Check the parks and recreation listings in your community to find a spot of civic green to enjoy. Whether you want to relax on a blanket or take the little tykes to a playground, there are plenty of parks at your disposal.
Anita C. Leight Estuary Center
700 Otter Point Road
Abingdon, MD 21009............. 410-612-1688
Anita C. Leight Estuary Center is one of the few remaining large freshwater tidal marshes in the upper Chesapeake Bay accessible to
the public. The center is the research and education facility of Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Otter Point Creek component. The center offers public programs including kayaking, canoeing, pontoon boating, nature hikes, animal encounters, crafts and more.
Cedar Lane Regional Park
1100 Cedar Lane
Bel Air, MD 21015.................. 443-807-1767
Cedar Lane Regional Park is a 110-acre multisport complex for local and regional use, featuring fields for lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, football and more. For more information on sports camps, leagues and tournaments, visit the park’s website.
Eden Mill Nature Center and Park
1617 Eden Mill Road
Pylesville, MD 21132.............. 410-836-3050
Eden Mill Park is a 117-acre county park with a nature center, agriculture center, historic grist mill museum and gift shop. The park boasts more than 5 miles of hiking trails and is open year-round. For information on park programs, guided tours and special events, visit the park’s website.
Gunpowder Falls State Park
2813 Jerusalem Road
Kingsville, MD 21087............. 410-592-2897
Gunpowder Falls State Park includes more than 18,000 acres in both Baltimore and Harford counties. The long list of amenities includes more than 120 miles of trails, fishing areas, the historic village of Jerusalem Mill (an 18th-century Quaker settlement), a multiuse rail trail, a swimming beach, picnic areas and a marina. The park is also ideal for kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, tubing, windsurfing and hiking.
Ladew Topiary Gardens
3535 Jarrettsville Pike
Monkton, MD 21111............... 410-557-9570
Named one of the top five gardens in North America, the Ladew Topiary Gardens was created by self-taught gardener Harvey S. Ladew. His thematic garden rooms feature stunning topiaries and gardens, including the hunt scene garden, the sculpture garden, the Temple of Venus, a rose garden, a wildflower meadow and more. The property also features the Manor House, a rustic farmhouse Ladew converted into a comfortable and luxurious country home. Both the gardens and the house are on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens are open daily April 1 to Oct. 31. For more information on admissions, visit the gardens’ website.
Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway
4948 Conowingo Road
Darlington, MD 21034............ 410-457-2482
The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is 40 miles of continuous public trails connecting Harford and Cecil counties. To download a trail map, visit the greenway’s website.
MA & PA Heritage Trail
The walking, running and bicycle trail follows the former Maryland and Pennsylvania railroad corridor in two segments: Forest Hill (1.75 miles) and Bel Air (4 miles). A dog park is located at the end of the Bel Air Trail at Heavenly Waters Park. For trail access locations and a brochure of trail maps, visit the trail’s website.
Rocks State Park
3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084............ 410-557-7994
This 855-acre park features dense forests, Deer Creek, scenic trails and massive boulders. The park is ideal for rock climbing, picnicking, hiking, tubing, canoeing, fishing and seasonal bow hunting. Be sure to check out the King and Queen Seat, natural rock outcrops with breathtaking views. It is believed the 190-foot cliff was a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians.
The Falling Branch Area of the park is home to Kilgore Falls. The second-highest vertical drop waterfall in Maryland and its swimming area can be reached via a hiking trail. For directions to the waterfall, visit the park’s website.
Susquehanna State Park
4122 Wilkinson Road
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-557-7994
Susquehanna State Park sports some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Maryland and the Susquehanna River beckons fishers and boaters alike. The park is home to the Rock Run Historical Area with a working grist mill, the Archer mansion, Jersey Toll House, Susquehanna Tidewater Canal and a campground. The park’s 15-mile trail system winds through forests, river bottoms, hay fields and pine plantations. The trails are great for hiking and horseback riding.