The Best Outdoor Activities in Maryland

Discover the best hiking, camping, backpacking, fitness, and more.

Hike Great Falls and the Billy Goat Trail

Maryland / Billy Goat Trail, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Just outside of Washington DC is a great hike and rock scramble you don't want to miss. Great Falls lies in both Virginia and Maryland and has beautiful views of the Potomac River.

Elyse Clark
784 Saves

Hike to Kilgore Falls

Maryland / Kilgore Falls Trailhead

This 1.2 mile roundtrip hike leads to the second tallest waterfall in the state of Maryland. It is a short hike that's great for families and bringing the dog.

Hike to Cascade Falls, Patapsco Valley State Park

Maryland / Cascade Falls Trail, MD

This family-friendly hike in Patapsco Valley State Park takes you to your first waterfall sighting within only the first 1000 ft of the trail.

Camping at Assateague

Maryland / Assateague Island Visitor's Center

This is the perfect getaway if you are on the East Coast! Assateague Island is a 37-mile long barrier island along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia that is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the .

Spenser Reid
443 Saves

Hike to Annapolis Rock and Black Rock Cliff

Maryland / Appalachian Trail, South Mountain State Park

Hike along the Appalachian Trail as it passes through South Mountain State Park, taking you to a number of very scenic lookout spots.

Hike to Maryland Heights

Maryland / Maryland Heights Parking Area

Maryland Heights is at the convergence of Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, as well as the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

Elyse Clark
290 Saves

Hike Catoctin Mountain

Maryland / Chimney Rock Trail, MD

Park at Catoctin Mountain Visitor Center. The hike starts at the end of the gravel parking lot across from the visitor center.

Zinnia Xu
277 Saves

Hike to Cunningham Falls

Maryland / Lower Trail - Red Blaze

This 78-foot waterfall, among the largest in the state, is easily accessible by two short trails. Lower Trail (0.5 miles) leads directly to the falls, whereas Cliff Trail (0.

Hike Chimney Rock at Catoctin Mountain Park

Maryland / Chimney Rock Trail, MD

Chimney Rock is the quintessential breathtaking view that makes a hike worthwhile.

Brad Duncan
173 Saves

Hike the AT to Weverton Cliffs

Maryland / Weverton Cliffs Trailhead

The trailhead is located right off Weverton Cliff's Road in Knoxville, Maryland.

Kristen May
137 Saves

Hike the Swallow Falls Loop

Maryland / Swallow Falls Parking Area

This park has plenty to do—forest hiking, swimming at Herrington Manor, and camping—but the main attraction, unsurprisingly, is Swallow Falls. The Swallow Falls Canyon Trail (1.

Paddle Dundee Creek

Maryland / Marshy Point Nature Center

Follow the main entrance road down and to the right of the nature center to a turn around loop, where a car can be temporarily parked to unload/load boats onto the pier.

Peter Hoblitzell
109 Saves

Hike the Red Trail, Calvert Cliffs SP

Maryland / Calvert Cliffs Parking Area

Starting in the parking lot you will follow the Red Trail for 1.3 miles until you reach the cliffs that give this park its name.

Kristen May
88 Saves

Hike Soldiers Delight

Maryland / Soldiers Delight Parking Area

From Deer Park Road, parking is available at the nature center or the scenic overlook (about 100 yards up the road).

Peter Hoblitzell
85 Saves

Hike to Paw Paw Tunnel

Maryland / Paw Paw Tunnel, Maryland

This hike is short and sweet, with it only being 2.4 miles to the other side of the tunnel and back.

Mike Fennell
83 Saves

Hike the Old Misery Trail to Cat Rock

Maryland / Old Misery Trail Head

The best place to park is on Catoctin Hollow Road in the parking lot that's on the same side of the road as the lake.

Alyssa Ramirez
61 Saves

Paddle through the Ghost Fleet of the Potomac at Mallows Bay

Maryland / Mallows Bay

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay, as it's now known, is the result of our great nation's call for 1,000 wartime transport vessels to be built in 18 months.

David Rodgers
58 Saves

Hike Billy Goat Trail Section B

Maryland / Billy Goat Trail Section B

Park in the lot on MacArthur Blvd. (see map) to access the trailhead. Trail is well-defined but little-traveled.

