Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic US state that borders Washington D.C, West Virginia, and Virginia to its west and south, Delaware to its east, and Pennsylvania to its north. The state’s capital is Annapolis, and its largest city is Baltimore. Also known as the Free State, the Chesapeake Bay State, and Old Line State, Maryland has very rich history considering that it is one of the original 13 colonies.
While Maryland is the 9th smallest State, it possesses a wide variety of topography within its boundaries; which explains why it has been nicknamed America in Miniature. From low marshlands with large bald cypress and teeming with wildlife near Chesapeake Bay, to sandy dunes scattered with seagrass to the east, to pine groves in the state’s mountainous west side and oak forests in the gently rolling hills in Piedmont Region, the state has much to offer when it comes to scenery and beauty.
If you love hiking or running trails, then Maryland is the place to be. With so much history and a beautiful topography, there are lots of options to work with if you are a person that enjoys running outdoors. Here is a look at the five best running trails within the state.
Capital Crescent Trail
The Capital Crescent Trail is an 11-mile long trail that follows the Georgetown Branch rail line route of the Ohio and Baltimore railroad. The trail starts in Silver Spring, MD, easy of Rock Creek Trestle before curving westward then south through Maryland to Washington, D.C coming to an end in the heart of Georgetown. For the seven miles between Bethesda and Georgetown, the trail is paved with much of it including an adjacent gravel trail for runners. Between Lyttonsville and Bethesda, for about 3 miles, the trail’s surfaced with crushed stones with the rest of the trail on to downtown Silver Spring being an on-road bike route that runners can still enjoy. The trail’s end points are Georgetown, Washington, D.C, and Silver Spring, Maryland.
Photo credit: bethesda365.com
The Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail
This trail is amongst the top rated biking and hiking trails in America’s Mid-Atlantic region. The Torrey C. Brown Trail allows users to run, bike or hike on twenty-miles of almost flat, crushed-stone surface with the trail being punctuated by several access points. Considering that the trail has an abundance of trees, this provides a very refreshing shade, especially on those hot summer days. The trail starts in Cockeysville, a Baltimore, MD, suburb and ends just past the state line at New Freedom, Pennsylvania. The trail is managed by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources and is a part of the State’s Gunpowder Falls State Park.
Photo credit: traillink.com
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Trail
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is another great park that offers a ton of great trail options for hikers, bikers, and runners. The park offers a route along the Potomac River and goes for over 184 miles between Cumberland, Maryland and Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The park features hundreds of original features including canal structures. Users get to enjoy unique and historical scenes that exhibit the history of Maryland’s Canal era. With campgrounds, portable toilets, lookouts, picnic areas, and a host of amenities, this trail is a great place to unwind, jog and have fun. Most of the trail is wooded with of it running along the Potomac River.
Photo credit: nps.gov
Western Maryland Rail Trail
Western Maryland Rail Trail is a 22-mile paved course that offers hikers and runners the opportunity to go through several eras of America’s and Maryland’s history. The trail parallels Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail with its western portion being blessed with scenic views of the Potomac River. Some of the interesting things one can get to see along this route include large rock outcroppings and the Round Top Cement Mill ruins. At the end of the trail, hikers, bikers, and joggers can hop on C&O’s Canal towpath where they can travel eastward to Fort Frederick, a place worth visiting.
Photo credit: hancockmaryland.com
Gwynns Falls Trail
This trail is a 15-miles uninterrupted corridor that connects dozens of southwest and west Baltimore neighborhoods with parks, cultural and historical landmarks. Gwynns Falls Trail’s Greenway offers a great off-road way for pedestrians (hikers and joggers) and cyclists to the urban nature and city corridors and includes over 2,000 acres of publicly-owned land. The great thing about this trail is that it follows a creek to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and to the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River and has over 10 miles of natural paths to be enjoyed.
Photo Credit: welcometobaltimorehon.com
These trails make running more relaxing and exciting at the same time. The beauty of nature is something that can be inspiring. These are the type of things that make personal training in Maryland much more fun!