As one of the smallest states in the United States, Maryland has a diverse landscape, ranging from dunes to rolling mountains. It’s even known as ‘America in Miniature’ due to its unique topography. In addition, the Appalachian Trail runs through it, where mountains, rivers, marshes, and beaches are all present. A variety of beautiful lakes also abound throughout the state. They’re all man-made water reservoirs, with many of them built following the damming of a neighboring river or creek.
While you will not be allowed to swim or ride motorboats in many of them, you will be able to participate in other water sports. Most of them lie in a park or forest reserve, where you may enjoy the lush vegetation, rich wildlife, and the lake’s natural beauty. What better way to spend a hot summer day than at one of Maryland’s beautiful lakes? We’ve compiled a list of the 10 biggest lakes in Maryland to help you determine which one is worth visiting.
The 10 Biggest Lakes in Maryland
10. St Mary’s Lake
One of the best freshwater lakes in the area is located deep in the southern portions of St. Mary’s County, Maryland, on the peninsula of land sandwiched between the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers. Launching trailer boats, kayaks, and car-toppers is a breeze, thanks to a pair of contemporary boat ramps with a dock. Hikers can find hotspots within a short cast from the coast. And, unlike most other Mid-Atlantic lakes and fishing spots, this one is rarely, if ever, crowded.
Largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, pickerel, and yellow perch abound in the 250-acre water. Artificial dikes protruding into the main lake, beaver dams, and standing wood are among the structures. And no matter which way the wind blows, you’ll always find a cove with calm waters waiting for you.
9. Piney Run Lake
Piney Run Reservoir is a hidden gem in Maryland. The 300-acre lake, which opened in 1974 alongside Maryland’s oldest park, is a beautiful place surrounded by farms and forest. There are plenty of options for rock climbing, picnicking, camping, tennis, swimming, and hiking (with over 5 miles of trails), but the lake is best known for its fishing.
Fishing is allowed from boats, piers, and the shore (except at the Wildlife Management Area at the north end of the lake, where there is absolutely no fishing allowed). If you have a Maryland fishing license, you can go boat fishing or fish from the shore. Striped bass, largemouth bass, tiger musky, trout, catfish, panfish, and different crappie species thrive depending on where you go.
8. Savage River Reservoir
The Savage River Reservoir is a 360-acre storage reservoir near Cumberland, Maryland. The most popular species living here are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and rainbow trout. It’s small and intimate, perfect for learning to canoe and having a relaxed time on the water. Trout Unlimited rated Savage River Reservoir as one of the top five Maryland fishing waters and one of the top 100 lakes in April 2009. The clear water of the Savage River below the dam is prized for its canoeing competitions. The Savage River mainly feeds into the reservoir, offering fishing and paddling opportunities in a stunning wilderness setting. There are two boat launches near the dam that allows easy access.
7. Little Seneca Lake
Little Seneca Lake, which comprises 505 acres (2.04 km2), is located near Boyds, Maryland. Black Hill Regional Park’s main attraction is this lovely lake, and if you enjoy photography or wildlife watching, you will find much to do here. The lake provides emergency water to Metropolitan Washington, D.C., and other commercial uses. Fishing (largemouth bass, tiger muskie, bluegill, and channel catfish are the most typical catches), kayaking, and birding are just a few of the leisure activities available. The nearby park also has some beautiful hiking and horseback riding routes.
6. Triadelphia Reservoir
Another sprawling reservoir is the Triadelphia Reservoir, covering a surface size of 800 acres (3.24 km2). Triadelphia Reservoir sits in Brookeville, Maryland, on the Patuxent River between Howard and Montgomery counties. It’s ideal for a relaxing afternoon in the woods. You need to get permission to launch your boat on the lake, while motorized or self-propelled boats are always welcome. However, swimming is unlikely due to the high prevalence of blue-green algae in the lake.
Picnicking with your family is an excellent way to spend quality time together. A variety of creatures live around the lake. Rabbits, deer, foxes, cardinals, geese, and eagles are typical sightings, as are different fish species. You might also see some bald eagles visiting the lake on occasion.
