Incorporating everything from the Appalachian Mountains, and Chesapeake Bay, to the lush wetlands, and beautiful Atlantic beaches that line the east coast; for residents of major centers like Ocean City, there are plenty of places they can head to when they want to chill out.
Within Maryland, some 53 areas are designated as State Parks. Which collectively provide excellent opportunities for outdoor pursuits like hiking, biking, fishing, swimming and a host of water based recreational activities.
Whilst some of them could easily be visited as day trip destinations, many of them require you to stay overnight, either at onsite camping, or hotel accommodation located close by.
If you do live in Ocean City and are thinking of having a nature getaway for the weekend or a longer period of time, below is a selection of some of the best state parks you could visit.
Map of State Parks Near Ocean City MD
Here is a map of the Maryland state parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Ocean City
Located throughout Maryland, these five fantastic state parks near Ocean City are all fabulous places to visit. If you want to reconnect with nature, you would be well advised to check them all out.
1. Susquehanna State Park
Nestled along the magnificent Susquehanna River valley, the Susquehanna State Park is one of the most popular parks in Maryland for mountain biking.
Known for its fabulous trails which lead you through a rocky terrain of thick forest, the park is situated a 2 hour and 30 minute drive north of Ocean City.
If you love history you will surely enjoy the working gristmill and old style buildings at the restored Rock Red Historic area that can be found within the park. While activities like boating, kayaking, paddleboarding and canoeing are also popular on the river. As is fishing for pike, bass and perch, all of which can be caught in abundance.
For those looking to camp, the park has a decent family-friendly campground that has traditional campsites, cabins and other facilities.
2. Assateague State Park
A lot closer to home, just 15 minutes south of Ocean City lies Assateague State Park.
Located on Assateague Island, this picturesque barrier island is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by beautiful Sinepuxent Bay.
As Maryland’s only oceanfront park, this 2 mile stretch of pristine beach offers fantastic options for sunbathing, beach walking, beachcombing, surfing and fishing.
Furthermore it’s bayside gives visitors the opportunity to explore some of the secluded coves that are dotted around the area by kayak or canoe. While those into wildlife you will want to check out the marsh area where the likes of deer, feral horses and waterfowl roam freely.
The camping options are huge at this park, with some 342 sites available. Many have electric hook-ups, whilst all of them have their own picnic table and fire ring.
3. Gambrill State Park
Location: 8602 Gambrill Park Rd, Frederick, MD 21702
Situated on the ridge of the stunning Catoctin Mountains, about a 3 hour and 15 minute drive west from Ocean City, Gambrill State Park is a mecca for those who love trails.
With more than 16 miles of trails designated for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking there is plenty to explore here. So it is well worth coming for at least a couple of days.
The park is actually separated into two main areas, the Rock Run area and the 1600-foot High Knob area. The latter of which takes you to three stone lookouts that showcase sensational views of the Shenandoah Mountains and Frederick and Middletown Valleys.
Over at the Rock Run area you will find a family-style campground that is very cozy. Offering 13 basic sites, as well 9 tent sites, and 6 with electric hookup, there is also a dump station for potable water and sewage. In addition there is a bathhouse with flush-toilets and hot showers, as well as a small pond for fishing.
4. Greenbrier State Park
Location: 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713
Nestled within the Appalachian Mountains, Greenbrier State Park provides a splendid place for residents of Ocean City to escape to when they want to reconnect with nature.
A multi-use park which can be reached via a 3 hour and 30 minute drive north west from the city, two of the main attractions here are the magnificent white sandy beach, and a 42-acre man-made freshwater lake.
A very popular spot for all manner of water based activities like swimming, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, paddleboarding and jet-skiing, there are also a number of picturesque picnic spots and gazebos in the area too.
Hikers will love the 11 miles of trails that wind its way through areas of rocky outcrops and wildlife habitats. They will even get the opportunity to walk a bit of the Appalachian Trail which enters towards the eastern edge of the park.
Set within a forested terrain, the park accommodates 164 campsites across a number of camping loops – two of which are pet-friendly.
5. Tuckahoe State Park
Situated about a 90 minute drive north west from Ocean City, Tuckahoe State Park is a great park to visit with the family.
Offering something for everyone, there are over 20 miles of scenic trails which can be explored on foot, bike or horseback. In addition the 60-acre lake is great for swimming in the summer, as well as boating and fishing.
Another lovely spot for picnicking, the park also has an enchanting terrain of wooded marshlands and a gentle stream which makes for splendid photo opportunities. While kids will enjoy the playground made out of recycled tires.
With 54 sites available in the family camping area, of which 33 have electric hookups, there are good accommodation options here. Each one has a camping pad, fire ring and picnic table. Whilst there is also a bathhouse with toilet and shower facilities.