Best Hikes Near Baltimore  by Heather Connellee

Best Hikes Near Baltimore Guide Book

by Heather Connellee (Falcon Guides)
Best Hikes Near Baltimore  by Heather Connellee
It’s not necessary to travel far from home for a great hike. With these information-packed guides in hand, readers have everything they need for the adventure they seek, from an easy nature walk to a multiday backpacking trip. Each hike includes: location, length, hiking time, level of difficulty, and if dogs can come along.

© 2014 Heather Connellee/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Hikes Near Baltimore" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 40.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 40.

Knock out two states in 10.0 miles on a historic section of the 2,000-plus-mile Appalachian Trail (AT), which spans from Georgia to Maine. Highlights of this day hike include Gathland State Park, Ed Garvey shelter, Weverton Cliffs, the C&O Canal, and the quaint town of Harpers Ferry.
Westminster, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.2
An urban hike through the heart of downtown Baltimore’s tourist center takes you past restaurants and pubs, boutique shops, attractions, and marinas. Meander through the historic town of Fells Point or continue on the trail to the Inner Harbor, Baltimore’s tourist mecca, all while enjoying the view of the water. Soak in some Baltimore culture while seeing the sights, taking in great views, and getting some exercise. The entire length of the trail is 7.0 miles running from Fort McHenry to the Canton Waterfront Park, with some disconnected sections, boardwalk, brick, and sidewalk.
Great Falls, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.3
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Its length aside, this trail is a cakewalk. It’s amazing that this natural beauty of land and river lies between two of the busiest routes in Baltimore. The walk along the bank of the Gunpowder River is big on scenery.
Perry Hall, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.8
Follow the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath and waterway, a National Historic Park, before heading into the woods to clamber your way through a giant boulderfield playground, all while getting views of the mighty Potomac River and deep Mather Gorge—typically littered with kayakers, paddleboarders, and rappellers. The Billy Goat Trail is just downright fun! Although a bit of a drive, it’s well within reach of Baltimore. It utilizes the C&O Canal towpath, a National historical Park that runs 184.5 miles in total from Washington, DC, to Cumberland, Maryland.
Potomac, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.7
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This is a treat of a trail located right in town between Parkville and Overlea. Despite some unfortunate vandalism, the hiking trails in this park offer a much needed natural respite from the highways and urban sprawl that surround it. You’ll encounter several scenic stream crossings on the forested loop hike with some unexpected ups and downs. Stemmers Run, flowing through crevices and over moss-covered rocks, is certainly a highlight.
Harrisonville, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.6
This is a neat hike with unique features like a section of beach hiking, lots of wildlife, river views, and a loop around a beaver marsh pond with, well . . . beavers!
Turkey Point, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
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An easy trail with open meadows and water views most of the way leads you to the cliffs above the Chesapeake Bay and the Turkey Point Lighthouse at the tip of a peninsula of land between the Elk and Northeast Rivers.
Deer Creek, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
Everything you could ask for and more! The well-marked loop trail begins steps from the Foxcatcher Farm Covered Bridge before taking you through varied terrain and scenery—past open fields, dense forest, stables, and water views of Big Elk Creek. All of this in a 5,656-acre Natural Resources Management Area located near Elkton.
Turkey Point, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
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Located in Federal Hill next to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, walk in the steps of our brave countrymen on a historical hike around the star-shaped Fort McHenry, where Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem. The American flag waves above as you hike the Seawall Trail, a short trail that circles an eighteenth-century star-shaped fort. Birthplace of the national anthem, Fort McHenry’s perimeter trail follows along the seawall of Baltimore’s harbor, affording expansive views of the city’s waterfront, skyline, and industrial areas.
Baltimore, MD - Hiking,Road Biking - Trail Length: 0.9
The varied landscape on this hike includes hillsides and stream valleys, ridge walking, and a stroll down a fire road that cuts through a pine forest.
Mountain, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.5
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A short loop hike that provides access to one of the best, if not the best, sections of the Gunpowder River with pools, rapids, and chutes. It’s always nice when you can mix up the scenery rather than having to retrace your steps. By combining the Highland Trail with the Gunpowder South Trail, we can do just that, all while giving you access to a fantastic stretch of river! This loop hike begins at the green iron Howard B. Mays Bridge (1898) on Masemore Road on the opposite side of the road from the parking lot. Do not cross the iron bridge. Follow signs for the Lefty Kreh Fishing Trail blazed in white (this is also the Gunpowder South Trail). A large rock sits in grass alongside the water and edge of the parking lot.
White Hall, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Welcome to Jerusalem Mill Historic Village, home to Gunpowder Falls State Park headquarters. The mill here originally functioned as a grain mill from 1772 to 1961. The historic town buildings include a gristmill, blacksmith shop, gun shop, springhouse, and general store. This well-marked hike has much to offer, including historical sites, views of Little Gunpowder Falls, and a covered bridge. A located in Harford County. This area, rich in history, had a gun shop that supplied muskets during the early part of the Revolutionary War. Military reenactments sometimes take place here. The calm continues as you head into the woods for a nature hike. You’ll find the trailhead in the meadow to the left and behind the Jerusalem Blacksmith Shop. Look for the white blaze on the tree, just before leaving the grassy meadow and stepping on the natural trail surface. You’ll be following the white-blazed trail for the first half of the loop and returning on the blue-blazed trail.
