You are the owner of this article.

Outdoor activities are permitted, but with conditions

As you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Hogan issued a stay-at-home order, which remains in effect. That stay-at-home order allowed for limited outdoor exercise.

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

Outdoors

Beaches

Effective Thursday, May 7, at 7 a.m., DNR-owned beaches will be opened and outdoor exercise such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, and fishing will be permitted, however:

Guidance on social distancing must be followed.

The prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Chairs, blankets, and picnics will be prohibited.

Boating

Effective Thursday, May 7, at 7 a.m., recreational boating activities, including motorized and non-motorized vessels and personal watercraft, are permitted, however:

Boaters must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

No more than 10 people can be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.

Boats must be distanced from each other by at least 10 feet and are prohibited from rafting up, beaching, or having rendezvous events.

Boats are prohibited from docking at restaurants or bars.

Vessel and boat races remain prohibited.

Marinas can reopen to recreational boaters, but must adhere to Maryland Departments of Commerce and Health guidelines.

Pump-out stations and boats may resume operations under the Departments of Commerce and Health guidelines.

Local jurisdictions may choose to open public boat ramps, but must ensure social distancing guidelines.

All normal boating rules and regulations are in effect and must be followed.

Camping

Effective Thursday, May 7, at 7 a.m., DNR will begin accepting reservations for overnight tent and RV camping in state forests, parks, and other campgrounds, however:

Campers must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

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.

Fishing

Effective Thursday, May 7, at 7 a.m, recreational fishing activities, including catch-and-release, are allowed, however:

When fishing from a boat, one must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

No more than 10 people may be on a boat at one time, including captain and crew.

When fishing from onshore or at a pier, social distancing guidelines must be followed.

DNR fishing piers will reopen immediately.

Fishing tournaments remain prohibited at this time.

All normal rules and regulations regarding fishing are in effect and must be followed, including creel limits, gear restrictions, and seasons.

Horseback riding

Effective immediately, horseback riding activities, including riding on state lands, is allowed, however:

Equestrians must be riding with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

No more than 10 people may be included in a given party.

Social distancing guidelines must be followed.

No organized rides, gatherings, or races will be authorized.

Hunting and trapping

Effective immediately, all hunting activities are allowed on private and public lands under following conditions:

Hunters on public lands must be with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

No more than 10 people may be included 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

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

Drivers/riders must be riding with immediate family members or people with which they reside.

No more than 10 people may be included in a given party.

Gatherings and organized events remain prohibited.

Pools

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

Shooting ranges

Effective immediately, DNR will reopen shooting ranges on state land, however:

Groups of no more than 10 will be allowed on the range at any time.

Social distancing guidelines must be followed.

General information

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.

Latest e-Edition

Newsletters

Submit News, Letters to the Editor, Wedding and Engagement Announcements, Obituaries and more!