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DNR Announces Roadmap to Recovery Rules

May 17th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Due  to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Hogan issued a stay-at-home order, which was in effect until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020. The state has now moved into the beginning of Stage One of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery  which includes a Safer at Home public health advisory.

Following the announcement of the governor’s Roadmap to Recovery, the state has expanded opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation in the state and on Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties.

These are the latest guidelines, which are effective as of May 15, 2020 at 5 p.m.



DNR-owned beaches will be opened and outdoor recreational activities such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, fishing and sunbathing will be permitted, however:

  • Guidance on social distancing must be followed.
  • The prohibition on social gatherings (no more than 10 people) must be strictly followed.


Recreational boating activities, including motorized and non-motorized vessels and personal watercraft, are permitted, however:


DNR is accepting reservations for overnight tent and RV camping in state forests, parks, and other campgrounds, however:

  • Guidance on social distancing must be followed.
  • No parties or reservations for more than 10 people will be granted for any one site.
  • Reservations for cabin rentals will not be accepted at this time, however DNR will begin to consider protocols for accepting reservations again in the near future.
    • Reopening will likely proceed on a gradual or regional basis based on guidance from the Maryland Department of Health.

NOTE: The Maryland Park Service is in the process of opening campgrounds in parks around the state, which will be a multi-phase process, involving the preparation of facilities for visitors, opening restrooms and bathhouses, and bringing seasonal staff online to manage the safety and well-being of visitors. We are working diligently to open individual parks as quickly as possible.


Recreational fishing activities, including catch-and-release and crabbing, are allowed, however:

  • When fishing from a boat, no more than 10 people may be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.
  • When fishing from onshore or a pier, social distancing guidelines must be followed.
    • DNR fishing piers are open.
  • Fishing tournaments may be held so long as no more than 10 people are in a gathering at one time or may be held virtually.
  • All normal rules and regulations regarding fishing are in effect and must be followed, including creel limits, gear restrictions, and seasons.


Horseback riding activities, including riding on certain state lands, is allowed, however:

  • The prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed, including for organized rides.
  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
  • Horse races will not be permitted on state lands until further notice from the Maryland Racing Commission and Maryland Department of Labor.


Hunting and trapping activities are allowed on private and public lands under following conditions:

  • Hunters on public lands may not be in groups of more than 10 people in a given party.
  • All normal rules and regulations regarding hunting are in effect and must be followed, including bag limits, firearm restrictions, and seasons.


Off-road vehicles can be ridden on DNR-owned lands where they are allowed, however:

  • No more than 10 people may be included in a given party.
  • The prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed, including for organized rides.


All DNR-owned swimming pools remain closed at this time.


DNR shooting ranges on state land are open, however:

  • Groups of no more than 10 will be allowed on the range at any time.
  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed.


Out-of-state visitors should follow the directives given to Maryland residents in addition to recommendations in their home states regarding travel and recreation. Everyone should also follow CDC guidance on domestic travel. These guidelines plus all standard regulations and license requirements must be followed by all Maryland residents and visitors at all times.

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