The Wilderness

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


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!



Write A Review
  • Guest room4.7
  • Service4.8
  • Value4.6
  • Cleanliness4.8
  • Onsite Dining4.6

Awesome as Always

5 on April 18, 2017

We have stayed at The Wilderness many times as our son & his wife live nearby in Catonsville. The Wilderness is a beautiful, secluded and quiet place to stay. Ellen is always very friendly and we enjoy visiting with her. The food is delicious too! We have stayed at a few other B&Bs in the area when The Wilderness isn't available and they do not compare at all! The Wilderness is first on our list!

The Wilderness in Catonsville, Maryland

4.6 on December 03, 2016

If you want to get away for a few days or a week from the noise of cars and people, The Wilderness is the place to go. This lovely, well-kept old home is set in the Patapsco Valley State Park where all you'll hear is the rustling of the trees and the chirping of birds. And in the morning, your host Ellen Sawaya serves up a healthy, tasty assortment of goodies for breakfast. After breakfast, go for a walk in the park or hop in your car for a short drive to Elliott City or Catonsville where you can find several lovely restaurants and shops to explore.

Lovely Stay

5 on October 26, 2016

The Wilderness was a lovely discovery, just minutes from other destinaions and tucked away in beautiful quiet surroundings. The common rooms and bedroom suites are simply and elegant in their decor. The breakfast frittata, fresh fruit and baked breads were a delicious breakfast!

Lovely old homestead in quiet forest

4.8 on October 24, 2016

Ellen's place is a charming old homestead in a quiet area of forest, just 15 mins from the airport. She was a friendly host who baked us a lovely homemade breakfast. The only thing that I found less appealing was that all the windows in the bedrooms had been painted shut. The bathroom window could open, fortunately so air came into the room that way.

Peaceful B&B Near Baltimore and Annapolis

4.8 on October 12, 2016

Gracious host, peaceful setting, delicious food, and a beautiful home with lots of history--what more could you ask for?

Our visit to the Wilderness B and B

5 on September 28, 2016

We were so pleased with our stay. Ellen is a wonderful host and chef! The home was beautiful. We enjoyed eating breakfast on the outside porch amidst many birds chirping. We would highly recommend this B and B!

great stay in the city

5 on August 23, 2016

Had a great stay with Ellen. The breakfast were great and we enjoyed talking with her. If you have allergies or don't like cats this would not be for you.

The Wilderness Review

5 on August 22, 2016

The house was beautiful and the rooms were very comfy. I would highly recommend The Wildness to anyone who is in need of a relaxing vacation.

Excellent rooms, location, hostess, and cats

4.4 on July 20, 2016

Though this B&B is close to cities, it feels like it's in the wilderness. Beautiful rooms, lovely gardens--a perfect retreat.

Lovely place, awesome host.

4.8 on June 19, 2016

All good, although we wished we had a way of controlling the AC in the room. Ellen was a fantastic host and made a huge effort to meet our dietary preferences.

View More Reviews

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: $160 - $160

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: $160 - $160

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 , 2 Twin

Nightly Rate: $160 - $160

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. double occupany single night - $150/night. 2+ nights $140/night. single occupany single night - $140/night, 2+ nights $130/night additional person $35/night

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

Nightly Rate: $150 - $150

Visit Website


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

Visit Website

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

Visit Website


  • Check In:: 3pm or after
  • Check Out:: 11am
  • Open All Year Round: No
  • Smoking Allowed: Outside only in driveway/yard away from house
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided Outside only
  • Suitable For Children: Limited some flexibility, speak to owner
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access Limited

Terms and Conditions

  • Accepted payments VISA, Discover, Mastercard, Personal checks, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: first night
  • Cancellations: We require 14 days notice to cancel without charge. If less notice is given, the entire stay will be charged unless the suite can be rented. A refund will be pro-rated according to the ability to rent the suite for the same period of time.
Visit Website



Ellen Sawaya

Languages spoken


Resident Pets


About the innkeepers

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

Visit Website




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

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian gluten-free or other restrictions with advance notice.

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......

Visit Website