Potomac-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 beautiful stream in Potomac State Forest.

The Potomac State Forest, 11,535 acres situated between the towns of Oakland and Westernport and partially bordering the Potomac River, is reached from Maryland Routes 135 and 560.

Mountain forests, streams and valleys make up nearly 12,000 acres in Potomac State Forest. The forest drains into the Potomac River Basin, and features the highest point in any Maryland state forest – Backbone Mountain, elevation 3,220 feet. Another high point in the forest is the rock outcropping near the intersection of Maryland Route 135 and Walnut Bottom Road which overlooks a portion of Potomac State Forest, Savage River State Forest and Crabtree Creek.

The Potomac River has its headwaters in this rugged mountain forest where wildlife abounds and there is excellent trout fishing.

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

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 http://www.dnr.state.md.us/dnrnews/infocus/emerald_ash_borer.asp

Self-Guided Recreational Activities:


man archer

  • 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 is open March 31 thru September 30, 2012, from sunrise to sunset. The range will be free for all who have a valid hunting license on September 22 in recognition of National Hunting and Fishing Day.
  • Potomac State Forest outdoor recreation opportunities and amenities include cross country skiing, camping and shelters, fishing, hiking trails, hunting, picnicking, riding trails, and snowmobiling.
  • [Disabled accessible]Potomac State Forest offers accessible hunting areas, park office and one pavilion. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
  • Pets are allowed in all areas of the Forest. No leash is required as long as pets are under control.
  • Trail Maps: Cover of the trail guide


    Wallman/Laurel Run: South of Oakland, along Wallman and Laurel Run Roads leading to North Branch of Potomac River (16 sites).
    15 Laurel Run Rd., Oakland, MD 21550

    Lostland Run: Near headquarters area, along Lostland Run road leading to North Branch of Potomac River (6 sites).
    1701 Potomac Camp 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 trail in the Lostland Run area. Horse camping is also available.

Photographs by Potomac State Forest Staff


  • In southeastern Garrett County, off MD Route 135.
  • Potomac State Forest
    1431 Potomac Camp Road
    Oakland, MD 21550
    (301) 334-2038