Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area is located on Gwynnbrook Avenue, just off Owings Mills Boulevard in Owings Mills. Originally a game farm, this 88 acre tract was purchased by the State in 1919, making it the oldest wildlife management area in Maryland.
Gwynnbrook WMA is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The mission of the Wildlife and Heritage Service is to conserve and enhance diverse wildlife populations and associated habitats while providing for public enjoyment of the State’s wildlife resources through hunting and other wildlife-dependent recreation. Gwynnbrook WMA contains limited trails available for use by hikers and hunters that are not regularly maintained and are often rough and muddy. This area provides habitat for upland and forest wildlife species including white-tailed deer, squirrels, and songbirds. Five acres of fields are managed for wildlife cover and pollinators. Some food plots may be planted in these fields. The remainder of the property is forested. There is a one acre pond located on the property.
The Central Region Public Hunting Program is run out of the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area.
Regulations for All Users
Unless otherwise posted or with a permit issued by the Service it is UNLAWFUL to:
- Operate or possess a vehicle on roads, trails, or waterways not open to general traffic.
- Bait or feed wildlife.
- Use or construct permanent blinds or tree stands. All portable blinds or stands must be removed at the end of the day.
- Ignite, cause to be ignited, or maintain a fire.
- Remove, disturb, damage, or destroy any mineral, plant, rock, tree, or nongame animal.
- Have dogs off leash from April 15 through August 15.
- Use dogs to chase fox and raccoons.
- Release any animal or plant.
- Conduct commercial activities.
- Place a cache for the purpose of geocaching.
- Operate, possess, or use combustibles, explosives, or fireworks.
- Dig for relics and treasures, remove prehistoric or historic artifacts, or use a metal detector without a permit from the Office of Archeology.
- Deposit litter or refuse including, but not limited to, animal carcasses, appliances, brush, debris, furniture, garbage, hazardous material, tires, waste paper, yard waste, or other litter.
- Vandalize real property including any blind, building, crop, equipment, gate, habitat, plant, road, sign, trail, vehicle, vessel, or other public property.
- Graze cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or other domestic animals.
- Place decoys prior to 1 hour before legal shooting hours, leave decoys overnight, or remove decoys later than 1 hour after legal shooting hours.
- Target shoot.
Public hunting on Gwynnbrook WMA is permitted during legal hunting seasons with restrictions (see below). A free permit is required and available from the DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office or online. Hunting is available for all seasons that allow archery usage in accordance with current hunting laws and regulations established by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
- Hunting access is restricted to seasonal permit holders from September 1st through February 28th and during the Spring Turkey Season.
- Reservations are required from September 1st through January 31st. There are 4 reservations available per day.
- Hunting is permitted Monday through Saturday. No hunting is allowed on Sundays.
- During Spring Turkey Season, hunters must sign in at the parking lot with their Free Public Hunting Permit. Two hunters may sign in at a time.
- Permitted hunting devices include archery equipment only.
- Trapping is not allowed.
- No hunting is allowed around the Gwynnbrook WMA pond.
From September through January non-hunting users may access the property on Sundays only. No permit or reservation is needed. The Gwynnbrook WMA pond is open year-round for wildlife viewing and fishing. Outside this timeframe, Gwynnbrook WMA is open Sunday through Saturday for the following activities:
- Biking on established trails
- Bird Watching
- Nature Photography
- Dogs must be leashed from April 15 through August 15
From I-695, take the I-795 Expressway to Owings Mills Boulevard towards Reisterstown Road. Follow the signs to Owings Mills Boulevard. Continue on Owings Mills Boulevard to Gwynnbrook Avenue. Turn right on Gwynnbrook Avenue and then immediately left into the Gwynnbrook WMA. Public parking is located directly on Gwynnbrook Avenue. Turn up the driveway to visit the Wildife Office. For additional information, contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office at 410-356-9272.
American kestral, photo by Steve Hillebrand