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4 Great Parks in MD for Hiking and Biking

parks in MD

Photo credit: Mountain Biking/Pixabay

Maryland is known for its beautiful parks and varied terrain, which makes it a desirable location for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for an easy trail or something a little more grueling, take a look at these 4 great parks in MD for hiking and biking.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park in nearby Columbia spans 337 acres and features a 2.4-mile paved trail around a large man-made lake. The trail winds in and out of woodland and wetland ecosystems featuring abundant wildlife. There are also opportunities for fishing and boating on the lake. Paddle boats, canoes, kayaks and rowboats are available for rent mid-April through mid-October.

Patapsco Valley State Park

Patapsco Valley State Park is nationally known for its trail opportunities and scenery and can be accessed right here in Ellicott City.

Encompassing more than 16,000 acres and spreading throughout much of Maryland, the park has 170 miles of multi-use trails. Hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, picnicking, horseback riding and mountain biking are all available at Patapsco Valley State Park.

Patapsco Valley State Park was just named Maryland’s most popular mountain biking trail by The Morning Choice trail in the Avalon Area was featured as a great mountain biking trail because it’s “rocky, rooty and fast.” Other trails in the park featured are Bull Run and Soapstone.

Patapsco Heritage Greenway

The old #9 Trolley Trail along the Patapsco Heritage Trail traces the path of the #9 trolley line that arrived in Ellicott City in 1899 connecting it to Catonsville. Today you can follow the same route on foot or on bike through gorgeous scenic woodlands. The trail features a boardwalk that curves between canyons of granite hand-cut when the electric streetcar rails were built. This beautiful, easy trail is perfect for a day when you feel like getting a little exercise and experiencing nature.


The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is a great place for nature and history lovers to spend a day. The canal stretches 184.5 miles and can be accessed at several different locations. Activities include hiking, biking, boating, ranger-led programs, canal boat rides, fishing, horseback riding and more.

The C&O Canal was built along the Potomac River to provide a route to transport coal from the Allegheny Mountains. It stretched from Cumberland, Md. to Washington, D.C. The canal was used heavily from 1831 to 1924, but it was abandoned after damaging floods in 1924 and 1936. The canal sat idle for many years before becoming recognized as a national monument in 1961 and then a national historic park in 1971. Find out more about the park and where you can access it on the National Park website.

Planning Your Trip to Visit Parks in Maryland

As you plan your trip to the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, please be sure to download a copy of our FREE Vacation Guide. It contains a variety of information on things to do and see while you’re here.

The Wayside Inn in Ellicott City would be happy to serve as your home base during your stay. We offer six beautiful guestrooms and a delicious breakfast each morning.

Photo Credit: Mountain Bike/Pixabay