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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hike the AT to Weverton Cliffs
Maryland / Weverton Cliffs Trailhead
The trailhead is located right off Weverton Cliff's Road in Knoxville, Maryland.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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 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 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.
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
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.
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
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 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.
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 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
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 Elk Neck State Forest Trails
Maryland / Elk Neck State Forest Parking
Park in the lot (see map) and follow signage for the loop 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.
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, 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 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.
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, 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, 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 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,
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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Photograph Prettyboy Dam
Maryland / Prettyboy Dam
Make sure you park in the designated spots located above the Dam. Walk across the Dam road bridge and about mid way stop and take a look over the edge.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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
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.
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.