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The 5 Best State Parks in Maryland

Here's what you need to know...
  • Maryland has 52 state parks that are designed to protect natural areas while giving visitors a place to enjoy nature
  • Each park has unique features, attractions, and amenities for you to enjoy
  • Whether you are planning a road trip with family or friends, visiting state parks is a wonderful idea
While Maryland is one of the smaller states in the country, it is nonetheless filled with incredible natural beauty that you can enjoy with a fun-filled road trip to state parks. In fact, there are 52 state parks that are located in almost every county in Maryland, and this means that you can easily find a conveniently located park to explore regardless of which area of the state you happen to be in.

Make sure you are covered when traveling you are covered. Compare rates with our free comparison tool above today! 

What State Parks Offer

AdobeStock_62273613-1600x1600If you have never visited a state park, you may be wondering what the appeal of these natural areas is. State parks are often formed in historically significant locations, so they provide you with a great opportunity to learn more about the state’s rich history.

They also protect beautiful natural landscapes and fragile ecosystems, so they are ideal destinations to learn more about nature and wildlife. Whether you are looking for a place to go for solitary relaxation or to enjoy fun-filled times with family and friends, visiting a Maryland state park is a wonderful idea.

The 5 Best State Parks in Maryland

#1 – Assateague State Park

Area: 855 acres

Established: 1956

Highlight: Wild horses, coastal landscape

Situated in Worcester County, Assateague State Park is the only coastal state park in Maryland. It is located on a barrier island on the far eastern end of the state, and it is home to an abundant range of wildlife. This includes wild horses, birds, and deer.

While you can camp at one of the park’s 350 designated campsites, you can also swim, hunt, fish, hike, kayak, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The day use fee is $4 per person for in-state residents and $6 per person for out-of-state visitors during the summer season. A per-vehicle rate is charged the remainder of the year.

Because this is such a popular state park, it may fill to capacity. When this happens, no additional visitors will be allowed to enter the park until other visitors leave.

#2 – Seneca Creek State Park

Area: 6,313 acres

Established: 1960s

Highlight: Clopper Lake, Seneca Creek, hiking trails

If you are looking for a peaceful and serene experience outdoors, a visit to Seneca Creek State Park is a wonderful option to consider. This state park is located in the western region of the state along the beautiful Seneca Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River.

At Seneca Creek State Park, you can enjoy hiking along more than 50 miles of trails, fishing in the creek and lake, horseback riding, boating, and more. Seasonally, the park hosts the Winter Lights Festival that is a local family tradition for many residents.

The day use fee for residents between the months of April and October is $3 per person, and there is no charge the remainder of the year. Non-residents will pay an additional $2 per person for day use.

#3 – Calvert Cliffs State Park

Area: 1,311 acres

Established: 1960s

Highlight: The Chesapeake Bay, geological attractions

Calvert Cliffs State Park is notably located along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, and this cliff region is well-known for its geological significance. When you visit the park, you can hunt for fossils and rocks on the beach, but the cliffs are not accessible to limit erosion.

Fossils of shark teeth, as well as prehistoric ancestors of baleen whales and other fish, have been found in the area over the years.

Hunting for turkey and deer, hiking, bird watching, and rock collecting are popular activities at this state park. The year-round day use fee for the park is $5 per vehicle for in-state residents and $7 per vehicle for non-residents.

#4 – South Mountain State Park

Area: 7,303 acres

Established: 1984

Highlight: Appalachian Trail, South Mountain Battlefield

South Mountain State Park is located in the northern region of the state in Frederick and Washington counties. This is a huge protected area that also is connected to other areas, such as Gathland State Park, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, and several others.

Here, you will find heavily forested lands with rolling hills, cliffs, and several notable scenic overlooks. A portion of the famous Appalachian Trail runs through the park, and you can also learn more about the Civil War by visiting the onsite South Mountain Battlefield area.

Hunting, archery, camping, and wildlife viewing are also popular activities here. Day use fees vary by season; contact the park for details.

#5 – Sandy Point State Park

Area: 786

Established: 1952

Highlight: The Chesapeake Bay, Sandy Point Farmhouse, Sandy Point Shoal Light

Sandy Point State Park is the second most visited park in Maryland, behind Assateague State Park. While smaller in size than many other parks, this park attracts more than one million visitors per year. Many visitors love to go crabbing as well as to swim and sunbathe on the beach.

Picnicking, boating, and other related activities are also great options to consider. Fishing can be enjoyed from the land or by renting a boat on site. Day use fees vary by season as well as on specific holiday weekends. In addition, the park may reach capacity at times, and entrance will be limited when this happens.

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Driving Safely in State Parks

The last thing that you may want to think about when you are planning a road trip to tour some of the most popular state parks in Maryland is getting into a car accident.

However, this is a very real possibility, and you need to ensure that you have the right coverage in place before you start driving through Maryland.

While there are minimum state requirements for coverage, you may also purchase optional coverage or increase your limits for added benefit.

Review your auto insurance every six months to confirm that your existing policy meets your needs. This is also a great time to request at least three to four quotes from car insurance companies. By taking this step, you may be able to reduce your premium while still benefiting from the coverage you need.

– Put an Emergency Kit in Your Car

Just as there is a possibility that you could be involved in an accident, there are also possibilities of injuries, vehicle breakdowns, and other issues.

You need to be fully prepared for any situation that develops, and one of the best steps that you can take to ensure that this happens is to pack an emergency kit.

An emergency kit will have everything you need to stay safe and healthy while on the road as well as while you are visiting state parks. Some of the more common items that you should pack include:

  • Non-perishable foods
  • Water
  • Blankets
  • First aid kit
  • A simple toolkit

Car Insurance for Driving Through State Parks

You may be wondering what type of car insurance coverage you should have. There are several coverage options to consider:

  • Liability Coverage – Liability coverage must comply with the state’s minimum requirements. This coverage pays for the expenses related to property damage and bodily injury that you cause to others while driving. It does not pay for your own medical bills or vehicle repairs.
  • Collision Coverage – Collision coverage pays for your own vehicle repair bills, but it only covers damages caused by a car accident. Many drivers will combine this with liability coverage for more complete benefits.
  • Comprehensive Coverage – Comprehensive coverage pays for your own vehicle repair bills related to a collision, theft, weather-related damage, and many other events. This may be used in combination with liability coverage as well.
  • Personal Injury Coverage – Some drivers will purchase additional personal injury coverage. Your health insurance policy may pay for some of your medical expenses if you are injured in an accident, but personal injury coverage will pay for additional expenses to reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

– How to Comparison Shop

You can have a car accident at any time and in any location. Damage may also be caused by running into wildlife on the road, from severe weather, and more.

With this in mind, it is important to review and update your coverage as needed before you start your road trip to visit state parks in Maryland. Comparison shopping is easy to do when you complete the task online.

Simply choose the coverage types and limits that you want before you begin. Then, use the Internet to research providers and to request quotes from the top car insurance companies. This entire process may be completed within a few hours or less, and it will ensure that you are fully protected while traveling on Maryland roads.

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