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maryland is for the adventurous
by Jeremy Martinez
Maryland may not be on your list of states that come to mind when you go in search of adventure, but it should be. According to Visit Maryland, the official tourism site for the state, you'll find almost every type of natural feature in the Free State's 10,460 square miles, including mountains, rivers and ocean. You'll also find 47 wildlife management areas that include over 111,000 acres in Maryland. If you've been searching for a thrillseeker's paradise that has managed to remain under the radar, then consider booking a trip to Maryland.
Sitting on a Deck in the Bay
Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, is not only home to the United States Naval Academy, but it is also considered by some to be America's Sailing Capital, according to the city of Annapolis website. This charming historic city, which was founded in 1649, sits on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay and is popular with all types of boaters. If you enjoy being on the water, you'll find a number of vendors that rent out powerboats and sailboats.
In addition, although Maryland has no natural lakes, it is home to over 100 "constructed" lakes. Some of the most popular include Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County and Hunting Creek Lake in Frederick County. At almost 4,000 acres, Deep Creek Lake is a popular place for Marylanders and visitors to go boating, according to Maryland Manual Online. Watercrafts are also available for rent at this popular lake. Be aware, however, that in the State of Maryland, you will need to have a certificate of boating safety education if you plan on operating a motorized watercraft. Fortunately, a Maryland boat license can be obtained online before you arrive.
Get Out and Hike
The State of Maryland is blessed with many miles of beautiful hiking trails that range from challenging hikes on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in South Mountain State Park to gentle walks that end at the sandy beaches of Calvert Cliffs State Park. Some of the state's most popular hikes are on Sugarloaf Mountain in Frederick County, according to the City of Maryland's website. If you are nervous about tackling trails on your own, try signing up with a Maryland hiking Meetup group at Meetup.com before your arrival. The Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group, for example, offers several guided hikes every week. Each hike's difficulty rating is noted and there are typically detailed descriptions of a trail's elevation changes and the distance you will be tackling.
Riding the Rapids
The Upper Youghiogheny River in Friendsville, which is located close to the West Virginia border, offers exciting, steep Class 5 whitewater runs. Because these runs are created by predictable releases from the dam at Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, the Upper Yough is a popular place for both rafters and kayakers to test their skills, as the sites American White Water and Raft The Upper claim. The Potomac River Gorge is another popular kayaking spot, but should only be attempted by experts, especially when the water is high, according to NPS.gov.
Of course, not everyone wants to challenge rapids when kayaking. Fortunately, the state has a large number of designated water trails where you can enjoy peaceful kayak trips. A map of the state's water trails can be found on the Maryland's Department of Natural Resources website.