Get lost in Maryland's very own rock maze!
No, I'm kidding -- you can't get lost in Maryland's rock maze, but you can definitely have a lot of fun exploring all the cracks and crevices.
This short hike -- not even a mile total there and back -- is at first a lovely walk (slightly up) in an old growth forest, which means in the height of summer, there are trees, and then there are the lovely ferns, lending a prehistoric feel to the walk. We kept waiting for a raptor to emerge (thankfully neither a dinosaur nor a bear appeared).
At the end of the hike, big boulders emerge from the forest floor, stacked on top of each other and adjacent to each other like the devil's own building blocks.
Except it's peaceful and cool to walk in between the rocks and beneath the canopy of wild rhododendron, which grow through the rocks.
The trees roots -- their grip on the rocks and the earth itself -- was amazing and wonderful to contemplate.
Several other families were there at the same time as us -- we went on a Sunday morning in July. Despite 90 plus degree weather near Baltimore, it was a cool 78 and probably even cooler in the rock maze itself.
Did I mention how kid-friendly this little hike is? It's a perfect hike to introduce the little ones to nature's amazing wonders!
The kids' voices were delightful as they enjoyed climbing in between and around the rocks in the maze. Even my husband and I delighted in exploring between the crevices, sudden mysterious rooms opening up, cavelike, among the boulders.
And that's the point of this incredibly short and fun hike. We enjoyed the fun of the maze, we enjoyed being out and about in a lovely forest, and then we turned around and headed back to the vehicle.
Know before you go: There's parking for about 8 vehicles at the trail head. Although the trail itself isn't well marked, the path in the ground is well worn and impossible to miss. Swallow Falls State Park is nearby -- chances are you'll pass it on the way to the Rock Maze trailhead -- so consider doubling up on the hikes to make a full day of it. The elevation gain is minimal at 150 feet.
Getting there: 3739 Snaggy Mountain Road, Oakland, MD / Garrett State Forest