Looking for a great trail near Ellicott City, Maryland? AllTrails has 41 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Theodore Roosevelt Island Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Centennial Park. Ready for some activity? There are 26 moderate trails in Ellicott City ranging from 0.7 to 9.1 miles and from 32 to 531 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!




nature trips


dogs on leash

bird watching

trail running



mountain biking

kid friendly


wild flowers

Ellicott City, Maryland Map

This trail has some serious drainage problems for the first quarter mile. The trail is incredibly muddy and,as a result, trail widening is occurring as hikers try to avoid mini ponds on the main trail.

As others have mentioned, you never really escape the city sounds along your hike; not even the Patapsco river can drown out the sounds of route 40 and I-70.

off trail
4 days ago

T'was a crappy day. Hiked this one a couple months back. I got lost a couple of times. One too many blowdowns of trees. Very muddy. I slipped and took a couple of diggers. 2 stars just because it was a crappy day weather-wise. I may do it again when it dries up.

bridge out
9 days ago

17 days ago

Hard to find and lots of stairs! Loved seeing the chapel. You can bring your dog, but there's a lot of broken glass all over.

25 days ago

It was cold out but no wind. - The sun was out and the park was quite crowded with many people on the trails with their dogs. - We started at the NEW trail (Ridge Extension) across the road from the Playground parking lot. - The trail takes you up to a main connection. - We continued on the Ridge trail and connected to the Valley View trail. - Both trails head the same direction but the views are better on Valley View because you are on the edge of the ridge. - Ridge trail only goes over the top. - We hiked the Ridge trail up to the old shelter bench then headed back via the parks River road.

28 days ago

Today was a nice day to be in the park. - A small south breeze made it feel quite warm out. - Much of the Falls area is covered in ice and was really beautiful. - You need to keep a eye on the temperatures because last February they were frozen solid. - The trails are hard as a rock so you have no mud to deal with. - I do recommend hiking poles because of a few icy spots. - As you head up the old River road trail you get to see where they removed the Bloede Dam. - They are now restoring the Grist Mill Trail on the opposite side of the river. Old River road trail is icy in many spots.

With the construction of the new service road the trail along the river is generally muddy. - Now that the ground is frozen it's a better time of year. - As you hike up along the river go pass the first left trail and take the second one up the mountain. - As you go up to the top always be quiet. - I see lots of deer here every time I come. - The views are great on top of the rocky ridge along the Backside of Daniel. - The boulder hop is cool at the very top.

After a day of rain and warmer temperature the snow had disappeared. - I continue to basically hike in the same area but I do hike this side of the park in many different ways. - The restroom by the swinging bridge and down at the playground are the only two open. - For the past few days the road up to the Glen Artney side has been closed due to ice on the road at the tunnel. - If you hike the Baltimore County side you need to park near the pond and hike up to Soapstone side. The restroom is closed by the Soapstone Trail-head. - You may want to park up on S. Rolling Rd.

1 month ago

Nice 2 mile hike.

Some struggle to find the steps leading to the trail but overall so worth going to see the altar. Be careful where you park, I got a ticket.

A little muddy but very enjoyable. All the dogs we saw were on leashes, which I appreciated.

Okay just did this very short hike. First thing, you can’t take river road from thistle to get there. Take hilltop all the way to river road. Trail is clearly marked and heavily used. I was there around noon on a Sunday with about 10 others on the trail. The college is on a mountain top accessed by a lot of steep stairs, watch your footing. Not much remains except the skeletal dome of the alter some basements and foundations all located on the hill scattered about. High creep factor. The views of the valley, river and trestle bridge are great but I’m certain only in fall and winter. Any other time it would just be too over grown.

I hike this section a lot and in many different ways. - You could start at the Playground and head up the Water Bars, which is the old Ridge Trail and you can also head up the New Extension right next to the Playground. - Three Sisters and Morning Choice are the same trail. - When on the Morning Choice you have 2 connectors, which lead you to the main Ridge Trail. - You have a option to take either one pending the distance you wish to hike. - I hiked up to the small shelter and headed down to the road via an old trail. - I returned via River Rd. to enjoy the stream as I headed back.

Great trail, not as crowded as other parts of the park. Parking is limited, but seemed sufficient for the morning crowd. Mainline trail is a nice easy walk along the river with some opportunities to scramble up some rock cliffs. The ridge loop is more challenging but offers some fantastic views. Be sure to check out the Camel Den "cave" near Daniels rd!

Varied terrain was nice.

No real overlook views. Suggest not doing the side loop that is really nothing to it. BTW, total distance is about 6.5mi. Really muddy due to record rain fall.

Would do again, when drier.

2 months ago

It was only in the mid 40's but with the sun out it seem much hotter. - No Wind - Not many people on the trail so I guess every body is shopping at the mall. - Ho! Ho! Ho! - Christmas is right around the corner. - I love being ONE with nature. - The loop I hike in this area is quite rocky but I enjoy the train tunnel and the hike along the tracks down to the stream. - I some how missed the trail down in the campground but I used the GPS tracking on All-trails to find it again.

No idea why this is classified as hard...

good place for dogs

Short trail. I recommend walking down to the bridge. But that walk back up is a killer.

Muddy. Hard day. Easy to get lost. Not worth the effort. Won’t do it again.

2 months ago

Took my pup out here and found the trails to be very diverse and entertaining. Some areas were rugged and parts were smooth sailing; which made for a great mixture. We really enjoyed the multiple stream crossings and waterfall.

Was a well maintained trail with beautiful scenery but as others have said you could hear RT 70 noise for a portion of it.

Normally love this trail but it’s closed right now

3 months ago

Happy Halloween. - It's 70 degrees outside and the Fall Colors are popping at Centennial Lake. - With the weather being so nice the park was super crowded with Hiker, Walker, Runners and tons of Dogs. With the puppies, we added a few of the earthen dirt trail but basically the entire park has blacktop paved trails. This was the first time we brought our two Beagles here. - They Loved It. - Being a senior, I get into ALL Federal and State Parks free. - A.A. County Parks is a different story. They charge seniors 5 dollars and others 6. ** Howard County Parks are FREE. **

Great to walk with the family. Paved, plenty of shade, and lots of good water views. Also a nice playground to stop along the way.

Definitely got lost. Hiked for 3 hours through really pretty forest and along some beautiful creeks. Not a bad morning.

4 months ago

Good trail for people who like a good workout with subtle challenge

Traveling towards Ellicott City, boardwalk portion of the trail currently fenced off.

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