Nature January 14, 2022
12 Scenic Trails To Explore In Maryland, One For Each Month Of The Year
Ready to plan your outdoorsy adventures for the year? If you’ve resolved to hike more in the new year, then this list is for you! From frozen waterfalls to blooming azaleas, there’s a lot to see along these beautiful trails in Maryland. We’ve included one for each month so that it’s easier to plan your excursions. Check out the details below, and happy hiking!
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
January - Falling Branch Trail to Kilgore Falls
Kilgore Falls, 1026 Falling Branch Rd, Pylesville, MD 21132, USA
This waterfall trail located at Rocks State Park in Harford County is about a mile in length. During summertime, this is a busy spot for those looking to cool off under the falls. During winter, it transforms into an ice-covered wonderland that you'll want to see in person. What a stunning way to start the year!
February - C & O Canal Towpath
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, United States
Spanning from Washington DC to Cumberland, Maryland, there are tons of areas to explore along the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath. Along the 184.5-miles, there are old lockhouses and plenty of photo-worthy spots.
March - Swallow Falls Canyon Trail
Swallow Falls State Park, 2470 Maple Glade Rd, Oakland, MD 21550, USA
The scenic loop trail at this Western Maryland park is just over a mile in length. It will take you to two waterfalls, both of which are full of beauty. Early spring is a great time to visit before this area becomes too crowded, and because the snowmelt makes the falls even more powerful. Wear shoes with good tread as this trek is bumpy as you step over boulders and branches. It's so worth it though!
April - Red Trail to Calvert Cliffs
Calvert Cliffs State Park, 10540 H G Trueman Rd, Lusby, MD 20657, USA
This Lusby area park is one-of-a-kind. Take the Red Trail, which is a 1.8 mile path that leads to clay cliffs bordering the bay. Along the way you'll cross boardwalks and marvel at the scenic swamps. When you arrive at the beach, keep your eyes peeled for fossils, including shark teeth! Visiting in early April offers fewer crowds, and fewer bugs.
May - Brighton Dam
Brighton Dam Azalea Garden, 2 Brighton Dam Rd, Brookeville, MD 20833, USA
There is a half-mile loop here that you can explore, but most people simply head here to see the azaleas. These colorful flowers are usually in full bloom in May, making for a great Mother's Day adventure. All ages are sure to enjoy this hidden gem and you'll want to bring your camera to photograph the family among these bountiful bushes.
June - Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail
Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail, Maryland 21901, USA
This out-and-back trail in Maryland's northeastern region is just under two-miles in length. With sprawling water views and a historic lighthouse, this is a great spot to kick off your summer adventures. How dreamy!
July - Cascade Falls Trail
Cascade Falls Trail, Elkridge, MD 21075, USA
The trail to reach this waterfall at Patapsco Valley State Park is only a quarter-mile in length! Be aware that the path is not smooth and is actually full of boulders and wet areas, so wear good shoes! When you arrive at the falls, feel free to soak your feet in the water and cool off among nature.
August - Cunningham Falls Lower Trail
Cunningham Falls, Lower Trail - Red Blaze, Smithsburg, MD 21783, USA
Cunningham Falls State Park is perfect for visiting during summertime because after hiking the mile-trail to the falls, you can then cool off at the nearby lake. Feel free to perch on the rocks beside the falls and take in the scenery while the water trickles by. There's no other waterfall in the state quite like this!
September - Serpentine Trail
Serpentine Trail, Owings Mills, MD 21117, USA
You'll find this unique trail in the Owings Mills area. Along its 2.4-miles, you'll hike along forested areas, fields, and more. It's always a good time for exploring this trail, but autumn brings a sense of serenity, as well as beauty as the leaves all around begin to change.
October - Alberton Road Trail
Alberton Road Trail Parking, 8101 Dogwood Rd, Windsor Mill, MD 21244, USA
Celebrate spooky season by going on an abandoned hike! Located in the Windsor Mill area, the Alberton Road Trail leads to an abandoned town known as Daniels. This former mill town has a couple of church structures left, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you'll also spot vintage cars hiding among the leaves.
November - Billy Goat Trail Section A
Billy Goat Trail Section A, Potomac, MD 20854, USA
Section A of Billy Goat Trail is only 1.75-miles in length, but with towering boulders and slippery areas, it may feel longer. The views, however, are worth the effort as you'll marvel at the powerful Potomac River down below. Bring water, snacks, and prepare for one of the most gorgeous hikes in the Old Line State.
December - Centennial Lake Loop
Centennial Park, 10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042, USA
This family-friendly trail is located in the Ellicott City area. It's 2.5-miles in length and paved the entire way, making it perfect for strollers, bicycles, etc. Admire the scenic lake as you stroll among the tree-lined paths. We recommend this hike in December because afterwards, you can head to the nearby Symphony of Lights in the evening. A perfect day!
Have you been to any of the above places in Maryland? Or are there other local trails you would add to the list? Let us know your thoughts!
For another unique place to explore in the Old Line State, click on: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center Is An Otherworldly Destination In Maryland! Address: Kilgore Falls, 1026 Falling Branch Rd, Pylesville, MD 21132, USA Address: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, United States Address: Swallow Falls State Park, 2470 Maple Glade Rd, Oakland, MD 21550, USA Address: Calvert Cliffs State Park, 10540 H G Trueman Rd, Lusby, MD 20657, USA Address: Brighton Dam Azalea Garden, 2 Brighton Dam Rd, Brookeville, MD 20833, USA Address: Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail, Maryland 21901, USA Address: Cascade Falls Trail, Elkridge, MD 21075, USA Address: Cunningham Falls, Lower Trail - Red Blaze, Smithsburg, MD 21783, USA Address: Serpentine Trail, Owings Mills, MD 21117, USA Address: Alberton Road Trail Parking, 8101 Dogwood Rd, Windsor Mill, MD 21244, USA Address: Billy Goat Trail Section A, Potomac, MD 20854, USA Address: Centennial Park, 10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042, USA