Hiking- Trails, Parks, Camping and More

The list of hiking locations in the DMV area is endless! We’ve put together a quick list of both the well-known and smaller locations. Under each location, there are multiple trails and points of entry. Check out the websites linked for details on difficulty, activities available, events the parks hold, directions and what’s closest to you!

Maryland

Appalachian Trail

VA- http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/find-a-hike/hikes—va

MD- http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/find-a-hike/hikes—md

MD-

Crampton Gap, Gathland State Park

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Closest Town: Burkittsville and Frederick County

Washington Monument

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Closest Town: Burkittsville and Frederick County

Black Hill Regional Park

http://www.montgomeryparks.org/facilities/regional_parks/blackhill/

Location: 20930 Lake Ridge Dr.

Boyds, MD

Phone: 301-528-3490

Boat rentals, private boating, fishing, water trail, lake tours, camping, dog park, visitor center, nature programs, picnic shelters, play areas, and trails!

Trail length: 4.3 miles- asphalt surface for most, steep and rocky in some sections

Brookside Gardens

http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/

Location: 1800 Glenallan Ave.

Wheaton, MD

The C&O Canal

http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm

Visitor centers: Georgetown, Potomac, Brunswick, Williamsport, Hancock, Cumberland

Hiking, biking, visitor centers, guided programs

See website for specific locations! http://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/park-brochures-and-site-bulletins.htm 

Calvert Cliffs State Park

http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/calvertcliffs.aspx

Location: 10540 H. G. Truman Rd.

Lusby, MD

Fossil hunting, beach, nature trails, picnic areas, fishing, tire playground and more!

Catoctin Mountain

http://www.nps.gov/cato/index.htm

Location: 14707 Park Central Rd.

Thurmont, MD

Fall Color Walks: Oct. 13, 19, 20, 26

Fishing, Camping, picnicking, fishing, cross country skiing, horse trails, hiking, rock climbing and more!

Hiking trails on both the east and west sides ranging from short (1 mile or less) to long (8 mile loop). 

Cedarville State Forest

http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/southern/cedarville.aspx

Hiking, biking and equestrian trails and camping

Location: Brandywine, MD

Cunningham Falls State Park

http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/cunningham.aspx

William Houck Area- three miles west of Thurmont on Route 77- lake area, falls and camping

The Manor Area off Route 15, three miles south of Thurmont- Scales and Tales Aviary, camping, Catoctin Iron Furnace

Activities everywhere: hiking, swimming, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing and more!

Hiking: Short, flat hikes to steep and rocky ascents. Distances vary from .5 mile – 7.5 miles. 

Falling Branch

http://www.mgs.md.gov/geology/geology_tour/falling_branch.html

Location: Harford County- Falling Branch Rd., Pylesville, MD

Waterfall

Great Falls Park

http://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm

Bicycling, boating, bird watching, climbing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, kayaking, guided tours, indoor activities, children’s room and more!

Locations:

9200 Old Dominion Dr.

McLean, VA

11710 MacArthur Blvd.

Potomac, MD

Billy Goat Trail– 4.7 mile trail along the Potomac River in Montgomery County from the Great Falls Overlook. One of the most scenic destinations in the DC area

Greenbrier State Park

http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/greenbrier.aspx

Location: Off Rt. 40, 2-3 miles in

Camping, canoeing, hiking trails, mountain biking, picnic area, playground and more!

Gunpowder Falls State Park

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/guide/visitors-guide-to-top-hikes-in-gunpowder-falls-state-park/

More than 100 miles of trails varying in length and difficulty

Location: Baltimore County and Hereford County

See website for details

Lake Needwood Trail

http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/trails_MAPS/rock_creek.shtm

Location: Rock Creek Regional Park

6129 Needwood Lake Drive

Rockville, MD

Phone: 301-948-5053

Patapsco Valley State Park

http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/patapsco.aspx

Location: Ellicott City, MD

Includes Avalon Super Loop- ruins, waterfalls, trains and river views

Patuxent

http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Patuxent/visit/plan_your_visit.html

Hiking, biking, horseback riding, and more!

Location: North Tract: 230 Bald Eagle Dr.

Laurel, MD

South Tract: 10901 Scarlett Tanager Loop

Laurel, MD 

Piscataway

http://www.nps.gov/pisc/index.htm

Location: Off Bryan Point Rd.

Accokeek, MD

Potomac Heritage

http://www.nps.gov/pohe/index.htm

Location: DC, MD, VA, and PA: http://www.nps.gov/pohe/parkmgmt/partners.htm

Hiking, bicycling, boating, horseback riding, rock climbing, visitor centers, running and more! A large network of trails, places and communities.

Explore by region or activity: http://www.nps.gov/pohe/planyourvisit/potomac_heritage_explorer.htm

Rachel Carson Conservation

http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/trails_MAPS/Rachel_Carson.shtm

Location: 22201 Zion Rd.

Brookesville, MD

Hiking and Horseback Riding

Seneca Creek State Park

http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/seneca.aspx

Hiking and biking trails, boat rental, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, historic interest, picnicking, playgrounds, riding trails and more!

Location: Off Clopper Rd. (Route 117)

Gaithersburg, MD

See website for more detailed directions

Sugarloaf Mountain

www.sugarloafmd.com

Location: 10 miles south of Frederick, MD

Closest village is Barnesville

See website for trail maps! 

Western Maryland Rail Trail

http://www.westernmarylandrailtrail.org/WMRT/

Location: Hancock, MD

Biking, hiking and more!

