) must be reserved in advance for $20 per night. Shelter Sites are $15 per night and all other sites are "first come, first served" for $10 per night. Self-registration at camping area. Call Forest office for reservations at 301-334-2038.

      Backpack Camping is also permitted throughout the forest. Backpackers must register at one of the five self-registration areas on the forest by filling out an envelope, enclosing the appropriate payment ($10/night) and including itinerary with names of all campers. Campers can also obtain a permit by mail. Campfires are permitted except during drought conditions. Leave No Trace guidelines apply to backpack camping as well. Camping is NOT allowed within 200 feet of any trail or stream. The day use area of the forest is free.

    • Horseback Riding

      Horseback riding is allowed on designated, developed and maintained trails and roads designed to accommodate recreational use. Horses are not allowed on the foot trails in the Wilderness Ranch area and the Watchable Wildlife area. Horse camping is also available.

    • Pets are allowed in all areas of the Forest. No leash is required as long as pets are under control.
    • Trails for off-road vehicles, (ORV’s and snowmobiles) are available in Garrett, Potomac and Savage River State Forests. Off-road vehicles must be registered annually with DNR and display a registration sticker. Registration stickers are available from any DNR Regional Service Center. Trail maps are available at the State Forest office where ORV use is permitted.


  • In Garrett County, 5 miles northwest of Oakland, off U.S. Route 219.
  • Garrett State Forest
    1431 Potomac Camp Road
    Oakland, MD 21550
    (301) 334-2038