The 13 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Maryland
Maryland is home to some of the best trails in the Mid Atlantic Region. The State borders Washington DC and Virginia to the West, Pennsylvania to the North, and Delaware to the East. It may be one of the smallest states, but Maryland comes with plenty of great mountain biking trails for bikers of all skill levels.
There are various terrains, boasting sandy dunes, marshlands, and rolling hills that offer several different biking experiences.
Take a look at some of the best trails you can take while in Maryland, from the most dangerous trails you can challenge yourself on to the smoothest trails for family and pets.
Let’s take a look!
1. Western Maryland Rail Trail
If you are anywhere near Western Maryland, you can enjoy a great trail best suited for beginners, starting at the Big Pool Town, running to the Southern slope in Sideling Hill. The trail is paved and is a great place to come with family for a relaxing ride.
The trail is along the way of an old rail route that no longer has any rails cars operate on it, making it a great place for bikers to explore. These are the tracks that have been paved and improved for biking purposes, with a few obstacles which pose little risk to the biker.
You can come and see some of the great features the western part of Maryland has to offer, with virtually unexplored parts and untouched beauty.
2. Schaffer Farms Grand Tour Trails
One of the trails designed exclusively for mountain bikers is Maryland in the Schaeffer farms, located in Montgomery County. It is one of the more popular tracks running 14 miles suited for bikers of intermediate biking skills.
Expect to come across some rocks and roots as you bike along the rolling terrain, meaning you have to be extra careful to avoid injury. If you are a biking enthusiast looking for some fresh air and a bit of challenge at your biking skills, then this trail is the best choice for you.
If you prefer more social interactions, the best time to visit would be during the weekends, where it can be a bit crowded, but for some solitude, come in during the weekdays.
Take the route on the immediate left at the parking lot after you arrive at Schaeffer farms on a course referred to as the White Loop. Follow this trail up to the Seneca Ridge Rail, where you can take a new trail through a park.
If you are on for a more challenging ride, you can take the Seneca Connector, a single-direction trail for advanced bikers. Expect G-outs and jumps on this trail, dangerous for beginners.
3. Rock Burn Skills Park
You can find the Rock Burn Skills Park in Elkridge, Maryland. The trail resulted from a collaboration between the International Mountain Biking Association and the Mid-Atlantic off-road enthusiasts. The trail was actualized due to collaborative efforts, which also included local businesses to see the trail come to life.
The Rock Burn Trail is a five thousand foot track specially made for intermediate and expert bikers. You can also expect some challenges while biking, with a few obstacles, including berms and rock drops. There is also a flow trail that comes with medium rollers, plus a drop with a couple of rocks and logs to make it a bit harder for bikers.
The trail was first opened in 2012 and was created to resemble trails on the Appalachian Mountains
4. Rosaryville State Park
The Rosary Field sits on a 1000-acre field with two different routes, the shorter and the longer route. Both routes are interesting, with several obstacles that will come with enough twists and turns to keep you at the edge of the seat.
The Rosary Field State Park can be found in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, near the Air Force Base. The trail is around 11-miles, made of a single track that climbs up to 800-feet. The longer trail covers 9-miles while the shorter loop comes with 2–miles.
You can switch between trails as you bike along due to the great markings on both trails.
The trail comes with rapid descents, followed by a climbing route and a few challenges along the trail.
To get to the trails, take route 4 to the 223 south up to Marlboro Park. The parking area at the park will require a small fee of $5.
5. Gambril State Park
The Gambril state park is full of different trails that serve many people, including hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. The park is located in Fredrick, Maryland, in a beautiful mountainous area in a ridge within the Catoctin Mountains, divided into the rock run region and the high knob area.
If you decide to use the high knob trail, which climbs up to 1600 feet, you get to see some breathtaking views of the Northern parts of the Shenandoah Mountains. You also get a view of Fredrick and Middletown valleys.
There are some challenges along each tail, and you should expect to find some obstacles that will keep you alert throughout the whole trail. Some other amenities include picnic areas, stone lodges, shelters, and even a tea room within the park.
Another great thing about the park is that you can bring your family along as everybody will get something interesting to do.
6. BWI Trail
This is an easy to moderate track located around the Thurgood Marshall Airport and will see cyclists bike through Linthicum, Ferndale, and Glen Burnie.
Most people will take the trail and end it at the Dixon Jr. Observation area, where they can check out planes as they depart and arrive.
There is ample parking available, plus you can also park at Sawmill Creek, located at 301 Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie. There is also the B & A trail through the Stewart Bridge and connect that with the John Overstreet Connector trail.
7. Centennial Park
If you are and love biking and are traveling to Maryland with the family, you should check out Centennial Park. It is a 337 – acre piece of land with at least 2.7 – miles of trail available for exploration. Apart from just biking, you have the park with several other activities, including several playgrounds to keep the kids busy, boats for rent, picnic areas, and basketball courts.