Yellow Trail (Saddleback Horse Trail) – Sugarloaf Mountain

www.sugarloafmd.com

Location: 7901 Comus Road

Dickerson, MD

Phone: 301-874-2024

More Montgomery Parks: http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/  

Virginia

Appalachian Trail

VA- http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/find-a-hike/hikes—va

MD- http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/find-a-hike/hikes—md

VA-

Compton Gap to Compton Peak

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Closest Town: Front Royal

Mary’s Rock in Shenandoah National Park

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Closest Town: Luray

Hawksbill Loop in Shenandoah National Park

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Closest Town: Luray

Lewis Spring Falls in Shenandoah National Park

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Closest Town: Harrisonburg

Blackrock

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Closest Town: Harrisonburg

Bear’s Den Mountain in Shenandoah National Park

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Closest Town: Waynesboro

Bluff Mountain

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Closest Town: Buena Vista

Apple Orchard

Difficulty Level: Easy

Closest Town: Bedford and Lynchburg

Dismal Creek Falls

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Closest Town: Bland

Bull Run Regional Park

http://www.nvrpa.org/park/bull_run

Location: Take 1-66 to Exit 52 at Centreville, drive 2 miles south, turn left onto Bull Run Post Office Rd. and follow signs to the park entrance

Campgrounds, biking trails, batting cage, canoe/kayak rentals, disc golf course, equestrian trails, fishing, boat rentals, historic museum, gardens, mini golf course, hiking/walking trails and much more!

Burke Lake Park

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/burkelakepark/

Location: 7315 Ox Rd.

Fairfax Station, VA

Fitness Trails suitable for walking, running, or biking!

The C&O Canal

http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm

Visitor centers: Georgetown, Potomac, Brunswick, Williamsport, Hancock, Cumberland

Hiking, biking, visitor centers, guided programs

See website for specific locations! http://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/park-brochures-and-site-bulletins.htm  

Crampton’s Gap to Harper’s Ferry on the Appalachian Trail

http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGN129-001

Year round hiking

See website for location details!

George Washington National Forest

http://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/HoneQuarryRidge/

The Hone Quarry

Harrionsburg, VA

Overlook – very do-able for kids!

Great Falls Park

http://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm

Bicycling, boating, bird watching, climbing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, kayaking, guided tours, indoor activities, children’s room and more!

Locations:

9200 Old Dominion Dr.

McLean, VA

11710 MacArthur Blvd.

Potomac, MD

Billy Goat Trail– 4.7 mile trail along the Potomac River in Montgomery County from the Great Falls Overlook. One of the most scenic destinations in the DC area

Huntley Meadows Park

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/huntley-meadows-park/

Wetlands and wildlife watching and hiking!

Location: 3701 Lockheed Blvd.

Alexandria, VA

Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge

http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Mason_Neck/visit/directions.html

Location: High Point Rd.

Lorton, VA

Mount Vernon Trail

http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/planyourvisit/mtvernontrail.htm

Difficulty: Easy

Runs from Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, to the monuments of D.C.

Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park

http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/hiking-old-rag.htm

Location: VA – part of Shenandoah National Park, see website for directions

Potomac Heritage

http://www.nps.gov/pohe/index.htm

Location: DC, MD, VA, and PA: http://www.nps.gov/pohe/parkmgmt/partners.htm

Hiking, bicycling, boating, horseback riding, rock climbing, visitor centers, running and more! A large network of trails, places and communities.

Explore by region or activity: http://www.nps.gov/pohe/planyourvisit/potomac_heritage_explorer.htm

Prince William Forest

http://www.nps.gov/prwi/planyourvisit/directions.htm

Location: Off Joplin Rd./VA Route 619

Directions on website

Hiking, biking, cabins and camping, special events and more!

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/scottsrun/

Two entrances off of Georgetown Pike

Shenandoah National Park

http://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm

Location: Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Dr., VA

See website for directions

Hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, bicycling, fishing, horseback riding, waterfalls and more!

River Trail

http://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm

Location: Great Falls Park

9200 Old Dominion Dr.

McLean, VA

Phone: 703-285-2965

Other NOVA Parks: http://www.nvrpa.org/park/main_site/content/NVRPA_Parks including Hemlock Overlook http://www.nvrpa.org/park/hemlock_overlook/

 

Washington D.C.

The C&O Canal

http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm

Visitor centers: Georgetown, Potomac, Brunswick, Williamsport, Hancock, Cumberland

Hiking, biking, visitor centers, guided programs

See website for specific locations! http://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/park-brochures-and-site-bulletins.htm

Mount Vernon Trail

http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/planyourvisit/mtvernontrail.htm

Difficulty: Easy

Runs from Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, to the monuments of D.C.

Potomac Heritage

http://www.nps.gov/pohe/index.htm

Location: DC, MD, VA, and PA: http://www.nps.gov/pohe/parkmgmt/partners.htm

Hiking, bicycling, boating, horseback riding, rock climbing, visitor centers, running and more! A large network of trails, places and communities.

Explore by region or activity: http://www.nps.gov/pohe/planyourvisit/potomac_heritage_explorer.htm

 

Rock Creek Park

http://www.nps.gov/rocr/index.htm

Locations:

Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium is located at 5200 Glover Road NW, Washington, DC 20015, near the intersection of Military Road and Glover Rd.

Peirce Mill and Barn is located at 2401 Tilden Street NW, Washington DC 20015

Old Stone House is located in the Georgetown neighborhood at 3051 M Street NW, Washington DC 20015.

Over 25 miles of trails stretching from Washington, DC to Montgomery, County Maryland. Hikers may pick up trail at Beach Drive, Meadowside Nature Center or Lake Needwood. Park rangers lead free educational programs that discuss the natural and cultural features of the park. Historic landmarks include Pierce Mill and Old Stone House.

For a long list of specific trails:

http://www.localhikes.com/MSA/MSA_8872.asp

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