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historic barn in a state park near hagerstown marylandIf you have ever visited a state park in Maryland you will already have an inkling as to why the National Geographic Magazine called it ‘America in Miniature’.

Boasting a topography that includes everything from the magnificent Chesapeake Bay and breathtaking Appalachian Mountain, to the stunning coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, and the verdant marshlands on the Eastern Shore, Maryland has a diverse landscape that is best explored via its 53 state parks.

If you live in or around the historic Civil War town of Hagerstown in Washington County, all of these state parks provide you with plenty of opportunities to enjoy this extraordinary terrain in a number of ways. This includes hiking, biking, swimming, horseback riding, boating and camping.

Should you be in mind to visit any of them, below is a list of 5 state parks near Hagerstown which are well worth checking out.

Map of State Parks Near Hagerstown, MD

Here is a map of the state parks in Maryland covered by this post:

List of State Parks Near Hagerstown

All of the five state parks near Hagerstown outlined below provide a range of camping and overnight accommodation options. They can also all be accessed via a straightforward drive of up to 3.5 hours from the city. Which makes them wonderful day trip destinations too.

1. Rocky Gap State Park

colorful sunset at a state park near hagerstown marylandLocation: 12900 Lake Shore Dr, Flintstone, MD 21530

Situated just an hour’s drive west from Hagerstown, the Rocky Gap State Park is a 3,000 acre playground for those who love outdoor recreational pursuits.

Framed by rugged mountains that surround the park, one of the main highlights here is the 243-acre Lake Habeeb which is notable for having the ‘bluest water in Maryland’.

A wonderful destination for kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and fishing, the park is also an excellent destination for hiking. With trails leading you through a scenic mile long gorge that features imposing sheer cliffs, as well as beautiful hemlock forests that are carpeted with mountain laurel and rhododendron. There is also a private swimming beach to enjoy, as well as a nature center and playground too.

For those who want to really explore the park, there are 278 individual campsites here, including 30 that are equipped with 30 amp electric hook-ups. There are also yurt and mini cabin options too as well as two youth group camping areas and a family group site.

2. Cunningham Falls State Park

Location: 14039 Catoctin Hollow Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788

Nestled within the picturesque Catoctin Mountains, just a 25 minute drive east from Hagerstown, Cunningham Falls State Park is actually located within two completely separate, yet very unique areas.

The William Houck Area, which is situated three miles west of the town of Thurmont, features a stunning lake area, as well as waterfalls which are excellent places to hike, swim, canoe and fish. Whilst the spectacular Manor Area, which lies three miles south of Thurmont, boasts the Scales and Tales Aviary, as well as the historic Catoctin Iron Furnace.

Between them, both pet-friendly campsites have 137 basic sites and 46 electric sites, as well as central bathhouses with hot showers and flushing toilets, freshwater fill up and a dump station.

3. Gambrill State Park

Location: 8602 Gambrill Park Rd, Frederick, MD 21702

Gambrill State Park is another park that is close to Hagerstown.
Reached via a 25 minute drive southeast, this stunning mountain park is nestled on the ridge of the impressive Catoctin Mountain range.

One of its main highlights is the 16 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails it possesses, which is popular all year round.
Gambrill is another park that is separated into two areas, notably the Rock Run area and the High Knob area.

Around the 1600-foot High Knob, three stone lookout points offer jaw dropping views of both the Frederick and Middletown Valleys, as well as the northern reaches of the Shenandoah Mountains.

The Rock Run area accommodates a small family-orientated campground with 13 basic sites, 9 tent-only sites and 6 sites with electric hookup. It also has a lovely a picnic area and a quaint pond which is ideal for fishing.

4. Wolf Den Run State Park

Location: 890 N Hill Rd, Kitzmiller, MD 21538

Located a 2 hour drive west from Hagerstown, the Wolf Den Run State Park is a picturesque 2039 acre park that is a haven for those who enjoy hiking, biking, hunting, birdwatching, and ORV riding. The latter of which incorporates the largest collection of ORV trails in the state.

Protecting significant areas of sensitive wetland ecosystems within the Huckleberry Rocks area, in addition to three miles of access to the Potomac river, the park is also a very popular spot for cold water trout fishing.

The campground here features 10 primitive campsites, so is probably not the best for first time campers. They do have a fire ring and picnic tables here, but as the area is undeveloped, it does not have a bathhouse or running water.

For toilet needs, a porta pot is available though, but bring your camping generator if you need electricity.

5. Assateague State Park

Location: 6915 Stephen Decatur Hwy, Berlin, MD 21811

At 3 hours 30 minutes south east of Hagerstown, the Assateague State Park is the furthest park away from the city on this list.

Located on Assateague Island, it is also Maryland’s only oceanfront park too, which means it is a fabulous place to go swimming, beach walking, sunbathing, beach combing or surfing.

A scenic barrier island, this largely undeveloped region is bordered by the Sinepuxent Bay on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east.

Comprising of two miles of pristine ocean beach, the area is also renowned for the magnificent wild Chincoteague Ponies that freely roams its sands.

It also boasts an historic lighthouse that was built in 1867, which you can climb too for sensational panoramic views. While there are also a number of isolated and secluded coves you can explore by canoe or kayak as well.

Offering some 342 campsites, each of which comes with a fire ring and picnic table, there are plenty of overnight accommodation options here too.