Take a hike!


Located in the rapidly-growing Hampstead-Manchester area, Cape Horn Park features one of the shortest trails in the county. The trail, which is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset, offers one mile of paved trail.
Getting There: Cape Horn Park is located at Route 30 and Cape Horn Road.

The trail is available seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. Hikers are encouraged to use the 3/4 mile multi-use trail, which winds around the Deer Park recreation complex.
Getting There: The Deer Park trail is located on Deer Park Road and Route 32.

This scenic park serves the Sykesville and Eldersburg areas in southern Carroll County. Freedom Park contains a two-mile trail that extends from the main entrance to the woods that surround the park. The park is accessible seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset.
Getting There: Freedom Park is located on Raincliffe Road in Sykesville, just east of Route 32.

Situated near Mount Airy and Woodbine, hikers will find nearly three miles of multi-use trails in the area. Trails are open sunrise to sunset seven days a week, from February 16 through August 31. From September 1 to February 15, the trails are closed on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday for the Cooperative Hunting Program.
Getting There: Gillis Falls is located on Grimville Road, east of the town of Mount Airy. The nearest main access roads are Routes 27 and 94.

Hikers will find the Hashawha trails in a scenic area near Westminster. If you are game for a long-distance hike, Hashawha is the place for you. There are nearly five miles of trails within the complex, which is open sunrise to sunset seven days a week.
Getting There: Hashawha is on John Owings Road, off Route 97 a few miles north of Westminster.

The Morgan Run Environmental Area can be found in a quiet location between Westminster and Eldersburg,. There are several miles of multi-use trails, which are open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to sunset.
Getting There: Morgan Run is located directly off Route 97, at Ben Rose Lane near Bartholow Road.

Eight miles of scenic multiuse trails greet hikers who choose the McKeldin Area of this huge state park. Located in the southeastern corner of Carroll County, the McKeldin Area features six different trails of varying distances. The longest stretch is the Switchback Trail, which provides hikers with a scenic view of the Liberty Dam Overlook at the end of the trail. The park is open seven days a week at varying hours, depending on the season.
Getting There: While the main entrance of Patapsco Valley State Park is in Howard County, hikers should enter the park from the northern entrance on Marriottsville Road in Carroll County.

Hikers from all over the county are attracted to this scenic park, located in the Sykesville- Eldersburg area. They can get a good workout here, with five miles of trails to cover. They can also use another trail that winds through the park for three and a half miles. At the northern end of the park, hikers can find approximately four miles of multi-use trails. All trails are open seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset.
Getting There: Piney Run Park is located at the intersection of White Rock and Martz Roads. The closest main access roads are Routes 26 and 97.

Sandymount Park is a short trip from the busy Westminster-Finksburg corridor. The park contains nearly 1.4 miles of paved trails. It is open seven days a week, sunrise to sunset.
Getting There: Sandymount Park sits off Old Westminster Pike, between Sandymount and Green Mill Roads. The nearest main access road is Route 140.

You can spend the entire day walking the multi-use trails at Union Mills. Hikers will be challenged by eight miles of trails, which are open sunrise to sunset seven days a week from February 16 through August 31. Because of the Cooperative Hunting Program, the trails are closed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from September 1 through February 15.
Getting There: Union Mills is located north of Westminster, off Saw Mill Road.

This list compiled by Carroll Magazine. Read the original article by Steve Jones here.


Spend the day exploring and connecting on one of Carroll County's ten public hiking trails. The county’s landscape generally consists of rolling hills, not mountain ranges, making each of the hiking areas accessible to people who are looking for a good workout rather than a steep challenge and its many paved trails are perfect for families with strollers.

Hiking trails are available in every corner of the county. The county-operated trails range from Freedom, Piney Run, and Gillis Falls Parks in the county’s southern end to Sandymount, Union Mills, Cape Horn, Hashawha, and the trail at Deer Park in the northern section. Several of the established trails are located in parks that are also used heavily by local recreational sports teams. The trails at Piney Run and Hashawha are known for their rustic settings.

Also available to hikers are two picturesque areas operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources: Morgan Run Environmental Center, which includes equestrian trails and wildlife, and the McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park.