Gwynnbrook WMA

American Kestral, photo by Steve Hillebrand, USFWSIf you long to see a bit of wilderness right in the Baltimore metropolitan area, visit Gwynnbrook WMA on Gwynnbrook Road, just off Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills. Originally a game farm, Gwynnbrook WMA is the oldest wildlife management area in Maryland.

Purchased by the State in 1919, the 74-acre tract of mixed hardwood, pine and field offers multiple of recreational uses.

What To See

Gwynnbrook WMA provides habitat for deer, gray squirrels, cottontail rabbits and more than 200 songbird species. Hawks, especially during migration periods in the spring and fall, often perch in the trees along the forest edge. A bird list for the area is available for bird-watchers who wish to record their sightings.

What To Do

During most of the year, the fishing pond serves as a community fishing hole. Many neighborhood youngsters catch their first bluegill at Gwynnbrook's pond.

Area Regulations

  • Access to Gwynnbrook WMA is restricted from the opening day of deer bow season to January 31st; access is by permit and reservation only (except on Sundays).
  • Click here to apply for the free Central Region Public Hunting Permit.
  • Regulated hunting is restricted to archery hunting for deer.
  • Both an annual seasonal permit and a daily reservation is required to archery hunt for deer. (Contact office listed below for details).
  • Vehicle access is via a parking lot located on Gwynnbrook Avenue.

Non-Hunting Users

  • Outside of the hunting season Gwynnbrook WMA is open for hiking, nature photography and birding.

Special Areas

  • Central Region Managed Hunt Permit office operates from this WMA.

Site Management Practices

  • Habitat mowing and fallow field management.

Directions Maryland may showing approximate location of Gwynnbrook WMA

From the Baltimore Beltway, take the 795 Expressway to Owings Mills Boulevard. Head toward Reisterstown Road and follow the signs to Owings Mills Boulevard. Continue on Owings Mills Boulevard to Gwynnbrook Avenue. Turn right on Gwynnbrook Avenue and then left into the Gwynnbrook WMA parking lot. For additional information, contact the Gwynnbrook Wildlife Office at (410) 356-9272.

Click Here for Map

Click here for Printing and Mobile Device Instructions for DNR Geo-reference PDF Maps

This area is a part of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources public land system and is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service. The primary mission of the WMA system is to conserve and enhance wildlife populations and their respective habitats as well as to provide public recreational use of the State’s wildlife resources.

Eighty-five percent of the funding for Maryland's state wildlife programs comes from hunting license fees and a federal excise tax on sport hunting devices and ammunition. The federal aid funds are derived from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (or Pittman-Robertson) Fund, which sportsmen and women have been contributing to since 1937. Each state receives a share of the funds, which is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; these funds are used for wildlife conservation and hunter education programs, including the management of the WMA system.

Other sources of funds for land acquisition include Program Open Space Funding for Maryland's State and local parks and conservation areas, provided through The Department of Natural Resources' Program Open Space. Established in 1969, Program Open Space symbolizes Maryland's long-term commitment to conserving natural resources while providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities.​