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Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area Trails

Eastern Shore Region, MD

Urban Legend : Historic

Directions & Trail Description
Click for trail map

Location: Fairhill NRMA is located 50 miles notheast of Baltimore in Elkton, Maryland

Length & Configuration: 75 mile multi-use trail system. Design your own loop rides depending on your ability.

Terrain & Surface: Varied terrain from double-track in fields and on the dirt roads to rugged singletrack with rocks, roots, tree limbs and muddy sections.

Technical Difficulty: Easy biking on wide doubletrack and woods roads. Moderate on narrow, twisting singletrack trails.

Elevation change: Nearly level to gently rolling on most trails. Steep, short climbs and descents.

Trail Use: mountain biking, hiking, horsebackriding

Caution: Shared-use trails, be courteous to other trail users. Stay off trails when wet after rain.




Local Resources: Bike shops, bike clubs, adventure travel, bike tours, bike events, trail maps, bike safety, camping, historical places, where to stay and other related sources visit our Resource Hub.

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Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.


NRMA Office: Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area (NRMA) is approximately one hour north of Baltimore and 25 minutes west of Wilmington, Delaware. From I-95 north, take exit 100 to Rt. 272 north. Go approximately 6 miles to Rt. 273. Turn right (east) onto Rt. 273 and go approximately 5 miles. Turn right into entrance #3, turn left onto Ranger Skinner Road, turn left onto Training Center Road and cross over Route 273. Turn right onto Tawes Drive. The NRMA office is located on your immediate right.


General Description:

Located in the northeast corner of Cecil County, within a one-hour drive of Baltimore City, the Fair Hill NRMA was formerly owned by William duPont, Jr., an avid equestrian who acquired the farmland as a means to enjoying riding as well as fox chasing.

Today, consisting of 5,613 acres it offers more than 75 miles of trails and farm roads for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. An historic covered bridge which spans Big Elk Creek, provides an idyllic picnic spot.


The Trails:

In the past, Fair Hill was almost exclusively used by equestrians. Today, it is very pro mountain bike. Fair Hill is supported by a very active mountain bike group led by volunteers like the Delaware Trail Spinners, who organize special events, trail maintenance and one of the state's most popular mountain biking races every July.

The following are trail descriptions for five blazed circuit routes, which provide access to different areas of the NRMA. In addition to these circuits, there are many miles of inter-connected secondary trails for the adventurous mountain bike rider to explore.

A detailed trail guide, complete with a topographical map of the trails, is available for sale through the park office by calling (410) 398-1246.


Red Trail: 2.5 miles (easy to moderate)
Former logging road ideal for beginner mountain bikers. This trail offers a less technical ride through mature woodland and open hayfield, often skirting and crossing Grammies Run Creek. This is the least strenuous mountain bike ride.

Yellow Trail: 3.2 miles (moderate)
Trail users enjoy scenic views at the Scott's Mill Bridge crossing on Big Elk Creek after a fairly rapid downhill descent. Continue north along the creek to enjoy the serene beauty.

Blue Trail: 3.8 miles (moderate)
Trailhead: Parking Lot #3 (North Appleton Road lot): A mix of woodland and open fields finishing through a tunnel under Appleton Road. The Blue Trail skirts Christina Creek, which feeds into the Delaware Bay watershed, in the Little Egypt area.

Green Trail: 5.5 miles (moderate)
Comprised of a combination of double-track and single-track trail. The majority of the trail consists of old farm roads and passes by the historic Foxcatcher Farm covered bridge.

Orange Trail: 5.8 miles (difficult)
Trailhead: Parking Lot #1 (Rt. 273 lot): Meanders through mature forest and hayfields skirting Big Elk Creek at the midpoint. Although the trail offers primarily rolling hills, a few steep climbs are found throughout.


(Trail information was provided as a public service of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.


Historical Note:

Fair Hill was one of the largest private land holdings in the east, formerly owned by William duPont, Jr., an avid equestrian who acquired the farmland as a means to enjoy horseback riding and fox chasing. Fair Hill was purchased by the state in 1975 from Mr. duPont's estate.

Foxcatcher Farm Covered Bridge:
The bridge was constructed in 1860 for the Cecil County Commissioners, at a cost of $1,165. In 1994, the bridge received the State's Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Award. The bridge is one of only two covered bridges in Cecil County, the other being Gilpin's Falls Bridge, built in 1860 over Northeast Creek. Visitors can enjoy a picnic near the bridge at the area's picnic pavilion.



For more information:

Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area
300 Tawes Drive
Elkton MD 21921

Phone: (410) 398-1246
TTY: call via the Maryland Relay at 711 (in Maryland) or 800-735-2258
Website: Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area


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