New Germany State Park’s visitors frequently call it a “best kept secret.” This mountain gem is nestled between the 2,900 ft. Big Savage Mountain to the east and the eastern Continental Divide along Meadow Mountain to the west. Named by early settlers due to its resemblance to their homeland, New Germany has diverse forests with ten miles of multi-use trails and a small lake suitable for fishing, swimming, and non-motorized boating. This park is ideal for families and individuals looking to “unplug” from a tech-reliant society and escape from the busy pace of life in cities and suburbs.
Lake Activities -- New Germany’s 13-acre lake is the center of activity in the summer. Boating, fishing and swimming are among the most popular lake activities. During the rest of the year, the peaceful water acts as a mirror for the changing world around it – autumn leaves burst with color, then snow covers the trees until spring flowers dot the landscape.
Boating -- Boats without gasoline motors are permitted on the lake year-round. Kayaks, peddle boats and row boats are available for rental in the late spring to early fall. Please call the park for details. A soft boat ramp is available at no additional charge.
Fishing -- Fishing is permitted with a non-tidal fishing license. Fishermen may find large mouth bass, catfish, bluegill and trout. The lake is lowered in the winter to manage aquatic plant growth and is ready for fishing again by March 1st. There is a brief lake closure each spring when trout stocking begins. A trout stamp is required to possess trout.
Swimming -- Swimming is available in the designated swimming area on the east beach.
Snack Bar/Boat Rental -- Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the snack bar features sodas, hand-dipped ice cream, hot and cold snacks, bait, trail maps and a nice selection of gift and souvenir items. Rowboats, paddleboats and open kayaks are available for rental. Please contact the park for current rates and availability.
Warming Hut -- During the winter months, the lake house warming hut provides a place for winter enthusiasts to relax after a day of playing in the snow. Cross country skis and snow shoes are available for rent. The snack bar features hot and cold drinks, snacks, trail maps and a selection of gift and souvenir items.
Picnicking -- Picnic tables are available throughout the park, on a first-come, first-served basis, or visitors can reserve a covered shelter for a fee.
Nature Center -- The Nature Center is located next to a uniquely diverse natural area of native habitats and wildlife, including a wetland. The Nature Center is dedicated to environmental education for people of all ages. Exhibits are designed to help a variety of audiences gain a better awareness, appreciation, and understanding of natural history, ecological principles, and natural resource management. During the summer, park rangers and naturalists prepare a schedule of programs and activities, including “Campfire” programs that feature guest speakers on a variety of topics from native plants to cultural history.
Trails -- New Germany has ten miles of multi-use trails. The trails wind their way through dense hemlock forest, colorful mixed hardwoods, rhododendron-choked stream valleys and towering pine and spruce plantation sites. Most trails are wide enough for two-way traffic, although several offer a narrower path typical of most hiking trails. Hiking, trail-running and biking are the most popular activities throughout the year. Whether walking along the lake or wetland, or hiking our scenic trails, visitors are sure to have an opportunity to view birds and wildlife. Abundant bird species can be found throughout the area, such as pileated woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees, barred owls, great blue herons and an occasional osprey.
Capture the photo of a lifetime while exploring our majestic forests and wetland. Frequent sightings of deer, squirrels, fox, as well as sightings of black bear, bring visitors delight and a meaningful respect of the environment.
When snow is adequate, the park staff will groom and track the trail surface for skiing. Snowshoeing is permitted but snowshoe users must stay off the ski tracks. Please see our Winter Activities section below for more information on skiing at New Germany.
Note: Motorized vehicles are not permitted on New Germany’s trails.
A trail guide is available for $5 and can be purchased at the park headquarters office.
It's never too late to discover the joys of sitting around a roaring campfire, roasting marshmallows or sleeping under the stars!
With the new OPERATION: CAMPOUT! Program, we can lend you gear free of charge (includes a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and more). This program is designed for military individuals and military families new to camping or experienced campers stationed or recovering in this area. OPERATION: CAMPOUT! is an opportunity for families to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors in a comfortable, safe and relaxing setting.
Campsites have picnic tables and fire pits. Restrooms and shower facilities are nearby.
Contact the park office directly by phone to make your reservation. Be sure to let us know you are reserving through OPERATION: CAMPOUT!
New Germany State Park is pet friendly. The list below provides information on pet designations and rules:
- Pets are allowed in Hemlock camp loop
- Pets are prohibited in cabins, except Cabin #5. Effective 1/1/2013, Cabin #5 is 'Pet-Friendly." If bringing a pet you will need to reserve Cabin #5. There is an additional $25 service charge and a maximum of two pets is permitted.
- Pets are allowed on trails (except ski season)
- Pets are allowed in day-use area and lake (except for sandy portion of swimming beach area)
- Pets must be leashed and attended at all times
- Pet owners must clean up after their pet
- Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed in park buildings or on playgrounds
- Excessive barking is not permitted in any park area, especially during campground "Quiet Hours" ( 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.)
New Germany State Park features three unique shelters available for rental.
Tamarack -- This small shelter can hold 40 guests for your special event. It has electricity, picnic tables, and grills. It is the perfect site for small family reunions and birthday parties.
Tall Oaks -- This large shelter can comfortably seat up to 75 people. It has electricity and a large fireplace, as well as picnic tables. Weddings and family reunions are common here.
Recreation Hall -- Built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s, this building was once alive with piano music, plays, and billiard games. Today the Recreation Hall (Rec Hall) is the site for many reunions, weddings, and other special events. The hall features a prep kitchen, two wood-burning stoves, picnic tables, outdoor grills, and additional chairs. The facility is wheelchair accessible; however, restrooms are located in a separate building.
For a shelter rental, call 1-888-432-CAMP or visit http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us
For current rental rates, visit www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/oc.asp
Lake House -- The New Germany Lake House boasts a magnificent view of the lake through its northeast facing windows. The Lake House features year-round restrooms with shower facilities, a staff office, and the Black Forest Room which houses the New Germany Snack Bar and Gift Shop. For hours of operation please contact the New Germany Ranger Station at 301-895-5453.
Cabin Renovations: Beginning July 15, 2013 through December 31, 2013, some of the cabins at New Germany State Park and Herrington Manor State Park will be closed for planned renovation work. However, due to the nature of the work and that plans are still being developed, interested persons should check back frequently to see if any of the cabins may have been re-opened. Plans may change as to how the cabins will be worked on and/or they may be re-opened once the work has been completed. For additional information call the respective parks, New Germany, 301-895-5453 or Herrington Manor 301-334-9180.
Cabins -- New Germany has eleven full service cabins available for rent year-round. In the main room, guests can sit by the cozy wood stove and enjoy a game of cards at the dining table. Some cabins feature private bedrooms with two twin beds, while others have beds in the main room and loft. Each cabin has one full bathroom with a shower, and a kitchen complete with dishes, flatware, and cooking necessities, refrigerator, microwave oven, conventional oven, range, and coffeemaker. Personal items such as towels, linens, pillows, blankets, soap and food are not provided.
To see cabin pictures please visit http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us.
Pets: Pets are permitted in cabin #5 ONLY. An additional $25 service charge is required and a maximum of two pets is permitted. Please contact the park for additional information.
Campsites -- New Germany’s 48 campsites offer a shaded, safe, peaceful setting for a family camping trip. A central bathhouse provides restrooms and showers, and purified water is available at several locations. Several sites can accommodate large motorhomes; however there are no electric, water, or sewer hook-ups.
Pets are permitted in the Hemlock Loop, sites 50-58.
The Alpine Lodge, a three-sided Adirondack-style shelter, is available as a campsite for 6 people.
Reservations for overnight facilities can be made by phone (1-888-432-CAMP) or visit http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us.
For current camping rates, visit www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/oc.asp
New Germany is a popular place for Baltimore and Washington residents to enjoy a winter weekend. When snow conditions are right, park staff groom and track the trails for a first class skiing experience. The trails offer a challenge for skiers of all abilities, with a flat, open “turnpike” for beginners, and winding hillside trails for more experienced skiers.
