If you’re looking for a new adventure, Maryland is the place to be!
It has a treasure trove of national parks that are perfect for any traveler looking to experience the beauty of America’s countryside.
There are so many things to do in Maryland. From hiking and kayaking to biking and bird watching, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for adventure then look no further than these destinations that will keep your heart racing with excitement! There are many different things to do outside. Fishing and bird watching are two examples. We made this list of 15 national parks that will make your trip really worthwhile.
1. Antietam National Battlefield
The Antietam National Battlefield is a very important park in the USA. People go there to see an important battle that happened there. This battle was one of the most important and it also had a lot of fighting.
On September 17, 1862, a new era in United States Military strategy was born. On that day, President Abraham Lincoln became an unbeatable presidential candidate.
Pets: Pets are not allowed to roam freely in the park. So make sure they’re always on a leash. But you still need to clean up after them when they go potty!
Camping: The Rohrbach Campground is for people to camp. It is in Antietam National Battlefield. This battlefield was one of the worst battles in American history!
Tours: If you go on a self-guided hike, you can see landmarks that were used in the Civil War. These landmarks are important to understanding the history of this area. You can learn about Newcomer House and the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area Exhibit & Visitor Center in Maryland Heights.
Entrance Fee: You can enter the Antietam National Battlefield for only $15. You might want to buy an Annual Pass, which is only $30 and you can come as much as you want.
2. Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Island is near the ocean. The island is protected by sand dunes and pine forest. You can walk on the dunes, or you can walk in the marshland where there are no trees but instead migratory seabirds and bald eagles.
Nearby Toms Cove has a lighthouse. It is old and it still works. Animals gather near the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Here, wild Chincoteague ponies, bald eagles, and migratory seabirds live!
Pets: Pets are allowed at certain times in the National Park. They should stay on a leash and not go to Virginia because they would have to deal with more cars and unfamiliar animals.
Camping: Camping at Assateague Island National Seashore is fun. People can enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the place while they are camping. You can camp in two parks near to each other.
Tours: There are beaches in Maryland and Virginia where you can launch a kayak or canoe. Collect shells, but only one gallon of shells. Catch crabs or clams there too! You can go surfing if the waves get high enough. The beaches are protected by lifeguards during the summer!
Entrance Fee: The National Park Service has changed the fee to enter Assateague Island’s national seashore. They now charge $20 per vehicle and an additional $40 for a park-specific annual pass.
3. Catoctin Mountain Park
Catoctin Mountain is a natural treasure that many people have enjoyed over time. Catoctin Mountain, along with the geologically associated Bull Run Mountains, form one of America’s easternmost mountain ranges-the Blue Ridge. These are in turn part of what we know as the Appalachian range. This makes for some great hiking adventures!
There are many trails to explore in this park. It also has beautiful views that you can see from the top of some hills.
Pets: Pets are allowed in Catoctin Mountain Park, but they need to be on a leash. The leash can’t be longer than six feet. They also need to stay inside the park.
Camping: Camping in Catoctin Mountain Park is a good way to make friends with the trees and enjoy some peace of mind on vacation.
The Park is a great place to have an adventure. You can go on hikes and explore nature. The park also has places for picnics, games, swimming, and more.
Tours: The park is a great place to go and have fun. You can hike, fish, or ride on a horse. There are many other things you can do there too.
Entrance Fee: Catoctin Mountain Park does not charge an entrance fee at the moment.
4. C & O Canal National Historical Park
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is a park in Washington, D.C. It was built to transport goods between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, which is near Baltimore. The canal was built in 1831.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower created this National Monument to preserve these historical sites and buildings. It has taken 3 years to build this. Now it is done.
Pets: The C&O Canal is a national park that people can bring their dogs to. However, there are some places where dogs cannot go. They cannot walk on the trail section A or over The Great Falls overlook and down to Mather Point trailhead.
Camping: Camping near the C&O Canal is free and you can go there by yourself. Spend your next vacation camping under the stars by experiencing nature’s most perfect ambiance for relaxation–a national historical site!
Tour: The Park has many activities for people to do. These include boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and even things like snowshoeing or cross country skiing in the winter!
Entrance Fee: The C&O Canal Park is a great place to spend time with the family. You can go kayaking, fishing, and hiking there. It is open during daylight hours for $20 per vehicle or walk-in visitors at $10 each day!
5. Clara Barton National Historic Site
The Clara Barton National Historic Site is a place that can inspire anyone. The museum itself was created to celebrate the life of this amazing woman, who did so much for our country and its citizens. This woman was a teacher in Massachusetts and she went to North Carolina with Dr. Jacob Bigelow to help people heal. She never stopped doing this until she died at 88 years old!
The park has two sites. One is a small house where Ms. Barton lived until she died in 1912. The other site lets you see the nearby fields and forests where there are trails to walk on that offer information about the things around you.
Pets: Dogs are allowed in most external areas of Clara Barton National Historic Site, but they must be restrained or leashed at all times. If there is a parking lot or picnic area where people go, the dog has to either wear a collar with tags or be on a leash. If you walk your dog near those places – pick up after
Camping: Camping is not allowed at the Clara Barton National Historic Site. But you can reserve a space in this campground that is nearby.
