Hiking in Maryland

Maryland is home to some of the most lengthy, scenic, and diverse trails in the country. Whether you are hiking the great Appalachian Trail or biking the C & O Canal Towpath trail, you’ll find a trail that suits your needs in Maryland. Not only are there numerous trails available, but they are also suitable for many different recreational levels and activities. For example, running parallel to C & O trail is the Western Maryland Rail Trail. While the C & O is best for hiking & mountain biking, the Western Maryland Rail Trail is ideal for hybrid biking, road biking, inline skating, & recumbent riding.

In addition, Maryland trails are incredibly accessible. Many of them are near such major metropolitan areas as Georgetown and Washington D.C., yet once you’re on them, they feel as secluded as a wilderness trail. Another benefit that goes along with the Maryland Trails is easy access to lodging, dining, shopping, and trail services such as bike rentals. Maryland offers the best of both worlds: cosmopolitan amenities and world-class trails.
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Avalon Super Loop - Patapsco State Park
Avalon Super Loop - Patapsco State Park
Patapsco State Park, Maryland, United States
 
Difficult: 12.7 miles, Full day
lots of ruins, waterfalls, trains, and river views

Do the entire Avalon Patapsco state park in 1 day! This loop covers the majority of the Avalon area, with multiple ruins, waterfalls and other artifacts to find along the way. Starting at the parking lot, you hike up the road a ways to the Ridge trail sign. The next leg is the maintenace loop which has an old old tractor to look at and some...
Mckeldin Area - Patapsco State Park
Mckeldin Area - Patapsco State Park
Marriottsville, Maryland, United States
 
Difficult: 16.7 miles, Full day
tons of ruins and artifacts along the Patapsco river

A strenuous distance hike to St. Stanislaus Kotska Catholic Church and cemetery ruins located in Patapsco state park in Maryland. A very rewarding hike, both physically and mentally as you explore the (founded in 1879) history in the area in some ghost towns that exist inside the state park. Since these areas are in the park, they are protected by...
Gunpowder Falls State Park Wildlands Loop
Gunpowder Falls State Park Wildlands Loop
Gunpowder Estates, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 4.4 miles, 1-3 hours
A 4.75 mile trail with a refreshing swimmin' hole near the end!

Gunpowder Falls State Park Wildlands Loop with The Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group (Template) is about 4.5 miles long. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. Gunpowder Falls State Park: Wildlands Area with Optional Swimmin' Hole! An Easy Side of Moderate 4.5-5 Mile Hike! This loop follows the upland forests of the fall zone,...
Falling Branch Trail to Kilgore Falls
Falling Branch Trail to Kilgore Falls
Pylesville, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 1.2 miles, 1 hour or less
a short family-friendly hike with a spectacular payoff in Rocks State Park

Looking for a family friendly short hike with a spectaular payoff? Look no further than Kilgore Falls, Maryland’s second-highest vertical waterfall located in Rocks State Park. Rocks State Park remains environmentally sensitive and this area in particular, the Falling Brach area, is very well maintaned. This area was once a meeting place for Susquehannock...
C & O Canal Towpath trail, section #2
C & O Canal Towpath trail, section #2
Williamsport, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 52 miles, Multiple days
Cross the Appalachian Trail as you explore this historic and scenic canal path from Point of Rocks, MD to Williamsport.

Civil War history comes alive on this section of the C & O Canal Towpath trail. Civil War enthusiasts will recognize such names as Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Falling Waters, and Williamsport. Trail enthusiasts will recognize the names of a couple famous trails that intersect with the C & O Canal Towpath in this section including the Appalachian Trail...
Rachel Carson Conservation Park
Rachel Carson Conservation Park
Flintridge, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 2.5 miles, 1-3 hours
A very scenic 2.3 mile trail near Flintridge, Maryland

Rachel Carson Conservation Park is about 2.3 miles long and located near Flintridge, Maryland. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. This hidden gem is densely populated by numerous species of wildlife, high quality forest and features spectacular rock and massive boulder out-cropping throughout the park. This area remains...
Fort Foote Civil War Ruins
Fort Foote Civil War Ruins
River Bend Estates, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 1.7 miles, 1-3 hours
Civil war bunkers, cannons, building and views!

Cannons, bunkers, buildings Oh My! The perfect Civil war park without the crowds. Plenty of huge cannons to defend Washington on the Potomac river entry. Lots of cannon emplacements, interpretive signs, and real civil war bunkers! The ammo dump is currently off limits. There are great water views with a building by the water, and a short half...
Columbia Air Center Loop Hike - Patuxent River Park
Columbia Air Center Loop Hike - Patuxent River Park
Selbys Landing, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 4.2 miles, 1-3 hours
Aviation history, tons of trails, artifacts

One of the first African-American-Owned airfields "Columbia Air Center" operated here during and after WW 2--and participating in the Civil Air Patrol--training other pilots. What you'll see on this hike is history signs with photos and a memorial to these great pioneers in aviation history. Starting at the memorial, head up the road, then get...
Accokeek Farms at Piscataway Park
Accokeek Farms at Piscataway Park
Indian Head, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 2.9 miles, 1-3 hours
Farm hike through the fields and along the Potomac river, with artifacts and buildings!

