Explore Half Day Trips - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Half Day Trips Map

The Blue Trail was an enjoyable but challenging walk in the woods. I found myself going up and down a lot. The trail markings were a bit confusing at first and it can be pretty easy to go off the trail if you're not careful. It wasn't too hot considering it was mid July when I did this. I had fun spotting all the different granite intrusions in the rocks. The summit at White Rocks was breathtaking.

This is a wonderful neighborhood trail. We walk our dogs on it several times a week. It’s accessible for all levels, and you’ll often spot a deer or two.

4 days ago

Beautiful, didn’t see a single other person on the trail.

Park is beautiful but the lack of adequate blazes and trail markers sadly makes me rate this loop 2 stars.

very nice trail. the main trail is wide and smooth so you can walk it in tennis shoes. However the side trails can be rocky & root and you should probably have hiking boots on. Alltrails shows the TH in a bad spot with very little parking right alongside a busy road. the other end of the trail is near the dam and has a nice parking lot. in the future I will park at the other end of the trail. I consider this trail as easy not moderate...not much of an elevation change and no difficult areas.

the trails get poorly marked as you go further in. we completely missed a turn off for the blue trail and wasted a lot of time. it was disappointing not being able to do the full loop as originally planned. we might try another day

Trail was beautiful. Early part was more secluded. recommend pants if you don’t like grass brushing you. We wore shorts and were fine though. When we went (summer) some of the old pond trail was not completely cleared.

The lake is beautiful and as a result can get crowded.

I've been taking my puppy here for awhile- nice walk and hike. Easy to get down to the patuxent river for him to cool down. A lot of runners and dogs - overall very peaceful.

9 days ago

A great way to escape Maryland's liberal bullshit.

road biking
10 days ago

Nice wide path, mostly flat so easy for the kids. We enjoyed the side trails, one was a boardwalk. I didn't realize the trail stops being paved a little after the Dolfield Rd bridge (we started at Red Run blvd). We tried riding the dirt trail but it was too challenging for our 5 year old. The dirt portion is narrow, a little bumpy, and much more hilly with switchbacks.

10 days ago

Nice hike. And good views of the lake. So, some people fishing.

trail running
10 days ago

Was running great in the beginning until I went off course. I would rather rely on blazes when running but the course is not marked, so I GPS'd it. The problem is that sometimes GPS deviates and sways away from the way you are actually going. When I was going the right way, I thought I was off course because my GPS was swaying. Secondly, because the course is not marked, I missed two turns that I should have taken, as I was rightfully focusing my attention on running and foot strike.

Another thing about this trail is that the elevation profile may be a bit off. The course description has it listed at 1,210 feet but I ventured about a mile over distance using the posted recording, and I logged only 1,053 feet -- 157 feet less!

This course needs blazes due to the elevation profile and rocky terrain -- one has to focus on that, especially while running. The last reviewer is right. I finished but also found the course a little confusing. Nonetheless, this is my kind of course.

Completed: 07/08/2018

What an amazing hiking experience, frequent elevation changes, challeging terrain couched by beautiful scenic views of the Liberty Reservoir. Though we encountered many down trees they were easy to maneuver.

trail running
14 days ago

Great trail for running! A little rocky at first, so kind of sketchy but then turns into a nice path. I only remember one real steep incline, most of the trail is moderate elevation changes. Very easy to follow and to find. Plenty of room to park. I did not see a soul the whole time I was out there. Beautiful view at the end of the peninsula, would be perfect spot for a picnic too. Clocked exactly 4.2 miles. Will probably go back regularly, my favorite so far!

trail running
15 days ago

This course features far less miles than I put in the other day, but what a challenge it is for trail running! Let’s just say, “Coot’s got cut”.

The geography of this course is cut rugged and has some rough spots. In a few more words, it is cumbersome, rocky, climby, branchy, and a twiggy piece of work for trail runners — especially at 97+ degrees in summer. Bring bug spray and a GPS, no markings at all. The course makes all the difference (still 5 stars!).

Runners, prepare for a great 600-700 calorie workout, you’re gonna love it! You’ll get your thrills on this one.

