Explore the most popular forest trails in Maryland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We did this hike with our dog and loved it. We did over the tunnel on the way there and through the tunnel on the way back. We saw a snake, chipmunk, squirrels, birds, and cool views. Informational signs along top trail was cool. Tunnel was kinda creepy but really cool to walk through.

Tips: bring bug spray and a flashlight.

Tunnel is very dark (especially if no other people are walking towards or in front of you). We only had our phone flashlights, which aren't the best, and the ground is natural so it's got bumps and divots. Bugs were a little bad on walk over tunnel. Overall, it was a fun hike and good workout.

horseback riding
13 hours ago

We have been horseback riding here many times and it has always been enjoyable. Majority of trails are wooded and some of the trails can be a little overgrown during the summer. If there has been a lot of rain it can get pretty mucky as well. Various trail types as well. Some are narrow and wind around and others are wide and pretty straight. Sometimes have to make your own trail if a tree has come down. Bicyclists are usually pretty considerate about moving to the side as well.

Love this trail! great convenient beautiful moderate trail. Dog adored it, plenty of creek to splash around in and not too many people so he could. Really well marked and so many options for any length you might want.

19 hours ago

There were 3 generations of us(58, 37 and 9 yrs) that took what I call the basic, easiest trail/hike when we went through the Paw Paw Tunnel. We met at the C&O Paw Paw Tunnel Campground. It was late Sep, partly cloudy, slight breeze once in awhile, with the temp being in the low 70’s, which we felt was perfect weather. None of us broke a sweat really and that was a bonus haha We took the main trail so that we could go through the tunnel. Prior to entering the tunnel, there was a water hand pump but we couldn’t get it to work. Maybe we just didn’t try long enough but we had brought our own water. There was also a port-a-potty just before entering. I would strongly suggest either bringing a small flashlight, wearable headlamp or you can just use the one on your cell but take note your phones battery. The path inside the tunnel is 3,118 ft long and has water puddles, some with water, some dry and there are ripply areas under your feet, which can cause you to scuff your feet and if you aren’t careful, there is a chance of tripping, thus using some form of light is very beneficial. Also, the light helps to see the different colors of the brick over your head. Exiting the tunnel, you’ll be on a wood plank walkway for awhile, then you’re on the ground the rest of the hike. We continued down the trail, through the 3 locks, then we turned around to come back. We got the bright idea when we got to a detour, that IF we had taken it, we would have been on a more challenging hike but no, we had a different idea. Instead of the detour, we followed another path, that was a higher elevation, running parallel to the trail that went back through the tunnel. We thought we’d be able to take this path and walk on top of the tunnel, to the entrance...wrong move because once we made it to the tunnel entrance, the path went away. We had to backtrack to get back on the main trail and back through the tunnel we went, which was perfectly fine with us. My daughter had been eaten alive by mosquitoes so it was a good thing the path had gone away. Take note, there was no port-a-potty on the exit side of the tunnel. We saw snakes, turtles, butterflies, 1 single bird! and heard frogs. It was an awesome time, walking leisurely, talking and observing nature. No one had their faces in their cells and were only used for light and picture taking. It took us a little over 3 hrs. Next time, we’ll either take the trail detour, which is more rugged and reaches higher elevations or we’ll bring the bikes!

The hike to Annapolis Rock was a good, mostly uphill, workout with a backpack full of camping gear. We went on a Saturday and there were lots and lots of happy people on the trail. At Annapolis Rock there is a nice camp area, with many primitive sites, a great spring, bear poles for hanging food, and two outhouses (one was tucked away in the campground). A caretaker came around just before dark to count the number of campers and make sure all was well. It was nice to have supper then watch the sunset from the rocks. We went to sleep early (you are not allowed to have campfires in this area) and as a bonus we saw the moonrise from inside the tent. It started raining pretty hard during the night but the water didn’t cause us any problems at the camp. At 6am the rain let up a little, so we hurried and broke camp. The 7am hike out was refreshing to do in the rain, albeit slower and more of a challenge hiking downhill in the mud. Overall, it was a good experience.

