The Rock Maze Trail is located in Garrett State Forest near Oakland, Maryland.
We hiked this easy 1.6 mile round trip trail in sneakers. The whole trip took under 2 hours total, which includes 45 minutes at the rock maze itself.
The trail is well worn but unmarked so you do need to remain vigilant to remain on the trail which is up and back. The terrain on the hike is fairly level and even, with only a 89-foot change in elevation.
This is a very kid-friendly trail. I cannot over state that. We saw several families with preschoolers and older children. Said one of the kids when he came out of the maze and was getting ready to head back to the car:
“This is the coolest place EVER!”
It is also an easy hike for older people but on the day we hiked this trail there were several trees that had fallen across the trail. Even without those fallen trees, this is not a wheelchair friendly trail.
You can bring your dogs as long as you keep them on a leash. We saw a few dogs the day that we did this hike. But they also had trouble with all the fallen trees, since some of the fallen trees were higher up off the ground. The owners were constantly having to get them over or under the trees and fighting with leashes.
Yeah, I know we’re in the woods, but there were probably at least 30 fallen trees across this short trail.
There are no benches, no trash receptacles, nor are there any type of bathrooms along this trail.
The Rock Maze
At the top of the hill, there is a patch of boulder outcrops surrounded by rhododendrons. These boulders are the maze itself. Just walk up along the side until you see an “entrance” or large pathway. We called it the main entrance & promised to meet back there at the end.
We saw no wildlife of special interest on our early Autumn trip in September. But there were many other kids at the maze when we arrived. They were about done when we got there, so after a few minutes we had practically the whole place to ourselves. (I understand that at certain parts of the year, copperheads & rattlesnakes make appearances.)
The maze is amazing. (get it?) There was one part that was so narrow that neither my mom or dad could get through. Dad met me on the other side. If you feel lost just walk to the outside edge of the maze and go around. You will eventually find the place where you entered.
The Rock Maze Trail in Maryland is a very similar but a much smaller version of “The Great Channels,” located in southwest Virginia. The other big and welcome difference is that this hike is only about 10 easy minutes away compared to the longer 90 minute hike with a much bigger elevation change to the Great Channels in Virginia.
The Rock Maze Trail parking lot has more than 10 parking spaces. However, on our particular Saturday we did have to park about 150 yards from the Trailhead along the side of the road since there were a lot of vehicles already parked. To make room on the road we parked far to the right which was very sloped and made it hard for me and mom to get out of the car. We arrived around 11:00 in the morning, before lunch on a Saturday (in Sept 2021). By the time we returned to our car, the parking lot was empty and only 3 cars still parked along the road.
The Rock Maze Trail is located at: 3739 Snaggy Mountain Rd, Oakland, MD 21550 within Garrett State Forest near the border of Maryland & West Virginia.
You can use this link for directions: Your location to the Rock Maze Trail using Google Maps.
We had cell phone signal the whole time. But as usual, it would be wise to have a hard copy map of the trail and general area just in case.
You can more detailed information about the state forest here: Potomac-Garrett State Forest website
This hike is located near the town of Oakland, Maryland. Another option would be the Deep Creek Lake area, which is also close by.
We did not pre-plan our trip, and arrived late on a Saturday night when it was already dark. Thus, we had difficulty finding vacant lodging so we decided to drive west towards Morgantown, WV and stayed at a nice Microtel Inn – located off the Interstate 68 in Hazelton, WV. It was nice, clean, and cheap. They also had a waffle breakfast, with muffins and juice.
Oakland seemed to have a couple of motels, and some family-owned restaurants as well as some fast food available. It has an old main street and a neat-looking park with walking trails and a playground. There looks to be plenty of antique shopping and it has some cool museums (that we didn’t have a chance to explore) but would be great options for kids. Plus, they are all within a couple of blocks of each other:
- Oakland B&O Railroad Museum
- Garrett County Museum of Transportation
- Garrett County Historical Museum
The Deep Creek Lake area is a resort town with Deep Creek Lake State Park along a section of this huge lake. There is a ton of lodging options as well as food available. However, we did not have reservations and just needed a simply place to stay. Looks like there are SUP & kayak rentals available. Even though it was cold, we saw a couple of boats out fishing. Most boats were tied up to private docks & marinas. I believe most homes around the lake were rentals.
- Deep Creek website – look for lodging & rentals / also look for recreation & attractions
We went on this hike as part of a weekend trip to Maryland. We also went to Swallow Falls State Park, which is the adjacent park, and I will cover that hike in an upcoming post.
If you like the Rock Maze in Maryland, you will love the Great Channels in Virginia! See my other posting for The Great Channels in Virginia for helpful hints on that hike.