Maryland Mountain Bike Trails
Maryland has a rich history and diverse geography, from the mountains of Western Maryland to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a bike friendly state and mountain biking opportunities abound in the many National, State, and County Parks, State Forests and Natural Areas.
Western Maryland is noted for its natural beauty. The narrow ridges of Maryland's western mountains and the Youghiogheny,
Savage and Potomac river valleys form an ancient and rugged landscape, resulting in steep elevation changes and spectacular views. With more than 120,000 acres of parks, forests, lakes and rivers, this area offers some of the best places for cycling adventures in Maryland.
The Green Ridge State Forest, the second largest in Maryland, offers miles of heart-pounding mountain bike trails amid beautiful scenery including an eleven mile designated mountain bike loop trail for a challenging ride with beautiful views of the Potomac
The C&O Rail Trail offers easy, scenic mountain biking in a wilderness setting. Garrett State Forest, Potomac State Forest, Savage River State Forest and Deep Creek Lake State Park offer some of the best mountain bike trail systems in western Maryland. River.
The Capital region is home to our nation's
capital, Washington, D.C. You wouldn't think so, but the greater Washington, D.C. area is one of the best metro areas for riding a bike. The Montgomery County Parks and Planning Commission maintains a nationally recognized Park System that offers an amazing variety of trails
for mountain biking. You can actually ride in a different park everyday for two weeks. Even though some of the parks are located close to highways
and bustle of the Capital, they offer natural beauty and a semblance of solitude. Black
Hill Regional Park, Cabin John
Stream Valley Trail, Little
Bennett Regional Park and the Seneca
Creek Greenway Trail are among the gems of the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, was built between 1828
and 1850 and in 1971 became Chesapeake & Ohio
Canal National Park. Beginning in Washington, D.C., it follows the route of
the Potomac River for 184 miles to Cumberland, Maryland. Biking along the canal's dirt
and gravel towpath provides a nearly level, continuous trail through the spectacular
scenery of the Potomac River Valley.
Central Maryland is home to both Maryland’s
capital, Annapolis, and to its most populated city, Baltimore. Just a short distance
from the sights and sounds of city life, you’ll find serene horse pastures, old mill towns, farms, and waterside villages.
This area is split into two geographic regions, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, which tends to be flat and low with some marshy areas, and the Piedmont Plateau, which is characterized by rolling hills and fertile valleys. Because this happens within a relatively small area, the riding can be schizophrenic!
Susquehanna State Park offers
over 15 miles of wooded, challenging trails with steep climbs and descents. The
trails are well-marked and offer great views of the Susquehanna River. The Lower
Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail runs between the Conowingo Dam
and Stafford Road at Deer Creek and is an excellent flat trail for family hiking and biking.
There are more than 15 miles of trails, including the 21 mile Northern
Central Rail Trail (NCR) in Gunpowder
Falls State Park. The crushed-stone
trail follows the Gunpowder River, with views of rocky gorges, and passes
through many historic railroad towns.
The Eastern Shore, bordered on the
west by the Chesapeake Bay and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, is a relatively
flat landscape of farmland, rivers, coastal forests, inlets, bays and
tidal marshes. Quaint towns, historic homes and fishing villages where fresh
fish, crab and other shellfish are harvested, line the waterfront.
Island State Park and National Seashore, located on Maryland's magical barrier
island, the Blackwater
National Wildlife Refuge and the The Wye
Island Natural Resources Management Area, are perfect places for nature lovers and riders of all skill levels to bike. Roads skirt
fresh water ponds, wind through woods, pass by marshes
teeming with wildlife and provide stunning ocean views.
Hill Natural Resources Management Area (NRMA), bordering Pennsylvania
to the north and within a half-mile of Delaware to the east, is an oasis
within a growing urbanized corridor. The former Dupont family
estate, accentuated by rolling hayfields, woodlands and natural beauty offers
70+ miles of well-marked single-track and dirt roads to explore by mountain bike.
The Southern Shore region has changed little since it was first settled by the English colonists in the 1600's. It is comprised predominantly of rural countryside with miles of shoreline along the Potomac River,
rolling hills, deep woods and farms. The region has a rich and fascinating history including
many historical sites dating back to prehistoric times.
Because of their
coastal location, the trails in this region are mostly non-technical and relatively flat with
a few gently rolling hills. Cedarville State
Forest and the St.
Marys River State Park are relatively rockless with a few roots and soggy spots here and there. They are ideal for novices and those looking for
easy non-demanding rides.
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