At 47,560 acres, Green Ridge is the largest contiguous block of public land in Maryland. Green Ridge is located within the Ridge and Valley Province of the Appalachian Mountains. It is rich in both natural and cultural heritage and remains a “working forest” today as it is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service to conserve the natural ecological processes while supporting the economy of the region through an active forest management program. The Maryland Forest Service Mission is to restore, manage, and protect Maryland’s trees, forests, and forested ecosystems to sustain our natural resources and connect people to the land.
Hunting & Fishing on Green Ridge
The entire Green Ridge State Forest is open to Public Hunting and is regulated under the provisions of the Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland. Hunting remains the most popular form of recreation on the forest. White-tailed deer and wild turkey are probably the most targeted quarry followed by small game such as squirrel and ruffed grouse. Many sportsman depend on the state forest as a place to enjoy their favorite past time while the forest depends on the sportsmen to help keep wildlife populations at healthy levels for the wildlife and the natural forest ecology.
Angling is a similar recreation activity that is promoted within the forest. Fishing opportunities at Green Ridge include the Potomac River where bass, catfish, muskellunge, and sunfish are sought. Put and take trout fishing is popular on Fifteen Mile Creek, Sidling Hill Creek, and White Sulphur and Orchard ponds during the spring. Town Creek also offers a special management delayed harvest trout fishing program. All rules and regulations regarding fishing at Green Ridge can be found in the Maryland Fishing Guide that is issued with the Maryland Fishing License. A Maryland Anglers License is required for those 16 years of age and older.
There are 100 designated primitive campsites dispersed throughout Green Ridge State Forest that are available to visitors throughout the year by permit. Campers must register for the campsite at the Green Ridge Headquarters prior to occupying the site. Self registration is available outside the office when the office is closed. There is a $10 per night permit fee for camping for up to six people and $1 for each additional person is required. There are also 7 group sites available for groups of 20 or more that are available by reservation. Details on group site camping are available at the GR headquarters.
Primitive camping has become a rare opportunity as most Public and Private campgrounds have adopted a more improved and consolidated approach to managing camping facilities. Camping at Green Ridge is a primitive experience in that the sites have a picnic table and a fire ring and no other amenities or plumbing. We urge our visitors to practice the “leave no trace ethic” as they enjoy a primitive and remote camping experience. Back Country backpack camping is also permitted within the forest. Maps, guides and backcountry permits are available at the forest headquarters.
Green Ridge has 50 plus miles of hiking trails available for day hikes or multi-day backpacking experiences. Trail guides including maps are available for purchase at the Green Ridge Headquarters. This trail system varies in terrain and can be very rugged. There are stream crossings or steep climbs on most trails. Visitors are encouraged to wear blaze orange during hunting seasons. Remember, you are responsible for having the necessary skills, knowledge and equipment for a safe and environmentally friendly visit. The trails are as follows:
Disabled Access symbolDisabled accessible Scenic Overlook Trail—50 Yards (Easy)
Pine Lick Trail—6 Miles (Moderate) (Blue)
Twin Oaks Hiking Trail—4 Mile Loop (Moderate) (Purple)
Long Pond Trail—9 Miles (Difficult) (Red)
Deep Run/Big Run Trail—7 Miles (Moderate) (Green)
Log Roll Trail—4.5 Miles (Moderate) (Orange)
Great Eastern Trail—18 Miles (Moderate/Difficult)
The Green Ridge Hiking Trail System connects with both the Buchanan State Forest Trail and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park Trail.
Mountain biking is permitted on all open forest roads and the designated mountain bike trail. Mountain Bikes are not permitted on the other designated hiking trails described above. The designated Mountain Bike Trail is open to foot traffic as well and includes a variety of terrain including stream crossings, fallen trees, steep inclines, and fast descents.
Mountain Bike Trail---12 Miles (Difficult)
Horseback riding is permitted on the public roads within the State Forest. Horses are not permitted on any trails other than the open public roads. There are 2 primitive campsites on the forest that are recommended for riders that wish to camp with their horses. These sites are not developed horse camping sites. More developed horse camping is available at the neighboring Little Orleans Camp Ground. The Little Orleans Camp Ground can be reached at 301-478-2325.
This winding section of the Potomac River is runable year-round except after severe drought. Boaters travel at approximately 1.5 miles per hour during normal water conditions. Though most of the way is flat, the river must be considered potentially dangerous at all times. River currents are strong, deceptive and unpredictable. A canoe campsite is available on a first-come, first-served basis at Bond's Landing. Paddlers should always be aware of the weather forecast when preparing for a trip.
12 miles - 5 hours - Class I
Boat launch parking is located just over the Route 51 bridge entering the town of Paw Paw, West Virginia. Your paddle trip will parallel the C&O Canal, which includes the historic Paw Paw Tunnel, worth stopping for a visit. The floodplain shoreline is home to an abundance of wildlife, including colorful wood ducks and river otters. Camping is located at the Bond's Landing take out site, as well as several other locations along the canal.
Bond's Landing to Fifteen Mile Creek
9 miles - 3 hours - Class I
Get a feeling of past centuries when Native Americans were dependent on the resources of the Potomac River. They drank its water, fished it for food and used it to guide them from one hunting ground to another. Follow a great blue heron downriver or search for evidence of beavers. Enjoy a cold drink and sandwich at the end of your trip at locally-owned Bill's Place.
Paddling Safety Tips
Always wear a lifejacket.
Paddle with others.
Always check the river's conditions in advance by calling NOAA 703-260-0305.
If air and water temperatures combined total less than 120 degrees, wear a wetsuit.