At a Glance
Hours: 8 am to sunset. The park often fills to capacity on summer weekends and holidays. Visitors will be turned away when the park fills.
- From Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, weekends & holidays: MD residents $5/person; out-of-state residents $7/person
- From Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, weekdays (non-holiday): MD residents $3/person; out-of-state residents $5/person
- May and September weekends: MD residents $3/person; out-of-state residents $5/person
- From the day after Labor Day through the Friday before Memorial Day: MD residents $3/vehicle; out-of-state residents $5/vehicle.
- Visitors may use state park annual or senior pass. There are additional fees for camping and picnic shelters.
Tips: Greenbrier State Park often fills to capacity on summer weekends and holidays. If the park fills, additional visitors will be turned away. ◾ Wear sturdy boots for hiking the trails. ◾ Hunting takes place in the park. Be aware of hunting seasons and plan your visit accordingly. ◾ Black bears are present in the park. ◾ Restrooms are scattered throughout the day-use area and camping loops. See the trail map for restroom locations.
Best Seasons: Year round. Some roads may be impassable after winter snow.
Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Funkstown CE, Funkstown SE, Myersville CW, Myersville SW
Local MOS Chapter: Washington County Bird Club
Greenbrier State Park
21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713-9535 (301) 791-4767
Note: As of summer 2021, the dam at Greenbrier Lake is undergoing repair, impacting access to some trails, including Big Red and Rock Oak Fire Trails. Other areas may also be closed. Check the park website for a map of impacted areas and current conditions.
Greenbrier State Park is a 1,407-acre multi-use facility located along the South Mountain ridge in the Appalachian Mountains. Most of the park lies in Washington County, but about 45 acres are in Frederick County.
The centerpiece of Greenbrier State Park is its 42-acre man-made lake, stocked for fishing, and of course, the lake also offers habitat for birds. The park features a network of trails that loop through the forests on the side of the ridge. The area was extensively logged before it became a state park in the 1960s, so the woodlands are primarily second growth. There are more than 11 miles of trails. The trails are well-marked but can be rocky and hilly; most are considered moderate to strenuous.
The Appalachian Trail passes through the eastern edge of the park, and the park’s trails connect to it. The surrounding lands feature a rolling topography and include crop fields, abandoned farm fields, and pastures.
Greenbrier State Park has extensive visitor amenities and activities, including tent and RV camping, boat launch, boat rental, camp store, flat water canoeing, picnic area, playground, swimming, mountain biking, and hunting. There is a year-round Visitor Center and a seasonal Nature Center.
Over 160 species have been reported on eBird from Greenbrier State Park. There are two eBird hotspots:
- Greenbrier State Park overall: 162+ species.
- Greenbrier SP–Lambs Knoll: 52+ species but only 8 checklists.
The lake hosts waterfowl during the fall, winter, and early spring, and is a good place to see Pied-billed, Horned, and Red-necked Grebes in the spring. Vireos found in the spring include Blue-headed, Yellow-throated, and Warbling. A number of warblers are seen during migration, including Black-throated Green, Black-and-White, Kentucky, and Hooded Warblers as well as American Redstart, Ovenbird, and Louisiana Waterthrush. Other birds of note include Broad-winged Hawk, Wild Turkey, Common Raven, and Scarlet Tanager.
There are handicapped-accessible restrooms and parking spots within the park day-use area, and the Visitor Center is accessible. Some of the overnight campsites are accessible, and a beach wheelchair is available for loan. The beach wheelchair would allow viewing of the lake for waterbirds. The trails are not wheelchair-accessible.
- Year-round, pets are permitted are allowed only on trails outside the day-use area, as accessed from outlying parking areas.
- Year-round, pets are allowed in the Cedar and Dogwood camping loops.
- Pets are allowed within the day-use area and in the lake area only from the day after Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day.
- All pets must be on a leash.
- Be prepared to pick up after your pet and take the pet waste with you when you leave. All MD state parks operate on a trash-free basis.
Greenbrier State Park offers an accessible visitors’ center, picnic areas, and some campsites. A beach wheelchair is also available. ◾ Greenbrier State Park lies within the Maryland Blue Ridge Important Bird Area (IBA), as designated by the National Audubon Society. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Washington County Bird Club, which offers field trips and meetings with information presentations, all free and open to the public.
Episode 2801 from Outdoors Maryland on Maryland Public Television includes the segment “Appalachian Gem,” which features Greenbrier State Parks and other parks in the South Mountain Recreation Area (Gathland SP, Washington Monument SP, South Mountain SP, South Mountain State Battlefield). The video footage also highlights the Appalachian Trail, which threads through the parks. Other segments in this episode include “Beneath the Beaten Path,” about cave diggers who explore subterranean worlds that have never been seen by human eyes, and “Return to the Classics,” featuring Ralph Cattaneo of the Eastern Shore, who takes classic wooden boats, once condemned to decay, and lovingly restores their elegant splendor.
Paved and unpaved lots as designated on park maps; see Trail Map at link at left.
To Greenbrier State Park from the East: Take I-70 west to Exit 42. Bear right onto MD Route 17 north. Go into the center of Myersville and MD Route 17 will turn right. Follow MD Route 17 to the flashing lights at the intersection with US Route 40. Turn left onto US Route 40 westbound. Follow for three miles and Greenbrier State Park will be on the left.
From the West: Take I-70 east to exit 35. Bear right onto MD Route 66 south. Follow MD Route 66 to the stoplight at the intersection of US Route 40. Turn left onto US Route 40 eastbound. Follow for two miles and Greenbrier State Park will be on the right.
Features:BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)Boat or Canoe/Kayak LaunchBoat RentalsCampingEntry Fee (Daily, All Year)FishingHiking/Walking TrailsHuntingNature Education ProgramsParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaPlaygroundRestroomsSnack Bar, Camp Store, Food ConcessionsSwimmingVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Type:Audubon Important Bird AreasPonds, Lakes, and ReservoirsState Parks