Smallwood State Park takes its name from General William Smallwood, a native born Charles Countian. He was the highest ranked Marylander who served in the American Revolutionary War. His house, called Smallwood's Retreat, has been restored and is open to visitors seasonally. Besides the restored house, the 628 acre park offers a marina, boat launching ramps, a picnic area, camping area, pavilions, a recycled tire playground and nature trails. On occasion, there are craft demonstrations, military exhibitions and other special events.
Camped a weekend here and it was a wonderful experience, even though it rained the whole time. Staff at the gate was very nice and helpful. Rangers waved as they drove by once in a while to make sure everything was OK. There were only 3 cabins occupied during our stay, so the park was empty. We took a stroll to the water-it has some nice views. Didn't have a chance to hike to the south as it was raining pretty bad. The cabin was clean, had a heater and AC, outside light, inside lights,electrical. The fire pit was OK. Wood is available for purchase close by; honor system. Overall we had a good experience camping at Smallwood. Perhaps next time the weather is better! One note: this is not a big park, so perhaps it's not a good place for a long hike, but for a weekend getaway with some conveniences-it's perfect!
A great trail. Generally suitable for all ages. The trail is divided into a lower section and an upper section. The lower section starts on the river side of the campground and loops around towards the park HQ. It is a single footpath wide in most parts but is easy to navigate.
The upper section starts at the top of the campground and winds around and up the hill, ending at General Smallwood's home. It is more scenic, featuring a stream. The path is generally much wider, but there is a much steeper climb at the end.
I walked the trail the day after a major thunderstorm and found many places on the upper section where the trail was partially or completely blocked by called trees. It was always possible to make my way around, but it might be worth inquiring about the status of the trail at the park HQ before starting.