Hike the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

Maryland / Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead

Park on Sugarloaf Mountain Drive (as indicated on the map below) to access the trail. It is open from March-November and is dog friendly.

Hike Thurston Griggs to Appalachian Trail to Black Rock

Maryland / Thurston Griggs Trailhead

Park on White Oak road to access the trailhead for this magnificent hike. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots--the trail is rocky at parts and there are streams to cross. Accessible February-November.

Hike the Cascade Falls and Rootball Loop Trail

Maryland / Cascade Falls and Rootball Loop Trail

Park on the shoulder of Landing Drive (see map) to access the trailhead. This trail is open April-September. Dogs allowed on leash.  Photos: Bart

HIke the Bald Cypress Trail

Maryland / Bald Cypress Nature Trail

The beautiful Pocomoke River State Park is divided into two sections, the Shad Landing Area and the Milburn Landing Area. The Bald Cypress Nature Trail is located in the Milburn Landing Area.

Jennifer White
35 Saves

Photograph the Frozen Bay at Sandy Point

Maryland / Sandy Point State Park

The winter is the perfect time to explore this park as it does not draw in many visitors like it does in the summer months.

Kristen May
22 Saves

Hike Old Ranger Trail to Hollofield Access Trail

Maryland / Old Ranger Trail to Hollofield Access Trail

Park in the designated area on the road off of Baltimore National Pike to access the trailhead. This trail is accessible year-round. Dogs allowed on leash.  Photos: Jack Lyons

Hike the Savage Park Trails

Maryland / Savage Park Trails Parking

Park in the lot off of Vollmerhausen Road to access the trail. It's open year round, and dogs are allowed on leash.  Photos: Chuck Kramer

Point of Rocks/ Potomac River Overlook

Maryland / Point of Rocks/ Potomac River Ovrerlook

Park at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal parking lot. Walk to the US 15 and cross the road. Trail is not marked, though its faint traces can be detected as you continue on. GPS is recommended.

Hike the Cunningham Falls Lower Trail

Maryland / Cunningham Falls Lower Trail

Park in the Cunningham Falls parking lot off William Houck Drive. Just a short way away is the trailhead (see map). The trail is well-defined. The 1.

Hike the Sugarloaf Yellow Trail

Maryland / Sugarloaf Yellow Trail

Park in the lot off of Comus Road (see map) to access the trail. Trail is shared by hikers, runners, bikers, and equestrians, and dogs are welcome too.

Hike the Clopper Lake Loop Trail

Maryland / Clopper Lake Loop Trail

Park in the designated area off of Seneca Creek Road to access the trailhead. Accessible all year and dog-friendly.  Photos: Mr.TinDC, NOAA Photo Library 

Hike the Switchback trail in Patapsco State Park

Maryland / Switchback Trail

Park in the lot off of Marriottsville Road (see map) to access the trail. Trail is dog-friendly and a good one for kids.  Photos: Jeff Kubina, Doug Miller

Hike the Catoctin Mountain Extended Loop Trail

Maryland / Catoctin Mountain Extended Loop Trail

Park at the Cotoctin Mountain Visitor's Center off of Foxville road (see map) to access the trail. Trail is accessible March-November and is dog-friendly.

Hike the Gunpowder Falls North and South Loop Trail

Maryland / Gunpowder Falls North and South Loop Trail

Park in the lot on Bunker Hill Road and then continue a short ways to the trailhead (see map). There are no bridges for crossing the water so be prepared to pick your way across.

Hike the Elk Neck State Forest Trails

Maryland / Elk Neck State Forest Parking

Park in the lot (see map) and follow signage for the loop trail.

Walk the Underground Railroad Experience Trail

Maryland / Underground Railroad Experience Trail

Park off of the side of the road to access the trail (see map). This is an educational trail on private property. Dogs and horses welcome on the trail.  Photos: TrailVoice

Hike the Cylburn Arboretum Trail

Maryland / Cylburn Arboretum

Park in the Cylburn Arboretum lot to access the trail. Dogs are welcome on leash. Trail is accessible year round.  Photos: Forsaken Fotos, Ken, Linden Tea

Hike the Herrington Manor/Swallow Falls Trail

Maryland / Herrington Manor/Swallow Falls Trailhead

I began my adventure at the trailhead in Herrington Manor State Park. The parking lot was empty and the trail was very easy to access. From start to finish this trail varies in the width of its path.

