Step Outside - Maryland WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 Step Outside - Maryland 144 144 Sun, 20 Jan 2019 19:35:57 -0600 9 Best Ski Destinations for Families in and Around Maryland While Maryland itself might not have many mountains to boast about, it is in a prime location for easy access to excellent skiing opportunities in neighboring states. This winter, consider traveling around Maryland or to one of your friendly neighbors for a family ski trip to remember. Here are the nine best ski destinations for families in and around Maryland! 

The Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland, is one of the premier ski resorts in the area for the entire family. They offer season passes and free learning programs. Stay at the Lodge at the Wisp in one of their over 102 suites and 67 guest rooms.

Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, is just outside of Maryland, but well worth the trip. The entire family will enjoy the slopes, the fine dining, and the spa treatment that awaits.

Whitetail Resort is a just under two hours outside of Baltimore and straddles the state line between Maryland and Pennsylvania. This resort offers snow tubing, children’s programs, lessons, camps, and wonderful skiing.

From Oakland, Maryland, head south for an hour over the West Virginia border for a fun-filled weekend at the Timberline Four Seasons Resort in Davis. The resort is family owned and operated and welcomes families of all ages. Whether you’re a ski fanatic or trying it out for the first time, Timberline should be on your consideration list.

Solid squad for the last ski session of the season ๐ŸŽฟ

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Roundtop Mountain Resort is owned by the same folks that run Liberty Mountain and Whitetail Resort, and you can expect the same high-quality experience here. Only an hour outside of Whitehall, Maryland, Roundtop is a premier skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing family vacation destination.

Like Timberline Four Seasons Resort, Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center takes advantage of the excellent skiing conditions in Davis, West Virginia. They have 47 trails for skiing and snowboarding, rental equipment on-site, and lessons. Consider a ski package to make the most out of your family trip. 

The Shenandoah Valley is one of the east coast’s most prized treasures, so taking a little extra time to experience it, and Massanutten Resort, will be well worth it. While the resort is slightly further than others featured, the wide variety of sporting, relaxing, shopping, and dining options more than make up for it. This is best reserved for a weekend away with the family!

What a day with the battles! #gopro #goproaddiction #snowboarding #Massanuttenskiresort #mynewaddiction

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Wintergreen Resort is about two hours outside of Maryland, but the nearly endless array of activities makes it a must-see. Winter activities include a terrain park, ice skating, fun park for kids and families, ski and snowboard lessons, and more. Make sure to check out their website for current passes and deals.

Travel just under two hours outside of Hagerstown, Maryland, to visit the highest ski mountain in Pennsylvania at the Blue Knob All Seasons Resort. Stay on-site and take part in their ski school with ski patrol on the lookout to ensure you and your family remain safe. 

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10 Best Ice Skating Rinks in Maryland Maryland ice skaters have some of the best spots on the east coast to lace up their skates! From public recreation rinks to private sports complexes, you’ll find plenty of reasons to get on the ice around these parts. Here are the 10 best in the state.  

The Cabin John Ice Rink is part of the Montgomery Parks system in Montgomery County, Maryland. They have regular events, including Scout Skate Day, Winter Show, and group classes. It’s the perfect option for an affordable, local skating spot.

The Silver Spring Ice Rink at Veterans Plaza is an outdoor rink surrounded by excellent restaurants and shops, making it a fantastic ending for a day out. Take advantage of free parking after 8 p.m. on weeknights and all day on weekends. 

The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland, is a 150,000-square-foot facility with five rinks, private rooms, and a full gym. Stop by for public skate sessions or consider signing up for the Mid Atlantic Skating School. 

Don’t wait until the winter to get your skate on—not when you can take advantage of the City of Bowie Ice Arena. The arena is open year-round and offers skating opportunities for all ages. If you’re a local, make sure to take advantage of their discounted prices. 

Skate Frederick in Frederick, Maryland, features two National Hockey League (NHL) regulation rinks (200 feet by 85 feet), snack bars, video games, skate rentals, and much more. Consider signing up for a holiday skate camp.

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Yeah we skate #squadup #icey ๐Ÿ”ฅโ„

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Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex is located at Fairgrounds Park. The facility sits on nine acres and boasts 40,500 square-feet. Stop by to learn to skate or take part in one of their hockey leagues.  

The Columbia Ice Rink in Columbia, Maryland, is another great option for those living in the area. As part of the Columbia Association, members get free admission to the rink during public sessions. Check the website for the complete winter break session schedule.

