Now Reading
From Swamps to Sculptures: Maryland’s Hidden Gems

From Swamps to Sculptures: Maryland’s Hidden Gems

Maryland’s hidden gems offer exciting experiences for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and art lovers alike. Among these are the Cranseville Swamp Preserve, Glenstone, Dinosaur Park, Mallows Bay, Paw Paw Tunnel, and Sideling Hill. Each destination provides a distinctive glimpse into the diverse attractions Maryland has to offer.

Cranesville Swamp Preserve

Cranseville Swamp Preserve is a botanical treasure trove straddling Western Maryland and West Virginia  This unique ecosystem is one of the few remaining boreal peat bogs in the southern United States. Rare plant species, including the carnivorous pitcher plant and the round-leaved sundew, can be found here.

Photo Credit: Deep Creek Lake & Garrett County, Maryland

The preserve’s wetland habitat supports diverse wildlife, making it a paradise for bird watchers and nature photographers. Visitors can explore the preserve via a network of boardwalks and trails that offer a close-up view of its pristine beauty. 


Art enthusiasts should not miss Glenstone, a world-class museum in Potomac, Maryland, that seamlessly blends art, architecture, and landscape.

Boardwalk at Glenstone
Boardwalk at Glenstone. Photo Credit: Photo by Iwan Baan courtesy of Glenstone Museum

Glenstone’s expansive grounds feature outdoor sculptures by renowned artists, providing a serene setting where art and nature converge. The museum’s minimalist architecture enhances the contemplative atmosphere, allowing visitors to engage deeply with modern and contemporary art

Dinosaur Park

For a prehistoric adventure, Dinosaur Park in Laurel is a must-visit. This active fossil dig site is open to the public and offers a rare opportunity to discover remnants of the Cretaceous period.

View of the park
Dinosaur Park in Laurel, MD. Photo Credit: Rachel Zillig

Visitors can join paleontologists in uncovering fossils and learn about the dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures that once roamed the area. The park’s educational programs and events make it an exciting destination for dinosaur lovers of all ages.

Mallows Bay

Mallows Bay, located on the Potomac River, is a National Marine Sanctuary famed for its eerie “Ghost Fleet”—a collection of over 230 shipwrecks, mostly wooden steamships from World War I.

Mallows Bay
Photo Credit: Explore Charles County

Mallows Bay is a fascinating spot for kayaking, fishing, and bird watching. The shipwrecks, now overgrown with vegetation, create a unique underwater habitat that supports a variety of fish and wildlife. Paddling through the bay, visitors can explore the history and natural beauty of this intriguing aquatic graveyard.

Paw Paw Tunnel

The Paw Paw Tunnel, part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, is an engineering marvel from the 19th century. Spanning over 3,000 feet, it was constructed to bypass a series of bends in the Potomac River, facilitating coal transportation.

Paw Paw Tunnel
Photo Credit: Steve Dean

Walking or biking through the tunnel, visitors can appreciate the remarkable craftsmanship of its brick-lined walls. The surrounding park offers scenic trails and river views, perfect for hiking and picnicking. 

Sideling Hill

Sideling Hill, a prominent geological formation along Interstate 68, offers a dramatic display of exposed rock strata. It’s far from hidden to people traveling the interstate, but if you’ve yet to pass this section of I-68, you’d never know it was there!

highway through a mountain
Photo Credit: Laura Rennie

The road cut through Sideling Hill reveals layers of sedimentary rock dating back hundreds of millions of years, providing a visible record of the region’s geological history. A visitor center at the site offers interpretive exhibits and stunning views, making it a popular stop for travelers interested in geology and natural history.

About the Author

Maryland Road Trips is a part of Postern Publishing.
© Copyright 2023 Postern Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top