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2016 Hiking Trips Near Baltimore and Northern Virginia

Local Activities

July 26, 2016

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5 min

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The Baltimore and Northern Virginia areas are within a short drive to many great cultural, historical and natural destinations. They are also within driving distance for a one-day trip to some of the best hiking trails on the East Coast.

Hiking during the summer and fall months is not only great exercise, but also a fun and exciting way to experience the many wonders of nature that are much closer than we realize. Below are some of the best destinations for hiking trips in 2016 your whole family will enjoy in the Baltimore and Northern Virginia areas.

Hiking in Baltimore

Destinations for hiking near Baltimore

Hiking the nearby trails of Baltimore present a unique weekend opportunity to experience natural beauty while getting some great exercise. Three of the best areas for hiking Baltimore include Patapsco State Park, Oregon Ridge Park and North Point State Park.

Patapsco State Park

The hiking trails at Patapsco State Park consist of an extremely large area of woods, river, streams and open fields in Baltimore county. This park also includes historical remains of many of the mill towns and industry that were once all along the Patapsco River, making it a fun and educational hiking trip for the whole family. Within this wooded expanse, Buzzards Rock Trail and Grist Mill Trail are some of the local favorites for hiking.

Oregon Ridge Park

Oregon Ridge Park is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Baltimore County. While it may be best known for outdoor concerts during the summer, it also features over an acre of hiking trails within the park. These trails are open from sunrise to sunset and no admission is charged to hike through this splendid outdoor area.

North Point State Park

The hiking trips to North Point State Park are sometimes detoured by the wonderful beach that is nearby. But after enjoying the summer sand and breeze, you can also hike through the trails that zig-zag through over 1,000 acres at North Point. The park and wooded hiking trails are open from 8am ET to sunset, and there is $4 charge per vehicle during the weekends.

Hiking in Washington DC and Northern VA

Hiking DC and its nearby trails is a great way to spend a weekend afternoon as long as you know where to go. Three of the best areas for hiking trips in the Northern Virginia area include the Appalachian Trail, Black Hill Regional Park and Rock Creek Park.

Destinations for hiking near DC

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail extends over 2,000 miles from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. Along the way, there are many popular areas for hiking trips within driving distance from Northern Virginia. Some of those areas along the trail include Washington Monument State Park, Harpers Ferry and Shenandoah National Park.

Rock Creek Park

There are nearly 30 miles of trails traveling from Washington, DC to Montgomery County, Maryland within Rock Creek Park. Hiking trips typically begin at Beach Drive, Meadowside Nature Center, or Lake Needwood depending on where you are traveling from in Northern Virginia. This trail features landmarks like Pierce Mill and Old Stone House along with great wildlife and wooded areas.

Great Falls

Great Falls features an 800-acre park with 14 miles of trails for hiking near DC. The Great Falls trails are located along the Potomac River and offer a gorgeous view of the waterfalls along its path. This trail combines spectacular scenery with one of the most challenging hiking trails in Northern Virginia. If you are an experienced hiker, this may be the spot for you. Otherwise, check out some of the less rigorous trails first and work your way up to this one.

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