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Savage River State Forest

127 Headquarters Lane
Grantsville, MD 21536
(301) 895-5759

Location - The state forest is in central and eastern Garrett County, off Interstate 68.

Savage River State ForestSavage River State Forest, at over 54,000 acres, is the largest facility in the state forest system. It preserves a strategic watershed in Garrett County.

 Trail maps are available at the forest office, for all trails, including the 10 miles of cross country ski trails. The forest is classified as a mixed hardwood forest. More than 12,000 acres of the forest has been designated as Wildlands.


Biking trails, boat launch, cross country skiing, campsites, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trail, historic interest, hunting, picnic, riding trails, shelters, snowmobiling, white water canoeing. Pets are permitted but must be under control at all times.

Camping - 52 primitive roadside sites are available. Self register for these sites at the Headquarters Office or at any of the six self-registration sites on the forest. You must register for the campsite within the first hour of occupancy. 

Campsites are limited to no more than 6 people per site, and no more than two camping units (tent , dining canopy, pop up, RV, or combination thereof) and two vehicles per site. Leave No Trace standards apply to all campsites as we try to accommodate use while minimizing our impact on the soils and vegetation in these areas.

Backpack camping is also permitted throughout the forest. Self register for these sites at the Headquarters Office or at any of the six self-registration sites on the forest, by filling out an envelope, enclosing the appropriate payment ($5/ night/ site) and enclosing a trip itinerary and the names of the people in your party. The same restrictions apply as listed above in terms of numbers of people and tents per site. 

Campfires are permitted in most areas of the forest. However, Wildland regulations prohibit the use of campfires in these 12,000 primitive acres of the forest for safety issues and to minimize impact of these fragile and sensitive areas. Be sure to check area maps for Wildland boundaries so that if you are backpack camping in a Wildlands area you are not building campfires. 

Again Leave No Trace guidelines apply to backpack camping as well. The day use of the area is free.

Trails - Trail maps are available at the park office, for all trails, including the 10 miles of cross-country ski trails at New Germany State Park.

The Big Savage Trail is now open to hikers. Maintenance is ongoing, as a result of the ice storm damage which occured during the Fall of 2002 and the winter of 2003. Volunteer groups are needed to assist in the cleanup process of this trail.

Mountain Bikes - Mountain bikes are allowed on all hiking trails except for Monroe Run and Big Savage. Visitors can ride non-motorized bikes on many of the trails and roads in the state forest but are asked to exercise extreme caution, especially on blind curves.

Backpackers - A permit may be obtained at the Savage River office to backpack and camp in the state forest.

ORV Use - Snowmobile and off-the-road vehicle (ORV) operators must have a current Department of Natural Resources (DNR) ORV sticker, available at the state forest headquarters. ORV operators are restricted to use of designated ORV trails. Open riding is not permitted.

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