Kennedy & Pop on the ice :)

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The Glen Burnie rink is a scenic outdoor rink open every day of the week from November to March. Bring your own skates or rent for $3. Skate-a-holics would do well to consider a season pass.

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Come to Reisterstown Sportsplex for public skating, to take lessons, figure skating, hockey, and more. They offer summer figure skating camps, hockey clinics, and parties. Sign up for group or private lessons to sharpen your skills.

The Herbert Wells Ice Rink is part of the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. The standard NHL-size rink is open from October to April. Need a break from skating? Enjoy the warming hut with fireplace while you catch your breath. 

An ice pun just slipped my mind โ›ธโ„๏ธ

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5 Best Winter Camping Spots in Maryland Despite dropping temperatures, campsites across Maryland continue to welcome explorers brave enough to face the elements. From rustic, backcountry sites to accommodating cabins with a toasty fire, a variety of campsites remain open throughout Maryland during the winter. Explore all of the farms, state parks, and islands your heart desires at these five great winter camping spots in the state. 

Interested in the allure of a winter wonderland but would prefer to avoid a snowy tent? Look no further than the Ole Mink Farm in Thurmont, Maryland. They offer year-round luxury log cabins, cabinettes, and more. 

According to the official website, the New Germany State Park is known as Maryland’s “best kept secret.” The park is nestled between the Big Savage Mountain and the Meadow Mountain with a warming hut available during the winter. Campers can also rent cross-country skis and snow shoes here. 

#cabins #newgermanystateparkmd

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The Pocomoke River State Park is “famous for its stand of loblolly pine and for its cypress swamps which border the wild and scenic Pocomoke River.” They’re open year-round (only one of the landings is open in winter). 

Wye Island in Queenstown, Maryland, is known for its wintering waterfowl population, although regulated hunting of other wildlife is allowed. The site is open year-round for camping with youth group campsites, shelters, and lodges available for rent. 

Gunpowder Falls State Park in Middle River, Maryland, sits on 18,000 acres and has six distinct areas. Depending on which area you choose to visit, different camping options become available. Glampers might prefer the Mill Pond Cottage, open year-round, with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, and more. Area shelters are available in the Hammerman Area. 

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Best Winter Weekend Getaway in New Germany State Park Maryland’s New Germany State Park is often referred to as Maryland’s “best kept secret,” according to the Department of Natural Resources. Known for its diverse forests and multi-use trails, the park stays open during the winter months, providing a winter wonderland mystique. Our idea of the perfect weekend getaway here is full of exciting activities that will take you skiing the trails, ice fishing, relaxing in the warmth, and more. For a perfect weekend getaway, head to New Germany State Park where the snowy forest is waiting! 

About 25 minutes down the road from New Germany State Park sits High Mountain Sports in Oakland, Maryland. Before venturing out into the snowy depths of the park, make sure you have everything you might need to succeed. Stock up on warm clothes, jackets, ski equipment, North Faces… you name it, they’ve got it. 

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New Germany State Park has some fishing at New Germany Lake, but it is nothing compared to the almost 4,000-acre Deep Creek Lake. Throughout the winter, there is a lot of activity that goes on as ice fishing is a very popular sport. Make sure you have proper permits before dropping a line for smallmouth & largemouth bass, walleye, crappie, chain pickerel, catfish, and other species.

Next, you’ll need to find yourself some accommodations. At the park, there are 12 cabins you can choose from, all providing you with a warm and cozy environment. You can reserve one ahead of time on the official park website or stop in and see if you can scrounge one up for yourself. 

The park offers over 10 miles of multi-use trails, so there are plenty of routes to take if you’re looking for a hike. You won’t want to forget a camera; the views off the trails are straight out of a story book. With varying levels of difficulty, there is a trail for everyone. Be mindful that skiers are the priority of the groomed tracks, so check out the trail map and plot out your hiking adventure!

Every year, the park staff makes sure the ski trails are properly groomed, making the snowy terrain ideal for veteran and new skiers alike. Choose between the flat, open area for beginners of winding trails for those with more experience. New Germany State Park’s 455 acres are yours to explore! 

Open only during the winter months, the on-site warming hut at the lake house “provides a place for winter enthusiasts to relax after a day of playing in the snow,” according to their website. You can refuel at the snack bar, shop for souvenirs and other gifts, check out trail maps, and rent cross country skis or snowshoes. 

