Is a Maryland stopover on your travel itinerary? Now’s the time to reserve a few days or weeks for a stay in the “Old Line State.” Imagine mountain trails graced with shades of autumn and leisurely strolls past misty waterfalls. How about treating yourself to a meal of legendary blue crabs, fresh-caught from the Chesapeake Bay. Catch a glimpse of wild, ponies ambling along sandy shores. Maryland offers its fortunate visitors a multitude of natural, unforgettable vacation experiences. Plus, Maryland offers fantastic Maryland campgrounds and Maryland RV camping resorts which welcome travelers, many in both summer and winter months.
Savvy RV travelers will find Savage River State Forest, near the town of Grantsville in Maryland’s scenic western portion. The state’s biggest forest encompasses almost 53,000 acres on the mountainous Allegheny Plateau, comprised of a combination of woods, streams and fields, with almost half the acreage preserved as wildlands. Savage River’s visitors share hardwood forests of hickory, hemlock, black cherry and poplar with resident deer, black bears and bobcats. Rhododendrons and pink azaleas lend splashes of color to the landscape. Water-based recreation is provided by the Savage River Reservoir where anglers snag bass, walleye and elusive brook trout. Paddlers enjoy whitewater stretches just as surely as hikers, backpackers, mountain bikers and off-road vehicle enthusiasts appreciate Savage River’s well-developed system of multi-use trails. Outdoor activities in the forest span all four seasons, with winter snowfalls prompting an influx of cross-country skiers and snowmobile riders.
Another western Maryland gem is Deep Creek Lake State Park in Swanton. Located on the shores of the state’s largest lake, this park is set on the Allegheny Highlands Plateau at the southern edge of Meadow Mountain. Once inhabited by nomadic tribesmen and Native American hunters, the surrounding area now shelters resident species such as wild turkeys, skunks and opossums. Trails guide hikers through oak and hickory forests and up to the peak of Meadow Mountain. Swimming, fishing, tubing, sailing, skiing and hunting are favorite park pastimes. While winter welcomes ice fishermen and snowmobilers, summer guests can attend programs designed to promote equestrian skills, nature crafts, and fly-fishing. There are even horse-drawn wagon rides and bonfire parties to round out Deep Creek’s outdoorsy entertainment options.
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is in southern Maryland on the eastern edge of the Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge. This preserve on the Delmarva Peninsula is a migration point and nesting site for more than 250 types of birds, including grebes, golden eagles, sandpipers, herons, loons and Canada geese. Other species, from monarch butterflies and river otters, to endangered Delmarva fox squirrels and Asian sika elks, can be viewed on Blackwater’s Wildlife Drive from the comfort and privacy of a car or your trusty RV. For quiet walks into the nooks and crannies of the refuge, designated foot trails help visitors trace the course of the Blackwater and Little Blackwater Rivers or meander with local critters through pine and hardwood forests.
In Berlin, off Maryland’s sandy southeastern coast, Assateague Island National Seashore is a rugged barrier isle where wild horses graze the grass and the Atlantic Ocean rumbles. The marshes of Chincoteague Bay form the park’s western border and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is immediately south of Assateague, below the island’s Virginia border. The free-roaming herd of wild horses is a prominent feature of the Assateague scene. These shaggy, doe-eyed creatures wander at will into the salt marsh, around parking lots, along roads and onto ocean beaches. Visitors can, and should, explore more than 30 miles of coastline, paddle a canoe, go surf fishing, hike the nature trails, or pedal around the island on paved bike paths. Be sure to book Maryland campgrounds and Maryland RV camping resorts in advance, because this little state is well traveled!