Farm hike through the fields with animals, diverse field areas, small forest, and river views. start with an exploration of a working colonial farm, letting the kids pet some of the more friendly animals located there. Leave some of your party at the fishing pier while you hike the combined 3 mile trail around the perimeter of the park. Starting...
Patapsco Valley State Park - Hilton Area 8 Miles/Moderate
Patapsco Valley State Park - Hilton Area 8 Miles/Moderate
Catonsville, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 7.8 miles, Half day
8 mile circuit hike including sections in the Avalon, Orange Grove and Glen Artney areas of PVSP.

OVERVIEW: One of the more scenic routes in the Patapsco Valley State Park in the Hilton Area which includes multiple stream crossings, viewings and waterfalls including Cascade waterfalls, two swinging bridge crossings, Ilchester Overlook, and Bloedes Dam. This is a moderate hike and can be hiked in either direction. Counterclockwise is an easier hike...
Western Maryland Rail Trail
Western Maryland Rail Trail
Hancock, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 22 miles, Full day
This 22-mile paved trail bisects two centuries of history & can be explored by itself or as a loop with the C & O trail.

This all-season, multipurpose rail trail can be enjoyed on bicycle, inline skates, hiking, snowshoeing, or nordic skiing. Some portions of the trail (grassy area beside the trail) can also be enjoyed on horseback. With the bike-friendly town of Hancock located smack-dab in the middle of the trail, this route is easy to reach, easy to use, and easy...
AT Across Maryland Series #6 - I40 to Pogo Campground
AT Across Maryland Series #6 - I40 to Pogo Campground
Myersville, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 8.7 miles, Half day
Appalachian Trail Across Maryland #6 of 9 - I-40 to Pogo Campground 8.8 Miles/Moderate

One is a series of nine hikes along the Appalachian Trail across Maryland. This 8.8 mile moderate hike begins at a small parking lot on I-40 outside of Myersville and heads north to Pogo Campground. Passing Annapolis Rock and Black Rock overlooks, spectacular valley views are seen. Total elevation gain of 1,600′ with the longest climb of 500′ over...
Calvert Cliffs State Park - Smaller Loop
Calvert Cliffs State Park - Smaller Loop
Calvert Cliffs State Park, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 3.7 miles, 1-3 hours
Cliffs on the beach of the bay

Great cliffs that have been molded right on the beach of the bay! This hike is listed as moderate only for the length of the hike, and for the bugs that will be present in summertime. Suggested to hike this one counterclockwise, choose the loop to the right on the red trail, and come back on the same trail or on the red right trail as shown on...
Gorman Stream Valley
Riverside, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 5.3 miles, 1-3 hours
5.0 mile trail near Riverside, Maryland

Gorman Stream Valley is about 5.0 miles long and located near Riverside, Maryland. The trail is great for a quick, easy hike.
Antietam National Battlefield Hike
Antietam National Battlefield Hike
Sharpsburg, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 8.9 miles, Half day

This is an out and back 8.9 mile hike that links all of the major hiking trails at Antietam together You will start behind the visitors center on the Bloody Lane Trail.Take the trail down to the Tower taking in the various memorials. Backtrack from the tower and continue on the Bloody Lane trail. You will then transition to the Three Farms Trail...
Cedarville State Park - A Long Hike Amongst Carnivorous Plants
Cedarville State Park - A Long Hike Amongst Carnivorous Plants
Cedarville Mobile Home Park, Maryland, United States
 
Difficult: 12.2 miles, Half day
12.2 mile trail near Cedarville Mobile Home Park, Maryland

Cedarville State Forest: An Easy Side of Strenuous 13 Miles! This hike is about 12.2 miles long. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a half day. Detailed narration is provided with each picture and pictures were taken at every interesection. This hike is only 24 miles from D.C. and about a 45 minute drive from Baltimore The headwaters...
Greenbury Point
Greenbury Point
Annapolis, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 3.7 miles, 1-3 hours
3.3 mile trail near Annapolis, Maryland

This is a hike of Greenbury Point. Greenbury Point is by the Naval Academy golf course. There are two hikes here. One that is 3.3 miles(Nature Center and Tower Trails) and a 2 mile (Tower Trail)(see Greenbury Point 2 mile hike). There is also a Nature Center here as well. It is only open on Thursdays from 1:00pm to 3;00pm.Tuesdays, Thursday, and some...
Union Mills Hike
Union Mills Hike
Advocates Choice, Maryland, United States
 
