Maryland stretches from the Appalachian Mountains in the west to the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Pack your camping gear, saddle up or prepare a picnic feast for an inexpensive, romantic getaway.
Maryland’s Wild West
Sunbathe on the beach at Deep Creek Lake State Park or hike into the forest for a secluded getaway at Garrett State Forest. Both parks have low camping fees. If you don’t own camping gear, Deep Creek has lean-tos, small cabins and a yurt. Hiking trails meander through both parks, and Deep Creek Lake has a boat launch.
Let the Wind Blow Through Your Hair
If riding a horse on a remote, wild ocean beach puts you in the mood, head to Assateague Island National Seashore between October 9 and May 15. The National Park Service site has two reasonably-priced horse camps for overnight stays. If you’re horseless, you can set up your gear at one of the private, walk-in campsites on the windy beach. Wild ponies populate the island’s windswept interior, but they’re not for riding.
“184 Miles of Adventure”
A favorite of hikers, cyclists and horseback riders, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath runs through or near several small towns with bed and breakfasts or inexpensive motels. The C&O Canal Trust offers accommodations in historic lockhouses along the Canal. The lockhouses have varying amenities and some are very rustic, but all are directly on the Canal and near the Potomac River, where you can have a private picnic or cast your fishing line.