First Day Hikes in Maryland State Parks - January 1, 2014
Maryland part of national effort to sponsor hikes in all 50 State Park systems
Join your family and friends on a First Day Hike on January 1, 2014 in Maryland State Parks. These easy to moderate hikes are family friendly and an invigorating way to get outdoors on New Yearís Day. From Assateague State Park on the Eastern Shore, to Herrington Manor State Park in Western Maryland, state park staff will hike alongside families and guide you through some of Marylandís most beautiful public lands.
First Day Hikes is part of a national effort to promote healthy lifestyles and year-round recreation in all 50 state park systems. These hikes are hosted to encourage people to get outside, and also offer a great way to cure cabin fever and burn off extra holiday calories.
Enjoy winterís beauty in Maryland, where youíll find plenty of opportunities to get outside and play on New Yearís Day. Maryland State Park First Day Hikes offer families a chance to view migratory wildlife, learn about Marylandís flora, view an historic lighthouse, and most importantly, reconnect with nature and friends and family members. Several hikes offer options to bring along your family pet on a leash.
Weather appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes are a must, as Maryland winters can vary greatly across the state. Donít forget to bring water and snacks, as well as a camera to capture cherished memories. The American Hiking Society offers outdoor enthusiasts helpful cold weather hiking tips: http://www.americanhiking.org/cold-weather-hiking/
Fall and Winter Camping Adventures in Maryland State Parks
Many people enjoy the cooler temperatures, fall colors and increased solitude of camping in State Parks during the fall and even winter months. The onset of hunting season draws many sportsmen and women into the campgrounds. Photographers enjoy the improved lighting provided by a sun passing lower in the sky and birders and wildlife watchers take advantage of seeing new animals migrating through the area.
Maryland State Parks offer overnight get-aways that appeal to a wide range of visitors, from those seeking a warm cabin or hot shower after a brisk day of exploring to the most adventurous souls pitching a tent in the snow.
Creature Comforts Ė Cabins and Cottages
Maryland State Parks offer cozy, full-service, heated cabins and cottages with woodstoves and fireplaces year-round. Unless otherwise noted, the following State Parks have cabins and cottages that can be reserved in advance on the State Park reservation website at http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us or by calling 888-432-2267 or by calling the State Park:
Janes Island State Park (Cabins and the Daugherty Creek Conference Center)
Martinak State Park (one cabin)
Herrington Manor State Park (cabins)
New Germany State Park (cabins)
Gunpowder Falls State Park (Mill Pond Cottage; must reserve by calling the State Park at 410-592-2897)
Full-service Camping Opportunities Ė Hot showers included
Most State Park campgrounds close by the end of October due to unheated bathroom and shower facilities that need to be winterized for protection from freezing temperatures. Several Maryland State Parks, however, have heated bathhouses and therefore can offer year-round or an extended season for camping and camper cabins as follows:
Pocomoke River State Park (Shad Landing Area) (year-round)
Elk Neck State Park (year-round)
These State Park campgrounds include access to electric sites and heated bathhouses with hot showers. Year-round campground loops are plowed during snow events. Reservations are accepted in advance at http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us or by calling 888-432-2267 or by calling the State Park.
Fall and Winter RV Camping (no bathroom facilities)
Many State Parks offer fall and winter primitive RV camping opportunities in scenic settings. Primitive camping means that no bathroom or shower facilities are provided. Therefore, campers must be traveling in self-contained recreational vehicles only. Tent camping is not allowed in these developed campgrounds when toilet facilities are unavailable. It is important to note that primitive camping access to these State Park campgrounds is weather and snow dependent. These campgrounds are not plowed and therefore will not be available if snow or ice is impassable. When weather conditions are favorable, fall and winter RV camping options include:
Janes Island State Park (electric sites available)
Martinak State Park (electric sites available)
Point Lookout State Park (year-round)
Cunningham Falls State Park, Manor Area (electric sites available)
Fort Frederick State Park (no electric sites available)
Rocky Gap State Park (electric sites available)
Swallow Falls State Park (electric sites available - closes second week of December)
Maryland State Parks Team Up With The North Face Explore Your Parks Program To Help Families Get Outdoors in 2013
For the fourth year in a row, the Maryland Park Service (MPS) is partnering with The North Face company for its annual Explore Your Parks program that encourages families to get outdoors and enjoy State Parks across the country.
"We're proud to have The North Face as a partner as we encourage everyone to have a more active, healthy lifestyle, all the while creating stronger connections between people and the outdoors," said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. "Maryland's State Parks provide endless opportunities for kids and their families to be active and connect with nature Ė hiking, climbing, running, biking, volunteering, camping, playing sports, paddling and everything else their imagination allows."
As part of the program, Marylanders can receive a free day-pass to one of nine participating Maryland State Parks with the purchase of The North Face products at local retailers. The stores will also carry free activity guides that provide information on things to do at the parks. Participating in Maryland are Calvert Cliffs, Gambrill, Greenbrier, Gunpowder Falls, Patapsco Valley, Seneca Creek and Smallwood State Parks in addition to the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Cedarville State Forest.
The Maryland Park Service is proud to partner with The North Face: Explore Your Parks, to offer an opportunity to camp at selected state parks.
With the new OPERATION: CAMPOUT! Program, we can lend you gear free of charge (includes a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and more). This program is designed for military individuals and military families new to camping or experienced campers stationed or recovering in this area. OPERATION: CAMPOUT! is an opportunity for families to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors in a comfortable, safe and relaxing setting. Choose from five Maryland State Parks including Patapsco Valley State Park, Pocomoke River State Park, Rocky Gap State Park, New Germany State Park or Swallow Falls State Park. Campsites have picnic tables and campfire rings. Bathrooms and hot showers are within walking distance. Itís never too late to discover the joys of sitting around a roaring campfire, roasting marshmallows or sleeping under the stars!
For more information, contact Christina Holden at (410) 260-8155 or by email at email@example.com. We are reaching out to wounded warriors stationed at nearby bases and hospitals and veterans with this program. We are committed to provide a means of reconnecting with family, friends and the outdoors.
Wounded Warrior and Veteran Outreach Program
This program provides our servicemen and women unique opportunities in MD state parks.
Civil War Sites
The Maryland Park Service hosts several significant Civil War sites, such as South Mountain and Point Lookout, and the forthcoming Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us
Find A Park
The mission of the Maryland Park Service is to manage the natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources to provide the best use for the benefit of people.
Maryland State Parks Economic Benefits
The first-ever comprehensive Maryland State Parks Economic Impact and Visitor Study indicates Maryland State Parks have an estimated annual economic benefit to local economies and the State of more than $650 million annually.
Both day and overnight visitors to State Parks were surveyed between May and October 2010 for the study, which was conducted in partnership with the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations.