Maryland State Park Policies - Statewide

Alcohol Policy and Frequently Asked Questions

To maintain and ensure a safe, family-oriented outdoor recreation experience for all park guests, the Maryland Park Service regulates the consumption of alcohol in State Parks. This policy has been adopted in the interest of all park patrons to maintain the family atmosphere of State Parks while still allowing for the appropriate consumption of alcoholic beverages under a special permit process.​

Click here for the complete policy.​


Electric Bicycle Policy

The operation of electric bicycles is permitted in all State Park areas where motorized vehicles are allowed, e.g. interior public-use roads, parking lots, etc. Except as described below, electric bicycles are prohibited on State Park trails and other areas not designated for motorized vehicles, regardless of trail width or surface (paved, gravel, natural surface).

Class 1 (only) electric bicycles are permitted on the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail and the Western Maryland Rail Trail. On the two permitted rail trails, Class 1 electric bicycles are regulated the same as all other bicycles, and are subject to all applicable bicycle rules and regulations regarding operation and safety equipment.

As per § 11-117.1 of the Transportation Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, a Class 1 electric bicycle is equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour.


Firewood PolicyCampfire at a state park

Due to the potential threat of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), and other invasive beetles, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has prohibited the importation of personal firewood into all department owned and managed properties. Please do not bring firewood with you when visiting a Department of Natural Resources Property/Park. Click here for the complete policy.


Park visitor using metal detectorMetal D​etecting Policy

Relic Collecting, Treasure Hunting, and Use of Metal Detectors

It is the policy of the Maryland Park Service to safeguard the archaeological resources under its care. Digging in search of buried relics or treasures, the removal of any prehistoric or historic artifacts, and the use of metal detectors (with some exceptions) within the boundaries of lands, beaches, or under waters controlled by the Maryland Park Service is strictly prohibited without a permit from the Office of Archaeology, Maryland Historical Trust, Department of Planning. Click here for the complete policy​.​


Pets in Park

Maryland State Parks welcome you and your pet to enjoy the great outdoors together! We ask that you please adhere to the following guidelines in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, and to protect park resources, wildlife and other visitors. In order to help keep our parks available to pets, responsible pet ownership is essential. Maryland Park Service Pet Policy for all State Parks. 
Click here for the complete policy.​


Hunting Policies

Visitors should contact the appropriate managing authority for information on public hunting opportunities on state-owned public hunting lands. Click here for the complete policy.


Photography/Filming on Park Property

Maryland Park Service-managed facilities may be used for commercial photography and filming purposes if such use does not (1) significantly interfere with public use of the requested facility or land, and (2) damage the natural, cultural, or historical features of the facility or land. Commercial film and photography users with a high impact on park resources must obtain a permit or use agreement through the relevant Park Manager, as well as pay any applicable service charges.

Maryland Park Service permits/use agreements are not required for:

  • ​private, non-commercial filming or photography conducted on park property; or 
  • low-impact commercial photography and filming. “Low-impact” is defined as filming and photography activities in park areas open to the public, involving five people or fewer, and using minimal equipment that can be carried.

View Complete Policy



Operation of Drones

Unmanned aircraft systems, commonly referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, operated by persons on lands owned and managed by the Department of Natural Resources must be in compliance with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, as well as all State and federal laws, including all Use of State Parks regulations. To ensure compliance with those regulations, and that the operation of the drone does not jeopardize public safety or the protection of park resources, all drone operators must contact the Park Manager prior to flying a drone in a State Park. Drone pilots are responsible for knowing and complying with all FAA regulations.

The applicable Use of State Parks regulations are:

COMAR 08.07.06.13: http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/08/08.07.06.13.htm

COMAR 08.07.06.20: http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/08/08.07.06.20.htm

The entire set of Use of State Parks regulations may be found at: http://www.dsd.state.md.us/COMAR/SubtitleSearch.aspx?search=08.07.06.

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