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Update Regarding Maryland’s Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation

UPDATED Sept. 4

COVID-19 logo

Maryland took early, aggressive, and unprecedented actions to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Hogan announced the state has entered Stage Three of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery effective 5 p.m. on Sept. 4. Previous guidance on facial coverings and social distancing remain in effect. Masks on, Maryland!  

Here are the latest guidelines for outdoor exercise, recreation, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties:

BEACHES

DNR-owned beaches are open and outdoor recreational activities such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, fishing and sunbathing are permitted:

BOATING

Recreational boating activities, including motorized and non-motorized vessels and personal watercraft, are permitted:

  • Face coverings are required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
  • Commercially licensed fishing charter boats can carry their U.S. Coast Guard-approved capacity, but must follow CDC and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) guidelines. 
  • Vessel and boat races are authorized, provided social distancing and face mask guidelines are followed and MDH guidelines are followed.
  • Marinas can reopen to boaters, but must adhere to best management practices from the Departments of Commerce and Health.
  • Pump-out stations and boats may resume operations, but must adhere to best management practices from the Departments of Commerce and Health.
  • State boat ramps are open and operational; social distancing and facial covering guidelines must be followed while using these public boat ramps.
  • All normal boating rules and regulations are in effect and must be followed.
  • For information on our License Service Centers for boating registrations and other products, please visit our Licensing and Registration Services website.

CAMPING

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting reservations for overnight tent and RV camping in state forests, parks, and other campgrounds, and for cabin rentals:

FISHING

Recreational fishing activities, including catch-and-release and crabbing, are allowed:

  • When fishing from onshore or a pier, social distancing guidelines must be followed. Face coverings are required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
    • DNR fishing piers are open. 
  • Fishing tournaments may be held provided social distancing, face covering, and MDH guidelines are followed. 
  • All rules and regulations regarding creel limits, gear restrictions, and seasons remain in effect.
  • For information on fishing licenses and other related products, please visit our online COMPASS portal or visit our Licensing and Registration Services website.

HORSEBACK RIDING

Horseback riding activities, including riding on certain state lands, is allowed:

  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed. 
  • Face coverings are required in outdoor public areas, whenever it is not possible to maintain physical distancing.
  • On a case-by-case basis, authorized horse races and equestrian events will be permitted at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area Special Event Zone without spectators.

LICENSING AND REGISTRATION

DNR Licensing and Registration Service Centers are open and are serving customers by appointment only. Some permits, authorizations and registrations can be obtained or renewed via DNR’s online licensing system COMPASS. Information is available on our Licensing and Service Center Operations Update page.

PARKS

Visitors to Maryland state parks should observe CDC guidelines on visiting state parks and recreational facilities. Most state parks are open although some public areas remain closed. Information specific to Maryland’s state parks can be found by visiting the Maryland Park Service website

TRAVEL AND OUT-OF-STATE VISITORS

Under a Maryland Department of Health advisory, Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to states with positivity rates of 10% or higher. As of July 31, this advisory applies to Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Nebraska, and Idaho. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results. 

Out-of-state visitors should follow the directives given to Maryland residents in addition to recommendations in their home states regarding travel and recreation. Everyone should also follow CDC guidance on domestic travel

These guidelines plus all standard regulations and license requirements must be followed by all Maryland residents and visitors at all times.


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