What to do in Savage River State Forest

Savage River State Forest is located in the Western Travel Region encompassing 52,812 acres of forest, fields, streams, and wildlife. Approximately 10,000 acres have been designated "wildlands." Within the forest lies two beautiful wooded state parks, Big Run and New Germany, each a destination by themselves. Also, completely encircled by more than 700 acres of the forest on a 42-acre private parcel, is the Savage River Lodge. This unique lodge and cabin facility is designed to compliment the forest by offering contemporary comforts that include luxurious accommodations, guide services and gourmet country meals that appeal to both the individual and the corporate visitor.

Each season in the forest has its bevy of rewards. Summers can be hot and humid or refreshingly cool. Winters are oftentimes greeted with gusts of plunging temperatures or pleasant light snowfalls. Autumn ushers in brilliant fall foliage or cold rains while spring welcomes the visitor with her warm beams of sunlight and tender colorful blooms.

Wildlife in the forest is just as diverse. Bobcat, raccoon, white-tailed deer, black bear, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, a plethora of songbirds, and an array of amphibians and reptiles flourish throughout the area.

Set amid the Allegheny Plateau, this mountainous state forest offers a variety of recreations which are exemplified at the two state parks resting within its boundaries: Big Run and New Germany State Parks. Hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling and off-road-vehicle use are probably the most pursued recreations. Hunting, fishing and paddling run a close second.

Several of the most popular trails include Big Savage Mountain, a 17-mile day or backpacking trip; Negro Mountain, an 8-mile mountain bike path beginning along Bowman Hill Road; Meadow Mountain, an 11-mile motorized vehicle route; Margroff Plantation Trail, a 7.5-mile foot and bike route located east of Accident, MD; and Monroe Run Trail, a footpath along the Solomon and Middle Ridges. Many of these trails are open to snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. The state forest headquarters, located on Headquarters Road just south of Interstate 68 at exit 22, provides colored maps of each trail.

Enjoying the plant life comes as second nature to the outdoor enthusiasts. The state forest is comprised of hemlocks, hickories, oaks, beech, poplars, black cherry and more. Pink azaleas and rhododendron provide a colorful understory.

The Savage River Reservoir is a haven for anglers. Catches include large and smallmouth bass, walleye, black crappie, bluegill, and several species of trout found in the watershed.

Skilled canoeists and kayakers find thrills amid the flood-controlled Savage River which drops 85 feet per mile. When the dam waters open, water flushes 1,000 cubic feet per second. The area plays hosts to whitewater challenges and championships.

A unique feature of Savage River State Forest is the Savage River Lodge. The privately owned facility is perfect for those looking for a comfortable forest experience. The spacious rustic lodge, 18 luxurious cabins, full-service restaurant, exceptional meeting facilities, bar, library, guide services and much more are found nestled amid 42 acres totally surrounded by Savage River State Forest. And with the forest just footsteps away, a rich array of recreation awaits the outdoor enthusiast. After a day of native brook trout fishing, mountain biking, hiking, or cross-country skiing, what could be better then to settle in next to a crackling fire with a nature book from the library or relax at the bar with one of the Lodge's own brews or perhaps experience their wraparound porch that overlooks the manicured lawn. Each day gourmet country meals are prepared often over woodburning stoves that are within the visitor's eyeshot. The Lodge specializes in personal service geared for the individual or corporate gathering. A pet-friendly environment and ADA accessible facilities welcomes all to enjoy a truly unexpected nature experience found within an easy drive from Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, Maryland. Details about Savage River Lodge may be obtained by calling 301-689-3200.

Hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, off-road-vehicular use, cross-country skiing, whitewater paddling, nature study, primitive camping, and fishing are a sampling of recreations enjoyed at Savage River State Forest.

Maryland's largest state forest is located in the Western Travel Region in Garrett and Allegany counties. The Savage River office is accessible from Interstate 68, exit 22. (Approximately 12 miles west of Frostburg, MD.)

Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.

349 Headquarters Lane
Grantsville, MD 21536

Phone: 301-895-5759

  • Savage River State Forest Travel Q&A