222 Herrington Ln Oakland, MD 21550
Tucked away in Garrett State Forest, just off the beaten path, you’ll find Herrington Manor State Park. Within its boundaries, families and outdoor adventure enthusiasts can enjoy a wide array of activities throughout all four seasons. Set against striking woodland scenery, its 365 acres include a 53 acre lake and over twenty miles of trails. Herrington Manor perfectly encompasses the qualities Western Maryland is known for - diverse natural beauty coupled with myriad recreational opportunities.
The history of the park begins with Abijah Herrington, a mysterious character to whom the parks name is often attributed. It is said that the park, the manor house and a nearby creek were named for him. As the story goes, he was a wealthy land owner that lived in the area in the 1750’s. Many accounts of his life have him serving as a sergeant in the Sandy Creek Rangers during the Revolutionary War. However, research has shown that there are no documents that show he was a member of that regiment, and his name is not found on any local deeds, surveys or military rosters. Most of what has been recorded about his life has proven to be a myth. During the 1800’s, the Herrington Manor house and farm changed hands several times. It was purchased by the state in 1935 and became home to a Federal Civilian Conservation Corps camp. The C.C.C. was a depression era program designed by President Roosevelt to provide work for unemployed young men while filling the need for conservation work across the country. The men of the C.C.C. built the 53 acre lake, concession building and planted thousands of trees between Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls. Receiving only $25 per month, these men left a mark on area state parks that can still be seen today.
The 53 acre lake dominates the park landscape and is open to visitor seven days a week for swimming, fishing and boating. Escape the summer heat by heading to the Herrington Manor sandy beach for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing. The swimming area is protected by a lifeguard Friday – Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Conveniently located to the beach area, the Lake House offers restrooms, showers and a snack bar. Anglers will appreciate the wide variety of fish species that includes: large and smallmouth bass, catfish, brown and rainbow trout. Non-gas powered boats are welcome and can be launched at the ramp found at the western end of the lake near the dam. During the summer months, rentals of canoes, kayaks, rowboats and paddleboats are available. Also note worthy are the spectacular sunsets that reflect of the lake’s tranquil water.
Winding through the park and connecting to neighboring Swallow Falls State Park are over twenty miles of trails that are popular throughout the year. The rolling terrain and variety of forest habitats, including a mature hemlock forest, ensure a memorable adventure for hikers, mountain bikers and cross country skiers. The trails range from beginner to intermediate ability levels. During the winter months, snow shoe and cross country ski rentals are available at the Lake House.
The park’s diverse habitat of woodlands and wetlands supports a variety of wildlife, including wild turkey, white-tailed deer, fox and beavers. Fallen trees along the lake's shoreline are evidence of beaver activity. Birders will find songbirds and migratory waterfowl, such as teal, buffleheads, loons and osprey. The rectangular holes often seen pecked in trees, are the signature of the pileated woodpecker. Explore the park's eastern hardwood forest during springtime to enjoy flowering plants, such as saxifrage, spring beauty, may apple and many violet species. Summer brings milkweeds, mints, butterfly weed and dog bane to the roadsides and meadows. Ironweed, asters and goldenrod varieties brighten the fields in the fall. A unique park feature is the native butterfly habitat area maintained in a field near the dam.
PET FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES
Pets are allowed in Herrington Manor State Park in the following areas:
When compared with the over 200,000 annual visitors of its sister park, Swallow Falls, Herrington Manor is relatively quiet with just over 100,000 people visiting each year. Offering family friendly outdoor experiences throughout the year, the park should be on every “to do” list when visiting the area. Discover one of the Deep Creek Lake area's best kept secrets with a visit to Herrington Manor State Park.
For Herrington Manor State Park hours and more information, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/herrington.aspx or call 301-334-9180.