Family Weekend Getaway at Maryland State Parks

Did you know the state of Maryland has 54 state parks? Each one is different, and in total, they cover 98,000+ acres. Many of the state parks in the Old Line State are great for all family members. Check out this list of our favorites and you might just find your family’s new favorite place to explore.

1. Tuckahoe State Park

If you love flower gardens, this park is for you. Tuckahoe State Park is home to the five-hundred-acre Adkins Arboretum, a garden and a preserve showcasing more than six hundred native plant species.
Tuckahoe State Park has a 63-acre lake, cabins, and campgrounds. Fishing, boating, biking, hiking, and horseback riding are popular in this public recreation area along Tuckahoe Creek, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

2. St. Clement’s Island State Park

If you want to get away from it all, St. Clement’s Island State Park is a perfect choice. A tiny island in the Potomac River, the state park is only accessible by boat from Coltons Point. Boat tours to St. Clement’s Island State Park are provided daily, weather permitting, from April through October.
St. Clement’s is the birthplace of the state of Maryland. Check out the huge cross commemorating the settlers who first arrived in Maryland. The 62-acre park has hiking trails and a picnic pavilion. Fishing and hunting are permitted. Be aware that portajohns are the only restroom facilities on the island, and there are no accessible amenities.

3. Assateague State Park

If you desire an oceanfront park, Assateague State Park is the one to visit. Located on Assateague Island, It is Maryland’s only oceanfront state park. The island is shared with Virginia, which owns the lower third. Another draw for Assateague State Park is the beautiful wild horses that roam the beach. Legend has it the horses descended from survivors of a shipwrecked Spanish galleon off the mid-Atlantic coast. No fences separate the horses from the public, and they sometimes wander onto beach towels and parking areas. Please don’t attempt to feed or pet the beautiful horses; they are wild and kick and bite. You can also be fined for being too close to them or bothering them. Don’t leave food out. The horses often forage through things to find food. So just enjoy their stately beauty. You can enjoy two miles of gorgeous beach great for swimming, fishing, and surfing on one side of the island and the bay on the other. The bayside is excellent for kayaking and canoeing.

4. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

History lovers will enjoy a visit to this state park honoring the life of Harriet Tubman. Known as “Moses of Her People,” she spent her life seeking freedom for herself and other enslaved people.
Experience her world of leading enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad at The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park via exhibits and a self-guided tour in the visitor’s center. It covers her early years as a slave to becoming a leader and liberator. She helped more than 70 enslaved people escape through her selfless and dangerous efforts. Sitting on the trailhead for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway spanning 125 miles, the 17-acre State Park welcomes you. This year marks the 200th anniversary of her birth, and 2022 is dubbed the “Year of Harriet Tubman.”

5. Seneca Creek State Park

public recreation area encompassing more than 6,300 acres along 14 miles of Seneca Creek in its run to the Potomac River in Montgomery County, Do we have any disc golf fans? Seneca Creek State Park is home to a twenty-seven-hole disc golf course. Located in Gaithersburg, Seneca Creek State Park is a day-use park with boat rentals for use on the beautiful 90-acre Clopper Lake. This park is best for picnicing with a nearby tire-themed playground nearby.  They do not permit swimming or wading in this lake. Horseback riding, hiking, and bicycling are available on 50+ miles of trails.

6. Washington Monument State Park

No, we are not in Washington DC. Maryland has their own Washington Monument in Middletown on South Mountain.
This peculiar-looking monument was built in 1827 to honor President George Washington. This Washington Monument is built of rough stone, and when you climb to the top, it provides a spectacular panoramic view of the rural farmlands, rolling hills, and gorgeous mountains.
This historic park is home to the South Mountain State Battlefield. It is where the first major Civil War battle in Maryland was fought.
Washington Monument State Park is a day-use park and has a museum, picnic pavilion, and comfort station.

7. Calvert Cliffs State Park

Let’s go back in time. Calvert Cliffs State Park has some impressive twenty million-year-old cliffs and fossils from prehistoric species.
Twenty-four miles of cliffs extending from Chesapeake Beach to Drum Point on the eastern side of the Calvert Peninsula near Lusby, Maryland, are showcased in the park. Experts feel the cliffs were formed when most of the state was covered by shallow water. When the sea receded, the cliffs were visible. Other amenities include a sandy beach, hiking trails, fishing, and marshlands. They also have a recycled tire playground for the kids.
Be aware, the park charges a cash-only entry fee.

8. Rocky Gap State Park

Is lady luck on your side? You can try your luck at the slots or other games when visiting Rocky Gap State Park. The 3,000-acre public recreation area near Cumberland in Allegany County is also home to the privately-owned Rocky Gap Casino located in the park.
There is lots of noise and action inside the casino. Take a few steps, and you are outside on the beautiful deck and patio overlooking the serene Lake Habeeb. You can look across the 243-acre lake and see the visitor center and one of the three beach areas.
Rocky Gap State Park offers a plethora of recreational activities, including camping, boating, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, picnicking, hiking, and more.
Gaming, several restaurants, hotel accommodations, boat rentals, an indoor/outdoor pool, and a spa are part of the casino. They also have live entertainment on select evenings.

9. Gunpowder Falls State Park

Maryland’s largest state park, Gunpowder Falls State Park, has 18,000 acres and, you guessed it, some magnificent waterfalls.
Canoeing, kayaking, crabbing, tubing, fishing, hunting, and picnicking can are available at Gunpowder Falls State Park. Cross-country skiing, horseback riding, hiking, and biking can be enjoyed on over 120 miles of trails.
Big and Little Gunpowder Falls are “can’t miss” things to see when you visit.
Strangely enough, Gunpowder Falls State Park is closed on weekends and holidays. So visit this park during the week.
Maryland has a State Park for everyone from the Chesapeake Bay to the ocean to the Underground Railroad. Which park will you choose for your next family adventure?


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