Maryland Park Map
Marylandís State Parks and Forests
Offer Perfect Setting For Fatherís Day Outing
Fishing, canoeing and history are sure to make Dadís day on June 20
ANNAPOLIS, MD ó Fatherís Day is quickly approaching and rather than give Dad that same old boring tie heíll never wear, why not treat him to a relaxing day outdoors in one of Marylandís 47 state forests and parks? From the mountains in Western Maryland to the beaches of the Eastern Shore, thereís no better place to gather for a family outing to celebrate Dadís special day.
While youíre planning your Fatherís Day excursion, why not buy Dad a seasonal park pass as a gift for all he does? Park passes are $75 for residents and are available to buy online at www.dnr.maryland.gov. If your plans in the park include fishing, a fishing license makes a great Fatherís Day gift. A Maryland Freshwater fishing license costs $10.50 for residents and is required for anyone 16 years and older. A Maryland Sportfishing license is $9 for residents and is required for Bay fishing at the beach. Both can be purchased at locations around the state. Visit DNR Online to find the license agent nearest you.
There are picturesque and pristine places to fish, canoe or appreciate history in Marylandís state forests and parks. While all of Marylandís state forests and parks are steeped in history and offer unparalleled outdoor experiences, weíve chosen to point out a few of the highlights organized by region. So pick a park, grab Dad and enjoy the great outdoors!
(Garrett, Allegany, Washington & Frederick Counties)
The Potomac State Forest located at the North Branch of the Potomac River in Garrett County is an excellent spot to for Dad to enjoy trout fishing while in a quiet outdoor setting. Considered a fishing ďhotspot,Ē the upper North Branch affords anglers an opportunity to fish for trout in a truly wild setting. Although some areas can be reached easily from roadways, much of the river is very remote and scenic and can only be reached by hiking. For those anglers willing to walk, the reward is the opportunity to fish in solitude.
The adventurous Dad will love whitewater canoeing in Western Maryland on the Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River. The river is part of the large Mississippi River watershed that stretches from the western slope of the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the Rockies in the west. Information about whitewater boating can be obtained at the park office.
If a more relaxing day with Dad is on the agenda, visit Rocky Gap State Park along the Potomac River in Alleghany County. Rental boats, including canoes, sit-on kayaks, row boats and paddle boats, are available in the day-use area.
For the Dad who canít get enough of the Civil War, take a trip to South Mountain State Battlefield, which is comprised of a number of historic sites and state parks, all within South Mountain Recreation Area. Among these parks are Gathland State Park and Washington Monument State Park. South Mountain State Battlefield was the scene of a little known yet quite noteworthy conflict, the Battle of South Mountain. Civil War living history weekends are scheduled throughout the summer at Gathland State Park featuring individual reenactor units. Call the park for details at (301) 791-4767.
If Dad prefers the wars of the 18th century such as the French and Indian War, then heíll be thrilled with a trip to Fort Frederick State Park. The site of Maryland's frontier defense during the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the Fort's stone wall and two barracks have been restored to their 1758 appearance. Historic displays are in the Fort, barracks and Visitor Center. The park annually holds military reenactments and other special events. Tours are available by request. Daily Living History programming is available from now through Labor Day.
(Montgomery, Howard, Carroll, Baltimore, Harford and Cecil Counties)
Youíve got a world-class Dad, so why not treat him to a world-class fishing experience. Some of the greatest fly-fishing in the Eastern United States can be found at Gunpowder Falls State Park located on the borders of Baltimore and Harford Counties. Be sure to visit the Herford Area along York Road in Parkton. Itís the only spot along the Mid-Atlantic Coast that Dad can fish for brown trout.
If Dad would rather spend the day on the water, Patapsco Valley State Park in Owings Mills is offering a canoe trip in the calm backwaters of the Daniels Dam. Look for birds that frequent this riparian habitat. This is a beginner-level trip. Instruction and equipment are provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Paddlers must be age 12 or older. Pre registration is required and cost is $12 per person. The perfect gift for Dad and a treat for the whole family!
For the Dad who is a history buff, Jerusalem Village located in Gunpowder Falls State Park is a quaint historic village that includes several newly restored structures including historic Jerusalem Mill, which houses and a small museum. The village also has a Blacksmith shop and gun factory, where gun stocks were crafted during the Revolutionary War. The museum is open on weekends from 1p.m. to 4p.m.
(Anne Arundel, Prince Georgeís, Charles, Calvert and St. Maryís Counties)
Fishing can be found in many of the state parks in Southern Maryland. However, one of the more interesting spots is Calvert Cliffs State Park. Dad can not only fish for fish, but he can fish for fossils! The cliffs which dominate the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay for thirty miles in Calvert County, were formed over 15 million years ago when all of Southern Maryland was covered by a warm, shallow sea. Over 600 species of fossils have been identified from these cliffs, with the teeth of various species of shark as the most abundant fossils. Visitors may hunt for fossils on the open beach area and keep what they find. In addition to looking for fossils, Dad can fish in the one acre fishing pond is located in the picnic area or on one of the parkís beautiful beaches.
If Pop would rather paddle, there are plenty of great spots for flat water canoeing in Southern Maryland including St. Maryís River State Park. Situated at the northern end of the St. Mary's River watershed, the park shows a wide range of habitats, from wooded acres and fields to swamps and small streams. Dad can even put the canoe ashore and enjoy the many different types of plant and animal species.
Take a trip back in time with Dad to the Revolutionary War at Smallwood State Park in Marbury along the Route 210 corridor. Smallwood was the home of General William Smallwood, a Revolutionary War officer who was the 4th Governor of Maryland. His house, called Smallwood's Retreat, has been restored. Smallwood's Retreat plantation house is open free to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays from May until the end of September. Tours are conducted by costumed docents.
(Kent, Queen Anne, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties)
Fishing with your father in Eastern Maryland means going to the Choptank River Fishing Piers. Open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, the piers are lighted, and the pier is popular because of the variety of fish that can be caught including perch, striped bass, hard heads, sea trout, and catfish. If Dadís a night owl, the pier is lighted for night fishing and the Dorchester County side of the pier is open and lighted year round. The pier adjoins Sailwinds Park via the walkway under the bridge. Donít forget your fishing license!
Tuckahoe State Park is the ideal place in Eastern Maryland for a day on the water with Dad as a quiet country stream bordered for most of its length by wooded marshlands, runs through the length of the park. Canoes, kayaks and paddle boats can be rented for use on the lake above the dam for a daily fee (April Ė October). Guided canoe trips on both the lake and the Tuckahoe Creek are offered throughout the year by the park naturalist. Check with park personnel for current fees for canoe rentals and park-guided trips.
Even though the mighty oak has fallen, Wye Oak State Park is still worth a trip on Fatherís Day. Not only does the park hold significant historical value, it is home to several items as unique as Dad. The park gets its name from the Wye Oak, once the largest and finest of its species in the United States, which fell during a thunderstorm in June 2002. Next to the spot where the Wye Oak used to stand is a small brick structure, which has been furnished and restored to its status as a colonial period one-room schoolhouse. The schoolhouse is recorded as the second oldest existing schoolhouse in Talbot County.
Whatever adventures you treat Dad to, please treat our natural and cultural resources with respect and leave your state forests and parks trash-free. Please play safe and responsibly and always remember to leave no trace."
For specific information about Marylandís Stateís Parks including hours, admission fees and lodging rates, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/mdmap.html.
Posted June 11, 2004