There are 18 National Parks in Maryland as well as an additional 10 affiliated sites that partner with the National Park Service.
This is no surprise when you realize that the state of Maryland is divided in half by the nation's largest estuary and has a breathtaking coastline.
Don't forget to have some Maryland Blue Crabs during your visit here. Nothing says Maryland like these blue-clawed crustaceans and should be on every visitor’s must-eat list.
National Parks in Maryland
Maryland is also very rich in American History! General George Washington claimed Maryland as the "Old Line State".
He gave this name because of the Maryland Line Troops who fought here in the many Revolutionary Wars.
Then you have Civil War locations like Antietam and Monocacy National Battlefields.
Fort McHenry was the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner and there's still more to explore!
So which of these parks do you want to or have already visited?
I have personally visited well over half of these parks and can't wait to get back and explore more!
Antietam National Battlefield
Top Things to do - See Dunker Church, visit the Sunken Road, Visit the Antietam National Cemetery, the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, Newcomer House, Hiking the Battlefield, Bicycling, Horseback riding, Fishing, Boating, Become a Junior Ranger, Birdwatching, Picnicking, Photography
Lodging - There are no lodges within Antietam National Battlefield, nearby towns like Sharpsburg, Hagerstown, and Shepherdstown offer lodging options, including hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Camping - There are no campgrounds open for the public at the park. Camping at the Rohrbach Group Campground requires a permit. Only organized groups (such as Boy Scouts, Church, and School Groups) are permitted to camp.
Park Address - 5831 Dunker Church Rd., Sharpsburg 21782
Antietam National Battlefield is located in Western Maryland approximately 60 miles northwest of Washington D.C. The park offers the opportunity to tour the battlefield and visit the park museum.
The battle at Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862. Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his army across the Potomac River into Maryland. He met the Union forces led by Major General George B. McClellan near Antietam Creek.
The battle involved nearly 100,000 soldiers fighting with more than 23,000 soldiers losing their life. On September 18th the North and South cared for their wounded and buried their casualties.
On the night of September 18th, General Lee withdrew his troops back into Virginia. The retreat was the signal President Lincoln had been hoping for. He declared freedom for enslaved people in the South.
Abraham Lincoln issued the initial Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. From this point forward the Civil War was about preserving the Union and ending slavery.
Today you can take a self-guided 8.5-mile auto tour that includes 11 stops around the battlefield. If you would like to learn more you can hire a battlefield guide who will accompany you around the auto tour.
You can also visit the Pry House Field Hospital Museum which is located in the house that served as General McClellan's headquarters during the battle.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Top Things to do - Thru-Hiking, Day Hiking, Multi Day-Hiking, Backpacking, Birdwatching, Photography, Scenic Driving, Camping, Stargazing, Picnicking
Lodging - Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Maryland, you can find lodging in nearby towns such as Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which offers bed and breakfasts, inns, and vacation rentals
Along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, there are various shelters and huts that provide hikers with places to rest, seek shelter from the weather, and spend the night.
Shelters are generally spaced about a day's hike apart, which can range from 8 to 15 miles, depending on the specific section of the trail.
They are first-come, first-served, with basic amenities like sleeping platforms, fire rings, and water sources. Leave No Trace principles apply, and designated camping areas are available near shelters.
Camping - Camping options along the Appalachian Trail in Maryland include shelters like Rocky Run, Ensign Cowall, and Pine Knob, as well as designated camping areas near Warrior Mountain Road and Annapolis Rock. Greenbrier State Park nearby also offers campground facilities.
41 miles of the Appalachian Trail passes through Maryland. The elevation ranges from 230 feet to 1,880 feet in elevation.
The trail through Maryland is a fantastic place to enjoy a three or four-day hiking trip. You can also enjoy day hikes along the trail.
Top Things to do - Ranger Guided Programs, Swimming, Surfing, Fishing, Biking, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Canoeing and Kayaking
Lodging - Lodging options near Assateague Island National Seashore include camping on the island, accommodations in Chincoteague Island, Virginia, which offers various options like hotels, motels, and campgrounds, as well as options in nearby towns like Ocean City and Berlin, Maryland, and Snow Hill, Maryland, featuring bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels.
Camping - Camping options at Assateague Island National Seashore include the Bayside Drive-In Campground and Oceanside Campground on the Maryland side, backcountry camping, and camping at Assateague State Park.
Park Address - 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, MD 21811
Assateague Island National Seashore is located in Southeastern Maryland and Eastern Virginia approximately 15 miles south of Ocean City. The park offers the opportunity to see the famous Assateague ponies.
