Switchback Trail

EASY 137 reviews

Switchback Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Marriottsville, Maryland that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.8 miles 347 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Ellicott City, MD: Travel west along Interstate 70 several miles taking exit 83. Head north approximately 4 miles on Marriottsville Road to reach the state park entrance. Parking is available immediately after the contact station.

birding
2 days ago

This was a fun trail--as others have said, not easy but an enjoyable moderate. The ranger told me that Switchback is actually 4.5 mi. Muddy and rocky in sections. If u follow the white hash marks u will not get off the trail. Saw pileated woodpecker and belted kingfisher. Less enjoyable was hearing the firing range nearby, very loud on the last 1/4 of the trail.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

It was my first time going out hiking here in Maryland, in fact it was my first time in many years. It was a nice hike but all I heard besides the streams when I was along side of it was continuous gunfire from the gun range across the way. I normally don't mind gunfire, I love to shoot my own guns from time to time, but it was non stop the entire hunt. It was a nice trail, great scenery, but I didn't see much wildlife.

3 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Wow...loved it!! We hiked it with our five and eight year olds + my step father; it took about hours and 15 minutes. Great views!! Lots of places to fish & have a picnic lunch beside the river.

2 months ago

Amazing hike!!! I would not rate easy at all due to the climbs and descents.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Certainly not a bad trail but there are sections that certainly aren't biker friendly ie trees crossing the trail and stairs. aside from that I really enjoyed my first lap. I would recommend starting on the west side and running it counter clockwise though.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This was the first hike my husband and I have taken. Great trail - a little flat land, a few hills, some rock climbing, and some great water views of the rapids. Got a little off course at the end, didn't even realize it but we were able to track up a hill to get back on track. We would come back for sure.

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, scenic, very easy and flat with only one brief but steep climb. Actual distance was 8.3 miles according to map my run for the full loop. Not sure where 3.8 came from. Perhaps a dyslexic entry.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail but sometimes difficult to follow. I used this app to make sure that I stayed "on course" and enjoyed it. The fall leaves really made it more beautiful!

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

I enjoy this every time I hike the trail, especially in winter where the lack of foliage allows much more to be seen. It has variety of upland woods, river bends, and a view of Liberty Dam if you take the Plantation trail

mountain biking
3 months ago

A very nice, fairly easy mountain bike trail that offered everything I wanted--good views, well maintained trail, and enough variety to offer a challenge. Very few hikers and nearly no bikers meant I had the trail almost all to myself. Nice scenic ride...I'll definitely do it again.

4 months ago

Pretty but populated.

4 months ago