Commonly referred to by visitors as one of the state's best-kept secrets, New Germany State Park is a 455-acre emerald gem of the Maryland state park system tucked away in a hemlock forest. Located in the northwestern part of the state, New Germany State Park was initially established by a group of German immigrants in the late 1800s because of the natural beauty that reminded them of home. It is nestled between the massive 2900 foot high Big Savage Mountain and the Continental Divide. In the 1940s, it was also known as The Maryland Alps due to its winter recreation opportunities.
New Germany State Park provides a spectacular backdrop for outdoor activities in all seasons. Ten miles of multi-use trails beckon the camper with promises of space to walk, run, or ride a bike surrounded by forest animals and natural beauty. It isn’t unusual to see deer, squirrels, foxes, great blue herons, barred owls, and black-capped chickadees here. There is even an occasional black bear sighting, so keep your eyes peeled! During the summer months, the 13-acre lake is the place to be. Here you will find a swimming beach, a boat launch for non-motorized boats, and plenty of great fishing spots.
RV camping at New Germany State Park is provided in the form of 48 well-maintained campsites that are suitable for rigs up to 30 feet in length. None of the sites at New Germany State Park have electric, water, or sewer hookups, but if you are looking for a little more luxury, there are also 12 cabins available. Peak season at New Germany State Park runs from April to October.
Traveling to and from New Germany State Park is fairly straightforward, but you should be aware that there is no mobile phone reception once you arrive. Because of this, we recommend that you plan your trip well in advance so that you are prepared for not being able to connect to the outside world once you get to your camp.
There are many towns and cities within a few hours of the park, so you have plenty of options if you need to pick up any supplies on the way. These include Grantsville (around seven miles away), Frostburg (approximately 15 miles away), and Friendsville (about 23.5 miles away). The closest cities to the park are Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington DC.
The campground loops within the park are easily accessible and provided your RV is 30 feet or under, you should have no trouble getting to your site. During the wintertime, the area has significant snowfall, so if you plan to visit during this time, be prepared for these challenging winter road conditions.
Parking is available at the Ranger Station, the Lake House, the Nature Center, and at the head of the Hemlock Trail. Due to its regional location, there is no public transportation available to and from the park.
For RV lovers, there is one campground available for you to call home when visiting New Germany State Park. The campground is known for having large private sites that are perfect for rigs up 30 feet in length and for the campground amenities being kept in very good condition. There are a total of 48 campsites in the shade of a mountain forest to choose from that are all primitive, with no electrical, water, or sewer hookups available. Along with the camping sites, there is also a central bathhouse with showers and restrooms. Other amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, and a dump station. Pets are also welcome in eight of the sites. There is no phone reception within the campground, so make sure that you are prepared for this before you arrive. Reservations are recommended at New Germany State Park Campground since this is a popular camping destination all year round.
If you would like to experience a different kind of stay at New Germany State Park, there are some superb cabins that you can stay at throughout the year. There are 12 cabins scattered throughout the park that feature varying layouts and amenities, but all of them include bathrooms, electric hookups, kitchens, and a coffeemaker. If you do decide to stay in one of the cabins you will have to bring your own linen, food, soap, and towels, too. For visitors staying in a cabin, there is also a main room that you can use if you want to hang out by a wood stove or play some board or card games. Cabin check-in is at 3 PM, and check-out is by 11 AM. Remember to reserve your chosen cabin before your trip so that you can guarantee that you will be able to enjoy this luxurious accommodation.
For the visitors to New Germany State Park who are looking to learn more about the surrounding nature that encompasses the park, you must check out the Nature Center. Featuring fascinating exhibits, the Nature Center is an ideal place to spend some time on rainy afternoons or when you find yourself intrigued to learn something new. During the summer months, the Nature Center is also the place to be in order to experience some of the ranger-led programs and guest speakers that are offered by the park.
New Germany State Park maintains 10 miles of multi-use trails that are very popular with hikers. Hikers can expect to see a wide variety of birds when out exploring, including great blue heron, barred owls, black-capped chickadee, pileated woodpecker, and an occasional osprey. Forest animals are also plentiful on the hiking trails, and you may get the chance to see squirrels, deer, fox, and sometimes even a black bear! If you would like a physical trail map, you can find one for sale at the park office.
There is no better way to enjoy the hotter days than at the water, so grab your beach towel and sunscreen and head to the lake. On the east side of the lake, the park maintains a beach that is perfect for swimming. Along with the beach, there are also showers and restrooms available at the Lake House for changing and a snack bar for those who are feeling a little peckish. Please note that there are no lifeguards on duty at the park, so swim to your ability.
If you plan on visiting New Germany State Park during the wintertime and you aren't interested in skiing, you should give snowshoeing a try. Snowshoeing began centuries ago as a mode of transportation in winter weather. Today, it is enjoyed by many as an alternative to skiing. New Germany State Park has many miles perfect for exploring in snowshoes, and if you don't own a pair, don't fret as they are available for rent at the lake house.
Maryland is renowned for its winter weather, and many outdoor enthusiasts enjoy nature as much in winter as they do in the warmer months. During snow season, park staff maintains trails in New Germany State Park for a first-class ski experience. The trails offer something for everyone with a flat open space for beginners and more advanced hillside trails for those who crave a more challenging terrain. The park also provides a warming hut in the lake house for winter enthusiasts to rest, warm-up, and relax while grabbing a snack or hot beverage.
The 13-acre lake located in New Germany State Park is the perfect place for anglers to cast out a line and fish all day. The park also provides a boat launch free of charge for non-motorized boats. Largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and trout are species that anglers may expect here. It should be noted that there is a short closure each spring for stocking and that those fishing will need a non-tidal fishing license as well as a trout stamp for trout fishing.