Assateague Island encompasses a 37-mile-long barrier island. To reach the park you will pass through Assateague State Park which also offers camping and swimming. You can also visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge for epic bird watching.
The Assateague wild horses are not native to the area. The horses are descendants of stock horses brought to the island in the 1600s. Over the past 400 years, the horses have adapted to the area. The horses are wild so you want to be careful near them.
This is a really cool National Park in Maryland!
Catoctin Mountain Park
Top Things to do - see the Visitor Center, Hiking, Camping, Fishing, Picnicking, Horseback Riding, Rock Climbing
Lodging - The park offers 3 lodging cabins for groups and family
Camp Misty Mount offers cabin rentals for individuals, families, and small groups.
Camp Round Meadow is a group camp featuring 4 heated dorms that sleep 30 people each.
Camp Greentop is a perfect location for organized groups to hold retreats and conferences and has space for up to 140 people.
Camping - The park has 3 campgrounds: Owens Creek Campground, Poplar Grove Youth Campground, and Misty Mount Cabin Camp.
Park Address - 14707 Park Central Road, Thurmont, MD 21788
Catoctin Mountain Park is located in central Maryland approximately 55 miles northwest of Baltimore. The park offers the opportunity to enjoy hiking, camping, horseback riding, scenic drives, and cross-country skiing in the winter.
The park was an area that had been decimated by industrial and unsustainable agricultural processes in the 1930s. During the Great Depression, the area was chosen to become a demonstration area.
People were hired to rehabilitate the landscape while also creating a new recreation area. Both the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) worked on the project.
The northern portion of the park is administered by the National Park Service. The southern portion of the park is now Cunningham Falls State Park.
Visitors can enjoy more than 25 miles of hiking trails including six miles of trails maintained for horseback riding. The famous presidential retreat Camp David is located within Catoctin Mountain Park but is not open to the public.
[mv_video jsonLd="true" key="gumsllgmrkzlolwgq5ep" ratio="16:9" thumbnail="https://mediavine-res.cloudinary.com/video/upload/gumsllgmrkzlolwgq5ep.jpg" title="Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine"]
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Top Things to do - see Paw Paw Tunnel, Fletchers Cove, Abner Cloud House, Biking, Boating, Camping, Canal Boat Program, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Picnicking, Ranger-Led Programs, Winter Activities
Lodging - Private accommodations are available in many canal towns or stay in a refurbished lock house operated by the C&O Canal Trust.
Camping - The park offers two different types of campsites: Primitive Campsites for hikers and bikers, and Reservable Campgrounds for individuals and groups.
Park Address - 142 W. Potomac St., Williamsport, MD 21795
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP is located along the Potomac River from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. The park offers hiking, biking, boating, camping, and outdoor recreation.
In 1828 the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal construction was started. Over the next 22 years 35,000 workers many of them immigrants from Ireland and Western Europe dug the canal and built aqueducts, culverts, and locks.
The first five boats filled with coal traveled the length of the canal in October 1850. At the peak of operation, the canal saw more than 540 boats in service with most of them carrying coal.
Visitors today can see 184.5 miles of the old canal right of way from Georgetown neighborhood in Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland. The towpath has been restored so you can see the path where mules pulled boats.
There are five developed drive-in campgrounds along the canal as well as 30 hiker-biker sites. In Maryland, you can visit the visitor centers in Brunswick, Williamsport, Hancock, and Cumberland.
Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Top Things to do - boating, exploring Assateague Island, enjoying crab feasts, and experiencing the region's lighthouses, hiking and biking trails, seafood dining, and cultural events.
Lodging - Lodging options in the Maryland area of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed include Annapolis, Easton, St. Michaels, Kent Island, Cambridge, Crisfield, Solomons, and Tilghman Island, offering a variety of hotels, inns, and vacation rentals
Camping - Camping options in the Maryland area of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed include Sandy Point State Park, Tuckahoe State Park, Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area, Assateague Island State Park, Elk Neck State Park, Janes Island State Park, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, and Patapsco Valley State Park.
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed is the largest estuary in the United States. The National Park Service partners with over 170 sites and trails in the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network.
Visit the Find Your Chesapeake website to find out more about the activities within not only Maryland but also Washington D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Clara Barton National Historic Site
Top Things to do - Explore the many stories of Clara Barton's amazing life through guided tours.