With everything that Wisp Resort has to offer, it would be a missed opportunity if you didn’t check it out. One of their main attractions is their Mountain Coaster which is a 1,300-foot track where you’ll be “twisting, turning, dipping and rolling for 3,500 feet downhill over 350 vertical feet on the eastern side of Wisp Mountain.” 

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The Garrett County Historical Society Museum in Oakland, Maryland offers self-guided and tour services. Either way, you’ll learn about the over 200-year history of Garrett County through its exhibits and artifacts. 

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The Alley is a wholesome entertainment spot perfect for visitors of any age. Enjoy bowling, an arcade, pool tables, shuffleboard, pizza, drinks, and more. Get in a few games, try your luck at pool, and let loose at the arcade before heading out for dinner.

When the dinner craving hits, there’s no better place to fix that than Tomanetti’s Pizzeria and Italian Eatery. Oakland’s favorite Italian restaurant offers classic fare, a plethora of different pizza options, bruschetta, calzones, strombolis. There are also other American favorites like wings, mac and cheese, Philly cheese steaks and more. Come fill up on some of Oakland’s best grub around!

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3 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Maryland Maryland has such a diverse geography that you can go off-roading in the mountains or on the beach. It makes for a fun experience and something unique for those who love getting outdoors and out of the city. There are a number of cool trails to traverse throughout Maryland, but here are a few great ones. 

Not owning an ATV shouldn’t prevent you from getting out there, and by visiting Western Trails, it won’t! Located near Deep Creek Lake, Western Trails can take you out on an hour-long side by side ATV ride with all of your closest friends. While guided, this is not a slow-going tour. It’s fast, fun, muddy, and a total adventure. Their ATVs can seat two or four so it is possible to take the entire family out for a good time. This is also a really good way to expose the family to ATVs if you aren’t sure that everyone is ready to make the big purchase. Just be warned that your kids will probably want you to visit a dealership right after!

As I said a lot of times, toys are growing up with me #atv #atvriding

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Talk about stunning views. When you off-road here, you have the privilege of seeing Maryland at its finest. Water, trees, mountains, waterfalls, and more will greet you here and it makes for some incredible photo ops when you’re not too busy enjoying the ride. Savage River has been working on trail restorations, so you want to check ahead of time to see which ones you can use. There are even excellent campsites available. Camping for the week or weekend will allow you to explore the trails more than once. You can also hunt here with the proper license. With so many outdoor activities to choose from, this can easily be a longer vacation. 

This Southern Maryland gem is a park designed for off-roading vehicles. This hugely popular spot regularly hosts events, and is perfect for all levels of skill. You can even rent out the track so you and your buddies can have the space all to yourselves! This is an excellent spot to get in some practice if you are a competitive rider. 

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

anatoliy_gleb/ Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Maryland If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably told yourself this will be the season you spend more time watching the leaves change colors. With our help, this fall you’re finally going to do it! Check out any of the following five hikes in Maryland for absolutely stunning foliage that’ll have you coming back year after year. 

Billy Goat Trail is one of the most traveled hikes in the D.C.-Maryland region. The hike is around eight miles-long with three sections—A, B, and C. While only moderately difficult, prepare to jump across rocks. Bring your camera for the incredible views of the Potomac River and the changing colors all around.

Gunpowder Falls State Park is comprised of over 18,000 acres and boasts more than 120 miles of multi-use trails. The park has protected wildlands, historic sites, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, a swimming beach, and a marina. What does that all add up to? Jaw-dropping, beautiful foliage everywhere you look.  

Green Ridge State Forest is the “largest contiguous block of public land in Maryland,” according to Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources website, with almost 50,000 acres of protected land. The forest is diverse but consists of mainly 110-year-old oak. With 50 miles of hiking trails, everyone from the most inexperienced to veteran hikers can enjoy the splendid changing colors of the forest all around. 

Swallow Falls State Park near Oakland, Maryland, offers a nice, easy hike along the Youghiogheny River, perfect for any member of the family (including pets). While only 1.25 miles-long, the scenery is “some of the most breathtaking in Western Maryland,” according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website. The hike may not be difficult, but other natural hazards, including waterfalls, swift currents, and slippery rocks, can make it more treacherous, so make sure to keep a keen eye on where you’re walking.

The Appalachian Trail snakes through over 40 miles of Maryland with easy to moderate sections depending on your preference. The trail, in addition to magnificent foliage, is home to the original Washington Monument. Serious hikers will enjoy multi-day trips along the trail. 

