As we have mentioned before here at Sudir Raju’s blog, Maryland is a special place when it comes to hiking, camping and generally enjoying the outdoors. Not only are we very privileged by having some of the most beautiful landscapes and the perfect weather during the various seasons, but we also have access to some of the best national parks in the country, mountains and seaside environments and everything within a very short drive. We can say without a doubt, that living in Maryland and the Washington, DC area is a privilege in this sense and a great place to follow your need for adventure.
Today we want to talk about some of the best destinations here in Maryland where you can hike. Some are trails, some are national parks or simply places that we advice you to visit during the winter because they offer the best sights and some of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences for the beginner hiker as well as for those who are more experienced.
Billy Goat Trail
Potomac, MD 20854
I think that everyone living in the area and at least mildly interested in hiking has heard of the Billy Goat Trail. This popular location not only offers wonderful sights but also three separate trails that pretty much cover all different levels of skills that groups of hikers may have. The most challenging trail makes you negotiate not only steep climbs but also boulders you have to deal with during your climb, so it is necessary that you do possess the skill to deal with these types of obstacles. During the winter, the trail becomes a bit more difficult to navigate, but the landscapes and the beautiful scenery makes it well worth the effort.
Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary
11704 Fenno Road,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
During the winter, thousands of Canadian geese fly south and call the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary home. People can come and watch the geese visit the ponds and live around the park during this time. The place also has some amazing trails to visit and walk around. During the winter this is a beautiful park to visit and one of the trails cuts through an amazing forest and a marsh. This is a perfect place to spot deer, beavers and other wildlife.
The Appalachian Trail’s Annapolis Rock Hike
The Appalachian Trail is one of the most famous and amazing trails meant for those who want to take the sport to the next level. Forty miles of the trail cut through Maryland and they provide some of the best destinations to visit and hike. The Annapolis Rock Hike is a five-mile section of the trail that offers amazing views and during the winter it becomes a perfect spot for hiking, taking pictures, observing the scenery and enjoying the beautiful landscape.
Sky Meadows State Park
11012 Edmonds Lane
Delaplane, VA 20144
This is a great park that offers a wonderful space for those who love the outdoors. Not only are there great trails to visit and walk, but there are also other activities like horseback riding, fishing, and camping. Hiking at the Sky Meadows State Park is wonderful since there are more than 16 miles of trails through the Blue Ridge Mountains that takes you through waterfalls, forests and other amazing winter landscapes. Definitely a great destination for those who want to make the most of winter hiking.
Calvert Cliffs State Park
10540 H.G. Trueman Road
Lusby, MD 20657
This location has something very special that the others cannot offer you and that is 15-million-year-old fossils. The park has a great trail that extends for almost two miles and leads you to a small bay by the beach where people can watch Miocene era fossils. There are more than 600 hundred different specimens that have been identified here and you can even try it for yourself, seeing what you can find amongst the rocks and shells along the beach.
Catoctin Mountain Park Hike
6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
Catoctin Mountain Park is a great place for those who are into climbing or bouldering. The terrain also offers a special challenge for those who want to hike and do it in more difficult conditions. Not all the trails are challenging as there are some choices for families and groups with smaller children, but there at Catoctin Mountain Park, you can say the hikes are meant for those with more skill.
Rocks State Park
3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084
Another great park that even made it debut in the big screen. This is a wonderful place to visit with the whole family since the hikes here are easily accessible and highly rewarding with amazing views. There is a short trail that takes you to a famous sport called the King and Queen’s Seat where the view is simply incomparable.