We here at Only In Your State are big fans of bucket lists. It’s so easy to say you’ll go somewhere and continue to put it off for weeks, months, or even years. Bucket lists allow you to organize what you truly want to do, and are the first step in the planning process. If it’s nature-infused spots you seek, then check out the following bucket list trails in Maryland. From forests, to wetlands, to beaches, this list covers all types of terrain, sure to please the pickiest of explorers.
1. Swallow Falls State Park
This Maryland park is known for its two impressive waterfalls, Muddy Creek Falls and Swallow Falls. There's a 1 1/4 mile trail that leads you between these two natural wonders, offering scenic views along the Youghiogheny River.
Address: 2470 Maple Glade Rd, Oakland, MD 21550
2. Calvert Cliffs State Park - Red Trail
The pictured Calvert Cliffs are a fossil hunter's paradise and can be found after hiking the 1.8 mile Red Trail. The boardwalk trail offers views of serene swamps and wildlife. You'll want to bring your camera.
Address: 10540 H G Trueman Rd, Lusby, MD 20657
3. Billy Goat Trail - Section A
There are a few sections of trail you can take, but Section A offers the best views along the mighty Potomac River. Wear shoes with a lot of grip, because this rocky path is slippery when wet. However, the moderately challenging journey is so worth it.
Address: 11710 Macarthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854
4. Maryland Heights Trail
This Maryland trail is located across from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The hike to this astounding view is about 2.5 miles in length. You'll feel rewarded at the end when you can look down at the charming town below.
Address: Harpers Ferry Rd, Knoxville, MD 21758
5. Rocks State Park - White Loop Trail to the King and Queen Seats
The King and Queen Seat is one of the most well known overlooks in Maryland, and for good reason. Hike the 3 mile White Loop Trail to this outcropping that offers a spectacular view year-round, especially during autumn.
Address: 3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Rd, Jarrettsville, MD 21084
6. Patapsco Valley State Park - Grist Mill Trail
Patapsco Valley State park stretches through parts of Baltimore County and Howard County, but only the Grist Mill Trail offers two swinging bridges, plus a nearby waterfall! The entire route is only around 2 miles in length.
Address: 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043
7. C & O Canal Towpath
Nearly everyone who grew up in Maryland experienced the C & O Canal during fields trips as a child. We recommend continuing to visit as an adult as well, as each season provides a change of scenery. You can find the towpath anywhere along its 184.5 miles stretching from DC to Cumberland.
8. Great Allegheny Passage
Not many know that you can explore beyond the C & O Canal as it turns into the Great Allegheny Passage, beginning in Cumberland. This trail extends 150 miles from Western Maryland all the way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Find its start near the Cumberland train station.
9. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp
This hidden spot offers boardwalk trails through a woodland and swamp reserve. Majestic cypress trees can be spotted along the way, as well as plenty of frogs and turtles.
Address: 2880 Grays Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
10. Antietam National Battlefield - Bloody Lane
This infamous battlefield is massive, offering many spots for exploring. If you only have time to check out one particular area, then make it Bloody Lane. This sunken road was the place of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. Many believe Bloody Lane to be haunted, as the scent of gunpowder is said to still fill the air.
Address: Bloody Ln, Keedysville, MD 21756
11. Rock Creek Regional Park
This urban park sprawls from Maryland's Derwood area all the way to Washington DC. This place is particularly perfect for cyclists since the path is smooth the entire way. We highly recommend this spot for families.
Address: 6700 Needwood Rd, Derwood, MD 20855
12. Backbone Mountain
Once you've hiked to the top of Backbone Mountain, you've officially been to Maryland's highest point. Oddly enough, the trail starts in West Virginia and ends in Maryland. Are you up the this high-point challenge?
Address: Hoye-Crest Eglon, West Virginia, 26716
13. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
This wildlife refuge is a haven for migratory birds, so bring your binoculars! Enjoy the expansive wetland views and stay until just before sunset to truly be blown away by the scenery.
Address: 2185 T Wallace Drive, Route 1, Cambridge, MD 21613