Difficult: 7.0 miles, 1-3 hours
This is a 7.0 mile circuit hike near Advocates Choice, Maryland

Union Mills! An Easy Side of Strenuous 6 Miles in Carroll County! Take a rugged hike through rural northern Carroll County, slogging over creeks, through steep switchbacks, and pleasant rolling fields. The trail, which is dirt and crushed rock, plunges into a grove of pines. Then it runs along a ridge with a slight rise on the left and a steep plunge...
Calvert Cliffs State Park!
Calvert Cliffs State Park!
Lusby, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 4.0 miles, 1-3 hours
A 4 mile loop hike near Lusby, Maryland

Calvert Cliffs State Park is about 3.6 miles long and located near Lusby, Maryland. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. Calvert Cliffs State Park is unique among hiking opportunities around this area because it has fantastic views of the Calvert Cliffs from below, fossil hunting opportunities, and hiker-only access to the...
Cunningham Falls and Hog Rock Vista, Catoctin Mountain Park
Cunningham Falls and Hog Rock Vista, Catoctin Mountain Park
Clarksburg, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 4.0 miles, 1-3 hours
3.9 mile trail near Clarksburg, Maryland

Catoctin Mountain Park: Cunningham Falls / Hog Rock Vista with The Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group (Template) is about 3.9 miles long and located near Clarksburg, Maryland. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. This loop is a moderate hike with uphill and downhill sections of the trail that include moderate to steep inclines (See...
Greenbrier State Park to Washington Monument 13H
Greenbrier State Park to Washington Monument 13H
Boonsboro, Maryland, United States
 
Difficult: 13.0 miles, Full day
Strenuous hike from Greenbrier State Park to the AT leading to Washington Monument.

This out-an-back 13 mile hike in Washington County begins in a far corner of Greenbrier State Park. With significant inclines, this hike passes Greenbrier Lake, and the Visitors center for Greenbrier State Park. It then ascends the Bartman Trail that connects to the Appalachian Trail. Heading south towards Washington Monument, the trail continues to...
Monocacy Battlefield (Thomas Farm Trail)
Monocacy Battlefield (Thomas Farm Trail)
Araby View, Maryland, United States
 
2.4 mile trail near Araby View, Maryland

Monocacy Battlefield (Thomas Farm) is about 2.4 miles long and located near Araby View, Maryland. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. Thomas Farm and Middle Ford Ferry Trails. This is a two part trail. Thomas Farm trail is 1.75 miles and Middle Ford Ferry trail is .25 mile. Thomas Farm-This trail covers the part of the...
Cramtons Gap to Harpers Ferry on the Applachian Trail
Cramtons Gap to Harpers Ferry on the Applachian Trail
Burkittsville, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 9.9 miles, Half day

The 9.8-mile stretch of Appalachian Trail leading from Cramptons Gap to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is one of the most popular and rewarding AT day hikes in this region, with good reason. It features a secluded forest ridgetop, an exhilarating vista pitching straight down into the Potomac River, and the historic Chesapeake and Ohio (C and O) Canal...
Governor Bridge Natural Area & Canoe Launch
Governor Bridge Natural Area & Canoe Launch
Hanson Hills, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 3.1 miles, 1-3 hours
3.1 mile trail near Hanson Hills, Maryland

Governor Bridge Natural Area is about 3.1 miles long and located near Hanson Hills, Maryland. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. National Trail Day hike at Governor Bridge Natural Area. Governor Bridge Natural Area and Canoe Launch is located near the Bowie Baysox Stadium and Governor's Bridge. At one time, the property...
Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock Loop
Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock Loop
Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland, United States
 
Moderate: 5.0 miles, Half day
A rugged hike to two outstanding vistas and a fascinating rock formation in Catoctin Mountain Park

This is a somewhat rugged hike to two outstanding vistas and a fascinating rock formation known as Wolf Rock, traveling through immense stands of hardwoods and abundant mountain laurel. Special considerations: With two outstanding vistas, add plenty of time to your itinerary for enjoying the views.
Cedarville Pond - Cedarville State Forest
Cedarville Pond - Cedarville State Forest
Forest Glen Estates, Maryland, United States
 
Easy: 3.0 miles, 1 hour or less
good for trail running, hunting, fishing

Great area for trail running when hunting is not in season! Also there is a great pond for fishing and having a picnic. The trail is relatively flat and doesnt have many roots which make it great for trail running, or just a walk in the woods. You start in a pine wooded area--walking on needles, then venture through other forested areas with diverse...
AT Maryland Wolfsville Road to Raven Rock 10H
AT Maryland Wolfsville Road to Raven Rock 10H
Wolfsville, Maryland, United States
 
Difficult: 10.4 miles, Half day
Appalachian Trail Across Maryland Series #2 of 9 - Wolfsville Road to Raven Rock Shelter 10 Miles/Hard.