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ATV Off-Roading Adventure at Wicomico Motorsports Park Marylander off-roaders are lucky to have so many fantastic options to get their riding on. But for a truly thrilling experience, check out Wicomico Motorsports Park. This spot is a haven for off-roaders, exclusively designed for four-wheelers and dirt bikes. For a long day of fun across hundreds of acres, you won’t want to miss this. Below, you’ll find an itinerary for an awesome off-roading adventure in Maryland! 

It doesn’t get more classic than this La Plata diner. Start off your day with a filling breakfast that will keep you fueled for hours. Excellent, hearty options include the New York strip and eggs, country fried steak and eggs, pork chop and eggs, or the “Farm Hand,” made with two pancakes, one waffle, two eggs, two strips of bacon, and two sausages links—all for an affordable price. 

This 300-acre motorsports park is the ultimate escape. The trails are safe and family-oriented, with beginner-level tracks geared toward children, an intermediate track, and an advanced track designed by professional riders. There are several miles of wooded trails to explore, as well. This great spot is open year-round, even on all federal holidays (except Christmas), so you can go riding any time you want.  

Now that you’ve spent the day riding, it’s time to refuel. Gilligan’s Pier in Newburg is a great place to relax. Serving up delicious Maryland blue crab and freshly-caught seafood for 25 years, Gilligan’s Pier has been putting in great effort to buy from local farms and fishermen since its early days. Try any of their seafood baskets, sandwiches, soups, salads, and awesome entrees. Don’t forget to grab a beer, too. 

For the night, we’re traveling just over the boarder to beautiful Colonial Beach, Virginia. The Dennison Street Inn is a stunning, historic spot to stay overnight. This luxury bed and breakfast is just a half a block away from the Potomac River. The inn is situated within a Queen Anne Victorian home that was built in 1893 for the first mayor of Colonial Beach. Now, guests are welcome to stay the night in one of several comfortable suites. In the morning, enjoy a homemade breakfast in the parlor room, or if it’s nice, on the front porch. 

Before you wrap up your journey, it’s important you make one final spot before leaving Colonial Beach—George Washington’s birthplace. At this site, you’ll see an incredible colonial garden filled with plants and herbs that our Founding Father would’ve used in the 18th century. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch sight of the beautiful eagles in the area. 

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5 Awesome RV Campsites in Maryland Touring Maryland by RV? Or perhaps just going for a quick weekend camping trip? You don’t need to leave Maryland to find incredible campgrounds that will offer a great setting for your weekend retreat! With all the beauty of nature and modern amenities rolled into one, you’ll love these five awesome RV campsites in Maryland. 

At Ramblin’ Pines, the amenities are plentiful—you’ll find access to shady trees, a heated pool, soccer fields, mini golf, exercise rooms, laundry areas, and so much more. It’s as luxurious as RV camping gets!

Want to go camping, but still feel at home? Castaways has the answer! At their waterfront site, you’ll enjoy views of the Sinepuxent Bay and Assateague National Seashore. Choose from an RV rental, motor home site, tent camping, or cottage to stay in.

With free Wi-Fi at this campground, you won’t have to completely disconnect—just in case. But you’ll still be able to remove yourself from the modern world and bring you and your family closer to nature. On site, you’ll find an air-conditioned café, nearby hiking opportunities, a playground, and more. 

Enjoy on-site mini-golf and an arcade all from the campsite! You can also take a shuttle bus to Frontier Town for a larger water park, which the family will love! They also offer a shuttle to Ocean City, which has plenty of its own attractions. No RV? Then rent one of their 23 vacation rental sites for a weekend getaway. 

In operation since 2005, Island Resort is a place where family comes first. There are 93 RV sites available—64 waterfront and some pull-through sites. All sites have full hook-ups, picnic tables, and fire rings. There is a large pool on-site, a catch-release fishing program, canoe rentals, and more. 

Lazor/ Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Maryland Camping may be at its best during the fall. The temperatures are cooler, the crowds are less abundant. Take in the splendid Maryland fall foliage and the crisp air by getting back to basics at any of the following five perfect fall camping spots. 

Owens Creek Campground near Thurmont, Maryland, provides individual, family, and small group tent camping surrounded by a lush mountain landscape and beautiful foliage. Pick any of the 49 available campsites and enjoy a weekend full of s’mores, relaxing, and hiking.