Mountain, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
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The pond truly is lost, but other highlights like views of the Gunpowder River, the Pot Rocks rapids, and large boulders, can all be seen on the floodplain before heading upward into the forest. The location of this hike, just off of Belair Road, makes it an easy trail to access for a quick outdoor fix. People driving cars up and down the busy Route 1 corridor on Belair Road have no clue that the peaceful and scenic Lost Pond Trail lies just off in the distance, transporting hikers like us a world away from that rat race only steps away. Lost Pond Trail is just one of several trails that begin from this parking area on Belair Road.
Cockeysville, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
This hike is an all-day event in the Hereford area. It offers a grand tour of the Gunpowder River’s south and north banks, with highlights like Prettyboy Dam and Raven Rock Falls along varied terrain, from mild river walks and rock scrambles to sloped hillsides. An all-day outing, this nearly 14-mile clockwise loop with a spur to Prettyboy Dam passes through dense forest and across floodplains, walking Anarrow ledges, hopping rocks, crossing numerous creeks, and traversing steep side hills. Here’s the plan: Start at a midpoint in the river on the south side. Walk upriver, heading east, all the way up to the dam before crossing over to the north side of the river. Follow the north side of the river all the way downstream to Big Falls Road.
White Hall, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 13.9
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This trail is wild and wonderful! It combines the Panther Branch Trail with the Gunpowder South Trail for a scenic loop complete with wildlife, waterfalls, old ruins, and river views. Living up to its name, you could say that this Panther Branch hike is where the wild things are. The trail has much to offer, from wildlife and waterfalls to creek crossings and river views. It’s topped off with a beautiful start and finish in a large grassy meadow along the river, a popular spot for picnickers and sunbathers. This combo of the Panther Branch and Gunpowder South Trail is a real winner. To reach the trailhead, walk down ten steps from the parking area to cross a grassy green meadow and a creek to reach the panther branch sign, heading to the right.
Hereford, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
Take a pleasant (no pun intended) hike through dense forest on a well-marked path. Hike some portions on the old Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad bed, across many tributary streams, past the remains of the Ma & Pa Railroad trestle, all while enjoying floodplain and upland scenery.
Baldwin, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
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An inspirational trail takes you through open meadows, cornfields, and dense pine forest and past a scenic pond. Nature quotes adorn the trees as you meander along the Little Gunpowder Falls. Locals refer to this area of Sweet Air as a best-kept secret. At the back side of the parking lot, a sign at the trailhead reads barley pond loop, though this path is also the white-blazed Little Gunpowder Trail. We’ll begin by heading to the left on this wide-open trail, which has some grass and some stone. A meadow on the left filled with wildflowers and dandelions comes into view just before a junction with a cornfield. The trail, obviously very exposed, skirts the perimeter of the cornfield.
Baldwin, MD - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 5.4
Our hike starts out as a wide stone and gravel path just beyond the trail kiosk and green gate, heading downhill and crossing through the culvert under Belair Road. On the other side of the culvert, enter this scenic Piedmont river valley along Gunpowder Falls. Almost immediately, leave the wide gravel and dirt path, which is the blue Stocksdale Trail, and take the pink Wildlands Trail on your right. Don’t worry, you’ll get your fill of river walking on the homestretch. Begin heading uphill on the narrow dirt path to the upland forest. The pink Wildlands Trail takes us over creeks, past an unmarked trail or two, and through a remarkable section where towering pine trees line the path and provide shade for the trail. Underfoot is a cushion of pine needles, and the scent of Christmas fills the air.
Perry Hall, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.9
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As urban as trails around Baltimore come, one section of the 15-mile Gwynns Falls Trail—from Leon Day Park to Windsor Mill Road—will surprise you with thick tree canopy, river views, historical structures, and a variety of plant and animal species. The environment on the trail is a sharp contrast from the urban neighborhoods of west and southwest Baltimore city that the trail connects. This linear greenway trail travels through west and southwest Baltimore city along the Gwynns Falls stream valley, a continuous trail that connects thirty neighborhoods. The section of trail from Leon Day Park to Windsor Mill Road, the only gravel, nonpaved section, follows the route of an early 1800s millrace that carried water to power five mills. These mills turned Baltimore into one of the leading flour and textile producers in the nation.
Baltimore, MD - Hiking,Road Biking - Trail Length: 3.6
The “land of old fields” has nothing stale about it. Hashawha offers 340 acres of open fields, pine woods, wetlands, ponds, and stream valleys. Some of the highlights include a circa 1850 historic cabin, a raptor area, a catch-and-release lake, and a visitor center. Better yet, you can have it all on a moderate 4.0-mile hike.
Westminster, MD - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
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