One in a series of 9 hikes on the Appalachian Trail across Maryland. An out and back hike of a total of 10 miles going north from Wolfsville Road (MD-17) to Ravens Rock Shelter. Total elevation gain is 2,250 with the longest climb of 500' over 1 mile. This is considered the more difficult section of the AT in Maryland and includes two stream crossings...
C & O Canal Towpath trail, section #3
C & O Canal Towpath trail, section #3
Williamsport, Maryland, United States
Moderate: 41 miles, Full day
Highlights of this incredible trail include historic waypoints, trailside towns, abundant wildlife and gorgeous scenery.

You will have so many trail options on this section of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath trail, that you will want to come back and try them all. For example, one of the unique options for this section of the trail is to ride or hike a loop using the C & O trail combined with the Western Maryland Rail Trail. This makes for a nice mix of a dirt trail...
C & O Canal Towpath trail, section #4
C & O Canal Towpath trail, section #4
Cumberland, Maryland, United States
Moderate: 44 miles, Full day
Bike or hike the history, scenery & wildlife of this fabled, classic trail from Little Orleans, MD to Cumberland, MD.

This western section of the famous C & O Canal Towpath trail includes remote stretches along the Potomac River. In addition to the abundant wildlife, numerous campgrounds, and excellent biking & hiking, trail users will enjoy the incredible Paw Paw Tunnel, one of the most famous canal tunnels in the world. Other unique and interesting stops along...
Thurston Griggs Trail to Ensign Phillip Cowall Shelter
Thurston Griggs Trail to Ensign Phillip Cowall Shelter
Smithsburg, Maryland, United States
Difficult: 11.5 miles, Full day
This is a NON-SERIES AT Maryland Hike using the Thurston Griggs side trail to the AT north. 11.58 Miles/Hard

HIKE DESCRIPTION: This is an 11.58 mile out and back hike in Frederick County, Smithsburg, Maryland. The Thurston Griggs Trail (TGT) is a rugged .9 mile trail that crisscrosses a stream and ascends 625 feet until it meets the Appalachian Trail. From there, the hike heads north to the Cowall Shelter, for a lunch stop. The hike has many extremely rocky...
Catoctin Mountain Park Circuit
Catoctin Mountain Park Circuit
Thurmont, Maryland, United States
Difficult: 9.4 miles, Half day
Circuit hike for Visitors Center, Cunningham Falls, Hog Rock, Blue Ridge & Thurmont Overlooks, Wolf & Chimney Rocks.

OVERVIEW: This 9.4 mile circuit hike offers all of the scenic highlights in Catoctin Mountain National Park. Beginning with Cunningham Falls, then Hog Rock, Blue Ridge Summit Overlook, Thurmont Vista, Wolf Rock, Chimney Rock (lunch spot) then returns along Hunting Creek. This hike is rated hard as many sections are rocky, and total ascent is 1,500+...
AT Maryland Series #3 - Dahlgren Camp to Bear Spring Cabin
Difficult: 9.7 miles, Half day
Appalachian Trail Across Maryland #3 of 9 - Dahlgren Backpackers Camp to Bear Spring Cabin/White Rocks Overlook.

OVERVIEW: This 10 mile hard hike is #3 of a series of 9 hies that traverse the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. Parking at the Old South Mountain Inn that has been in use for over 200 years and Presidents have visited, this inn is one of the oldest public houses along the AT. Following the white marked trail south, within a mile you will reach Dahlgren...
AT Across Maryland Series #4 - Gathland State Park to White Rocks Overlook 8M
Moderate: 8.5 miles, Half day
This is #4 of a series of 9 hikes on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. 8.4 Miles / Moderate.

One in a series of 9 hikes on the Appalachian Trail across Maryland. This 8 1/2 mile moderate out-and-back hike offers two optional loops to visit Bear Springs Cabin near the half-way point, and Crampton Gap AT Shelter near the end. Starting at Gathland State Park, this hike heads north to the White Rock Overlook. Total elevation gain is 950 feet with...
Patapsco Valley State Park - Avalon Loop
Ellicott City, Maryland, United States
Moderate: 9.4 miles, Half day
9.4 mile trail near Ellicott City, Maryland

Patapsco Valley State Park - Avalon Loop is about 9.4 miles long and located near Ellicott City, Maryland. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a half day. There's a lot of history in this area particularly along the Grist Mill trail. You will find several ruins of mills and other industrial structures and a dam that once supplied electricity...