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The Wilderness

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

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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 unequaled peace and privacy. 215+ 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
  • Onsite Dining4.6

Score Breakdown based on
115 Reviews

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Wonderful weekend stay

5 on December 18, 2014

We had stayed at the Wilderness about a year and a half ago and were wondering if it would be as good this time. Well it was even nicer. It is such a relaxing atmosphere and a beautiful house. Ellen is soooo pleasant and helpful and just makes it relaxing. It is very clean and cannot think of anything to improve on. I look forward to staying there whenever I visit my son.

Best B&B we've ever stayed in!

5 on December 15, 2014

Lovely rooms in a beautiful location, great food, and lots to see and do in the area. We've been staying here for several years when visiting our family and have never been disappointed.

Perfect weekend getaway

4.2 on December 10, 2014

We stayed in the blue and gold room. The room is large and feels luxurious. Every furniture piece has a function. It is obvious that Ellen, the hostess, has a passion for historical houses and decoration. Ellen accommodated my wife's request for a vegan breakfast, which was set up in a large elegant dining room. She even baked vegan cookies for us. The house sits on a two acre wooded secluded lot, five minutes driving from Ellicott City and a short drive from Baltimore. Perfect weekend getaway.

Cozy, Quiet Charming Inn

5 on November 26, 2014

My husband and I had an amazing stay at The Wilderness. Ellen is really friendly and super accommodating. We stayed in the Blue and Gold room. It's split into three rooms: the bedroom, a large bathroom and a large sitting room with chairs and a second twin bed. Ellen keeps delicious treats in the dining room for guests to snack on during their stay (the thin, crispy sugar cookies were my favorite). In the morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast, include an apple cake and a potato, egg, sausage casserole. The other guests were a real treat, too.

Highly recommended

4.6 on November 26, 2014

I spend 50+ days in hotels around the world. I hate it. Thus, I now try to seek out alternative solutions. The Wilderness exceeded my expectations on every level. It felt like I was coming home to a family members mansion, while keeping my privacy and freedom to come and go. The Wilderness is a beautiful B&B, well managed by Ellen who made me feel very welcome, the food is excellent, and made to order. I will definitely make the Wilderness my #1 choice when visiting the Baltimore area. If you like running, the Wilderness is located about a mile from the path going next to the Baltimore-Ohio railroad in Patapsco. That's a huge plus for me. Best regards, Jan G, Oslo, Norway

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.

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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: $150 - $150

Nightly Rate: $150 - $150

The Sullivan Suite

The Sullivan Suite is is a light and airy room filled with early 20th century furniture and a queen sized bed. There is a sitting room and private bath in this suite. The sitting room will accommodate an inflatable twin sized bed if necessary (for children). The room has lovely views of the yard from each window, and a charming bay window in the sitting room.

  • Maximum Capacity: 3
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Queen

Nightly Rate: $150 - $150

Nightly Rate: $150 - $150

The Blue and Gold Suite

The Blue and Gold Suite is a family friendly suite with a primary bedroom (w/queen sized bed) and a larger secondary bedroom with a twin bed and option for an additional inflatable twin bed. The suite has 6 large windows that provide lovely views of the yard and surrounding woods. The private bath is a large, with a tub/shower.

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

Nightly Rate: $150 - $150

Nightly Rate: $150 - $150

The Patapsco Suite

The Patapsco Suite is on the 1st floor, and easily accessible for those who cannot climb steps. It has a sitting room and a private bath, although the private bath is across the hallway. This suite has a full bed, and the option for an inflatable twin size bed if needed for a child. It has lovely views of the surrounding yard and forest from it's 4 large windows. The bathroom, although across the hall, is the most impressive in the house.

  • Maximum Capacity: 3
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Double

Nightly Rate: $140 - $140

Nightly Rate: $140 - $140

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Location Type

Countryside, Secluded


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, Night life, 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, Vineyard, Zoo

Inn Details

Establishment type

Historic Inn, Mansion

On-site amenities

Board games, CD player, Ceiling fans, Computer, Copier, Desk, Fireplace, Ironing Board, Library, Parking, 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, Hairdryer, Radio, TV, Wi-Fi, Wired internet

On-site activities

Bicycle riding trails, Bird watching, Hiking trails, Mountain Bike trails

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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 Must be supervised at all times.
  • 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: 14 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

Free gift card up to $150!