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The 4 Best National Parks In Maryland + Visiting Guide

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The Best national parks in Maryland. Maryland is bursting with beautiful national parks: but here I will highlight the best of the best! Keep reading to discover the best national parks in Maryland that tick every box.

What is a national park?

national parks in Maryland

First of all, what is a national park? A national park is an area protected due to its cultural heritage, unique natural landscapes and diversifying wildlife. National parks aim to protect and preserve these sites to prevent from environmental damage, whilst also allowing them to be enjoyed and explored by the public. Local economies benefit heavily from national parks as they act as a big tourist attraction, meaning there are not only environmental benefits, but also economic benefits.

The ‘National park service‘ manages 423 national parks across America, in aims of conserving the ‘natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations’.

Why visit the national parks in Maryland?

The national parks in Maryland each boat unique experiences. You will find Civil war history, unforgettable hikes, stunning bay views and amazing natural wildlife. Each park uncovers a new journey, so why not go out and explore it?

national parks in Maryland

How many national parks in Maryland are there?

How many national parks in Maryland are there? Maryland is home to 18 national parks according to the US national park service. So you aren’t short for options when seeking for national parks! However if you want to find out the best 4 national parks in Maryland, keep reading…

The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Maryland

What is the best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Maryland? If you’re not sure on where to stay within a good location to your destination then keep reading. Here I will recommend the best quality, best priced and overall most conveniently located accommodations to the national parks in Maryland.

The Inn at Chesapeake bay

The Inn at Chesapeake bay is located just a half an hour walk from Chesapeake national park. The inn is beautifully located, boasting amazing facilities including a swimming pool, spa, facial treatments and more, making it a perfect wellness tourism accommodation. The interior is just as beautiful as the exterior with a cosy, modern and polished furnishing. Click here to find out more.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott Alexandria Fort Belvoir

TownePlace suites is one of the most closely located accommodations to Piscataway park. The suite has great facilities including a swimming pool, picnic area and BBQ, perfect for those summer evenings. After exploring a day at Piscataway park, take a dip in the pool and rewind in the luxury beds. Click here to find out more.

Pet friendly family home

Pet friendly family home is just a 15 minute drive from Chesapeake bay. The holiday home is spacious and filled with natural light with a cool toned furnishing. The home boasts great facilities with 4 bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, living area, and garden. This is a great choice for families travelling together due to the size and convenience of the accommodation, so what are you waiting for? Explore the national parks in Maryland whilst staying at this beautiful accommodation. Click here to find out more.

Adorable Beach Cottage with Hot Tub and Tiki Bar

This beach cottage is located amazingly, situated directly on Chesapeake beach! The accommodation has a natural and beachy interior to suit the surrounding area, and get you in the summer mood! The garden features a jacuzzi, sun loungers, outdoor dining tables, a seating area and BBQ, so you can make the most of the great outdoors. Every room is fully equipped, and there is free WIFI throughout. Click here to find out more.

Essential packing list when visiting the national parks in Maryland

national parks in Maryland

What are the essentials to bring on a trip to the national parks in Maryland? Here is an essential list to make packing easier!

Hydration backpack

A hydration backpack is perfect for hikes and trips around a national park. What is a hydration backpack? It’s a backpack with water bottles at each side with a long straw to drink from, so you can drink on the go! Definitely invest in one of these if you’re visiting in summer or going on a long hike. I recommend the KUYOU hydration backpack, due to its 2L capacity and low price!

Insect repellent bracelet

Insect repellent bracelets are super convenient for kids and adults, no need to bring bug spray or lotions that could easily be lost or leak in your bag. Choose your favourite colour and you’re good to go against pesky bugs! These insect repellent bracelets last 300 hours and come in a pack of 12, great for protection at all times of your trip.

Hiking sandals

If you’re visiting the national parks in Maryland in the summer months, Hiking sandals may be your go-to option!

For men: The GRITION hiking sandals offer breathability as well as foot protection, to keep you cool and at your best hiking ability.

For women: The Kahuna Lii sandals are lightweight, easy to adjust and protect the feet so you can perform at your best.

SPF 50

Whist exploring the great outdoors all day, it’s important to stay protected. SPF 50 is essential for maximum protection. I recommend Sekoa spf! It applies easily, as well as being vegan and water resistant.

The best national parks in Maryland

So what are the best national parks in Maryland? Here is a selection of the best national parks in Maryland, whether their landscapes are stunning, their history is rich or their wildlife is unique, expect to find it all. Keep reading to find out more…

Chesapeake Bay

national parks in Maryland

Chesapeake Bay is known as an American ‘national treasure‘, of course making it one of the best national parks in Maryland. It’s the largest estuary in North America, so its set apart as a unique natural beauty! It’s home to thousands of species of plant and animal, including striped bass, blue crab and mute swans. The estuary has a diverse ecosystem stretching 64,000 square miles where many activities are on offer.

On land you can wander through many trails and tours. One of the best trails is the Potomac heritage national scenic trail. The trail links the Potomac and the upper Ohio river basins, following the paths explored by George Washington, so you get a dose of history as well as beauty. It’s all about experiencing the natural world around you, and this becomes apparent when the landscape diversifies as you continue your trail.

On river you can find the 28 different water trails to explore different sections of the bay by boat, but make sure to keep safe! One of the trails includes the Maury river trail, from Cedar grove to James river over a 42 mile length. It’s said to be one of the most stunning white rivers in Virginia. So whether you decide to explore Chesapeake bay on land or on river, there’s plenty of history and natural beauty to discover!

Antietam national battlefield

national parks in Maryland

Antietam national battlefield is one of the best national parks in Maryland for American history. It’s the site of The battle of Antietam, which took place on the 17th September 1862, remaining one of the deadliest one day battles in American history. Today the site exploits the history behind the battle. You can visit the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, which served as the headquarters to the Union commander during battle. Inside you can find a recreated operating theatre and discover the significance of the hospital and medical practises taken at this time.

Piscataway park

national parks in Maryland

Piscataway park is famous for its beautiful wildlife, but above else it is the most culturally rich national park in Maryland. Piscataway park once was, and still is home to the ‘Piscataway people‘. The homeland was first found on the map in 1608, but the community was officially made in 1798. These groups still live as part of the Piscataway people 400 years on, said to be one of the oldest communities in the nation.

Their are set Piscataway values that are especially important to the park, these are:

  • generosity
  • sharing
  • reciprocity
  • respect
  • stewardship

The park works on conserving the environment as well as the habitats on site. The site closely monitors the Eastern bluebird, as their habitats have declined in recent years after the trees in which they once inhabited have been chopped down. Despite this, wildlife still thrives, and there is 200 acres of wildlife to discover, with several trails and activities to engage in. You can take a farm tour, or even a fairy trail! Visit the barnyard where rare species lie, or take a self guided tour by picking up an adventure pack.


national parks in Maryland

Greenbelt is a woodland national park, just 12 miles from Americas state capital. This national park has 172 camp sites on its grounds! Greenbelt is one of the best national parks in Maryland due to its size and seclusion. It’s a peaceful haven to camp or explore with friends or family. There is also 9 miles of trail located on the site, so you can go for a day trip and hike if camping isn’t your thing. Either way it’s worth a visit: Greenbelts tranquil atmosphere will have you feeling at one with nature!

Best National Parks In Maryland- further reading

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