Garrett State Forest

Potomac – Garrett State Forest provides public access to the forest while managing over 60 miles of multi-use trails and roads. Visitors are encouraged to visit and explore other trail opportunities while we complete this important silvicultural work within this working, sustainably managed forest. See Potomac-Garrett State Forest Sustainable Forest Management Plan

A section of Garrett State ForestGarrett 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 from local vendors. Please do not bring personal firewood in to the State Forest. A wide variety of forest insect pests are accidentally transported and introduced to new areas by transporting personal firewood between distinct geographic locations. Please keep our forests safe!

The Kindness Demonstration Area

The Kindness Demonstration Area features a 1.25 mile self guided hiking trail through 387 acres of forestland with signs explaining forest management and wildlife improvement practices.


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

Trail Maps

Camping Areas

  • 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

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

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.

Off-road Vehicles & Trails

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.

Disabled Accessible

Disabled Access symbolGarrett State Forest offers accessible hunting areas. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.