Calvert Cliffs Red and Orange Loop Trail

MODERATE 142 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.

4.5 miles
269 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly




nature trips

trail running





wild flowers




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.

1 month ago

Had a great time with the kids. Mostly shady trail along a stream, marshland, and trees ending at the beach. Really enjoyed the fossil hunting and swimming after the 1.8 mile easy hike. Very peaceful and not crowded. We definitely plan to return. Some muddy areas along the trail but easily managed.

1 month ago

amazing scenery. felt like i stepped out of Maryland when i walk on to the Red trail. breath taking a new experiences for me and id love to go back there

2 months ago

Says it’s a moderate hike, but we thought it was pretty easy. Trail way super wet & muddy from the storms, but was manageable. Lots of wildlife & animal tracks left in the mud. Can’t wait to come back!!

4 months 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.

4 months ago

great trail, very easy hike! well maintained.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 months ago

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

9 months ago

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

9 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.

11 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.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Very nice and well maintained

Sunday, July 16, 2017

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.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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).

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.

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


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

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