Calvert Cliffs Red and Orange Loop Trail

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Calvert Cliffs State Park

Calvert Cliffs Red and Orange Loop Trail is a 4.5 mile heavily 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 accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.5 miElevation gain269 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyFishingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningBeachForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeFee
Description
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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.

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Reviews (315)
Photos (843)
Activities (256)
Completed (926)
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Mary Brown
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Hiking

Small beach area and you cannot climb on the cliffs but still very pretty and nice to enjoy a little beach with a hike.

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Adam Lewandowski
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Hiking

Red was muddy. The orange had much fewer people.

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Lauren Pitts
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HikingFeeGreat!

Really nice park, went early on a Saturday and was enjoyable with not too many people there yet (it’s known to fill to capacity on weekends sometimes, especially during warm weather, so recommend going early or late) Trails are well marked, and while the red trail seems to be the go-to trail I really enjoyed the orange and white trails too.

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Autumn Lohss
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Eric Rogers
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HikingFeeIcyMuddy

The directional signs were really easy to follow which was great because my phone had no service and I was unable to track our hike on all trails.

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Emi Ruff
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HikingMuddy

Definitely on the easy end of moderate but a lovely loop. On 2/21, there was quite a bit of mud and there were some icy/slushy spots along both trails, so I was happy to have my microspikes but could have gone without. No idea how anyone was enjoying doing this in sneakers though! I did this counterclockwise but ended up dropping down the last leg of the white trail before it meets up with Orange, which had less elevation change but was a gorgeous less-traveled walk through ice-coated trees. Highly recommend for a fun little hike through beautiful Southern MD terrain!

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Chad Reese
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HikingBlowdownFeeFloodedIcyMuddy

Took this loop close clockwise and extended to take the blue/yellow trails off the red trail on the way back. Overall, there's lots of parking available, multiple toilets, and clearly signed trails. The trail footing is clear and well maintained, with only a few rocks and roots. This is an easy, not a moderate trail. Calvert Cliffs is a great spot for a winter hike because the abundance of evergreens. We went post ice storm, and seeing the pine needles and holly berries coated in ice was pretty spectacular. The plant life was unique throughout and especially interesting along the coastline near the cliffs. The red trail is parallel to an extended wetlands, which is interesting to explore but extremely muddy. Definitely pack your waterproof boots. The boardwalks on the red trail were covered in ice, so choose footwear with decent traction (packed microspikes but never needed them).

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Angela Christman Chinnici
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HikingFeeMuddy
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john briscoe
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Joanne Santiago
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Hiking
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Aaron Green
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Hiking

Very muddy but lots of fun! We had a great time at the beach, too. I'd just recommend wearing shoes you're comfortable getting muddy.

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Maura McCarthy
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HikingGreat!Muddy

Pretty easy and good for beginners but wear shoes that can get dirty. Super friendly rangers

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Patrick Loughrey
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Patrick Spliedt
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Hiking

Great way to see variety of tranquil nature. Highly recommend this low key outing.

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K M
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HikingFeeGreat!Muddy

I took blue from the parking area, joined red to the beach, and then orange back. Maybe there are times of year when it isn’t muddy, but it does seem like marshland/swamp, so I can’t imagine that. It was a nice, and retry easy walk in the woods with a little beach surprise!

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Mark Padilla
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Hiking

Parts were a little muddy. The orange trail was in a hunting area, so I avoided that part of the trail. And there was a good amount of people on the trail for a Wednesday afternoon.

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Cody Miller
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HikingMuddy

Fair amount of people for a Tuesday morning/afternoon, but not too crowded. The red trail is a pretty easy walk, with minimal elevation gain, however did have a few muddy spots. The orange trail does have some gain in elevation (compared to the red), but isn't very difficult. We also added the 0.3 mile unmarked side trail off the orange at the top of the hill, which leads to an obstructed view of the bay.

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Valerie Walker-Clark
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Hiking

Beautiful. Love the water. Love the pine scent. Had a little accidental dip at the beach. But the weather was nice for December. Didn’t freeze the rest of the hike.

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Lisa Smith
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Hiking

Great trail for family’s or solo. Beautiful beach and the tide was low which gave an opportunity to search for sharks teeth but we had no luck. Only hiked the red trail. Was going to add the orange loop but the hunting caution signs had us a little concerned. I think think trail should be closed off if there’s potential run in with hunters.

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