Tuckahoe State Park near Queen Anne, Maryland, offers “20 miles of scenic hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, flat water canoeing, hunting, picnicking, as well as a recycled tire playground for children.” What more could you ask for?

Located in the beautiful Catoctin Mountains, the Cunningham Falls State Park offers swimming, hiking, fishing, and canoeing, among other activities. The park is separated into two areas: The William Houck Area, with a lake, falls, and camping area, and the Manor Area, with its own unique features. Both are stunningly beautiful.

Pick out a spot in the 47,560-acre Green Ridge State Forest and enjoy an incredible primitive camping experience. The forest consists “primarily of a 110-year-old even-ages mixed oak,” along with many other classes. You won’t find many amenities here, but if you want a true fall experience, Green Ridge is the place to go. 

Patapsco Valley State Park near Ellicott City, Maryland, extends for 32 miles along the Patapsco River, and offers hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback riding, and mountain bike trails. According to their website, “the park is nationally known for its trail opportunities and scenery,” with over 200 miles of trails. 

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10 Best Archery Outfitters in Maryland Whether you’re a hunter or a range shooter, archers know that the thrill of letting loose an arrow is unlike any other form of shooting. Before your next outing, why not check out any of the following 10 best archery gear stores in Maryland to stock up on equipment? 

For over 20 years, Macrotech has distinguished itself as one of the best shops in the business. The owner, Len Marsh, is known as one of the United States’ foremost archery experts. Their full-service shop and 10 bow presses should suit an archer’s every need.

Bowhunters Den Outdoors services the Finksburg, Maryland, area with world-class archery equipment. In addition to their shop, they have a great shooting range and bargain bin for lightly used equipment.  

Wolf Paw offers a unique product: custom archery bows. Their bows are high performance and handcrafted, useful to both target and hunting archers. 

Deer Creek Archery is the top rated pro shop and range in Maryland, as awarded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. They have fantastic deals on bow and arrows. Consider signing up for league shooting.

Jefferson Archery sells bows, crossbows, muzzleloaders, and hunting accessories, including arrows. They pride themselves on giving each customer personal attention, as opposed to big box chain stores. “As a local store [individual attention] is what we have to offer and is one of the biggest reasons we opened,” say the owners.

Since 1977, this shop has provided Mount Airy residents with an excellent selection of firearms, ranging from modern firearms to black powder rifles and bow and arrows. Pick up the latest from your favorite brand names, including Mathews, Hoyt, and Mission.

Strut ‘n Rut Archery sells name brand archery equipment, including bows by Mission, Elite, and Diamond. Their staff is knowledgeable and will happily help you install peep sites, replacement strings, and more. Stop by their 4,000-square-foot facility to check out their entire inventory, or shop online. 

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Got some range practice in today. Sporting my @defendthesecond tank๐ŸŽฏ #dts #defendthesecond #Archery

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3J’s Archery Pro Shop stocks all of your favorite name brand bows, including Genesis, Elite, Mission, Hoyt, Xpedition, and more. Check out their store and consider signing up for archery lessons to make your next shooting adventure an even greater success.

Tuckahoe Sportsman sells “everything you need to become a master hunter,” according to their slogan. For archers, that includes bows, arrows, crossbows, and archery targets. Not sure how to set your new bow up? No problem. They’re happy to set it up for you for free with purchase.

DICK’s Sporting Goods is one of the biggest sporting goods chain stores in the country, with 15 locations in Maryland alone. Check out their extensive archery equipment in their locations from Hagerstown, to Frederick, to Lexington Park, and more. They have a wide array of archery services and affordable packages. 


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9 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Maryland Fishing and crabbing is as old as Maryland itself. With such close proximity to the mighty Chesapeake Bay, many Marylanders practically grow up on the water. Whether you’re passing down the fishing tradition or simply brushing off your lures, the following 10 bait and tackle shops will make your next trip even better. 

Anglers is locally owned and operated by passionate fishermen and women, and has been since 1961. They sell just about everything you could want for a good fishing trip (including beer, wine, and spirits), but their bait is the standout: they have the largest selection on the Chesapeake Bay. If you’re going out after they close or before they open, don’t fret: their frozen bait box vending machine has you covered.

Fishbone’s Bair and Tackle in Pasadena, Maryland, sells durable lures with the goal of helping you catch fish and crabs. They’ve got too many products to list here, but suffice it to say, they’re well worth a visit if you haven’t been already. You’ll find absolutely everything you need at Fishbone’s. 