I really like this hike. Nice variety of trails and mostly pretty flat - nothing too strenuous. It can be a bit muddy, especially at the beginning, but not enough to prevent me from doing it. No spectacular overlooks or anything, but some great views of farmland and streams.

Today I did the whole loop (over 10 miles) and saw more deer than people! Only saw two people the whole way and they were workers towards the beginning. I guess that's the advantage of doing it on a Friday :)

Great hike with great views! Pick up map when you enter park. Orange trail is steep, but short (0.25 mile), climb to summit of Sugarloaf at 1,282 ft elevation. (Climb from parking lot is around 400 feet.) Many surrounding trails allow you to customize your hike and length. I did this trail as mapped out to Northern Peak and White Rocks. Most of the hike, except for the steep Orange Trail climb, is easy. Beautiful Mountain Laurel on the trail, nice scenery around, mostly shaded. Would definitely do this hike again!

Quick and easy hike with beautiful views. Went two Friday afternoons ago and the parking lot was almost empty.

Nice trail. Lots of good views at the water!

I love this trail for the creek that runs alongside it most of the way and that it's so close to home. It's secluded from the road so it's blissfully quiet and much less trafficked than the Matthew Henson trail. It's a packed dirt and gravel trail though, so some parts are a little rocky and it can be really muddy after a big rain storm. Wear bug spray!

Beautiful old growth forest. Doesn’t drain well. Very scenic. You can piece together the various trails for 10-12 miles or just do an out and back at 4-5 miles. Plenty of parking at light rail station.

road biking
1 month ago

This trail is ideal for mountain biking. There are alot of abrupt stops and inclines and the trail towards Lake Elkhorn is mostly gravel and mud. I had to stop and turn around because it was too muddy for my bike.

Great hike for hikers seeking a drastic elevation climb.

1 month ago

I enjoy this trail a lot because it is easy to walk on. it started walking this trail during my lunch breaks and it lead to walking the whole trail with a friend. We wanted to see other parts of the trail so we decided to start at the section by Randolph Road. We planned on walking for an hour and then back, but ended up walking the entire trail and back. It is great for people of all hiking abilities. The wildlife along parts of the trail is a bonus as well. I often see many deer, squirrels, and occasionally see some frogs.

1 month ago

Didn't love this trail - there were very few hills or anything that made it feel like a good workout. Views were nothing amazing either.

It’s been raining all week and the trail was soggy, so I took pics and placed waypoints as I ran. The rain didn’t matter much; although muddy in spots, it’s a great trail for evening runs before sunset. The only reason you may need blazes is for branching off. There are many branch points and variations one can opt for between the start and turnaround. I really like this trail for running, but it’s also excellent for nature walks and day hikes. I saw only a hand full of people on the course. Perhaps it was the rain that kept people away. This trail doesn’t disappoint.

Great trails! Trails are maintained well!

2 months ago

This is a nice trail. My Fitbit put it closer to 5 miles. There is a steep hill that will get your heart rate up. Beautiful views of the water throughout. A little muddy is some areas after the rain but nothing some good sneakers or trail shoes can’t handle. I would definitely do this hike again. Curious how it looks in autumn.

2 months ago

About halfway through this hike I was saying it should have been rated easy... by the end I was completely exhausted! I am training for a backpacking trip so I did this hike with a 25-30 pound backpack on which made the incline portions pretty difficult. It was great practice and a beautiful hike. Towards the end we came across a parking lot and thought we were at the end but it was not the west view parking lot and that made the last mile or so much harder. We also got off the trail a couple of times but always found our way back without too much trouble. We went on a beautiful spring day and there weren't too many people on the trail.

We started in the East View parking lot and went up the orange trail to see the peak of sugar loaf (steep, but quick) from there we made our way to the blue trail to go out to White Rocks look out (somehow got sidetracked off the blue trail for awhile...). Then we continued on the blue (then white) trail to get back to the parking lot. Nice and steady up and down, so never felt too strenuous. Arrived around 9:30 and wasn’t too crowded; by the time we were leaving (1:30) it was quite crowded. If we go again we might start down at the entrance gate in order to have more of an elevation climb.

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