Lodging - There are no lodging facilities within the historic site. Accommodation options near the Clara Barton National Historic Site in Glen Echo, Maryland, include Bethesda with hotels and dining, Washington, D.C. with diverse lodging options, Chevy Chase with nearby hotels, and Silver Spring offering additional choices.
Camping - There is no camping in Clara Barton National Historic Site
Park Address - 5801 Oxford Road, Glen Echo, MD 20812
The Clara Barton NHS is located in Central Maryland just west of Washington D.C. The park offers guided tours of Clara Barton's home and the early American Red Cross headquarters.
Clara Barton was born in 1821 in Massachusetts. She dedicated her life to caring for injured soldiers during the Civil War. She became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield".
She worked with the International Red Cross during the Franco-Prussian War and was inspired to establish the American Red Cross in 1881.
Her goal was to help those who suffered from natural disasters such as fires and famines. The American Red Cross's resources were put to good use in the Johnston Flood of 1889.
In 1897 Clara Barton moved into the American Red Cross warehouse in Glen Echo, Maryland. She lived in the house until she passed away in 1912. The Clara Barton NHS was the first National Park Service site dedicated to the accomplishments of an American Woman.
Top Things to do - Tour Fort McHenry, Visit The Star Fort Historic Zone, watch Fort McHenry Movie, Walk the Seawall Trail (with your pets), Picnicking, Bird Watching, Ride Your Bike
Lodging - Lodging options near Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, include hotels in downtown Baltimore, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Harbor East, and near BWI Airport.
Camping - There are no campgrounds within the park
Park Address - 2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore 21230
Fort McHenry NM and Historic Shrine are located in Baltimore Harbor. The park offers tours of the historic fort and museum.
Fort McHenry is a star-shaped fort on the shores of Baltimore Harbor. The fort construction began in 1799 and was completed in 180. It was named after James McHenry who was the Secretary of War from 1796 to 1800.
During the War of 1812 on September 13, 1814, the fort came under fire from British Ships. Francis Scott Key who was a lawyer and amateur poet watched the attack. The next morning he saw the American Flag still flying over the fort "by dawns early light".
This moment inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" which became America's National Anthem.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of Fort McHenry, watch the park movie, and watch the flag-raising and lowering ceremonies.
Fort Washington Park
Top Things to do - One Sunday a month from April to October the park has a Civil War artillery demonstration, Wildlife Viewing, Bird Watching, Walking, Fishing at the Potomac River, Visit Fort Foote
Lodging - There is no lodging within the park. Lodging options near Fort Washington Park, Maryland, include National Harbor with various hotels and resorts, Oxon Hill offering budget-friendly choices, and Alexandria, Virginia, known for historic inns.
Camping - There are no camping opportunities within the park
Park Address - 13551 Fort Washington Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744
Fort Washington Park is located near the community of Fort Washington, Maryland. The park offers a 3-mile trail that follows the perimeter of the park boundary which is great for looking for wildlife.
You can also enjoy fishing on the Potomac River. You can call the Fort Washington Park Visitor Center for more information at 301-763-4600 on opening hours and activities.
George Washington Memorial Parkway
Top Things to do - Ranger-led Programs, Hiking, Biking, Wildlife Watching, Scenic Driving, Become a Junior Ranger
Lodging - There are no lodging options in the parkway
Camping - There are no camping within the parkway
Park Address - George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters, 700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean 22101
George Washington Memorial Parkway was designated a park and playground in the 1930s. There are quite a few sites along the parkway as it leads toward Washington D.C. to visit and explore.
Information, brochures, maps, and National Park Passport stamps are available at parkway headquarters and at visitor centers at Arlington House, Glen Echo Park, and Great Falls Park.
Top Things to do - Hiking, Camping, Picnicking, Play at the Playground (for kids)
Lodging - There are no lodging options within the park. Accommodation options near Greenbelt Park in Maryland include hotels in College Park, Silver Spring, and Washington, D.C. Greenbelt Park also offers a campground.
Camping - The park features a 172-site campground and is open year-round.
Park Address - 6565 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Greenbelt Park is a natural oasis just outside of Washington D.C. You can enjoy camping, nine miles of trails, and three picnic areas.
Greenbelt Park in Maryland is a serene national park known for camping, hiking trails like the Perimeter Trail, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. It's easily accessible from Washington, D.C., and offers a peaceful natural escape. Leashed pets are allowed, and ranger-led programs are available.