Blue Fins in Baltimore, Maryland, is one of the area’s best full-service shops, with a wide range of eclectic services and products. They provide gun repair, custom lures and rigs, rod and reel repair, notary services, and, of course, plenty of bait and tackle. 

Sarge’s Bait and Tackle is open every day, and some days opens up as early as 6 a.m. for those early-rising anglers! They sell all manner of fishing equipment, including hand-made bait. The Sarge himself makes a bait called the “Thumper Jig,” which “is a great search bait when looking for Stripers,” according to his latest website blog entry.

Whether you’re looking for St. Croix rods, Penn reels, Mustad hooks (, or many other fantastic brands, Atlantic Tackle in Ocean City, Maryland, is sure to have something for you. They also sell tournament cable offshore tackle as well as tournament winning ballyhoo, mullet, and mackerel bait.

Tyler’s Tackle Shop is open early every day of the week, opening at 4:30 a.m. on weekends and 5 a.m. on weekdays. Buy online or in store. They’ve got a great selection of terminal tackle and bait.

Clyde’s Sports Shop in Halethorpe, Maryland, primarily sells fishing and hunting gear. Since 1957, they’ve kept up to date with the best fishing reels, rods, tackle boxes, and bait.

Shore Tackle and Custom Rods has a location in Grasonville and one in Berlin, Maryland. They create custom fishing rods, provide repair services, and sell tackle, among other products. Check out their website for an updated inventory or shop in person.

The owner of Bay Country Crabbing Supply and tackle has been an avid Maryland crabber for over 20 years and brings his experience to bear on all of the products his shop stocks. From their website: “We make, according to our customers, the best product on the market for a reasonable price.” Can’t ask for much more than that. 

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Best Places to Fish in the East This Fall A smorgasbord of baitfish is served up to striped bass in the fall as they make their way south along the Atlantic coast from Maine to their wintering waters in the mid-Atlantic.

Hot Spots To Fish: Deservedly, Montauk, NY at the eastern end of Long Island is considered a storied mecca for striped bass fishermen. If you’re not going surf fishing on the beach or fishing from a jetty, Gone Fishing Marina (631-668-3232, can set up a charter trip for you. If it’s booked up, try Star Island Yacht Club (631-668-5052, or Montauk Marine Basin (631-668-5900,

Find the best fishing spots near you:

Down south, talk to the folks at Captain Hogg’s Charter Service (757-876-1590, about fishing around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Overdrawn Charters  (252-202-4623, in Manteo, N.C. can help as well.

Tackle You’ll Need: Stick with 30- to 50-pound braid or monofilament and a 60-pound-test shock leader of fluorocarbon, with saltwater-ready spinning tackle heavy enough to handle 10- to 14-foot rods. Penn, Quantum and Okuma specialize in fairly inexpensive surf-fishing rods, and reels to match. If you have a reel, but no rod yet, the new Black Inshore Rods from Lamiglas are up to the task. The five spinning and five casting models range from a 6-foot, 10-inch light finesse spinning rod to a 7 ½-foot casting rod rated for lures from 3 to 12 ounces in weight.

Quick tip: The most successful anglers are those who spot gulls or other wheeling seabirds feeding on baitfish driven to the top by stripers and who then cast into the melee without dispersing the bass. From a boat, the trick is to approach schools carefully and take advantage of wind or tide to drift to within casting range. The stripers will stay up as long as the baitfish are hemmed against the surface.


Best Lures/Baits: The 4 1/2-inch Acme Kastmater XL spoon, the 1 ½-ounce Odin Popper, and the 5-inch pencil popper from Tsunami are popular artificials up and down the Atlantic seaboard. Other popular options include the 6- or 7-inch Savage Gear Sandeel Swimbait, 9-inch Sassy Shad swimbait and the 6-inch Rapala X-Rap SubWalk.

Find the best bait and tackle shops near you:

For anglers who’d rather soak baits from a boat or in the surf, live or cut bait, such as Atlantic menhaden (peanut bunker), herring, porgies, eels, bloodworms, anchovies and mullet, can flip the switch on chaotic striper blitzes.

Photograph Courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism The classic approach to surf fishing is still a great way to take advantage of the striper run along the Atlantic coast. Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Best Places to Fish in the South This Fall Redfish are starting to move inshore and set up at the mouths of bays, inlets and deltas as their annual spawning run commences. The bottom line for fishermen is outstanding fishing from late September through November in the northern Gulf.

