About the Basin: New Germany State Park

All posts by Renee Bourassa

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About the Basin: New Germany State Park

New Germany State Park

403 McAndrews Hill Rd, Grantsville, MD

Nestled within the expansive arms of Savage River State Forest in Western Maryland, New Germany State Park sits in the valley between Big Savage Mountain and Meadow Mountain.

The Lake House is where the action is at New Germany. It is where staff hold park-sponsored events, a snack bar provides sustenance and souvenirs to weary adventurers, and the large Black Forest Room is available for events or conferences. A nature center and native plant garden introduce visitors to the local flora and fauna. Canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards, and row boats are available for rent from the Lake House.

A vintage photo of a man with a dark jacket standing in the snow, holding a camera.

Photo credit: Fred Besley with camera in hand at the opening of the ski resort– 1941 (MD DNR).

At one point in history this area was known as the “Maryland Alps” when downhill skiing became popular in the 1940s. It was the venerable forester Fred Besley who knew the best way to get public opinion in favor of states forests was to get the public in the forests, so he and a team of foresters worked to install Maryland’s first ski resort in Maryland. Although the resort closed a few decades later, the popularity of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing continues for locals and tourists alike. Rental equipment is available at the Lake House, as well as a chance to get warm after a day playing in the snow.

The New Germany lake is small but provides a picturesque view year-round. Anglers may find largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and stocked trout.

Grab your floaties and sunblock to jump into the lake at the designated swimming beach.

A variety of cabins and campsite options include some winter camping possibilities. The twelve rentable cabins are fully furnished and available year-round. They are perfect for a quiet weekend away with family or friends. The campground provides shady spots and a central bathhouse with restrooms and showers. A couple spots are available with RV hook-ups. Two of the campsite loops provide year-round camping opportunities with a heated bathhouse.

There is no cell phone service at the park, so plan accordingly.

New Germany Lake surrounded by trees with a mountain in the background.

Photo Credit: New Germany State Park, Nicole Sharp (Flickr).