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The Wilderness

2 Thistle Rd. , Catonsville, MD 21228 USA (Show map)
102 Reviews
$125 - $150
per night

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Not your average B&B – Welcome to The Wilderness! Surrounded by woodland tracts of The Patapsco Valley State Park, this Victorian era summer mansion has been restored to its country manor atmosphere, and offers unequalled peace and privacy. 210 years of history await you at The Wilderness – an historic preservation and hospitality award winning B&B providing suites for discriminating guests. Large rooms, comfy beds, fabulous baked goods and nearly total seclusion give guests the sense of “being somewhere totally different”, although only minutes from historic Ellicott City and Catonsville, and only 15 minutes from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The Wilderness is like no other B&B in the area - Come out for a visit and get lost in your dreams!

Rooms & Rates

The Dugan Suite

The Dugan Suite is a family-friendly suite with a main bedroom (queen size bed) and a 2nd bedroom (which includes a twin bed). The possibility of an additional twin/camp bed is available for those families requiring 2 single beds in the secondary bedroom. The rooms are spacious, filled with antiques and all have views of the extensive woods and gardens surrounding the house. The private bath is large and directly off of the main bedroom.

  • Maximum Capacity: 4
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen , 2 Twin

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  • Guest room4.7
  • Services4.8
  • Value4.6
  • Cleanliness4.8
  • Dining4.6

Score Breakdown based on
102 Reviews

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A Tale of Two Visits

5 on July 19, 2014

My visit last year was for a joyous event (elementary school reunion), and I was smitten with the Wilderness at first sight. Room/bath were spotless & welcoming; breakfast with my housemates was scrumptious and pleasant. This trip, on the other hand, was a quick turnaround for family funeral. Nonetheless, Ellen was able to provide an experience that offered comfort and peace in the midst of sorrow. Sweets and cordials were offered in the evening, along with the continental breakfast for weekday guests. The Sullivan Suite felt like (my great-grandmother's) home. An HVAC issue early in the morning was resolved at once, even though it meant Ellen had to contact repairman before going to work. Home alone, I spent the hours before the funeral strolling the evocative and restful gardens. There is something special about a B&B which offers that historic feel travelers seek w/o seeming self-conscious or staged. As before, Ellen was a gracious hostess and the overall experience was perfection. Looking forward to fall, when our next reunion will afford me the opportunity to once again escape to the Wilderness.

Whimsical Wilderness

4.6 on July 17, 2014

I loved this house and I appreciated how so much attention to detail was given in the decor to keep everything from around the same period. I enjoyed the freshness of our breakfasts and I liked how there were treats left out at night. We stayed in the Patapsco Suite and I really liked how much natural light our room had, as well.

Beautiful B&B Tucked Away from the Hustle & Bustle

5 on June 23, 2014

The Wilderness was an excellent choice for our recent stay in the Baltimore area. You're driving through miles and miles of highways, city, and suburbs, turn off onto a small road, and suddenly you're in the woods. It's quiet. No traffic. Almost seems like you've crossed through a portal into some other world. Ellen was a very gracious host. She got up early to make us breakfast, since we had an early departure. Our room was clean and comfortable. And we enjoyed a casual stroll through the garden.

Wonderful Weekend at the Wilderness

4.8 on June 11, 2014

Beautiful home; super-comfy rooms and bed; good food; spectacular location!! Ellen was extremely friendly and helpful. All in all, a Wonderful stay at the Wilderness!! Thank you!

Beautiful location and the Owner was professional and pleasant

4.6 on June 08, 2014

We were impressed by the Old home, it smelled a little musty when we first entered, but I think old houses are like that. Our room was very spacious and had all the amenities we needed to make our stay very comfortable. We had good weather so we could enjoy an open window at night. I am not sure the home has air conditioning. The view from the porch was so nice and the breakfast was timely and good. Our host was mindful and helpful as well as kind. Great location.

Great Place to Stay

4.4 on May 28, 2014

We stayed here for two nights - super easy base-of-operations for going into downtown Baltimore and also seems to be surrounded by some really cute small towns and rural areas. I wish we had had more time to explore. Ellen was great - amazing breakfasts and great conversation with other guests. I highly recommend.

