Places to Go Biking
Find two-wheeled nirvana along Maryland’s trail system second-to-none!
From boardwalks to backcountry, some of the country’s best bike tours are right here in our backyard. Shift into high gear or take an afternoon cruise along our Maryland bike trails and discover miles of natural beauty and state history begging to be explored. Ride along the broad canal running beside the Potomac River or a fort built to protect a young nation’s capital city. Cut through one of Baltimore’s famous urban parks and right into its lively Inner Harbor. Stop at a museum full of artifacts pulled from a dig or ride along a coast where horses roam the beaches. Grab your helmet and let the good times roll.
Peddle the Great Allegheny Passage, featured in National Geographic’s “Top Ten Fall Trips in the World.” Stunningly beautiful and stretching 159 miles from Cumberland to Pittsburgh, the Great Allegheny Passage Bike Trail uses historic tunnels, viaducts and bridges for a smooth, mostly flat journey through the Appalachian Mountains and friendly small towns of Western Maryland. If you have a longer bike trip on your mind ride toward Cumberland to continue on the C&O Canal Towpath.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, also known as the “Grand Old Ditch,” was built to connect the country. Today, it’s a biker’s paradise with hundreds of miles of Maryland bike trails. Running from Cumberland to Washington D.C., ride toward Hancock and through the Paw Paw Tunnel and then stop in Sharpsburg to explore the site of the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, the Antietam National Battlefield.
For those looking to break a sweat, Green Ridge State Forest is home to the top mountain biking trails in Maryland. Explore the open trails or, for the more advanced rider, take the 12-mile Mountain Bike Trail, complete with stream crossings, steep inclines and fast descents.
Explore Fort Washington Park on two wheels and ride through the 200-year-old stone fort built to protect Washington, D.C. Plan your trip around one of the artillery demonstrations and other reenactments at the site and then stay to explore more in the Capital Region.
The Seneca Creek State Park features more than 50 miles of well-kept trails running along the scenic creek and around Clopper Lake. There’s no shortage of interesting stops along this route, like the1815 Black Rock Mill and the Seneca Schoolhouse, a small Civil War school built with the same signature red Seneca Sandstone used to build the Smithsonian Institution’s Castle.
Inside Gunpowder Falls State Park, the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is a shaded dirt trail that follows the old Northern Central Railway all the way to the Pennsylvania border. Along the trail’s 20 miles, catch views of picturesque farms and stop at the refurbished train station in Monkton, a must-stop for visitors who want to learn the history of the trail, grab a quick bite or stop off at the nearby bike shop.
Take the Gwynns Falls Trail to immerse yourself in Baltimore. This quickly-changing trail covers 15 miles and connects to more than 30 neighborhoods across the city. Biking in Baltimore along this trail you’ll go through urban parks and pass notable landmarks such as the Baltimore Ravens’ home stadium and the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor.
A series of trails runs through and around Jefferson Patterson Park, which is home to the state’s archaeology museum. Take a casual ride through the park, enjoy a picnic then stop by the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, which serves as the clearinghouse for artifacts dug up throughout the state.
The main 7.5-mile trail loops around the lake in Saint Mary’s River State Park is home to freshwater fishing and some of the best bird-watching in the state. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, follow the single-track dirt trail for an afternoon of Maryland mountain biking.
On the Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague State Park has it all: pristine beaches, wild horses, beautiful birds and trails to challenge any cyclist. Camp on the island to explore nature and enjoy views from the beach to the bay or stay in nearby Ocean City.
Tucked in the northeast tip of Maryland, the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area may be best known for its ties to horses and equestrian sports, but you can also find an approximately 80-mile trail system there that offers some of the best mountain biking in Maryland.
Take an adventure on the Anacostia Tributary Trail System, made up of more than 60 miles of paved trails connecting to the nation’s capital. Riders may begin at Lake Artemesia in College Park and ride the 5.2 miles to Bladensburg Waterfront Park to rent a kayak or take a boat tour on the Anacostia River. Bike riders can continue another 7 miles to downtown Washington, D.C. on the Anacostia River Trail.
Patapsco Valley State Park, along the Patapsco River, is one of Maryland's oldest state parks, founded in 1907. The rough, hilly terrain in the valley makes it perfect for experienced mountain bikers. Among the moderate trails is the Cascade Falls Trail Loop. More casual riders will want to check out the Alberton Road Trail, the site of a historical textile mill with bridges and scenic views. Come prepared to get muddy!
A popular route along the Inner Harbor in Baltimore offers a chance to pedal through historic and cultural sites. From the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry is a 3.2-mile one-way trip, so out and back makes for a nice morning or afternoon activity. Be prepared for lots of pedestrian trail-users and some uneven, brick surfaces.
Cruise three miles of shops, restaurants and attractions along the boardwalk in Ocean City. While the boardwalk is officially open 24-hours year round, hours for biking are limited to the morning during the summer season due to the popularity for tourists.
Near Frederick, Gambrill State Park features 16 miles of trails for biking, as well as hiking and horseback riding. The relatively steep terrain in this region means that the rides are more advanced. Check out the Black Locust Trail to see a variety of landscapes from the wooded forests to the rocky scenic overlooks.
This 13-mile path is paved and offers riders lots to see and learn along the journey. Pick up the trailhead near Boulters Way in Annapolis and travers to Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie, where you might opt to hook into the BWI trail. Treat yourself to pizza or frozen yogurt, which can be easily accessed from the trail. Stop by the ranger station before you embark to pick up a flyer about the historical markers on the trail.
Following the historic path of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad, the MA & PA trial now provides an excellent place for biking near Bel Air and Forest Hill. A recent campaign to connect the two trail sections was successful in linking separate portions into a continuous 8-mile stretch.
One of the newest rail trails in Southern Maryland is a 13-mile paved path that will eventually become 28 miles extending as far south as the Naval Air Station near Patuxent River. Perfect for a picnic, the asphalt pathway offers a smooth bike ride through wooded areas. Access the Three Notch trail from the John V. Baggett Park trailhead.