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Big Run State Park

10368 Savage River Rd Swanton, MD 21561


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Big Run State Park

With 300 acres nestled in Savage River State Forest, Big Run State Park offers canoeing, fishing and miles of trails for cross country skiing and hiking.  Located at the northern end of Savage River Reservoir, the park encompasses the confluence of Monroe Run and Big Run. It’s a place where there are large populations of smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie, channel catfish, yellow perch, brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout.  The well-known hiking trail, Monroe Run, has its trailhead in the park and is a favorite of visitors to the area.  Each season offers a variety of activities and ever changing scenery that is both beautiful and rugged. 


Anglers will appreciate the wide variety of both warmwater and coldwater species of fish.  The park has access to the 350-acre Savage River Reservoir where you can fish for species such as bluegill, black crappie, walleye, yellow perch, brown trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Brown, brook or rainbow trout are found in Savage Run. Easy access makes shoreline fishing popular along the state forest roads. Trout are stocked annually in both Savage Run and Savage River Reservoir by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 


The Savage River Reservoir provides paddling opportunities in a quiet, wilderness environment. There are two boat launches (located at Dry Run and near the Reservoir dam), but only boats with electric motors are permitted.  Visitors may observe grouse, ducks, great blue herons, king fishers and minks, depending on the season. State Forest headquarters offer schedules of guided canoe trips, which are offered during the summer months by forest interpreters or private vendors. Keep an eye on the weather when planning a paddling excursion on the Reservoir. Because it is located in a canyon, the area occasionally experiences high winds that can make paddling difficult.

Surrounded by Savage River State Forest, Big Run has access to miles of trails for hiking or cross country skiing.  Situated between New Germany State Park and Big Run State Park, is the Monroe Run Hiking Trail, an fun 6-mile hike through a lovely stream valley. At the northern end of the trail are what remains of a road built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  Openings in the trees reveal views to the south of the reservoir.  The trail is lined with oaks, poplars, hemlock and rhododendron, all of which provide favorable habitats for a variety of birds and fur-bearing mammals including black bear. Over twenty stream crossings mean wet feet are to be expected.

If you are looking forward to spending your day wandering through a hardwood forest or paddling across a placid pool in a deep mountain canyon, make Big Run State Park your destination.

For more information about Big Run State Park, visit or call 301-895-5453.