Explore the most popular trails in Middle Patuxent Environmental Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wet today! Make judicious use of side trails.

1 month ago

great swim spot

Lovely everyday trail — just hilly enough to get your heart going occasionally, but still an easy walk. I wish this was just down the street from my house! 5 minutes from the Clarksville restaurant strip, so you can do the loop and then pop in for lunch.

2 months ago

Had to cut the home short due to 5 yo not having it.

Kandace ramsour I loved your photo with the tadpoles. I accidentally “suggested hide” . I’m new and I expected to be able to like or comment on your photo!

Copperhead spotted in the first quarter mile. Multiple dead mice along the trail.

4 months ago

The area is currently closed at Trotter Rd. Not sure why or whether it’s temporary or permanent.

over grown
5 months ago

This beautiful set of trails tucked away in the Village of River Hill is full of surprises! My pup and I entered off South Wind Circle which was an easy access spot. Stop at the little map before the trail and pick up the pamphlets - they discuss the various birds and history to the area! The trail is not paved and is rather grassy and muddy in spots. The river was low today, so I’m sure it could get even muddier. People on the trail were friendly and the scenery was stunning! Trails were well marked and maintained for the most part - but I would still check for ticks. I would’ve like to see a trashcan or two near certain areas, but the space was very clean despite that.

On hot and dry days when the ground is not wet, like it was today, this course is fast for trail running. I mean, we’re talkin’ cheetah here! There were several standing-water mud puddles and a few mud slicks, but nothing you can’t jet over or around during a speed session. Wear your best grippy trail running shoes tied snuggly-snuggly tight with just enough room for proper circulation, and prepare for take off! Unfortunately, I had to deal with sweltering take-down heat at 91F (in the best shade you could find), so I jog-walked most of my trek while staying hydrated, running only in short segments. The trail has some hill challenges, but is minimally technical, making it a fast course. I wanted a “hilly-er” challenge so I did an out-n-back on the course sections offering the greatest elevation change — and I thought the course was still fast! This was my first time here and I’ve never used this trail while it was soaking wet after several days of pouring rain, which may present an entirely different experience. However, I have no complaints about this trail, even if it were wet. Completed: June 27, 2019 (Thursday)

Great trail that was nearly empty despite my visiting on a beautiful summer weekend. Nice mix of forest and meadow. My dog loved splashing around in the river!

Great trail, super muddy for a few days after rain, though. It's a well-hidden secret behind a neighborhood, so you'll be parking on-street at the trailhead. Nice views and a few places where you can climb across the river.

wanted to do a longer hike but it was still pretty muddy. :-( otherwise would have been great. plan to come back in the summer after it's dried out.

Took two kids and a dog, had a great time. Muddy after rain, can’t wait for summer.

Nice empty trails.

The wildlife trail is closed off due to construction but the south wind trail is available. Very pretty, took the dogs and they loved it. Beautiful stream half way through as well

Fantastic for hikes with kids and dogs. Didn’t encounter anyone else on the path. Paths are wide in most places and mowed down enough to be comfortable to hike/walk. There’s a nice little point to access the river, with a sandy/rocky little cove where the dog and kids could wade. Well marked paths. Nice variety of loops. The original access is currently under construction. Follow Trotter Rd through the traffic circle (when you’re coming from 108) and look for the pedestrian crossing signs. We parked in the court across the street, walked the paved trail and were able to access the grass trails a little ways down. This app makes it easy to see how to get onto the trails.

Wed Feb 14 2018

easy and scenic so it is not boring

Nice easy trail. Some pretty pastures and water. The markings could be a little better though. It is in a nature preserve and there are some areas that look like trails but are off limits

It's easily accessible and not usually very busy- loops are easy to combine to make a longer run

Easy trail for hiking with young kids.

If you'd like a quick hike this is a great one. 2.4 easy miles. We did it in the winter but I'd bet it's pretty in spring/summer. Encountered several other hikers. There is a nice trail map that explains all the environmental improvements they r attempting.

NIce trail, mostly out of the way, with a view of the patuxent river

An easy walk through the woods, at some points along a stream. Very pleasant.

It's hard to find a Howard County park in a more "natural" state without paved trails. This area fits the bill perfectly. It's a beautiful nature walk! Also very suitable for Trail Running. It mostly consists of dirt trails, and it's easy to stay on the path and find your way. Can be quite wet in portions, especially after a rain. It's not very crowded, and feels very much in the woods and away from the world. I highly suggest you stay on the trail, as there is a ton of poison ivy just off the path all along the pathways. You'll see a neat retro surprise along the trail as well. The parking lot is quite small. Do NOT use the Google Maps app to search for the park by name, as it dumps you into townhouse community in Columbia. This park is more towards River Hill, Great Star Dr. exit. It's off Trotter Rd.

Nice trail, wet in some areas, not a lot of traffic on the day we hiked

Not bad. Very tic tic ticky

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