In Their Footsteps


In their footsteps...stepping forward in nature and back in time!

The Maryland Park Service's 2024 program theme is “In Their Footsteps...stepping forward in nature and back in time!” Have you ever wondered about the people who walked in Maryland before you? Are you curious about the animals whose footprints you find in the park? Do you wonder what impact your footsteps have? Do you want to get out to take a hike and experience the outdoors? This year, our Park Rangers will be offering a variety of programs to encourage you to explore our State Parks and learn more about history, nature, and recreation. We invite you to travel in their footsteps...stepping forward into nature and back into time!

We can follow the footsteps of animals to learn about nature.
Follow the footsteps of other environmentalists to learn about responsible recreation.
Follow the footsteps of our historical figures back in time to learn about our past.

Featured Events

World Ranger Day - July 31st - We celebrate rangers for the important work that they do to make sure that we continue to have access to the parks that we have today. This month when you visit Maryland's State Parks take a moment to appreciate our Park Rangers and all the work that they do.

The “Cecil County Wade In” at Elk Neck State Park on June 15, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Join park staff at North East Beach for the 15th Annual Cecil County Wade In. Partnered with other agencies in the community, we will pull up our pant legs and wade into the Chesapeake Bay to measure the water quality the way former Maryland State Senator Bernie Fowler did with his “sneaker index”. Reservations are not required; day use fee waived for participants. Bring clothes that can get wet, water shoes, water, and sunscreen.​

Fort Frederick State Park Centennial Celebration​ - May 25-26- Come one, come all, and celebrate Fort Frederick State Park’s 100th Anniversary and the fort’s three centuries of history! This event will include living history programming and displays from many of our state and community partners who have helped make the park what it is today. The event runs from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and 10 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. For more information:​

Earth Day Celebrations- April 20-22 - check out our Earth Day in Maryland State Parks website to find an event near you!

Stepping into State Parks - 2024 Challenge

In keeping with the 2024 program theme “In their footsteps...stepping forward in nature and back in time!” Maryland State Parks challenges you, along with your friends and family to “Step Out in State Parks.” Complete 24 (or more) activities on your own, before the end of 2024, to be entered in a drawing for great prizes! With over 75 Maryland State Parks to choose from you’ll have fun finding new parks to explore while “stepping out” and experiencing history, nature and recreation across the state! When you complete a challenge feel free to post a picture to social media and tag #MDParksFootsteps . At the end of this challenge submit your photos to us to be entered to win a prize. Submission link coming soon!

  • ​Challenges so far:

    • July
      • Snap a pic with a part of nature that inspires you in state parks
      • Enjoy a snack in a MD State Park and pack out your trash
      • Attend one program in a MD State Park about History
      • Discover a new way to help the environment in MD Parks
      • Visit a Nature Center in a MD State Park to learn about the park
      • Dip your toes into a new style of recreation in a MD State Park

    • June
      • Enjoy a sunset/or sunrise hike in a MD State Park
      • Attend a living history program in a MD State Park
      • Hike one new trail in a Maryland State Park
      • Learn about one animal that is native to Maryland
      • ​​Take note of a special moment in a MD State Park

    • ​​​​ May:
      • Retrace your steps to revisit one of your favorite MD State Parks
      • Try a new style of recreation in a MD State Park
      • Discover one new thing about your favorite park‘s history
      • Identify a new type of animal track in a MD State Park
      • Go birdwatching in an MD State Park and try to spot a migratory bird
      • Safely recreate in or around MD State waters

    • ​​ April:
      • Earth Day Challenge: Participate in a Clean-up or Trash Bash
      • Arbor Day Challenge: Plant a Native Shrub, Tree or Perennial
      • Visit one historical site in a MD State Park
      • Leave your footsteps in a new State Park
      • Show us your appropriate footwear while recreating in a MD State Park
      • Spot a set of animal tracks while exploring parks