Ryan Hreczkosiej
12 Saves

Hike the Patuxent River Park Trail

Maryland / Patuxent River Park Trail

Park at the end of Park Entrance Road (see map) to access the trail. Great place for birding, trail running, and sea kayaking.

Hike the Avalon Loop Trail

Maryland / Avalon Loop Trail

Park in the lot off of River Road to access the Avalon Loop Trail. Trail is open from June-November and is dog friendly.

Hike, Bike, or Run the Centennial Park Trails

Maryland / Centennial Park Trails

Park in the big lot off of Centennial lane (see map). Trail is great for all kinds of excursions, whether by foot or by bike. Dogs are welcome on leash. Photos: cj13822, halserad

Hike the Lake Elkhorn Trail

Maryland / Lake Elkhorn Trail

Park in the lot to access the trail (see map). This is an ideal trail to walk with kids, or to do by yourself! Dogs are welcome too.  Photos: Fuzzy Gerdes, therapybeagles, Yngve Roennike

Hike the Oregon Ridge Park Trail

Maryland / Oregon Ridge Parking

Park in the lot as indicated on the map (see below). This trail is accessible year round, dog-friendly, and is great for families.  Photos: Linden Tea, Paul Ely, 

Hike, Bike, or Run the Lakeside Trail and Muncaster Mill Trail

Maryland / Lakeside Trail and Muncaster Mill Trail

Park at the Meadowside Nature Center to Access the trailhead. This is a 3.4 mile loop with opportunities for birding and observing wildlife. Dogs are welcome on leash.  Photos: Via Tsuji, 

Hike the Jerusalem Village Trail & Jericho Covered Bridge Trail

Maryland / Jerusalem Village Trail, Gunpowder Falls SP

Hike in the parking lot off of Jerusalem Road to access the trail (see map below). This trail is dog-friendly and accessible all year.  Photos: Doug Miller, sugargliding, Doug Kerr

Bike or Run the Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A) Trail

Maryland / Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A) Trail

Park in the big lot off of Dorsey Road to access the trailhead. Trail is accessible year-round and is dog-friendly. Can do the whole thing or make it into a shorter out-and-back.

Hike the Cash Lake Loop - Patuxent Research Refuge Trail

Maryland / Cash Lake Loop - Patuxent Research Refuge Trail

Park in the lot off of Tram Route Rd (see map) to access the trailhead. This is a short, popular hike that is great for kids and is dog-friendly. Photos:Mr.TinDC, 

Hike the Lake Artemesia Natural Area Trail

Maryland / Lake Artemesia Natural Area Trail

Park in the lot off of 55th Ave to access the trail (see map). This trail is great for all skill levels, is handicap accessible and dog friendly.  Photos: Yngve Roennike, Justin Grimes, Mr.TinDC

Hike along the C&O Canal: Whites Ferry to Edwards Ferry

Maryland / Whites Ferry Parking

Park in the lot on Whites Ferry road and hop on the Chesapeake Ohio towpath. This is an out-and-back so you can make it as short as you want or up to 10 miles.

Hike, Bike, or Run the Loch Raven Merryman Trail

Maryland / Loch Raven Merryman Trail

Park in the designated area off of Dulaney Valley Road (see map). Trail is accessible from March to September and dog-friendly.  Photos: Elliott Plack, Pete

Hike, Bike, or Run the Northern Central Rail Trail to York Country Heritage Trail

Maryland / Northern Central Rail-Trail

Park in the lot off of Paper Mill Road to access the trail (see map). This trail is accessible year round, is shared by hikers, runners, bikers, and equestrians, and is dog-friendly.

Hike the White Trail

Maryland / White Trail

Park in the lot off of  St. Clair Bridge Rd to access the trail.  Be aware that some parts of the trail are rocky and/or steep.

