Parks & Outdoor Fun
Camping, hiking, hunting and picnicking are among the most common activities we recommend for a day outside of the city. Enjoy the many parks and hiking trails that Maryland has to offer - bring friends or your dog to keep you company as you enjoy the outdoors!
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Parks and Hiking Trails
Located one mile east of the Inner Harbor, Patterson Park provides paved trails through a relatively open landscape. One can jog while watching many of the parks neighbors walking their dogs or the Baltimore Sports and Social Club play football, softball, and even kickball. The park circumference is almost two miles, but the trails on the interior allow for multiple running routes.
Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis
Nestled between the South River and Harness Creek, Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis offers a wide variety of activities. Visitors can walk, jog, or bike on over six miles of paved trails winding through hardwood forests and past grassy fields, play at the multi-level children’s playground, enjoy the vistas of the South River promenade and scenic overlook, or picnic among 340 acres of beautiful park land.
Patapsco State Park
The hiking trails of Patapsco Valley State Park is the perfect urban hiking spot for local Baltimore residents that do not want to travel too far to experience the wonders of nature. The Patapsco River is followed by 170 miles of trails and there are several trails for every skill level. If you get tired throughout the hike, there are plenty of cool and relaxing places to stop and rest. Chill by the waterfall, pool or rapids throughout your hike. During the summer, the river is calm enough for rafting fun. There are multiple entrances to the park; the most convenient and closest entrance is located at 5120 South Street, Baltimore, MD 21227.
Loch Raven Reservoir
Follow the trail to Merryman Point where the Loch Raven Reservoir spreads out in multiple locations. Wide turns yield to narrow paths along the Loch Raven Reservoir and make for a pleasant route. Stop by the lake and end a long day of hiking with a great view. Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed. There are plenty of picnic areas for families and visitors. Take advantage of a local hiking trail that is only minutes away from Baltimore.
Gwynns Falls Trail
Explore the Gwynns Falls Trail as it winds around 30 different communities in Baltimore. Connecting Dickeyville, Windsor Hills, Shipley Hill, Federal Hill and Cherry Hill, Gwynns Falls is great for both hiking and biking. The trail is mostly asphalt, which makes it easy for people beginning to hike. The 15 mile long trail has the most dramatic scenery around Baltimore. The rail is clearly marked and the pavement is well maintained. Enjoy the sight and sounds of the Piedmont Forest during your hike on the Gwynns Falls Trail.
Discover the Forest
Plug in your location and see all of the outdoor areas nearby at Discover the Forest! Great for activities with children, too.
Centennial Park, Ellicott City
Centennial Park has won three awards for its natural design and sensitivity to nature. It is part of Howard County's 7000+ acre scenic park system. The park is 325 acres! This park features a 2.4-mile loop around the lake. Visitors are welcome to rent a boat, cast for fish, enjoy the colorful natural wildflower areas, watch for a diversity of birds, waterfowl, and wildlife, play a sport, or have a picnic.
Appalachian National Trail
The Appalachian Trail, the nation’s longest hiking trail, makes its way past Washington County and is worth the trip west of Baltimore. One of the unique spots along the trail is located in Boonsboro, MD. The Washington Monument of Boonsboro was the country’s first monument to the "father of our country," George Washington. Hikers can stop and visit the monument and walk the stairs up to the top for an amazing view that overlooks the four-state region. Bird watchers will delight in the sight of hawks and eagles that frequently fly by the monument.
Oregon Ridge Park
Oregon Ridge Park encompasses over 1,000 acres of forest and offers several hiking trails. There are nine trails that start at Baisman Run and end at Oregon Branch. Oregon Ridge was once an iron ore and marble mine with an iron-smelting furnace along the Oregon Branch stream. The furnace operated from 1844 to 1858 and employed many Irish immigrants and emancipated slaves. Check out reminders of the mine during your hike on the Iron Mine Gray Trail.
Harpers Ferry, WV
If you are willing to travel for some incredibly scenic hiking, Harpers Ferry is the perfect place for a day trip. A little over an hour away, Harpers Ferry holds some of the best and most scenic hiking in the area, and for those history buffs out there, the town has a past that played a role in the shaping of America. Park at the Harpers Ferry National Park visitor center and take a short 10 minute shuttle into the heart of the city for the most enjoyable experience. From there, one can access multiple hiking trails, all of which are displayed on a brochure that can be obtained at the visitor center. Bring a bathing suit because nothing can be more refreshing following a long hike than a quick dip in the Potomac.
Ladew Topiary Gardens, which is open from April to October, was called an "exquisite garden estate" by the New York Times. This property which boasts 15 garden rooms and a 1.5 mile nature walk is located just outside of the city in nearby Monkton, Maryland. The home on the estate contains an oval library which has been referred to as "one of the 100 most beautiful rooms in America". Visit the Manor House, Gardens and Nature Walk for various events throughout the spring and summer seasons or visit for a change of scenery from city life.
Seasonal Outdoor Fun
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Located in Snowshoe, West Virginia Snowshoe Mountain has a skiable terrain across 244 acres and covers a total area of 11,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains. The charming resort has 60 runs and 14 chairlifts and is busy throughout the winter. Thorny Flat is the renowned peak at the top altitude and averages up to 4.5 meters of snow per year. Snowshoe features a 1,600 foot vertical drop with the longest run at 1.5 miles.
A four season resort in the mountains of Garrett County, Wisp Resort is approximately 4 hours west of Baltimore. It consists of 132 acres of skiable terrain and 32 ski runs with the longest run standing at 1.5 miles with the highest altitude up to 950 meters. The Marsh Mountain is the most visited ski area.
Nothing can be more refreshing on a hot summer day than a group tubing trip down one of Maryland's many local river systems. Tubes can either be bought or rented; just make sure you have a waterproof bag for valuables. For tubing on a grander scale, check out tubing in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Liberty Mountain Resort
Liberty Mountain Resort is close to Washington D.C. and just a short trip from Baltimore. The resort has been an absolute hit as a snow tubing heaven. It does have limited terrain, but what can you expect from a resort that’s close to D.C. and made predominantly of man-made snow? There are plenty of clinics and ski schools here which tailor to younger families and beginners.
Located in the Tuscarora mountains of Southern Pennsylvania, Whitetail Resort has an elevation of 246 meters with 109 acres of skiable terrain. There are 21 skiable runs, the majority of which are aimed towards beginner to intermediates with a few advanced slopes. This is truly a beginner's paradise where newcomers can enjoy the sport!