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Maryland DNR Updates Policies

June 21st, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Maryland took early, aggressive, and unprecedented actions to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Hogan has announced the state is now moving into an enhanced phase of Stage Two of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery effective June 12, 2020 at 5 p.m.

The state has expanded opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation and on Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties, following established safety protocols and guidelines to continue protecting the public.

These are the latest guidelines as of June 19, 2020:


DNR-owned beaches are open and outdoor recreational activities such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, fishing and sunbathing are permitted:


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


DNR is accepting reservations for overnight tent and RV camping in state forests, parks, and other campgrounds and for cabin rentals in some locations:

  • Guidance on social distancing must be followed.
  • Cabin reservations are available in certain state parks, with others becoming available in the near future. Please check our website for details.


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

  • When fishing from onshore or a pier, social distancing guidelines must be followed.
    • DNR fishing piers are open.
  • Fishing tournaments may be held provided social distancing and Maryland Department of Health guidelines are followed. 
  • All normal rules and regulations regarding fishing are in effect and must be followed, including creel limits, gear restrictions, and seasons.
  • For information on fishing licenses and other related products, please visit our online COMPASS portal or visit our Licensing and Registration Services website.


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

  • The prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed, including for organized rides.
  • Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
  • Authorized horse races will be permitted at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area Special Event Zone without spectators.


DNR Licensing and Registration Service Centers will be opening and serving customers by appointment only. Information is available on our Licensing and Service Center Operations Update page.


Most Maryland state parks are open although some public areas remain closed. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center is closed to the public. Information specific to Maryland’s state parks can be found by visiting the Maryland Park Service website.  


The swimming pool at Somers Cove Marina will tentatively open in July. Please call 410-968-0925 for details. All other DNR pools remain closed at this time.


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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