Likewise, bass fishing is starting to pick up again as the weather begins to cool. Huge schools of threadfin shad are starting to filter away from open-water ledges into bays and tributaries where feeding conditions and water temperatures are more optimum.

Bass follow the food, first setting up on ledges at the mouths of inlets and creeks to waylay shad, then migrating back toward shallower water to keep up with their quarry.

Fall Script for Southern Bass

Bass rule in Dixie and cooler weather brings out an army of anglers who go after them. Whether largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass, they’re available in most waters and sometimes all three varieties are present in a fishery, ready to aggravate or gratify those who seek them.

Hot Spots To Fish: When it comes to the South’s best lakes for fall fishing, the big TVA impoundments fit the bill. Because this is bass tournament country, dozens of YouTube videos and Facebook sites of pro anglers offer useful advice on where and how to catch autumn largemouths. Likewise, guide services are plentiful; just Google “fishing guides” for the lake you’re visiting or type in the town nearest the lake you wish to fish on the interactive map on this page.

Tackle You’ll Need: A 7-foot medium/heavy rod such as the St. Croix Premier Cranking, a baitcasting reel like the Abu Garcia Revo Winch and 10- to 14-pound-test monofilament makes a good combination to fish downsized lures.

Quick tip: This is strictly a match-the-hatch deal. Use lures that are about the same size as wandering shad. If young-of-the-year threadfins are on the bass menu, try small swim baits fished on drop-shot rigs.


Best Lures/Baits: Shad-colored, shallow- and medium-diving square-billed or coffin-billed crankbaits are autumn standouts. Popular lures include the Strike King 6XD, Bandit 100 or 200, Duo Realis M65, Livetarget Magnum Shad BaitBall Squarebill, Megabass S-Crank, Lucky Craft Squarebill 2.5, Storm Arashi and Rapala Shad Rap.

Fish them around shoreline cover and on the flats between creek drop-offs and the bank. Other fallback baits include spinnerbaits like the Booyah Super Shad, Stanley Vibrashaft and Nichols Pulsator. Good buzzbait options can be found from Lunker Lure, Damiki, Santone and Dirty Jigs.

Rendezvous With Redfish

Along the northern Gulf Coast from Carrabelle, FL, to Grand Isle, LA, the redfish season begins in late September and continues in stages through December. Some anglers fish in the surf with cut bait, while others station themselves on area piers or in boats on relatively shallow flats near channel cuts.

Hot Spots To Fish: For boating anglers, a couple of spots stick out. Pensacola Bay Pass is a must-fish for boaters. Anchor up on the broad flat between old Fort Pickens and the channel, set out lines as the tide changes to incoming, and hang on. Need more help? Redfish University Pensacola Fishing Charters (850-748-4368, specializes in the big drum.

At Grand Isle, LA, book a trip with Gotta Go Fishing Charters (225-921-3642, The marshes and inshore waters around Venice, LA, are primo redfish haunts as well. Captain Mike Frenette (504-782-0924, or ( is a top guide here.

Photograph Courtesy of Strike King Lure Company 
Louisiana’s coastal waters are ground zero for the hottest autumn redfish action along the northern Gulf Coast. A variety of natural baits and artificials get the job done.

Tackle You’ll Need: “Rat” reds of 3 pounds and up, or real bruisers weighing in excess of 20 pounds require a range of tackle options. Bass fishing tackle – whether spinning or baitcasting – is perfect for handling smaller fish and for casting jigs or swimbaits that weigh less than an ounce. A Shimano Stradic spinning reel and 7-foot medium-action Shimano Compre rod with 14-pound-test monofilament.

For bigger fish, consider a Penn Battle II BTLII5000 with 20-pound-test monofilament or 40-pound-test braid, and a 30-pound-test fluorocarbon leader. A 7-foot medium-heavy spinning rod (such as the Penn Battalion BATIN1220S70) should handle any bait rigs or lures and wear down a bull redfish in short order.

Quick Tip: Incoming tides in late evening or at night are primo times for reds as the fish free-spawn then in the mouths of coastal bays and estuaries. If you can’t fish any other time, make sure you fish the incoming tides.


Best Lures/Baits: Redfish aren’t particular about their dietary requirements and will eat anything from blue crabs to halved mullet. Swimming spoons such as the Johnson Sprite (, swimbaits and jigs or even topwater poppers, such as the Heddon Saltwater Spook, will elicit strikes.

