Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area (NEA) is comprised of 1,900 acres of serpentine barren. The area has over 39 rare, threatened, or endangered plant species as well as rare insects, rocks and minerals. Rare grassland plant species are threatened by invasion of Virginia Pines. Currently, a five year effort of removing 1,000 acres of pines and prescribed burning are underway to return the area to natural serpentine habitat. Gnarled tree at Soldiers Delight There are seven miles of marked hiking trails. Equestrians and cyclists are prohibited due to the sensitive nature of the area. The visitor center has meeting rooms, a reference library and exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area. The visitor center is located at 5100 Deer Park Road in Owings Mills, Maryland. Call in advance to get current visitor center hours and upcoming events. Soldiers Delight has two areas (at Ward Chapel Road and Deer Park Road) open for bow hunting from November 15, 2008 to January 31, 2009. A valid managed hunt permit is required. In addition, a Patapsco Valley/Soldiers Delight annual bow hunting parking permit is required. This permit is valid at Patapsco Valley State Park, Soldiers Delight NEA and Morgan Run NEA only. For further information, please refer to the hunting guide (see below).

beautiful trail that takes you through a wide variety of terrain

Great easy trail with wide paved area and easy off path trails. Great for walking your dog.

road biking
4 months ago

Took my kids 11 and 5 biking on this path. Perfect for training wheels or for learning to ride since it’s mostly level and the path is paved and very few ppl on it. If you start on Red Run Blvd, about a half mile down you will encounter a closed gate that says “trail ends” and beyond the gate is the Dolfield Rd & Pleasant Hill Rd intersection and bridge. But if you brave the traffic and cross that bridge, the paved trail continues another mile beyond that. However, then the pavement will end and you need to continue on foot to continue to the Soldiers Delight area. We simply turned around and went back to the beginning for a total of 2 miles. Nice and shaded too.

4 months ago

Nice after work hike.

Nice hike. Also, check out the nature center.

4 months ago

Nice hike. Saw a few mine shafts.

trail running
4 months ago

New to the Owings Mills area, and wanted to try something closer to home. Even though it weaves in and around the edge of developments, there are some really nice pockets of nature and quietude. When asphalt turns into dirt trail, the trails are really root filled or rock filled making the trail run a nice challenge. Stumbling into the old mine entrance was also really cool. Ended up taking this trail out to the serpentine loop which has a nice overlook of soldiers delight area. Easy to get to with back roads and a few parking spots at the trailhead.

My first time here and I was very thankful that it wasn't very hot out. Thank God for a breeze. When you see my recording you will see two problem areas. One split on the Choate Mine Trail was so overgrown I missed it. I also took the wrong turn were the Serpentine Trail connects with the Almart Trail. If I didn't have All/Trails I would have been messed up even worse. This whole area is very, very rocky and mostly a wide open plain. Some sections is like being in the High Sierras or a desert full of rocks. If I return I will indeed wear hiking boots and not shoes. I recommend hiking in the morning hours or the evening. I am sure this place will get very hot in the mid-summer heat. Overall, I would come back when the season changes to see the beautiful landscape.

Trail could have been blazed better in some sections, otherwise it was a nice day hike. Even found some blueberries!

This is the closest trail to our home, but not a favorite. Many of the trails are through grasslands, and our preference is more wooded. However, the Nature Center is nice, and the history is interesting.

Beautiful and unique trail for Maryland. Prairie was gorgeous

I wasn't sure what to expect with this trail and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. The way in goes behind some apartment buildings and under a bridge, but once you get past that you're surrounded by nature. There's a nice stream, trees, rocks, an open field, wild flowers and more. We saw deer, tons of butterflies, cool insects and cardinals. The trail really takes you through some different scenes. We extended our hike a couple miles by just doing the marked loops and turn offs. It's a nice trail and very light traffic. I'd love to see it in autumn with the changing leaves.

6 months ago

Where are we suppose to park? and just after the bridge I see no trail?

First off, AllTrails says this whole thing is the Serpentine Trail but actually, the ST is just the beginning 2.5 miles. When you get back to the start, cross the road and go around the barrier to continue this loop. This part of the trail includes the Choate Mine, Red Run, and Dolfield Trails.

These trails are very runnable and pretty easy to navigate. Very very rocky, as the whole area is on serpentine bedrock. Nice mix of grasslands and forests, easy inclines, easy stream crossings, overall runnable and gentle trails that are good for getting miles in on varied terrain without exhausting yourself.

6 months ago

You have to walk a little up a private drive, but as the other post said- across the bridge on the left is the start of the trail. If you walk and can see the private house you've gone too far.
Also, if you take the split to the right the trail is not very well marked so you will need this app to figure out where you are going.
Other than that it was a great hike and there was a nice little waterfall and old wheel house where the stream and the reservoir meet on the top side of the hike.

An easy, relatively short hike showcasing an environment that has largely disappeared from Maryland. The area's interesting geology has essentially turned it into an island for rare and threatened plant species. The Sepretine Trail is the more popular of the two loops there, passing through a grassy 'savana' that unfortunately is bisected by high-tension power lines. The Choate Mine Trail is more forested, but contains some lovely open patches of grassland. For this loop, I suggest sticking to the mine Trail and Red Run Trail instead of taking the Dolfield Trail, which runs too close to a nearby suburb for my liking. The trails are a nice change of pace from other Maryland trails, but are probably more rewarding for people interested in ecology and geology than scenics.

This is a four star trail normally but man! I came home with 3 ticks after really checking myself and my friend who went with me. Very muddy today too. Nice trail- I'd say moderate to easy difficultly level. But these ticks! I would take a lot of precautions if you're going here in the next few weeks. I haven't had that many ticks on me at once in 22 years!

Good views towards the west

11 months ago

Do you have to go on someone's private driveway to go on this trail? That's ridiculous. I rather not take my chances here....

Sunday, February 05, 2017

This starts on a PRIVATE DRIVE.
From wards chapel, don't go on the gate 1 trail, follow private drive and once across the wooden bridge, turn LEFT in front of large evergreen

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