Hampton National Historic Site
Top Things to do - Hampton Audio Tour, Mansion Tours, Families, Farming, and Freedom Tour, Gardens, Grounds, and Architecture Tours, Become A Hampton Jr. Ranger, Experience Harvest Day
Lodging - Near Hampton National Historic Site you can find lodging options in Towson itself, as well as in nearby Baltimore and Timonium.
Camping - There are no camping options within Hampton NHS
Park Address - 535 Hampton Lane, Towson 21286
Hampton NHS is located in Northern Maryland approximately 9 miles north of Baltimore. You can enjoy free guided tours of a restored mansion as well as self-guided tours of the farm buildings, gardens, and other parts of the estate.
The Hampton Estate was established in 1745 by Colonel Charles Ridgely. The estate grew into an industrial and agricultural empire. Charles Ridgely Jr. began construction of a mansion on Hampton Estate in 1783.
The mansion was finished in 1790 and was the largest private residence in the United States at that time. The estate remained in the Ridgely family until 1948. The estate was designated a National Historic Site in 1948 and was the first site created because of its architectural significance.
Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the restored mansion as well as the opportunity to explore the grounds of the estate.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Top Things to do - Hiking, Rock Climbing, Bicycling, Picnicking, Fishing
Lodging - There are no lodging facilities within the park
Camping - There are no campgrounds within the park
Park Address - 171 Shoreline Drive, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Harpers Ferry NHP is located in Central Maryland along with Eastern West Virginia and Northern Virginia. The park provides the opportunity to explore a large number of historic sites.
Harpers Ferry is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. George Washington pushed for the establishment of a federal armory and arsenal that used water power to run the machinery that manufactured weapons.
During the Civil War in 1961, the Confederate and Union armies fought over these weapons and equipment. In 1862, Confederate Major General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson captured 12,700 Union Troops here.
Visitors can explore the Lower Town which includes the dry goods store, tavern, confectionery, clothing store, and the fire engine house. In the Maryland Heights section, you can view the old Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
Top Things to do - Experience Harriet Tubman's Home, Visit the Harriet Tubman Museum, Explore the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Travel with Tubman, Become a Junior Ranger
Lodging - The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park does not offer on-site lodging within the park itself. Visitors to the park typically stay in nearby towns and communities on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Cambridge and Easton are two of the more popular towns for lodging options. These towns offer a range of accommodations, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals.
Camping - There are no camping facilities within the park
Park Address - 4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, MD 21622
Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad NHP is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland approximately 60 miles southeast of Annapolis. The park offers the opportunity to drive the 125-mile Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway which includes more than 30 sites related to Harriet Tubman's life.
The park was established in 2013 to honor the accomplishments of Harriet Tubman. She was born into slavery in 1820. Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to become the best-known conductor of the Underground Railroad.
Top Things to do - Jr. Ranger Program, Auto Tour, Hiking Trails, Daily Ranger Programs
Lodging - There are no National Park Lodges within the park.
Camping - There are no campgrounds at the park but there are nearby parks including Gambrill State Park, Cunningham Falls State Park, and Catoctin Mountain Park that offer a variety of camping opportunities.
Park Address - 5201 Urbana Pike, Frederick, MD 21704
Monocacy National Battlefield is located in Central Maryland approximately 45 miles west of Baltimore. The park offers the opportunity to check out a 6-mile self-guided auto tour that winds through the battlefield site. There are multiple walking trails along with living history demonstrations.
During the summer of 1864, the Confederacy had the opportunity to march through the Shenandoah Valley and capture Washington D.C. with almost no opposition. Realizing this opportunity was available Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered Lieutenant General Jubal Early and 15,000 troops to attack.
Union Major General Lew Wallace learned of the attack and deployed 6,600 troops at Monocacy Junction. On July 9, 1864, the opposing troops clashed with the battle ending when Union Major General Wallace retreated.
The battle forced the Confederacy to delay its attack on Washington D.C. by a day. This provided the Union with the opportunity to bring in reinforcements and prepare for the Confederate attack.
Top Things to do - Bird Watching, Fishing (license required), Boating, Fort Washington Marina
Lodging - There are no National Lodging within the park
Camping - There are no camping options within the park
Park Address - 3400 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek, MD 20607
Piscataway Park was created to preserve the view from Mount Vernon. Visitors can visit the Farmington Landing site, Accokeek Creek site, National Colonial Farm, and Fort Washington Marina.