Disappointed with my planned weekend getaway. I was at Pogo Memorial Campground around noon when a group of about 30 scouts and 10 masters set up a dozen or more tents. I packed up and headed to Annapolis Rock. At the junction I ran into 20 girls with backpacks planning to stay there. I hiked down to Pine Knob where I read the maximum number in one group permitted to stay on the shelter grounds is 5 per party. That must also apply to remote campgrounds like Pogo and Annapolis Rock too? This was my first time on the AT in 20 years, which I used to backpack religiously. I moved away many years ago and returned for a long visit. I was looking forward to a nice trip down memory lane. I felt overwhelmed with the large number of large groups. The population explosion of the DC area has made what was once an out-of-the-way retreat a popular outdoor recreational area for thousands. The former makeshift gravel pullout at the US 40 trailhead is now a large paved parking lot. I arrived at 9:00 a.m. and the lot was full. When I returned to my car at 6:00 p.m., it was still mostly full. The buses parked there didn't help matters--and should have given me a warning about what was to come. Increasing the size of trailhead parking lots isn't a good idea. It just attracts more people and larger groups. I can't imagine the environmental impact of so many super large groups. When I hiked the AT so many years ago, you'd run into solo hikers and couples all the time. We'd befriend each other at campsites and share stories. The larger groups as expected kept to themselves. What I encountered this past weekend was nothing but large--very large--groups. I felt completely lost on my old haunt. Sad is me. I enjoyed the 10-mile workout with 35 pounds on my back, however.

We chose this trail for a simple weekend backpacking excursion to try out an assortment of miscellaneous backpacking gear we had, and the distance to Pogo seemed about right for a first-time backpacker (me). We arrived at the parking lot after dark Friday and went straight to Pine Knob campsite, which I think was a mile from the parking lot. There was a shelter and outhouse there, but we didn’t stay long. Early in the morning we packed up and headed out. The initial ascent to Annapolis Rocks had a whole lot of “steps” made of logs across the trail, probably for controlling erosion. Some steps were higher than others, but I saw lots of people from all ages and fitness appearances (?) doing fine. There were runners, AT backpackers, moms with baby carriers, and some people that looked at least my parents age (75ish). At Annapolis Rocks there was an outhouse and a good number of campsites on a side trail before the overlook. From Annapolis Rocks to Black Rock there were more “fallen” logs across the trail to step over, but none were a big deal. Black Rock was another nice overlook, and there was a group of rock climbers there. Between Black Rock and Pogo was a beautiful cascading stream. Pogo had an outhouse and lots and lots of space for tents (I didn’t see a shelter). We had planned to camp at Pogo, but it was being used by Boy Scouts, so we went back to Annapolis Rocks, which was very nice because after setting up camp and having supper, we were able to watch the sunset from sitting on the rocks. Then a short 2.4 miles back to the car the next morning. I would definitely go back and do this hike again, and might enjoy it even more without 29lbs on my back :)

After a friend of ours bought property in the Catoctin mountains, my husband fell in love with it. Few months ago, we took a trip to Gettysburg and decided to spontaneously get tattoos. He got Chimney Rock inside his tattoo even though we have never seen it. Last weekend, we took the trail and saw it for the first time and it was breath-taking.

This is a really well maintained trail in a beautiful forest. The trail is hard packed dirt with few roots or stones. It's lovely, but there's no big WOW. There's a little shrine, and there are three really old cars on the trail but it's the same all six miles. Yes, six, not five and a half.

The weathers has been great for the past few days and I have been racking up the miles. Today, I hiked with the family for Alsheimers. Nice overcast-ed day with just a sprinkle of rain. Great crowd and we all had a good time. The Walk For Alsheimer was only 2.5 miles around the lake but there are sections you can do to increase the mileage a little more. I also enjoy the earthen trail in the woods along the lake side. There is shady sections but also quite a few areas in the sun. Being a senior, I get into ALL Federal & State Parks free. A.A. County Parks is a different story, but this Howard County Park is FREE OF ALL.

Great hike. Trail starts in a neighborhood. Runs along the river for large portions. Had son in carrier so it was the perfect difficulty level.


1 day ago

Is this trail near the Glen Ellen castle ruins?

nice easy trail to start but with the amount of rain we have had(9/20/18) the water level of the reservoir is so high the trail is cut off by the water and we ended up bushwhacking. wish I brought a machete with me to clear the path. tons of prickly bushes

Now that the blasting is done up at the dam they have re-opening the River Road Trail from the swinging bridge up to the dam. Not much of the dam is left. On the way back I hiking up the Old Bike Buster trail. It was a bit tough due to the ground being damp and covered in leaves. Garrett's Pass and Cascade Fall trails were both in fine shape. I Met a guy from Silver Springs, Md. and it was his first time here. He was lost. I invited him to hike with me and I helped him learn the trails. He hiked with me for miles. NOTE: River Rd. trail above the dam is still ( CLOSED ). It the only section closed on the Howard County side of the river.

Being a senior, it's hard to deal with the mid-day heat. We were lucky enough to have a cool breeze in the late evening. We started at the Ranger Station and biked south down to Old County Rd. Because of it being late and we have to worry about the gates closing at the parking lot, which closed at 7:30 PM. We then looped back to the Ranger Station and headed up to Elvaton Park. The trail has multi parking locations so do a little research and plan ahead. We simply haven't rode the southern end. This was the first time on the lower end.
Note: Once again, after turning ALL/TRAILS on it failed to record 2.3 miles and it wasn't on pause. We biked a total of 12.7 miles but ALL/TRAILS only stated 10.4.

