Calvert Cliffs Red and Orange Loop Trail

MODERATE 130 reviews

Calvert Cliffs Red and Orange Loop Trail is a 4.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lusby, Maryland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
269 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

Calvert Cliffs State Park is unique among hiking opportunities around this area because it has fantastic views of the Calvert Cliffs from below, fossil hunting opportunities, and hiker-only access to the Chesapeake shoreline! The cliffs and the shores below contain hundreds and hundreds of fossils from the Miocene epoch, more than ten million years ago. The cliffs were formed when southern Maryland was under a shallow sea created this feast for walker, hikers, and fossil foragers alike. Most trails interconnect so it is very easy to hike the mileage you are in the mood for. Maps are on the parks web site or high quality water proof maps can be purchased at the state park web site. Red Trail - 3.6 miles Blue Trail - 2.2 miles Yellow Trail - 1.5 miles Orange Trail - 1.5 miles White Trail - 2.6 miles Silver Trail - 1.2 miles Elev. Gain: Minimal Adding to the pleasure: Foraging for fossils on the sandy beach is permitted, but no swimming is allowed.

hiking
10 days ago

We took our Cub Scout pack out today. It was a beautiful hike. We saw 4 turtles sunning on logs in the water, which was really cool.

24 days ago

great trail, very easy hike! well maintained.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. I took the red out to the cliffs (they say walking out where the cliffs are is off limits this time of year, but I took that more as a suggestion). Red trail is nice and easy hike offering great water views.

After leaving the cliffs I took the orange trail. It’s also nice and heavily wooded with good inclines. Note, some parts are muddy; you can get through them but I recommend hiking shoes over sneakers for better footing.

Note, towards the end, the map shows that the orange trail continues towards the left of the service road that leads to the parking lot. But really it’s the service road that takes you back.

I’d definitely do this trail again. I went early so it wasn’t crowded.

hiking
3 months ago

Red trail was a nice walk out to the cliffs. The trail was clean and very well marked. I decided to switch trails when leaving, I started on the Red then switched to Blue junction which ended as the Yellow trail. Calvert Cliffs definitely has the potential for adventure.

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked this trail 2 years ago. It is a easy hike with the exception of a steep rocky decent by the 0.6 marker on the map.

hiking
5 months ago

Easy trail if you just want to get out for a little adventure

6 months ago

Easy trail not moderate. Beautiful though and easy to follow. Went with two kids and it was easy and nice day together.

hiking
6 months ago

Not moderate. This is an *easy* trail. Great trail, beautiful change in forest type and ecosystems. Wish the cliffs were still available to explore. Great escape from DC.

7 months ago

$5 fee is the only reason I don't come more often. The trail is great for dogs and the beach is small but a nice place to relax. The trail has benches and mile markers.

hiking
8 months ago

Very nice and well maintained

hiking
9 months ago

Different type of trail than we are used to walking on as a good portion of the trail is sandy. Would not recommend doing it after a day of rain. Would put the difficulty closer to an easy than a moderate, especially if you do the red trail which is mostly on a boardwalk. The orange trail was completely empty when we did it, but we passed a lot of beach goers once we were on the red trail. We arrived at the park around 8 am and there was no one working the park entrance which was being run on the honor system. We didn't have the proper change so we had to throw in $10 instead of $5.

hiking
10 months ago

i ended up walking past the "entry prohibited" sign just before the cliffs, and wasn't chastised by park personnel.

i should've been bum rushed.

hiking
11 months ago

I wanted to love this but didn't see the appeal. I'm a single adult, no kids. If you have kids and want to be on a busy and simple trail with a lot of families, this might be great. Trail is definitely easy, not moderate.

hiking
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Really cool areas along the cliffs. Found a ray tooth and some neat shells. Nice hike to and from, with plenty of bird watching.

walking
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Great with kids (2 and 4) although I would recommend a little stroller because it can be "too long" for them. We enjoy the trails leading to the beach. Find some good seashells and shark teeth.

Monday, January 30, 2017

An easy trail with beautiful views that leads out to the Chesapeake Bay where you can hunt for fossils! One of my favorite Maryland trails.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nice trail - pretty well marked - great view of the bay!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Love it!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

I've done this trail so many times and love to introduce friends to the "wild side" of the orange trail which veers to the left at the split but is lightly traveled and not marked so go at own risk and can follow a lightly tread path.

hiking
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

uhm awesome! the kids were mesmerized by the fossil hunting here! The trail is pretty much sandy and flat but buggy in spots. Hot but lots of shaded spots. bring water there is nothing to speak of. One little beaver pond area before the beach with turtles etc. The only facilities are in the main parking area. nothing on the beach no bathrooms no water nothing. gilligans island deserted. The cliffs beautiful. the beach a good stretch and easy to keep track of kids. No shade on the beach none so in summer and early fall make sure you put on your sunscreen. and careful we had snack and sat the snack bag in the sand and returned to a bag full of little ants! eek. We were surprised and pleased to see a make shift bin full of sifters, bucket and shovels to try and find fossils. and a fossil identification guide at the entrance to the beach. very very cool highlights of our trips. We ate a bbq place a few miles down the main street there and it was outstanding.

Monday, July 11, 2016

great trail and perfect for younger dogs

hiking
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Very well maintained trails and super dog friendly! Was there on a Monday afternoon and once we left the Red Trail and to hike the Blue and Yellow Trails, we didn't see another person.

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fun trail. We took the red trail to the beach, looked for fossils for a while, and then took the orange back to the parking lot. The red trail is fairly flat, while the orange has more elevation change to it (though it is not bad).

walking
Thursday, March 17, 2016

Took our family here (6 year old, 3 year old) and they had fun. The end of the red trail spits you out right on the Chesapeake. There are toys available for kids to play with in a wood bin at the beach, which was a very cool surprise. Our sister took her dog (English Setter) and he absolutely loved it. Not much beauty to see, but this trail is fun to walk.

hiking
Sunday, February 21, 2016

Good woodsy and wetland scenery then you come out to the cliffs and the beach on the bay. Only downside is the yuppie infestation on the weekends. Go on a weekday to avoid crowds

Friday, January 01, 2016

W.

hiking
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Excellent flat hike to a beautiful spot on the Chesapeake below some huge cliffs. Very scenic woodlands and swamplands along the way. Great for a summer day, bring a blanket and some sunscreen and have a swim, or look for fossils and shark teeth below the cliffs.
It's about an hour walk from the parking to the end of the trail and about an hour back. But allow time to explore the beach.
It's also a great trail o break in some boots or do a non uphill backpack training hike, to get used to your pack

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Excellent park. You get a pond, trails and beach all in one location.

hiking
Thursday, June 18, 2015

Great family friendly trail. I HAVE 3 kids age 9, 4 and one under 1 who I carry (babywearing ) My children enjoy the walk to the beach. We love looking for animals and reptiles on the way. when you finally get to the beach plan to stay for some great fossil hunting.The only downfall to this trail is that it is very popular and at times crowded. This makes stopping and enjoying the scenery a problem at times.

hiking
Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Easy trail. Both my daughters first hike. Offers an excellent opportunity to compare marshes and swamps. Beaver dam and many signs of wildlife for young kids' environmental education. Muddy during rainy periods. Often crowded. Go early for peace, quiet and bird watching. Bald eagles seen often. Lovely way to experience southern Maryland in just a few hours.

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