Walking Through History: Trails In and Around Annapolis

April 15, 2024

Experience the outdoors along our trails that include waterfront vistas, recreational delights, and breathtaking landscapes. Anne Arundel County has many trails to explore, so grab your walking shoes or ready your bike and come out for some fun in the fresh air!

We work with two entities that manage public parks, and their websites are primed with information for visitors. Anne Arundel County Parks provides information, including a “park finder,” a directory, and more. The Parks Division provides a comprehensive system of recreational facilities with approximately 7,160 acres of recreation land and another 9,900 acres of natural resource land under the aegis of the County.

The Annapolis community can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and the grace of nature at its many community parks and trails. With 40 parks and trails on more than 200 acres of park land, the City is dedicated to the leisure interests of its residents and visitors alike. Parks and trails have a positive influence of the quality of life in Annapolis. The City of Annapolis Recreation & Parks website provides park listings and information on specific Annapolis parks and recreation facilities. 

Public Parks

City of Annapolis Parks Include:

Elktonia Beach Heritage Park

Check back soon for more information. The newest City of Annapolis park is a work in progress, but is already open to the public. Elktonia Beach Heritage Park, which is located on Bembe Beach Road across from the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Park campus, is the last remaining piece of a once vibrant 180-acre property known as Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beach, two popular resorts on the Chesapeake Bay that served as a place for the Black community to find refuge during segregation.

Truxton Park

Experience recreational opportunities at Truxton Park, featuring athletic fields, playgrounds, and walking trails. The trails feature scenic vistas along Spa Creek with views to historic downtown Annapolis. .

Waterworks Park

Explore the scenic beauty of Waterworks Park just west of Annapolis, where hiking trails wind through forests and wetlands. Learn about the park’s history as a former water treatment facility and its transformation into a natural recreational area.

Anne Arundel County Parks Include:

Downs Memorial Park

Explore the visitors center, the broad views of the Chesapeake Bay at Downs Park in Pasadena. Scenic trails and  picnic areas await visitors who venture off the beaten path

Fort Smallwood Park

Uncover the history of Fort Smallwood Park, once a coastal defense fort during the early 20th century. Explore remnants of military structures and enjoy recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, and birdwatching.

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, home to diverse habitats and wildlife. The visitors center houses  wildlife and native american artifacts which help to educate the entire family.  Explore boardwalks and hiking trails that wind through marshes, forests, and tidal creeks.

Kinder Farm Park

Experience rural charm at Kinder Farm Park, where historic farm buildings and agricultural exhibits showcase Maryland’s agrarian heritage. Explore scenic trails, picnic areas, and a playground for family-friendly fun.

Quiet Waters Park

Escape into nature at Quiet Waters Park, where tranquil trails meander through woodlands along the South River. Explore art installations, gardens, and outdoor recreational facilities amidst breathtaking scenery.  The park features ice skating in the winter and concerts in the summer.

State Parks Include:

Sandy Point State Park

Sandy Point State Park has more than beautiful beaches and picnic areas. Two trails provide views of an old planted pine forest and leads to neighboring marshes . They provide wooded cover that is perfect for seeing some of Maryland’s distinctive birds.

Biking and Hiking Trails

B&A Trail

Follow the path of the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail, a scenic corridor once traveled by trains, now transformed into a picturesque pathway mainly for biking. Discover Anne Arundels rich railroad history along this scenic route. The ranger station at Earleigh Heights Road features a model railroad exhibit.

BWI Trail

Discover the BWI Trail, a recreational pathway that features close up views of airplanes taking off and landing at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

WB&A Trail

In West County, hike or Bike on a 4 mile section of the old railroad, venture from Odenton to the forest and wetlands adjacent to the Patuxent Research Refuge.

Attractions with Trails Include:

Annapolis Maritime Museum: Park Campus

Explore the walking trail at the Annapolis Maritime Museum‘s Park Campus along Back Creek as you learn about the Chesapeake Bay’s ecological significance.

Bacon Ridge Natural Area

Venture into the serene wilderness of Bacon Ridge Natural Area, where trails wind through forests and wetlands. Explore the area’s biodiversity and learn about conservation efforts to preserve this natural treasure. The natural surface trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers and dogs on leashes. Access the area from two parking areas to the north and one  parking area on Hawkins Road to the south.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Learn about environmental research and conservation efforts at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in South County. Explore trails that traverse through forests, marshlands, and tidal creeks, offering insights into the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem.

From exciting biking trails to serene nature parks, our heritage area offers a wealth of trails and natural wonders waiting to be explored. Visitors will find a wide variety of opportunities to connect with the region’s rich heritage and scenic landscapes.