The park also comes with a lake where you will get a chance to go around to bike the trail.
There are also well marked with a nice arboretum with signs providing information on nearly every leaf tree and seed you will find within the park.
Centennial Park is best for beginner and intermediate bikers, with a gentle trail a few climbs and slopes.
8. The Torrey C. Brown Trail
This is a 19.7-mile trail made up of the previous Northern Central Railway, located in Northern Baltimore, Maryland. The trail is a welcoming place for people of all kinds, including bikers, joggers, hikers, horseback riders, and pets. You get to pass through a couple of historic communities, including Phoenix, Monkton, Ashland, Freeland, and Bentley Spring.
The trail is a stone dust path 10-foot wide, making it perfect for younger kids, who don’t have to do a lot of balancing to stay on the trail. The trail is not a loop meaning the further you go, the further you will have to ride back.
You will get some nice views with a different stopover along the trail. You will also get ample parking lot and restrooms along the trail.
9. Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail
The Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail was initially a place where tourists would enjoy the boardwalk, grand hotels, and the beach. Currently, tourists visit the trails for a different thrill, including hiking, biking, or walking along the trail.
The trail comes with a sizeable width that will help prevent any collusion. Unlike many trails, the Chesapeake trail is almost entirely on a boardwalk above a fishing creek and marshlands.
You will start your journey at the water park located in Chesapeake beach. You can check out the beach railway museum a few blocks from the trailhead. It is the last standing depot on the railway and even has the last known passenger railcar at the back.
Some of the views you can expect to find at the trail are the surrounding marshland and forests. As you go North, you will see the Bay View Hills and Richard Field Station. Along the cross fishing creek, you may be lucky enough to spot a bald eagle and other types of birds.
Be sure to bring your binoculars and camera, as you may get to capture some spectacular views
10. Cross Island Trail
This is one of the few trails that come with amazing views and provide access to various places, including ball fields, schools, and a waterfront. The trail is well maintained and will accommodate anyone from beginner to expert bikers.
You can begin biking at the Terrapin Nature Park. Here you have the chance to look at some native plant life and some birds. There is a graveyard along the trail, with some cracked gravestones, which give off an eerie feeling worth checking out. You will also get to pass through neighborhoods where you can interact with locals before reaching the Old Love Point Park, a relaxing and recreation area with soccer and baseball fields.
You will also go past farms along the trail, plus you get to see a lighthouse at a small distance, to show how close you are to a beach. You will then come to a wooden bridge where you will see the water, a fantastic view, which may need you to stop and take it in.
As you come towards the end of the trail, you will get to the waterfront, find a restaurant and some boat slips. There are a couple of historic places along the trail where you can make some stop over’s.
11. Green Ridge State Forest
If you are looking for a place with more than a biking trail, where you can enjoy several activities, including canoeing, angling, kayaking, and backpacking, then Green Ridge State Forest is the best place for you.
The Green Ridge State Forest is a 44000-acre piece of land full of oak and hickory trees, coupled with desert-like habitats, which provide a nice ambiance as you ride along the trail. Don’t be surprised to meet a few wild animals, including deer, squirrels, and some unusual plants such as prickley pear cactus.
You have over 50 – miles of hiking trail for daily or multi-day camping. The terrain varies, and some parts can be a bit rugged.
12. Great Allegheny Passage
The Great Allegheny Passage is a long trail located in Cumberland, Maryland, and goes all the way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The trail was opened in 2007 and has seen a constant flow of backpackers and bikers.
You will find some small towns which will provide certain services including lodging and dining. As you travel the trail, you have the option of going off-road for 334 – miles to Washington Dc. Apart from the scenery, the trail is also part of the national memorial for the September 11th tragedy that hit the U.S. this is because it goes through the world trade center, flight 93, and pentagon memorials.
The trail also follows old railway lines from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. You get to along beautiful rivers and streams and also come across a couple of historical sites.
13. Ten Mile Creek Trail
This is an 11.7 kilometer but heavily trafficked trail located a few miles from Boyds, Maryland. The trails are considered moderate and offer several activities, including biking, hiking, lakeside and fishing activities, beautiful views, and roper amenities for a family to visit.
Anyone can ride a bike here as the trails are varied and will accommodate different skill levels.
The trail is a new addition to the existing trails with beautiful views of the lake as you ride along. The north end of the trail connects with two other trails, the Cool Springs Trail and the Osprey Heights Trail. For experienced bikers, they can explore the Cool Springs Trail, which is harder.
Maryland is a beautiful place worth checking out for all-mountain bike enthusiasts, perfect for the whole family. Next time you have some time on your hand, take a trip; it will be worth it.