Photograph Courtesy of Strike King Lure Company Photo By Garrick Dixon Shallow- to medium-running crankbaits probably account for more bass than any other lure in the fall when the fish are on the prowl for shad in feeder creeks and coves. Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
Hurricane Florence: {local_state_full} Shelters, Safety Tips and Resources. Formed by an intense tropical wave off the west coast of Africa, Hurricane Florence is now positioned to devastate the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Delaware. 

As the storm approaches, it is crucial to properly prepare and follow protocol set into place by your local officials. 

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has ordered a mandatory evacuation of several coastal counties, click here to see if your area is being evacuated. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has also ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal counties, click here to see if you reside in one of these counties. 

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has declared a State of Emergency for all 159 Georgia counties.  

Governor Ralph Northam has issued a mandatory evacuation for Zone A in Coastal Virginia. 

Governor Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency for Maryland and Governor Jim Justice has declared a State of Preparedness for West Virginia

Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a state of emergency for Washington, D.C.

Delaware has not delcared a state of emergency, but keep up with the latest on the DEMA website.  

Utilize a gas tracker to find the nearest available fuel, as some stations are running low. Be sure to follow road signs and not your GPS when evacuating.

It is important to be prepared. Be sure to check FEMA’s key safety tips. They have an app that you can download for your phone, as well. There are also a variety of other sources such as the National Hurricane CenterSave the and American Red Cross to aid you in finding shelter, food and water, emergency supply kits, and helping your children to cope with the impact of the storm. Stay updated with the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards to follow the trajectory of Hurricane Florence.

To find shelters near you text SHELTER and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example, SHELTER 12345. You can also find a list of shelters from the following resources:

Register yourself as being safe and well or find missing loved ones:'s Hurricane Resources:

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9 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Maryland Marylanders know how to celebrate fall right. Between ghost walks, gorgeous fall foliage adventures, and guided hunting trips, there’s no shortage of incredible activities to enjoy. This season, get outside and experience all Maryland has to offer! Here are our favorite fall activities in the state. 

The Irons Family of the Ole Mink Farm has provided cabin-style camping atop the Catoctic Mountains for half a century. Log cabin options include one, two, three, and four-bedroom varieties. Seniors, take note: senior discounts are available all throughout September! 

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Sponsored by the city of Bethesda, the Taste of Bethesda festival brings in over 60 restaurants and five stages of live entertainment to the city streets. Generally held in early October, admission is free! Make sure to come early so you don’t miss out on the best dishes. 

Baugher’s Orchards has been a Carroll County main-stay for over 100 years. Every Saturday and Sunday throughout September and October, they open their pumpkin patches for picking. Make a day of your visit and enjoy apple picking, pumpkin picking, homemade goods, kettle corn, music, fudge, and pony rides.

Weber’s Farm and Cider Mill has opened its doors to visitors every September through December for the last 60-plus years. They use the same cider mill originally purchased in 1947 to press the apples used in their cider. Enjoy a day in the orchard before kicking back with a cider and apple treat.

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Every year, the Sandy Point State Park hosts a Chesapeake Bay Fall Rockfish Tournament with big cash money on the line. This year, make sure your angler skills are up to snuff by practicing with the Sawyer Fishing Charters group. Book a charter to take you out on the bay to test out new techniques before the big tournament.

According to their website, Baltimore Wicked History Tour invites you to “plumb the depths of Baltimore’s underbelly.” Walk from speakeasies to brothels with this on-foot tour, exploring some of the darkest history of the area. 

Every year, Maryland Sunrise Farm LLC creates one of the best corn mazes in the country as named by, and this year is no exception. Choose from an easy and short 20-minute version or a more difficult, hour-long excursion. The farm hosts several food vendors onsite, too.

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It wouldn’t be fall in Maryland without the U.S. Oyster Festival. Home to the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championship and the National Oyster Cook-Off, this particular festival is one of the best of its kind. Delight in the flavors of the region with this very special fall event. 

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Owner-operator Tom Marvel continues the family hunting tradition started in the 1920s with the Chesapeake Guide Service, a company that prides itself on taking hunters out into the wild to explore all the Maryland Eastern Shore has to offer. Fall hunting in Maryland means only one thing: Whitetail Deer. The Chesapeake Guide Service boasts “leases in the three most sought-after counties on the upper Eastern Shore,” so if hunting is your thing, they’re your guys.

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