Thomas Stone National Historic Site
Top Things to do - Tour the Thomas Stone House, Be a Junior Ranger, visit the Visitor Center, walk the Stone Family Cemetery Trail and Outbuildings Trail Cemetery Trail
Lodging - There are no lodging facilities within the park
Camping - There are no campgrounds within Thomas Stone NHS
Park Address - 6655 Rose Hill Road, Port Tobacco 20677
Thomas Stone NHS is located in Southern Maryland approximately 30 miles south of Washington D.C. The park offers the opportunity to tour the historic home of Thomas Stone and enjoy trails and old roads open to hiking.
Thomas Stone was one of 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence along with being a member of the colonial-era Continental Congress. Thomas Stone purchased a century-old estate called Haber de Venture in 1770. The estate name was later written as one word - Haberdeventure.
Mr. Stone began building his family home and farm. When he passed away in 1787 the plantation had grown to over 1,000 acres. The estate remained in the Stone family until 1936. Part of the main house burned in 1977.
The National Park Service purchased the Haberdeventure in 1981. They reconstructed the house and opened it to the public in 1997.
[mv_video jsonLd="true" key="rsu3afhth9u1ayhurhw1" ratio="16:9" thumbnail="https://mediavine-res.cloudinary.com/video/upload/rsu3afhth9u1ayhurhw1.jpg" title="Assateague Island National Seashore"]
Washington – Rochambeau National Historic Trail
Top Things to do - Visit Museums, explore Historical Sites along the trail
Lodging - Accommodation options along the Washington – Rochambeau National Historic Trail in Maryland can be found in cities like Hagerstown, Frederick, Rockville, Baltimore, and Annapolis.
Camping - Camping options along the Washington–Rochambeau National Historic Trail in Maryland include Greenbrier State Park, Cunningham Falls State Park, Patapsco Valley State Park, Assateague Island National Seashore, and nearby national forests.
Park Address - 1400 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, PA 19406
The Washington – Rochambeau NHT covers 680 miles across ten states. The trail offers the chance to explore the same routes the American and French soldiers took in 1781 and 1782 during the Revolutionary War.
Within Maryland, you can visit the West Nottingham Academy, Troy Hill/Edward Dorsey Estate, Thomas Stone NHS, Snow Hill Manor, Principio Furnace, Rose Hill/Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown House, Caleb Dorsey Jr. Estate, Rossborough Tavern, Middletown Tavern, and Montpelier Estate along with other significant historic sites.
[mv_video jsonLd="true" key="f2grsnoawbghzzfoq2vm" ratio="16:9" thumbnail="https://mediavine-res.cloudinary.com/video/upload/f2grsnoawbghzzfoq2vm.jpg" title="Antietam National Battlefield"]
List of Maryland National Parks
- Antietam National Battlefield
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Georgia to Maine)
- Assateague Island National Seashore (also Virginia)
- Catoctin Mountain Park
- Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park (also Washington DC)
- Chesapeake Bay Watershed (DC, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV)
- Clara Barton National Historic Site
- Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
- Fort Washington Park
- George Washington Memorial Parkway
- Greenbelt Park
- Hampton National Historic Site
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (WV, VA, MD)
- Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
- Monocacy National Battlefield
- Piscataway Park
- Thomas Stone National Historic Site
- Washington – Rochambeau National Historic Trail (MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, DC)
- Baltimore National Heritage Area
- Baltimore – Washington Parkway
- Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (VA, MD, DE, DC, PA, NY)
- Civil War Defenses of Washington (DC, MD, VA)
- Fort Foote Park
- Glen Echo Park
- Harmony Hall
- Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm
- Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
- Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
There are 18 National Parks in Maryland with over 6.5 million visitors. These visitors produce over $234 million in economic benefits.
Maryland National Parks include 2 National Heritage Areas, 5 National Trails managed by the park service, 1,553 National Register of Historic Places listings and 73 National Historic Landmarks.
There are 5 National Natural Landmarks in Maryland National Parks. 1,858 places recorded by the heritage documentation program and over 4.3 million objects in the Maryland National Park Museum collection.
For an entire list of US National Parks head over to our list of US National Parks in Alphabetical Order. We also have a printable checklist of all 417 National Park properties in the United States available.
If you have dreamed of working in the National Parks make sure and check out our article on How to Become a Park Ranger. Working in the parks is one of the most amazing jobs you can find. There is just something special about waking up and knowing you are going to work in a beautiful park.
Additional National Park Travel Resources
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
For a fun adventure, check out Escape Campervans. These campervans have built-in beds, kitchen area with refrigerators, and more. You can have them fully set up with kitchen supplies, bedding, and other fun extras. They are painted with epic designs you can't miss!
National Parks in the Neighboring States