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!



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

Wonderful stay

5 on October 19, 2017

We had a wonderful stay at this B&B. Definitely read the email instructions about how to find the house —especially if u are arriving after dark.

The Wilderness

4.6 on October 18, 2017

Beautiful inn with fascinating history. Professional yet cordial welcome, and very comfortable accommodations. Would definitely return there when in the area.

Wonderful peaceful oasis in the Catonsville/Baltimore area

4.8 on September 20, 2017

We spent just one night at The Wilderness but loved every minute of it. If you're planning a getaway weekend in the Baltimore area, I would highly recommend staying at this lovely B & B.

Restful and Relaxing

5 on September 05, 2017

We have been staying here for several years when we visit family and find it to be one of the best B&B's. The location is beautiful, it is peaceful, the rooms are lovely and clean, and the food outstanding.

An excellent quiet place

3.2 on August 25, 2017

The rooms here are all suites - bedroom and sitting room. The surroundings are beautiful and soothing. Hidden near the Patapsco river near Ellicott City, it is a wonderful place to spend a few quiet days.

Peaceful slice of history

5 on August 09, 2017

Our family enjoyed two peaceful nights at The Wilderness surrounded by lovely gardens and birds. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting our innkeeper Ellen, and had delicious breakfasts each morning. The history of the house was very interesting and the attention to detail and authentic furnishings was amazing. The inn is close to historic Ellicott City and many other points of interest. We would highly recommend a stay at The Wilderness!

Hidden Gem

5 on August 04, 2017

If you're looking for that quiet place to spend quality time with the ones you love this is the perfect home away from home. Ellen truly makes your experience at the Wilderness a treat. She is much like her beautiful cats, (that though I'm allergic had no effect on me,) in that she will engage with you as much or little as you prefer. Waking each morning to a unbelievable delicious surprise breakfast laid out for you with such care was special. The time on the porches to enjoy the beautiful foliage and nature surrounding you is amazing. The Wilderness is packed with surprises and located within perfect distance to quaint shops and a variety of restaurants. This was the perfect get away for my girls and I as we each transition to a new chapter in our lives. Thank you, Ellen for this amazing memory! We hope to return some day.

Great Place To Get Engaged!

5 on May 17, 2017

The Wilderness is an absolute treasure! Beautiful rooms, well kept landscaping, and conveniently located. Definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys a uniquely vintage experience. If you're thinking about engagement, this is a great place to propose and savor the memory with an overnight stay.

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.

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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: $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

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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

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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 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.
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Ellen Sawaya

Languages spoken


Resident Pets


About the innkeepers

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

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  • 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......

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