Trail Etiquette and Safety -- We ask that snowshoe users and hikers give priority to skiers by keeping off ski tracks. Skiers should be mindful of their abilities and stay on trails that are appropriate for their skill level.
Snow conditions may be variable in different areas of the park. Skiers must be wary of icy patches, thin snow cover, and wet sections.
Skiers must dress appropriately for conditions. Weather can be extremely variable in this part of the state and hypothermia is a serious risk. Light, synthetic layers of clothing are recommended for maximum comfort and safety while out on the trails.
Sledding -- The park offers a few locations that are great for sledding. Please visit us at the Ranger Station for more details.
In the late 19th century, German immigrants traveled south from the National Road and established a village. The landscape so strongly reminded them of their homeland that they called the village New Germany. The residents of New Germany were primarily farmers.
Building a Community -- The Swauger, Swatzengruber and Swartzentruber families built a dam, creating the 13-acre lake that became the center or the small community. Around 1930, the McAndrew brothers, Philip and Michael, owned most of the area around the lake. Mike McAndrew operated a “Jot Em Down” store, and Phil ran the grist mill. Some other facilities in the small community were a large garage, a large barn, the community’s one-room school, a residence now known as the “Martin House” and the McAndrew’s residence. At the north end of the lake, Mr. C.J. Otto had a grocery store, filling station, and post office. Mr. Otto also ran a large sawmill near present-day Twin Churches Road.
The Civilian Conservation Corps Creates a Park -- During the Depression area, the federal government recognized that the land in Garrett County was better suited for forestry than farming, and bought out many of the farmers via the Sub-marginal Land Utilization Program. The federal government turned the land over to the state, creating the 54,000-acre Savage River State Forest. In the 1930s, Camp S-52, Company 326 of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was stationed at New Germany to create a recreation area. The CCC boys spent their first Garrett County winter in canvas tents, but were busy creating more permanent facilities. They soon constructed barracks, a mess hall, recreation hall, shower house, infirmary, offices, and several other structures for their use. The crew also began construction of facilities for the New Germany Recreation Area, including reconstructing the dam and building the cabins, pavilions, and campground area, which are still in use today. The Rec Hall is the only remaining remnant of the living quarters used by the CCC members.
Recreation -- Soon after the New Germany CCC camp was disbanded in 1938, people began flocking to the area for recreation. Bowing to pressure from ski clubs, the state negotiated with Mr. Samuel Otto to use his property for a downhill ski run, complete with a rope tow powered by a 1935 ¾ ton Dodge truck. Visitors could stay at the Alexander (Martin) house in dormitory-like quarters, in the cabins, in the old barracks, or with local families. Some visitors would regularly drive six to eight hours from Washington or Baltimore to visit the park for the weekend. In February 1941, New Germany was the site of the first Open Ski Championship Meet ever held south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
With the cabins and campground built, the New Germany Recreation area also became popular for summer activities, including fishing, swimming, and picnicking. Visitors continue to enjoy these same activities more than 50 years later.
West on I-70 to Hancock. Pick up I-68 and travel through Cumberland, Maryland. Continue west to Exit 22. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto Chestnut Ridge Road. Pass Comfort Inn and follow Chestnut Ridge Road for three miles to New Germany Road. Turn left and travel two miles to the New Germany State Park entrance on left. Park headquarters office is on the right before entering the park. Travel time about three hours.
From Washington, D.C.:
Take 270 north to Frederick, Maryland. Pick up I-70 west and follow directions above for Baltimore. Travel time about 3.5 hours.
Take I-79 to I-68 east. Follow I-68 into Maryland to Exit 22 at Comfort Inn. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto Chestnut Ridge Road. Travel about three miles to New Germany Road. Turn left and travel two miles to the New Germany State Park entrance on left. Travel time about one hour from Morgantown and two hours from Pittsburgh.
New Germany State Park
349 Headquarters Lane
Grantsville MD 21536
Contact New Germany
Hours of Operation
8 a.m. to Sunset
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us