But, alas! If you wish to spend the night here, you may need to adjust your plans because there are no lodgings near the lake.
5. Jennings Randolph Lake
Jennings Randolph Lake, which flows along the North Branch Potomac River, is located in Garrett County, Maryland, and Mineral County, West Virginia. The gleaming water set against the magnificent hills has an allure that will leave you spellbound. It’s an excellent spot for outdoor recreational activities. Campgrounds, picnic places, hills, and plants encircle the 952-acre (3.85 km2) reservoir. If you’re carrying picnic baskets, make your way to the Howell Run Picnic Area for a memorable experience. The beautiful lake and greenery that you can see from here will undoubtedly provide you with a complete visual escape.
Inland activities at the lake include camping, hiking, hunting, and eagle watching, while the lake itself is excellent for swimming, kayaking, water skiing, and fishing. Shaw Beach, a well-known summer getaway, lies on Jennings Randolph Lake. There are also a few lodging alternatives and a playground for the kids at the beach.
4. Loch Raven Reservoir
Loch Raven Reservoir is a favorite among Maryland residents, and with good reason. Loch Raven Reservoir lies a few miles north of Baltimore and is an unspoiled beauty, covering 1,600 acres (9.71 km2) of surface area. Its natural splendor and the abundant flora and fauna create an appealing ambiance that you will never forget.
You cannot swim or use gas motors in the waterways since they are used for drinking by Baltimore residents. But you can rent a boat and relax in the peaceful waters. If you enjoy hiking, various trails provide spectacular views of the lake and meander through lush green forests. You’ll pass by many gorgeous oaks, maples, poplars, raspberries, and wild roses on your journey. Keep your binoculars handy to see ravens, blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, and bald eagles.
3. Liberty Reservoir
This lake, which borders Baltimore and Carroll Counties, is as lovely as the pearls under the sun. The reservoir and its surroundings are more beautiful from the lookout spots. It’s particularly stunning in the fall when the leaves change color. The Patapsco River is the principal water supply for the 3,100-acre (12.55 km2) reservoir located outside Baltimore. You can view a variety of bird species here, including warblers, flycatchers, thrushes, woodpeckers, swallows, and many others. Even though swimming is prohibited, you can still row or paddle. Spend a pleasant day by the lake listening to the sweet chirping of the birds without the noise of motorboats. Rich wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, rabbit, wild turkey, squirrel, several songbirds, and 39 rare and endangered plant species, call the area around the lake home.
2. Deep Creek Lake
Deep Creek Lake is the largest inland body of water in Maryland and one of its top attractions, flowing through the Allegheny Mountains. It’s not only a terrific place for outdoor sports, but it’s also rather beautiful, thanks to the surrounding forested mountains. The 3,900-acre (15.8 km2) lake is ideal for water sports aficionados, with everything offered from tubing and water skiing to wakeboarding and jet skiing. Anglers may expect good fishing conditions, with lots of basses, walleye, trout, yellow perch, and other species to challenge them. A wonderful little beach, plenty of covered picnic sites, and excellent hiking paths are available to visitors who want to stay on dry land. As you cruise about the lake area, get your cameras ready to photograph animals like great horned owls, red-tailed hawks, opossums, chipmunks, raccoons, skunks, and squirrels.
1. Prettyboy Reservoir
The 7,380-acre Prettyboy Reservoir nestles in northern Baltimore County, Maryland, and is the state’s largest reservoir. Its development commenced in 1932 after the construction of the Prettyboy Dam on the Gunpowder River. The lake was formed in a sparsely populated area that is rigorously zoned to avoid development. Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, brown and rainbow trout, white perch, and striped bass abound in the lake, making it ideal for fishing. Surrounded by lush forests, the area around the reservoir is rich in species and offers spectacular hiking and paddling opportunities. White-tailed deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, and different songbirds are all common sightings. Hiking on the area’s network of trails, which is also open to horse riding, is particularly popular.