Maryland Bike Trail
Doug Riegner

Places to Go Biking

By Chris Korman

Find two-wheeled nirvana along Maryland’s trail system second-to-none!

Maryland Bike Trail
Doug Riegner

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.

Great Allegheny Passage
Bike Trail and Tracks of Maryland
Allegany County

Pedal 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
C&O Canal Bike Trail

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 184 miles of trail, running from Cumberland to Washington D.C. Ride toward Hancock and through the Paw Paw Tunnel, then stop in Sharpsburg to explore Antietam National Battlefield, known for the battle that led to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Green Ridge State Forest
Trail at Green Ridge State Park
Maryland Department of Natural Resources/Mark Beals

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. 

Fort Washington Park
The original fort here was destroyed by its own garrison in the War of 1812 to prevent its capture.

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.

Adventure Sports Center International
Whitewater Rafting
Adventure Sport Center International - ASCI

Set atop Wisp Mountain, Adventure Sports Center International is for the thrill-seekers. Find endless outdoor adventure from whitewater rafting to climbing to scenic Maryland biking trails around the 550-acre Fork Run Recreation area in McHenry.

Seneca Creek State Park
Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg

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 the 1815 Black Rock Mill and the Seneca Schoolhouse, a small Civil War era school built with the same signature red Seneca Sandstone used to build the Smithsonian Institution’s Castle. 

Gunpowder Falls State Park
Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Nature, Free Things to Do, Family Fun

Inside Gunpowder Falls State Park, the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail is a shaded crushed stone trail that follows the bed of the former 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 visit the nearby bike shop. 

Gwynns Falls
City bike trail
Gwynns Falls Trail

Take the Gwynns Falls Trail to travel through urban parks, past more than 30 neighborhoods and notable landmarks throughout Baltimore. This quickly-changing trail covers 15 miles and passes by the Baltimore Ravens’ home stadium and the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor.

Jefferson Patterson Park
Tour the exhibit barn at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum to experience the British invasion on the Chesapeake during the War of 1812 from the viewpoint of locals who endured the turmoil.

Tour the exhibit barn at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum to experience the British invasion on the Chesapeake during the War of 1812 from the viewpoint of locals who endured the turmoil.

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 uncovered throughout the state.

St. Mary’s River State Park
scenic river

Saint Mary’s River State Park is home to freshwater fishing and some of the best bird-watching in the state. A main 7.5-mile trail loops around the lake.

Assateague State Park
Wild Ponies on Assateague Island National Seashore

On the Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague State Park has it all: pristine beaches, wild horses, majestic waterfowl and cycling trails that weave through it all.. Camp on the island to explore nature and enjoy views from the beach to the bay, or stay in nearby Ocean City.

Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area
Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area
Maryland Department of Natural Resources/Stephen Badger

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.

Anacostia Tributary Trail System
Anacostia Riverwalk
Tim Evanson, wikimedia

 Have an adventure on the Anacostia Tributary Trail System, comprising more than 60 miles of paved trails that connect to the nation’s capital.  Cyclists may begin at Lake Artemesia in College Park and ride the 5.2 miles to Bladensburg Waterfront Park, where they can 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
Patapsco Valley State Park at Thomas Viaduct
Maryland Department of Natural resources/Ed Johnson

Patapsco Valley State Park is Maryland’s oldest state park, founded in 1907. It is famous for its challenging mountain biking trails among rough, hilly terrain. But the paved Grist Mill Trail along the Patapsco River in the valley provides a gentle grade perfect for a more relaxing ride. Casual riders can also check out the Alberton Road Trail. This trail with scenic views of the river visits the site of a historic textile mill. Come prepared to get muddy!

Baltimore Waterfront Promenade & The Fort McHenry Loop
Inner Harbor View

This popular route along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor offers a chance to pedal through historic and cultural sites. The distance from the Inner Harbor to McHenry is 3.2 miles one way, making for a nice out-and-back excursion. Be prepared for lots of pedestrian trail-users and some uneven, brick surfaces.

Ocean City Boardwalk
OC Boardwalk
Rachel Smith Photo

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.

Gambrill State Park
Gambrill State Park, Middletown
David Kegley

In Gambrill State Park, the 1600-foot summit of High Knob provides views of Middletown and the Monocacy Valley. Hiking and mountain biking are popular throughout the area. 

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 from wooded forests to rocky scenic overlooks.

B&A Trail (Baltimore and Annapolis rail trail)

This 13-mile paved path offers riders lots to see and learn along the journey. Stop by the ranger station before you embark and pick up a flyer about the historical markers along the trail. Start near Boulters Way in Annapolis and travel to Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie, where you might opt to hook into the BWI trail. Stop along the trail to treat yourself to pizza or frozen yogurt.

MA & PA Trail

Following the historic path of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad, the MA & PA trail now provides an excellent place for biking near Bel Air and Forest Hill. The trail extends for 8 continuous miles, connecting together several separate trail sections

Three Notch Trail

This Southern Maryland 13-mile rail trail is a paved path running from Charlotte Hall to Laurel Grove. It will eventually be extended to the Patuxent Naval Air Station, encompassing 28 total miles. 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.