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9 Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maryland

This blog post was written in part by Tara Steigerwalt of The Hiker Babes Community! Founded in 2017, The Hiker Babes Community is a women-only hiking community with chapters all around the world. Their goal is to provide a safe, all-inclusive environment to share adventures, inspire others, and give back to local communities. Tara became an ambassador of the Maryland chapter in November 2018 and has since grown the chapter from 60 members to over 800!

Here are Tara (and her dog Louis') favorite dog-friendly hikes in Maryland.

Calvert Cliffs State Park, Orange + Red Trails

Distance: ~5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Entrance Fee: $5

Helpful Tips: In this park, you get to enjoy both the Southern Maryland woods & the Chesapeake Bay! Get there early in the morning or late in the afternoon and you & your pup may have the beach all to yourself! Check out 12 Places For Your Dog to go Swimming in Maryland for more details about dog-friendly water access!

Greenbury Park, Point + Nature Trails

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Entrance Fee: None

Helpful Tips: This park is near the Naval Academy and along an active shooting range. During training, the park is closed so be sure to check before going! Plenty of parking areas but we recommend starting at the Nature Center.

Patapsco State Park, Cascade Falls Trail

Distance: 3-5 miles depending on what route you take

Difficulty: Easy

Entrance Fee: $2 per in-state vehicle

Helpful Tips: This trail is VERY popular on the weekends. Tara and her pup have enjoyed it on weekdays with fewer crowds. It's nicely covered for shade during those hot summer months but you can always cool down by the waterfall!

Gunpowder Falls State Park, Little Jerusalem

Distance: 2-4 miles depending on what route you take

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Entrance Fee: $3 per in-state vehicle

Helpful Tips: Little Gunpowder and Jerusalem Mills Trails both have plenty of shade and water access. River Ridge Trail, Cascade Falls Trail, McKeldin Rapids Trail, Saw Mill Branch and Buzzard Rock are also fan favorites. Gunpowder Falls State Park is divided into six areas, so we strongly recommend mapping out your route before leaving home.

Cromwell Valley Park and Loch Raven

Distance: 1-7 miles depending on what route you take

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Entrance Fee: None

Helpful Tips: For a flat, easy hike, try the Minebank Run Trail which is 1.2 miles out-and-back.

Annapolis Waterworks Trail

Distance: 3-10 miles with plenty of variety to create your own route

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Entrance Fee: None

Helpful Tips: This trail is completely volunteer maintained! We highly recommend this trail on a sunny day! Parking is limited.

Theodore Roosevelt Island (DC)

Distance: 1-3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Entrance Fee: None

Helpful Tips: This park is very popular! But you get to immerse yourself in history with a memorial to Teddy Roosevelt, the founder of the National Park system! The marshlands make for a scenic walk with your pup and there are well-maintained boardwalks to walk over them! Parking fills up fast but don't get discouraged! Cars are constantly coming and going, so have patience and you'll find a spot!

Catoctin Mountain Park, Chimney + Wolf Rock Trails

Distance: 5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate/Hard

Entrance Fee: None

Helpful Tips: Park at the Visitor Center but be sure to get there before 9am or later in the afternoon. This hike is awesome all seasons of the year! Both Chimney Rock & Wolf Rock have vast overlooks for you and a fun workout for your dog! This trail can have steep inclines & switchbacks so we recommend it for dogs that have higher energy and for people more physically active as it can be tough if you're new to hiking. No fees for the park but we recommend bringing a few bucks as a donation & dropping it off at the Visitor Center to help keep the park nicely maintained!

Harpers Ferry National Park, Maryland Heights Trail

Distance: 5-7 miles

Difficulty: Moderate/Hard

Entrance Fee: $20 per vehicle

Helpful Tips: Technically this park is in Harpers Ferry, WV. You can park at the Train Station or they have a parking area with a shuttle. Parking/shuttle is $20 (FREE if you have a National Parks pass!) This trail starts off easy with crossing the Potomac River on a fun bridge! But then it has a steady and steep incline as you make your way up the mountain. The hike is worth it for an overlook of the town of Harper's Ferry! This trail is great rain or shine! The Rabbit Hole is a great dog-friendly restaurant for yummy post-hike food & beverages. They have dog biscuits for your furry hiking partner too!

Interested in joining The Hikerbabe Community? It's totally free and you can do so here. They host several group hikes a month and all of them are dog-friendly! This year, they are supporting the Baltimore Humane Society and Pet Food Bank. They will be donating pet food & supplies to those that are in need as well as monetary donations to help homeless pets find their forever homes in Maryland.

Please remember to bring poo bags and pick up after your pet when nature calls. (Get it?) Let's be responsible pet owners so that we can continue visiting these trails with our dogs for years to come!

If you visit one of these dog-friendly trails or one that isn't listed above, we'd love to hear about your experience! Reach out to us at or on Instagram.

Are dogs allowed in Maryland State Parks?

Yes, dogs are allowed in State Parks in Maryland. For the full list of park rules and guidelines, visit Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Love exploring dog-friendly places in Maryland? Check out these posts:


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