The ribbon has been cut on Maryland’s newest state park, and off-road vehicle enthusiasts can celebrate.
Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford joined Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, as well as parks staff and state and local elected officials, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of Wolf Den Run State Park on August 28th.
Located in Kitzmiller, Wolf Den Run is the first state park to offer off-highway vehicle trails.
The lieutenant governor was also joined by state Sen. George Edwards; Del. Wendell Beitzel; county Commissioners James Hinebaugh, Larry Tinchnell and Chairman Paul Edwards; county Administrator Kevin Null; Kitzmiller Mayor Robert Reckhart; and James Ratino, president of the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance.
“Maryland’s state parks are very dear to my heart, which is why I am so honored to be here today to celebrate and officially cut the ribbon on our newest state park, Wolf Den Run,” Rutherford said. “In addition to traditional recreational opportunities such as hiking, fishing and hunting, thrill-seeking visitors to Wolf Den Run State Park will be able to enjoy 12.5 miles of off-highway vehicle trails.”
“Since acquiring this spectacular property in 2017, our staff and volunteers — with valuable input from the public — have worked diligently to bring Wolf Den Run State Park to fruition,” Haddaway-Riccio said. “We are proud that we were able to preserve nearly 2,000 acres of land that will be an asset to the region, providing quality recreational opportunities including biking, fishing, hiking, hunting, and off-road vehicle trails.”
The Maryland Park Service hopes to open a total of nearly 50 miles of OHV trails in the future. Other future additions planned for the park include a vehicle maintenance shop and visitor check-in area. As part of the clean-up and preparation for this park, the department removed about five tons of trash and debris. The department also set aside 20 percent of the Huckleberry Rocks area for conservation of sensitive habitats, and future park planning will prioritize the protection of riparian areas along three trout streams and the North Branch of the Potomac River.
Like many of Maryland’s state parks, Wolf Den Run is rich in history. The name comes from the prominent stream, Wolf Den Run, which is located within the park boundary and empties into the north branch of the Potomac River. Additionally, the land was mined by the Wolf Den Coal Co. around the turn of the century.
In addition to Wolf Den Run, Rutherford also visited Big Run State Park in Swanton and Dans Mountain State Park in Lonaconing. All three park visits were part of Rutherford’s #LGStateParkBucketList initiative, which the lieutenant governor started to highlight the natural beauty and recreation and exploration opportunities offered at Maryland’s many state parks.