The Bacon Ridge Trail: The Best Hiking Near Annapolis

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.

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Looking for a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city? The Bacon Ridge Trail is a can’t-miss area if you’re in Annapolis, Maryland.

Bacon Ridge Natural Area consists of 900+ acres of marshland, forests, and well-marked trails and delivers a much-needed escape for nature lovers.

The Bacon Ridge Park is excellent for hiking in Annapolis and trail running in Maryland. If you’re looking for a mountain bike trail, the park trail will also work for you.

Read on to learn more about it.

In a hurry? Check out the trail report card.

Where to find the Bacon Ridge Trail

You can find the Bacon Ridge Trail in the Bacon Ridge Natural Area located in Anne Arundel County.

The Maryland Environmental Trust and the Scenic Rivers Land Trust protect the land reserve. It is located about nine miles northwest of the Annapolis city center, about two miles from Crownsville, Maryland.

The parking area can accommodate about ten cars, so there should be plenty of room when you arrive.

Bike shop facilities are on-site if you’re mountain biking, including an air pump station for any air-ectile dysfunction you may have.

Bacon Ridge trail options

Bacon Ridge offers great trails for any activity. It offers some great options for walking trails in Annapolis, MD, or some great family-friendly Annapolis hiking trails. 

If you’re like me, you’re here for the running trails.

The trails are beginner-friendly and have only moderate hills. The paths are smooth and mostly empty of rocks and roots. So, it’s a great place to get into trail running.

Whether you’re looking for a short-and-quick route or something a little longer, there will be a route for you.

Routes

Here are some popular route options if you’re looking for hikes around Annapolis:

During fall/winter, the path offered a quiet escape from the busy citylife

The day I visited, I created my own route using Strava (GPX file can be found here). For a quick recap, here are the details of my run:

  • 9 miles (14.51 kilometers)
  • 1266 feet (386 meters) of elevation gain
  • Total time: 1 hour and 51 minutes

Bacon Ridge Trail Map

Trail info

Follow the singletrack the whole way!

The trail is easy to follow and well-marked, so it’s almost impossible to get lost. I followed a loop trail.

At the beginning of the trailhead in the parking lot, there is a map to show the trail system. There are miles of trails inside this park beyond the loop I did.

Signposts line the path and all the potentially confusing junctions of the trail. The signs are marked with an ‘N’ or an ‘S,’ making it easy to tell which direction you’re headed.

The trail consists primarily of a natural surface that winds around and through the woods. 

An occasional wooden plank path takes you over the small streams running through the forest. The trail and wooden walkways were well-kept and only had dropped leaves dotting them.

Roots and rocks stuck up were visible, and any obstructions had been cleared from the path.

The only part of the path that wasn't dirt singletrack were these wooden walkways that lead over streams

You’ll be mostly undisturbed by noise pollution, with the only source coming from Highway 97 on parts of the trail that run near it.

Dogs are allowed on the trail but should be leashed. This will be an excellent trail if you’re looking for some exercise for you and your furry friend. 

Be alert while sharing the trail with bikers if you’re a runner. 

As easy as it is to get immersed in the forest and the tranquility, it’s always good to be prepared for any bikers that may pop up unexpectedly.

The main attraction of the trail is the Rusted Cars. 

The Rusted Cars contain a few rusted shells of past cars — including a 1940s Ford Super Deluxe Coupe. 

The reason behind these cars being here is a relative mystery. More than anything, it adds some variety to an otherwise similar-looking landscape.

Rusted Cars make up a small part of the Bacon Ridge Natural Area

Conclusion

The Bacon Ridge trail was an excellent visit if you’re looking for biking, running, or hiking near Annapolis, MD. If you’re short on time or want a fun day on the trails, it’s perfect.

If you’ve visited the Bacon Ridge trail, let me know what you thought of it and if I missed anything. 

If you know of any other hiking trails near Annapolis, let me know in the comments so I can visit them in the future!

author avatar
Kyle Cash Owner
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.