The streets of Baltimore at sunset.

Top 10 Running Trails in Baltimore

Map of the top 10 running trails in Baltimore.

Baltimore is a fantastic city that’s best explored on foot. With several multi-use trails, waterfront routes, historic points of interest, and plenty of rolling hills up north, it’s hard to pick from all the great running routes! Regardless, here are the 10 best running trails in Baltimore, based on recommendations from seasoned runners.

1. Druid Hill Park

The Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

Druid Hill Park is a very popular local spot for runners. The park is home to plenty of great hills and mileage for an excellent workout. Its shaded lawns are perfect for stretching during warm-ups and cool-downs, and there are plenty of trails to run, including one that encircles Druid Lake. The park also features several popular tourist attractions, including the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and Rawlings Conservatory, which features year-round plant displays in five distinct indoor areas: the 1888 Palm House, the Orchid Room, the Mediterranean House, Tropical House, and Desert House.

Tips: Most runners recommend doing a group run at Druid Hill Park rather than a solo run.

2. Fort McHenry

Aerial view of Fort Henry.

The historic Fort McHenry is a beautiful place to run! It features a paved 1-mile route around the fort that you can run several times or just once, depending on your goals and abilities. The area is also surrounded by water on almost all sides, so you can enjoy views of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor while you run. And, of course, there are plenty of hills to enjoy along the way.

Tips: Fort McHenry also has public bathrooms, free parking, and a Visitor’s Center for your convenience.

3. BWI Trail

Two female runners on the BWI Trail in summer time.

The 12.5-mile BWI Trail is a unique route in the Baltimore area because it loops around the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). You might assume this paved running trail isn’t the most peaceful due to the proximity to planes taking off and landing, but runners say several portions of it actually are! At the southern end of the BWI trail, you can enjoy the forested Friendship Park and, on the northern end, a great view of the runway.

Tips: The BWI Trail also connects to the Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A) Trail for an extended running route.

4. Baltimore and Annapolis Trail

A bridge on the Baltimore Trail.

The Baltimore and Annapolis Trail (also called the B&A Trail) is a 13.3-mile path that connects Glen Burnie and Annapolis. With no vehicle traffic to worry about, you can easily customize the length of this off-road run by running just a portion of it or the entire thing. There are trailheads at each end, with several points of interest along the way, including Severna Park, Anne and Arundel Community College, and Saw Mill Creek Park, which connects to the BWI Trail mentioned above.

Tips: For a nice spot to stop and rest or stretch, the Hatton-Regester Green property in Severna Park has a gazebo, benches, and horticulture gardens.

5. NCR Rail Trail

A biker and runner on the NCR Rail Trail in the summer time.

The NCR Rail Trail, also known as the Torrey C. Brown Trail, is an old railroad about 15 miles north of Baltimore. It spans 20 miles from Ashland Road in Hunt Valley to the Mason-Dixon Line, offering a beautiful, wooded, crushed limestone path for runners to enjoy. Several parking spots along the way make it easy to start and end your run at any point along the route.

Tips: If you reach the state line on the NCR Rail Trail and want to continue running into Pennsylvania, the path turns into the Heritage Rail Trail County Park (also called the Ma & Pa Trail) at the state line and offers another 21 miles of into York, Pennsylvania.

6. Jones Falls Trail

A sunrise scene on the Jones Falls Trail prior to completion.

The Jones Falls Trail is an excellent way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without ever even leaving. Although parts of it are more urban, this paved route is perfect for nature lovers because much of it features leafy woods, a bubbling stream, and the beautiful gardens of the Cylburn Arboretum, which are just some of the main highlights. As you follow this trail through Druid Hill Park, you’ll be tucked away in the forest, following switchbacks without a care in the world. You can also follow this trail into the Woodberry community or Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus.

Tips: If you run this trail, you won’t be far from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, which is well worth a detour.

7. Oregon Ridge Nature Center

A trail at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center.

The Oregon Ridge Nature Center (sometimes called the Oregon Ridge Park) is a 1,000-acre park about 20 miles north of Baltimore. The trails at the center are thickly wooded with various difficulty levels. Whether you prefer to run on a more flat course or one that’s very rocky and steep, you can find both at Oregon Ridge Park. Since there are about a dozen different trails to choose from, you’re unlikely ever to get bored on your runs here!

Tips: The trails at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center are particularly stunning in the fall, with beautiful, colorful foliage.

8. Patterson Park

View of Patterson park next to a walk way and the lake.

Patterson Park is in downtown Baltimore, offering about a 2-mile running loop with easy add-ons throughout the park. The Patterson Park Pagoda and lake offer lovely scenery while you explore the park on foot. If the 2-mile loop isn’t enough for you, adding more mileage onto your runs is easy by taking detours along the sidewalks that weave through the park.

Tips: Patterson Park also has several athletic fields and an ice rink.

9. Loch Raven Reservoir Park

The beach at the Loch Raven Reservoir during the summer time.

Loch Raven Reservoir Park is just north of Baltimore and offers some of the best trail running opportunities in one of the area’s most beautiful and scenic spots. The park is top-rated among runners, hikers, and mountain bikers because it features many technical trails with rocks, roots, and hills. No matter what path you take, the abundant wildlife and gorgeous water vistas will almost make you forget you’re so close to the city! Still, if you prefer a running route with great water views and some flat areas, try Merryman’s Mill Trail. It won’t disappoint.

Tips: Loch Raven Drive (1.7 miles) offers traffic-free running on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. It’s closed to all vehicles during these times, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy carefree road running and water views.

10. Goucher College

The Haebler Memorial Chapel on Goucher College's campus.

Non-students from other areas and residents can use the Goucher College campus for running, walking, and other fitness activities. The beautiful 287-acre wooded campus has several excellent trails for runners to enjoy, with views of the natural landscape and campus buildings. You’re also just an easy run from the bustling nearby Towson Circle. The Baltimore Road Runners Club runs regular routes here year-round if you prefer a group run over going solo on campus. Both local and non-local members are encouraged to join!

Tips: Make sure you park in the main Dorsey parking for easy access to the campus trails.

Tired of hypercompetitive fitness apps?

Enjoy Vingo’s judgment-free community!
marker Explore new worlds on many different terrains
marker Personalize your avatar with cool clothes and gears
marker Experience Vingo anywhere on any exercise bike or treadmill

Routes Previews Ribbon

  1. https://druidhillpark.org/
  2. https://baltimore.org/what-to-do/behind-the-ramparts-of-fort-mchenry/
  3. https://www.bwiairport.com/at-bwi/things-to-do/fitness/the-bwi-hiker-biker-trail
  4. https://www.aacounty.org/departments/recreation-parks/parks/trails/banda-trail/
  5. http://www.ncrtrailsnails.com/ncr_trail.html
  6. https://jonesfallstrail.us/overview/
  7. https://www.oregonridgenaturecenter.org/
  8. https://bcrp.baltimorecity.gov/parks/patterson-park
  9. https://lochraventrails.com/trail-maps/
  10. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/maryland/goucher-college-campus-loop

Photo Sources:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover Japan and its cherry blossoms!

Scroll to Top