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The Wilderness

2 Thistle Rd. , Catonsville, MD 21228 USA (Show map)
110 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!



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  • Guest room4.7
  • Service4.8
  • Value4.6
  • Cleanliness4.8
  • Dining4.6

Score Breakdown based on
110 Reviews

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Spacious bed and breakfast!

4.0 on October 21, 2014

Excellent bed and breakfast! And the cats are a bonus! I highly recommend The Wilderness!

Wonderful Weekend Trip

5 on October 12, 2014

My husband surprised me with a stay at The Wilderness for my birthday. The house is beautiful and Ellen is wonderful. Just the history of the house alone is a great reason to stay, but she adds excellent service to make it that much better. I love this place and can't wait to stay again. I also plan to share this gem with visiting friends and family. Thank you again for a lovely weekend getaway!

The Wilderness is great.

4.8 on October 09, 2014

Staying at the Wilderness is a journey back in time. A very large old summer house. A lovely place.

One of Maryland's best kept secrets!

5 on September 24, 2014

My husband and I stayed two nights at the Wilderness and had a wonderful time. The B&B is surprisingly only 15 minutes from BWI (if no traffic) and 5 minutes from historic Ellicott City. There is so much to do close by but we would have loved to just relax at the Wilderness and not go anywhere. The room was very impressive and clean. Breakfast was wonderful. We ate each morning on the screened porch watching the birds and petting the cats. Yes, we loved the cats! They made us feel right at home. We would definitely stay at the Wilderness again! Thanks Ellen.

Great Time had by all

5 on September 21, 2014

Great getaway for my family.

The Wilderness

4.0 on September 15, 2014

We had a wonderful time at the Wilderness! Ellen was so friendly and accommodating. The breakfast was delicious. The only complaint I have is that a cat kept showing up in our room! I have no idea how it got there! Luckily, we are not allergic. Maybe that was mentioned on the website, but I don't recall it.

Innkeeper Response
Yes, the kitties do love to go into the suites! I'm sorry they followed you in this past weekend. The only way to keep them out is to keep the suite door closed at all times except when entering/leaving. I'm afraid it's the only method that works consistently - they are very curious and want to go where they aren't allowed...... Cats will be cats. Thanks for providing the feedback; I will try to verbally remind guests they need to keep their door closed at all times to keep the suites cat-hair-free.

Charming and beautiful weekend getaway

5 on August 10, 2014

This is a perfectly lovely inn, minutes from town (shops & good restaurants) and minutes from the park with its fine walking trails. It's just 18 minutes from Columbia and a great place to stay if you're visiting people over there. The breakfasts were copious, fresh and excellent. We will definitely go back there.

Heather & Meg's stay

5 on August 07, 2014

The Wilderness is an absolutely beautiful, tranquil place to stay! We loved chatting with Ellen and she provided excellent service during our stay. Our room was great--comfy bed, bright and sunny, and quiet. I would definitely book another stay here if I'm ever in the area again!

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.

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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

Nightly Rate: $140 - $140

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Location Type



Baltimore, MD (BWI-Baltimore Washington) 8 miles

Directions to property:

Interstate 95 - off on Rte 195 West toward Catonsville. Follow signs for North Rolling Rd (Rte 166 North). Stay on this approx 3 miles - deadends into Rte 144 Frederick Rd. Turn left on Rte 144 and go through next traffic light (Candle Light Inn will be on your left as you go through the light). Half mile down on your left is Thistle Rd. - directly before Dimitri's Grill - turn left and The Wilderness is one half mile back on the right - #2 Thistle Rd. (large white victorian on 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: Outside only outdoors in yard away from the house
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided Yes
  • Suitable For Children: Limited 2 suites have a 2nd twin bed - will discuss ages
  • Childcare Provided: No Children must be supervised at all times while in B&B.
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access Limited

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: A 2-night stay is preferred, but we try to be flexible.
  • Accepted payments VISA, Discover, Mastercard, Personal checks, Travelers checks, Cash
  • 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


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......


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

Property highlights

Up to a free $75 gift card!