Garrett State Forest: The birthplace of Maryland’s state forests

Garrett State Forest is the birthplace of forestry conservation in Maryland.  It is important to note the key role Garrett County and its public lands played in preserving the natural environment. 

garrett state forest

Garrett State Forest History

During the early 1900’s, just 20% of mature forest cover existed east of the Mississippi.  The previous century saw large scale timber operations greatly exceed timber growth.  One of the results was large, uncontrolled forest fires that further damaged the fragile environment.  Most of Maryland’s forests were populated with small stands of regenerating seedlings or saplings.  Large trees were truly an unusual sight. 

In response to the deplorable conditions of the state’s forests, the descendants of one of Garrett County’s founding fathers issued a challenge to the state government.   John and Robert Garrett were heirs to the B&O Railroad fortune who offered a generous donation of nearly 2,000 acres of forest land on one “small” condition.  The state must create a department specifically for the management and supervision of public lands.  Accepting the gift and the conditions, a forestry law was passed in 1906 establishing a Board of Forestry.  This made it the third state in the Union to enact such a law.  The tract of land donated by the Garrett brothers became is part of what is now Garrett State Forest, Maryland’s first state forest.  It has expanded over time to include about 8,000 acres of mountain forests, streams and valleys. 

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New Price: 187 Sunset Ridge Drive Near Deep Creek Lake

187 Sunset Ridge Drive offers an affordable opportunity to live minutes from Deep Creek Lake. It is ideal as a primary residence or second home. Plus, it has a separate apartment that opens up more possibilities.

187 Sunset Ridge Drive

About 187 Sunset Ridge Drive

This ranch style home is situated on 1.03 acres in McHenry. It is in the picturesque Sunset Ridge subdivision surrounded by pastoral views.

Recently remodeled, this home has a total of three bedrooms and three baths as well as two electric fireplaces. The main house has beautiful hardwood floors and beamed ceilings in the living and dining area. Granite counters, stainless steel appliances, a center island, and a farm sink highlight the kitchen. The master bath is breathtaking.

Attention to detail is found throughout the attached apartment. It has its own kitchen with beautiful finishes, a living area with an electric fireplace, and a bedroom and bathroom.

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Hoye Crest: Reaching Maryland’s Highest Point

Hoye Crest is the highest point in Maryland. Located in Garrett County, you can take a hike to check out its scenic views.

By Brian M. Powell, CC BY-SA 3.0

About Hoye Crest

Hoye-Crest is a summit along Backbone Mountain. It is the highest point in Maryland reaching an elevation of 3,360 feet. The peak is named for Captain Charles Hoye. He founded the Garrett County Historical Society.

Hike the approximately two mile trail uphill to reach the summit. There is a “mailbox” with a log book where you can sign in and take selfies. It has a marker and offers a view of the North Branch Potomac River valley to the east.

Backbone Mountain Overview

Backbone Mountain stretches about 39 miles. Running southwest to northeast, it extends from the Black Fork in Tucker County, West Virginia to the Savage River Reservoir in Garrett County.

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