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Western Maryland State Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Enjoy the natural richness of Western Maryland's State Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

Battie Mixon's fishing pond

Battie Mixon's fishing pond offers a mile-long stretch of fishing inside the C&O Canal National Historical Park. The pond was constructed in 1945 by a volunteer group of Western Maryland sportsmen and was named after the Allegany County game warden who thought of the idea.

C&O Canal National Historic Park and Towpath

184.5 miles of adventure from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland! Preserving America's early transportation history, the C&O Canal began as a dream of passage to Western wealth. Operating for nearly 100 years the canal was a lifeline for communities along the Potomac River as coal, lumber, and agricultural products floated down the waterway to market. Today the remains of the C&O Canal provide a place to enjoy nature and recreation, but most importantly they tell the story of the canal's important role in America's history. Stories of western expansion, transportation, engineering, the Civil War, immigration, industry and commerce.

Great Allegheny Passage

Chosen by National Geographic as one of the "Top Fall Trips In The World," the Great Allegheny Passage winds through Maryland’s mountains and along Wills Creek, giving bicyclists, hikers, and cross-country skiers some of the most majestic views in the east. Connecting Pittsburgh, PA, to Cumberland, MD, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail offers 150 miles of scenic and well-maintained rail-trail, ready for your biking or hiking adventure. The trail surface is mostly packed, crushed limestone, with the section near Cumberland, paved with asphalt. This trail is suitable for most types of bicycle, from mountain bikes and hybrids to road bikes.

Great Eastern Trail

The Great Eastern Trail is a 1,600-mile, long-distance hiking trail, stretching from Alabama to the Finger Lakes in New York. The trail passes through Maryland by connecting to the C&O Canal Towpath from Hancock, Maryland, heading west to connect to the Green Ridge State Forest trail system before it crosses into Pennsylanvia. Rivaling the Appalachian Trail, the Great Eastern Trail provides a premier hiking experience on a series of existing trails that are being linked to each other into a long-distance footpath in the Appalachian Mountains, stretching from Alabama, to the Finger Lakes Trails in New York.

Green Ridge State Forest

Green Ridge is located in eastern Allegany County approximately six miles east of Flintstone off I-68 at Exit 64. It is Maryland's second largest state forest with 44,000 acres of oak and hickory forest types and pockets of shale barrens, desert-like habitats that dot the region because of its extremely low average annual precipitation. Abundant wildlife including deer, turkey, and black bear, and unusual plants like the Prickly Pear Cactus, Large Blazing Star, and Kate's Mountain Clover are found here. Green Ridge is full of opportunities for the adventurous including over 50 miles of hiking trails available for day hikes or multi-day backpacking. The trail system varies in terrain and can be very rugged. Other activities include challenging and scenic mountain biking trail, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, paddling, and primitive camping.

(301) 478-3124
Greenridge Horse Ranch

Located approximately six miles east of Flintstone, the ranch offers many different trail rides and exciting adventures.  Visit their website for a complete list of activities.

(814) 784-5223

Known for its thriving white-tailed deer populations, Western Maryland is the perfect place to harvest deer for the winter. Its stunning natural beauty has long attracted outdoor enthusiast and hunters.

Top 3 Public Lands to Hunt Deer in Western Maryland

Green Ridge State Forest

At 47,560 acres (the largest, unbroken block of public land in Maryland – all of which is open to hunting), Green Ridge State Forest has a long history as one of the most popular public hunting sites in all of Maryland.  

Dan’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA)

This is one of the region’s richest and largest wildlife areas. The remarkable changes in elevation, coupled with its prime location across the ridge top of its namesake mountain, give Dan’s its unique ecological character. Nearly half of the approximately 10,000 acres are designated Wildlands, which ensures the area maintains its wilderness character, and for sportsmen, guarantees a deer hunt won’t be interrupted.

Rocky Gap State Park

The state park has nearly 1,500 acres designated for hunting. A short walk from the well-marked “Touch of Nature” trailhead or nearby campground, you’ll find yourself in one of two designated hunting areas. For the archery enthusiast, another site exists nearby where 300 acres is set aside just for bow hunters. This area is also easily located just off the parking lot at the well-marked amphitheater.

Lake Habeeb

The 243-acre Lake Habeeb, located within Rocky Gap State Park, is known for having the "bluest water in the state. Overlooking the lake is Evitts Mountain, named for one of the first European settlers in Allegany County. The lake offers many recreational activities including canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, ice fishing, and swimming. The lake is adjacent to Rocky Gap Casino Resort and is dog friendly. 

(301) 722-1480
Mexico Farms Equestrian Center

Equestrian Center at Mexico Farms, Cumberland, Maryland, offers trail riding as well as outdoor and indoor areas for riding. Lessons available for beginners to advanced.

(301) 777-9665
Rocky Gap State Park

Rocky Gap State Park encompasses over 3,000 acres of public land for guests to enjoy. Rugged mountains surround the park, which also features 243-acre Lake Habeeb. The lake is fed by Rocky Gap Run, which winds through an impressive mile-long gap displaying sheer cliffs, overlooks, and a Hemlock forest dense with Rhododendron. Birding and nature appreciation can also be an activity on the 500 acres of specially designated state wildlands.

(301) 722-1480
Western Maryland Rail Trail

The Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) is about 28 miles long and parallels the C&O Canal Towpath for its entire length, from Little Orleans, MD, to Big Pool, MD. A paved, linear trail, it is suited to anyone seeking a pleasant, leisurely outdoor experience - walking, running, biking, and inline skating. The easy grade and paved surface make this trail ideal for families, the elderly, and persons with limited mobility.