7 amazing summer hikes near Ellicott City
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If you’re buying a home for sale in Ellicott City, you’ll be glad to know that our beautiful community is a great place for spending time outdoors – and if you’re a hiker, you’re in luck. Some of the best trails in Maryland are located here. In fact, there are more than 40 hiking trails within a short drive from downtown. Check out this list of the best hikes near Ellicott City to plan your next weekend adventure.


7 of the Best Summer Hikes Near Ellicott City

These are some of the most highly rated hikes in the area:

  1. Cascade Falls Trail (Easy)
  2. Old Main Line and Daniels Loop Trail (Easy)
  3. Union Dam Trail (Easy)
  4. Ole Ranger Trail to Hollofield Access Trail (Moderate)
  5. Saint Mary’s College Ruins (Moderate)
  6. Cascade Falls Trail to Lewis and Clark Trail Loop (Moderate)
  7. Rockburn and Three Sisters Trail Loop (Moderate)

Here’s a closer look at each.


#1. Cascade Falls Trail

The Cascade Falls Trail is a 2.1-mile out-and-back trail in Patapsco Valley State Park. You’ll gain 272 feet in elevation on your way to the waterfall, which is well-worth the trip in. Most of the trail is shaded, and on nice days, it can get fairly crowded – so we suggest going early in the morning or late in the afternoon.


#2. Old Main Line and Daniels Loop Trail

The Old Main Line and Daniels Loop Trail is a 5-mile loop in Patapsco Valley State Park that’s good for hikers of all skill levels. You’ll gain 328 feet in elevation along this trail, which runs alongside Mount Hebron. Some spots are muddy, but if you’re on a mission to see deer and other wildlife, this is the hike for you.


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#3. Union Dam Trail

The popular Union Dam Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park is a 1-mile trek along the river and around (you don’t have to cross it). You’ll gain 226 feet in elevation for spectacular views of the Patapsco River along the way, and dogs are welcome – so you can bring your four-legged family member along for the stroll.


#4. Ole Ranger Trail to Hollofield Access Trail

The Ole Ranger Trail to the Hollofield Access Trail is a 3.5-mile loop that sees its share of traffic. For a short time, you’ll walk along the Patapsco River (part of the trail is paved), and then you’ll have a few hills to navigate as you gain 426 feet in elevation. Some parts of the trail are very narrow, but it’s worth it to check out the views and listen to the forest sounds.


#5. Saint Mary’s College Ruins

The hike to Saint Mary’s College Ruins is short, but it requires moderate skill and experience. You’ll only travel 0.8 miles on this short loop, but in that time you’ll gain 216 feet in elevation. The payoff is the ruins (read more about them here) built in 1868 as a seminary, which have been left empty since 1972. There is some broken glass along the trail – particularly by the ruins – so it may be best to leave your dog at home for this one.


#6. Cascade Falls Trail to Lewis and Clark Trail Loop

The moderate 5.1-mile Cascade Falls Trail to Lewis and Clark Trail Loop doesn’t see too many visitors – it’s a great place to enjoy the fresh air and quiet. You’ll hit the river about a quarter of the way through, and then hike along it and end up at a beautiful waterfall. There are plenty of paths that cut across the loop, so you can shorten or extend your hike however you’d like.


#7. Rockburn and Three Sisters Trail Loop

One of the best hikes near Ellicott City is the Rockburn and Three Sisters Trail Loop, where leashed dogs are welcome – and it’s kid-friendly. This 4.4-mile loop trail brings you some of the most amazing views of open green space, forest land, the river and even hilly mountain terrain.


Are You Buying a Home for Sale in Ellicott City?

Ellicott City is one of Maryland’s most beautiful places to live – so if you’re thinking about buying a home here, we’d love to help. Call us at 443-955-1227 to let us know what you’re looking for. If it’s easier, fill out the form below and tell us there. We’d love to welcome you to our friendly, thriving city!





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