I was a little skeptical because it was such a popular trail and I was thinking it.kight be a let down... and I proven wrong. it's a great walk/hike with absolutely gorgeous scenery. you're only hurting yourself of you don't go!

Trail Closure Alert:
If you park up in the section of the Swinging Bridge there are TWO main closures. The TRAIL road up to the dam is now fenced off. With all the construction going on and blasting up at the dam the area is CLOSED. Also, you are allowed to walk on the Swinging Bridge but it's boarded up on the other side. The Grist Mill Trail is still CLOSED. With all the heavy rain we had this year the trail above the Cascade Falls has become extremely rocky. If you are hiking up on Garrett's Pass you CAN'T come down the Bike Buster section to the road. Basically ALL the trails on this side of the river are OPEN. When recording, park in the big lot and hike to the main Cascade trail-head. ** Bad GPS signals by the restroom. ** No texting **. When you get back to the big parking lot save your data.

Dont be afraid to go off the beaten path. The bridge is cool and all, but you need to go in the woods and check out the old cotton mill it’s graffitied up an alot of the old machinery is in the remains of the building! Its very cool and i would recommend checking it out.

Didn't make it the whole way to Washington Monument just due to timing. The hike up Bartman Hill Trail is on the steeper side and there was a stream coming down the trail. Once on the AT the trail is mostly flat with only slight elevation gain. We saw a copperhead and a black rat snake on the trail. Some sections of the trail were quite muddy, but easy enough to walk through or on the side off without getting off trail. There are bathrooms near the lake. Entrance fee for the park is $5/person if you are out of state, and I think $3/person if you are in state.

mountain biking
6 days ago

I love Bacon Ridge. I have not ridden there since Sept 5 2018 and wondering how the conditions are. Too muddy to ride?

mountain biking
6 days ago

I rode this trail on Saturday 9/15. There are some leaves down already and they were wet. In fact, it was quite muddy out there but I enjoyed it. One fallen tree blocking the trail around mile 4 (clockwise). Overall conditions good but muddy.

6 days ago

TRAIL CLOSURE UPDATE: Any and all trails leading to the severely damage Grist Mill trail are CLOSED. Forest Glen, Pigs Run and Nun's Run in the Hilton Tire Park Area are all CLOSED.
The ONLY trail OPEN in this location is the Santee Branch Trail. The entire Santee is Open.

Also note: The Sawmill and mostly All the trails in the HILLTOP area are also CLOSED due to blasting at the dam removal project. One trail is OPEN up at S. Hilltop Rd. but it's only a Out and Back on Buzzard's leading to the Ilchester Rocks over top the train bridge.

The entire Grist Mill Trail is still CLOSED due to the damage it received during the Memorial Day storm. The River Road Trail is NOW CLOSED due to blasting up at the dam. They blasted a hole in the dam on Sept 11. The complete road trail leading to the dam above the swinging bridge is now board off.

All of the Soapstone Trails ( Inner and Outer Loops ) are OPEN. Plenty of access and parking in the Upper Glen Artney section. The entire pond area is still CLOSED. The Grist Mill Trail is CLOSED and so are any trails leading to it. Vineyard, Backside of Nun's are CLOSED and now completely fenced off. The Santee Branch Trail has been OPEN and so is the fire road access to the main Santee.

7 days ago

Well kept, many altitude changes. Not as close to the water as it seems on the map. The pay off is the beach. We started on Morgan Mill and took the left fork which took us around to finish at Loch Raven Dr at the beach.

A few of the trails in this area are closed due to the blasting of the Bloede Dam. They blow a hole in the dam on the Howard County side on Sept 11, 2018. For me to comply with the notice of TRAIL CLOSURES, I decided to simply blaze my own via GPS. Basically, any trail leading to the damaged Grist Mill is closed. Because of this, most trails that are open are Out and Back. Sorry, I am not a out and back kinda guy. The park is open, the woods are ours but the trails are closed. Fine, just don't hike on the trails. Great to get out after a week of rain and bombing heat. I saw over 15 deer in the woods today. I got my shots of the dam project I wanted. By the way, The River Rd. trail on the other side of the park is closed too. Why don't they want us to enjoy the view of the dam removal. They don't blast everyday. Only on 9/11 ???

Perfect hike with the family and our 3 yr. old Lab.

Beautiful walk with spectacular views at the Annapolis Rocks overview!!

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