Wonderful Weekend at the Wilderness

5 on May 22, 2014

Don't usually enjoy B&Bs - just not my thing. But really was wonderful!! The room was large with a sitting room and ensuite, welcoming to children, beautiful location and the food was great.

A beautiful and spacious B&B!

4.2 on May 22, 2014

Ellen was a charming hostess. Our stay was pleasant and held delightful surprises, like cordials available in the evenings and chocolates next the beds. Spacious rooms with antique furniture. Our 9 year old son couldn't understand why anyone would want to stay in a hotel if you could stay at the Wilderness.

Simply lovely

4.4 on May 08, 2014

I've stayed at numerous b&bs around North America, and The Wilderness is the second best of all the bunch. Ellen is a terrific and very accommodating hostess. One of our party has celiac disease, and Ellen was gracious enough to supply not only gluten-free breakfast options, but also to bake up some gluten-free peanut butter cookies as one of her afternoon treats. Cat lovers will be pleased to make the acquaintance of the sociable household cats. People allergic to cats will be pleased to know that none of the cats are allowed into the private rooms. One of our party is allergic to cats, and had no significant trouble from cat dander. (However, pollen was plentiful in the region, so be aware of environmental problems.) My favorite part of the inn was the screened back porch, providing sunshine, fresh air, and plenty of bird watching opportunities with three separate feeders around the porch. So peaceful and pleasant! I highly recommend The Wilderness.

Quaint, Convenient, and Full of Character

5 on April 25, 2014

My fiance and I stayed at The Wilderness while in town visiting family. It was a beautiful place to stay, with a large suite (the Sullivan Suite), and amazing breakfast cooked by Ellen who owns the place. Would definitely recommend!

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Location Type



Baltimore, MD (BWI-Baltimore Washington) 8 miles

Directions to property:

take I 195 out of the airport and remain on this for 5 miles - until you see signs for North Rolling Rd (Rte 166 North). Follow this for approx 3 miles and this deadends into Rte 144 Frederick Rd. Turn left and go approx 1 mile or so - you will see Dimitris Grill on the left - Thistle Rd is directly before this restaurant on the left. Turn onto Thistle Rd and The Wilderness is one half mile back on the right - #2 Thistle Rd (large white victorian on the hill).

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Aquarium, Art Galleries, Concert venue, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Baltimore, Catonsville Community College, Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University and Hospital, University of Maryland at Baltimore City, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Zoo

Inn Details

Establishment type

Bed and Breakfast

On-site amenities

BBQ grill, Board games, CD player, Ceiling fans, Computer, Copier, Desk, Fireplace, Library, Piano, Private entrance, Telephone, VCR, Washer/dryer , screened in porch for breakfast and afternoon tea, locked storage for bicycles, table/floor fans in suites

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Alarm clock, In-room internet, Hairdryer, Internet Service, Radio, TV, Wi-Fi

On-site activities

Bicycle rental, Bicycle riding trails, Billiards, Bird watching, Canoeing, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Kayaking, Mountain Bike trails, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Tennis courts

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  • Check In:: 3pm or after
  • Check Out:: 11am
  • Open All Year Round: No
  • Smoking Allowed: Limited
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Suitable For Children: 2 suites have a 2nd twin bed - will discuss ages
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: A 2-night stay is preferred, but we try to be flexible.
  • Deposit Amount Required: A deposit is required to hold suite - suites 
 rented on first come first served basis.
  • Cancellations: 10 day cancellation notice is required for a full refund of the stay. No refund is made for cancellations with less time unless it is possible to rent out the suite at the spur of the moment. For certain holidays/local events 14 day notice will be required for a refund - guests will be alerted of this at the time of their reservation confirmation.



Ellen Sawaya

Languages spoken


Resident Pets

3 Cats

About the innkeepers

Gardening, baking, art and architecture, travel, meeting people.

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Full breakfast on weekends/continental on weekdays

  • Time Served: 8am - 10am
  • Serving Location: screened porch weather permitting, veranda (unscreened), Dining Room

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian

Signature Dish

Bittersweet Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake
Bittersweet chocolate and raspberry merge in a wickedly dense and wonderfully fruity, very dark chocolate cake. It's frequently requested by returning guests - and often sliced at breakfast, too......

Details Diamond Collection

2 Thistle Rd. , Catonsville, MD 21228 USA (Show map)

Property highlights

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