Tours: NPS Rangers will take you on a tour of the Clara Barton National Historic Site at 11:00 am and Noon. The tour is for 40 people each hour.
Entrance Fee: You can visit our historic building and it is free. Twice a year, we host the Lamplight Open House Program as well. This includes tours of the historic building as well as hands-on activities such as pottery making or button carving for children.
6. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Fort McHenry was the only place in Baltimore harbor that could withstand a British bombardment. It is an American icon because it survived Napoleon’s artillery fire for five days.
The Fort has been protecting America since 1814 withstanding many bombardments from foreign enemies like Napolean himself!
Pets: Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a pet-friendly park. Dogs are allowed if they are supervised. Leaving your dog in the hot car can get you in trouble with the law, so be careful!
Camping: The park does not offer any type of place to sleep. It’s only for people who want to walk and explore nature.
Tours: Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine offer two different tours, one for people who want to walk around and explore. People can go on a self-guided tour or take a virtual tour. There is beautiful scenery in the park where you can go walking, which is good exercise. There are also places to picnic with your family!
Entrance Fee: $15.00 for people 16 years and older, kids 15 and under get in for free! This fee pays for 7 days where you can explore this site that has been designated as one of America’s National Parks by Congress because it played an important role in American history.
7. Fort Washington Park
Fort Washington is a defensive structure that protects D.C. It was built in 1809, but three years later it had its name changed because the United States and England were at war with each other again.
It became known as the “old post” around 1908. It defended our nation’s capital for decades and didn’t need to do anything anymore after that.
Pets: Dogs are welcome in all outdoor spaces of Fort Washington Park, including the fortifications. There are a few exceptions where dogs are not allowed including the Visitor Center!
Camping: During the season, you can’t stay at cabins, yurts, or camping cottages if you have a tent, camp trailer, or recreation vehicle.
Tours: The park offers a trail that is 3 miles long. You can walk around the park and look at animals. Birdwatchers like to look for birds in the trees, while fishermen love to catch fish in the river that is nearby.
Entrance Fee: There is a $10 fee for parking or if you are walking, the entrance fee will be only $3.
8. George Washington Memorial Parkway
The George Washington Memorial Parkway, also known as the GW Parkway, is a parkway that is 25 miles long and goes along the south side of the Potomac River. The National Park Service maintains it.
George Washington’s home is in Virginia. It is 25 miles long and it has two main landmarks, Mt. Vernon and Arlington House. Robert E Lee lived there at one point during the Civil War.
Pets: Pets are not allowed inside the George Washington Memorial Parkway. They can be outside as long as they are on a leash and do not bother anyone else.
Camping: The George Washington Memorial Parkway is not a place to sleep for the night. There are no places to sleep there.
Tours: The park has been around for over 100 years and is a great place to explore. Join ranger-led programs for guided walks, talks on the history of Fort Hunt Park or wildlife in the area, plus have access to program guides online with more information about all that’s going on here!
Entrance Fee: It is amazing that you can get into this place for only $5. It is a great place to go and walk around. Then, you will need to take a break by going on hikes in the area!
9. Greenbelt Park
Greenbelt Park is a beautiful, green area. It has trails to explore and places where you can sit quietly in the shade or wander down nature paths.
This place has many artists from the area. They have paintings and other things. There is also a place called The Old Church that was first built by black people. It has paintings too but it is different because people can do different things there, like weddings, baptism and memorial services.
Pets: At Greenbelt Park, you can bring your pet with you. Just make sure that you put a leash on them so they do not get too close to other people or hurt the plants.
Camping: The campground has a lot of places to stay. There are 174 sites and you can use an online system to pay. You will get nice service at the gates when you come into the park.
Tours: The Park is a place that people like to visit. RANGERS offer programs, hikes, camping spots with picnic tables and fireplaces as well as Junior Ranger activities.
Entrance Fee: Greenbelt Park is a place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. You can camp there for $20 per night.
10. Hampton National Historic Site
The Hampton National Historic Site is a place from the 18th century. This property is preserved to show how wealthy families lived. There are different buildings for different purposes like having guests over or showing off expensive items that people brought from other countries.
There is a garden with beautiful views and ponds. There are water lilies in the ponds and behind them are slave quarters. It was there that slaves lived who tended to their master’s lawns and gardens.
Pets: Dogs and cats are welcome at Hampton National Historic Site, but please be mindful of the following rules: pets must remain leashed in all areas; leaving your pet unattended in a vehicle is prohibited.
Camping: Camping is not allowed in the area of Hampton National Historic Site. You should go backpacking or have fun outside the park’s perimeter.
Tours: The inside of the mansion is only accessible for tours. If you have a group of 10 or more people, you can get a reservation to see the inside. Otherwise, there is no way in unless it’s a tour. Tours are offered at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 2 pm.
Entrance fee: Hampton National Historic Park is free. When you visit, you can see beautiful views, ruins from the past, and other cool things. You can also do fun things like go to the beach or play in a park.
11. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
There is a national park in America. It’s 480-acres and it honors Harriet Tubman. She helped free many slaves before America had its first civil war. She was brave and she persevered until slavery was abolished.
The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park protects the places that show how one woman fought against slavery. She was brave, strong, and even resilient. These are all qualities that helped her to become free from slavery!
Pets: Visitors can bring pets with them into the visitor center. But they can’t bring the pets inside.
Camping: Camping is not allowed at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. But there are some campsites nearby if you want to camp!
Tours: Harriet Tubman is a road trip to a museum. The museum is where Harriet Tubman lived when she was free and not enslaved. You can also visit the old plantation that she owned, but could not use because she was enslaved. Along your journey, you’ll find trading cards of black heroes. Collecting them is fun for kids.
Entrance Fee: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park is a free park. It is open every day, except for Christmas Day. From 9 am to 5 pm, it is open and you can visit.
12. Monocacy National Battlefield
Monocacy National Battlefield is a place where soldiers from the North and South fought. They were trying to protect their country, but they were on different sides. The battle happened on July 9th, 1864.
The Great Monacad River straddles the border of Frederick City, MD. 200 years ago, two sides fought to see which side had the best beliefs. One side was fighting for what they believed would make America greater.
Pets: Pets are allowed at Monocacy National Battlefield but they need to be on a leash and under your control while in the park.
Camping: There are no campgrounds that surround the Monocacy National Battlefield. But there are a few parks nearby that have campsites. Two of them are Gambrill State Park and Cunningham Falls State Park.
Tours: Monocacy National Battlefield is a good place to visit. There are lots of things to do there, like the Jr. Ranger Program, Kid’s Corner, and Daily Ranger Programs, as well as hiking trails. Park staff also has many special events that you can enjoy while visiting Monocacy National Battlefield!
Entrance Fee: There are no fees at Monocacy National Battlefield, but they do offer a variety of programs to help make your visit more memorable.
13. Piscataway Park
Piscataway Park is a great place to go for romantic getaways. It has fishing, kayaking, and bird watching activities. There is plenty of parking available so if you don’t have your own car, it will not be a problem.
This is a place where people can explore history from this area. Visitors can see exhibits on archaeology, plantations life in colonial times, and more. Or they may want to relax with a picnic basket full of food that is provided at no extra charge here!
Pets: Your dog is a different creature when they are free to explore the world. They will have fun with you in Piscataway Park!
Camping: Piscataway Park has biking trails. You can go on a bike ride and see beautiful scenery.
Tours: Piscataway Park and Farmington Landing site is a nice place to launch small boats or fish. The boardwalk over the marsh area has many birds that you can watch. Accokeek Creek also has lots of different birds, and you can go fishing in its pond.
Entrance Fee: Piscataway Park is a place with great views. People come from all over to visit and enjoy the scenery. It’s free!
14. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
The Potomac Heritage Trail is a National Scenic Trail. It covers part of the mid-Atlantic and upper southeastern region. Congress made it in 1978 to coordinate efforts between states for this designation.
The Appalachian Trail stretches across parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Washington DC. This trail has been classified as a “National Scenic” since 1978 when it was established by Congress with an Act which created the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which is in charge of managing coordination on behalf of these trails among different government jurisdictions.
Pets: Dogs are not allowed on the Potomac Heritage Trail without a leash and must always be clean. You have to follow all of the state park rules, so it’s best if you brush up before heading out!
Camping: Camping is allowed in Potomac Heritage Trail. You can pitch a tent and sleep near the river. Or you can stay in our cabin to have an unforgettable time with your friends!
Tours: The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Network is a trail system where people can hike, bike, or paddle their way through history. It is in the old stomping grounds of America’s diverse geography.
Entrance Fee: Every year, more than 1 million people come to visit the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. This is a trail that has things like fees and reservations at specific facilities.
15. Thomas Stone National Historic Site
The Thomas Stone National Historic Site is a famous historic site. It’s 25 miles south of Washington D.C., so it’s easy to get there if you live in the area or are visiting. The best part is that it’s beautiful!
You can learn a lot of facts about our house. For example, General George McClellan used it as his headquarters during the Civil War. And many people think that there are ghosts from Revolutionary times still here today!
Pets: Pets cannot come inside the house, or on the porch, or anywhere inside of a cemetery. If you have them with you outside make sure they do not run anywhere and follow all leash laws for their safety.
Camping: There is no camping for tents at Thomas Stone National Historic Site. But there are good places to camp nearby that have cabins, tent sites, and RV resorts.
Tours: At Thomas Stone National Historic Site, you can have a tour of the Stone Family Cemetery Trail, around Brick’s two-story dormer house and Thomas’ House.
Entrance Fee: Thomas Stone National Historic Site is free for people who like nature. The entrance fee is free, so people can come in to see it.
Maryland is a unique place with many things to do. People from other places don’t find it that interesting because they don’t have those same things.
This post talked about some of our favorite spots. We even know that there are more out there. What about you? Tell us your favorite spot and why it is such a great discovery!