Hike the Wincopin Trail

Maryland / Wincopin

Park on Vollmerhausen Road to access the Wincopin trailhead. This hike is easy to get to and accessible for all skill levels.  Photos: Nancy Magnusson zoopmon

Hike the Patuxent Branch Trail

Maryland / Patuxent Branch Trail Parking

Park in the lot by Savage Park to access this trail. Great for families, birding, and biking. This trail is accessible from May until October.  Photos: Jeff Kubina, Matt Tillett, David Heise

Hike the Fort McHenry Trail

Maryland / Fort McHenry Trail

Park in the lot and head out either direction on this short loop trail. Trail can get crowded, so be prepared to share the space.  Photos: Jim, the Photographer, sugargliding, hounddiggity

HIke or Bike the Schaeffer Farm Yellow Trail

Maryland / Schaeffer Farm Yellow Trail

Park in the lot at the end of Kingsview Village Ave (see map) to access the trailhead. Trail is popular and well marked, used by bikers, hikers, and equestrians. Dogs are welcome too.

Hike the Soldiers Delight-Serpentine Trail

Maryland / Soldiers Delight-Serpentine Trail

Park in the area off of Deer Park road to access the trail. Dogs are welcome on leash. Trail can get muddy in the spring, and there are some stream crossings.  Photos: Kerry Wixted 

Hike the Potapsco Valley Hilltop Area Trail

Maryland / Potapsco Valley Hilltop Area Trail

Park on S. Hilltop Road to access the trailhead. Some sections of the trail can be sleep and slippery so be sure to bring adequate footwear.

Bike or Run the NCRR (Northern County Railroad) Trail

Maryland / NCRR (Northern County Railroad) Trail Parking

Park in the lot by White Hall post office and head onto the trail. Dog friendly, great for families, and not heavily used. Makes for a serene experience.  Photos: Shyn Darkly 

Hike the Black Hill Regional Park Loop

Maryland / Black Hill Regional Park

Park in the lot off of Black Hills Road (see map). This trail is open to hiking and mountain biking, and dogs are welcome too. Canoeing also an option. Trail is accessible year round.

Hike or Bike the Cromwell Valley Park with Loch Raven Add-On

Maryland / Cromwell Valley Parking

Park in the spaces available along the road as indicated by the map (see below). Walk towards the nature center a very short way to get to the trail.

Bike Assateague Island National Seashore

Maryland / Assateague Island Visitor's Center

Assateague Island is a 37 mile long barrier island along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia, and is home to the famous herd of wild horses.

Abby Shepard
4 Saves

Hike or Bike the Hoyles Mill Trail

Maryland / Hoyles Mill Trail

Park on Clarksburg Road (see map) and head onto the marked trail. It can get muddy at times so pack accordingly. Great for kids, and dog friendly too.  Photos: Colin Brown, Jo

Hike the Little Bennett Regional Park Loop via Hyattstown Mill Entrance

Maryland / Little Bennett Regional Park Loop via Hyattstown Mill Entrance

Park on Hyattstown Mill Rd to access the trailhead. The trail is well marked with blue blazes. Wear sturdy hiking boots and enjoy! Photos: Isaac Wedin, Greg Grossmeier, Fritz Flohr Reynolds

Hike the Paint Branch Trail

Maryland / Paint Branch Trail

Park on the shoulder of Fairland Road to access the trailhead. When you get to Little Seneca Creek, walk upstream to find a fallen log you can walk across. Trail  map here: http://www.mc-mncppc.

Hike the Robert E. Lee Park-Lake Roland Trail

Maryland / Robert E. Lee Park-Lake Roland Trail

Park on Falls Road to access the trailhead. It is accessible year round and dog-friendly. Some parts of the trail may be inaccessible due to logging.  Photos: Something Ferdinand

Hike the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Upper Section

Maryland / Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Upper Section

Park in the lot off of Watkins Mill Road to access the trail. This hike is dog friendly and is accessible from March until November.  Photos: Mr.TinDC

Hike or Bike the Perimeter Trail

Maryland / Perimeter Trail

Park off of W. Marlton Ave to access the trailhead (see map). Trail is near Greenbelt, Maryland, is accessible year round and is dog-friendly.  Photos: lipsciterp

Walk the Ballenger Creek Park Trail

Maryland / Ballenger Creek Park Trail

There's a huge parking lot available near the trailhead for this easy loop. Great for all ages, and dog friendly. Keep an eye out for wildlife and wildflowers. Trail is accessible from March-October.