Maryland's Ellicott City hosts a sprawling 25-mile network of bike trails designed to engage riders with a multitude of terrains. But these are not trails for the faint-hearted beginner. With their dizzying altitude, rocky landscapes, and challenging obstacles, these trails test your cycling mettle.
The area presents a variety of trails with distinct characteristics:
To reach the Avalon/Glen/Artney/Orange Grove trailhead, the address is 5254 South Street, Halethorpe, MD. For the Mckeldin trailhead, the address is 11676 Marriotsville Rd, Marriotsville, MD 21104. Depending on your starting point, there are several ways to reach these trailheads, notably from I-695 and I-95. It's a small price to pay for an outdoor adventure, with a $2 parking fee at the park entrance.
Riders find the area an exciting medley of roots, rocks, and fast-paced sections. The trails host switchbacks, rapid descents, and even some steep climbs, offering an all-round experience for the intermediate cyclist.
These are multi-use trails frequented by hikers, horseback riders, and even groups close to the falls. Therefore, while the trails don't have specific biking features, they offer plenty of riding options that are highly enjoyable.
While the trails lack a comprehensive signage system, occasional maps are available at certain points. First-timers might find the trails a bit like a maze, so be prepared for a little guessing game.
For an optimal cycling route that combines technicality and fun, consider this circuit: Start at the Patapsco Trailhead at Landing Road and proceed through Morning Choice to the Connector Trail. Take it down to Ridge Trail, and make a right. Complete the Rockburn loop before retracing your steps up Morning Choice. From here, you can either return to your starting point or explore other trails like Nacho/Logs for some log-hopping action.
The Ellicott City bike trails offer an exhilarating ride with their mix of terrains and challenging sections. While they might not fulfill the dreams of those looking for extreme technicalities, they do provide a satisfying outing for intermediate-level cyclists. With its well-maintained trails, convenient access, and the sheer variety it offers, this trail network truly deserves its reputation as one of the best in Maryland.