Local Parks to Run, Walk, and Bike as the Weather Warms Up

by Marissa Harris ‘22

Click here for pictures of each park

Lake Needwood, North Rockville

Distance/Challenge: One can walk, run, or bike over seven miles. Some parts of the trails can be hilly.

Popularity/Crowds: Many people love to go there and it can get crowded, especially on weekends, but it is a very large space with wide trails and easy to find a cozy spot to yourself to sit and even picnic.

Views: There is a beautiful lake and enticing trails surrounded by nature.

Brookside Gardens, Wheaton

Distance/Challenge: I would not necessarily come here to run or bike. However, it’s an easy walk. 

Popularity/Crowds: It usually stays pretty quiet and uncrowded. 

Views: This is the best place to see fascinating nature. There are so many different types of flowers and plants to see and learn about that are hard to find elsewhere.

Centennial Park, Ellicott City

Distance/Challenge: One can walk, run, or bike the 2.6 mile path that goes around the lake. There is also a 7.3 mile path that goes through some neighborhoods. 

Popularity/Crowds: Many people like this park, but the long trails and countless views allow room for all. 

Views: The lake and nature surrounding the trails are beautiful. 

The Agricultural Farm Park, Derwood

Distance/Challenge: There are multiple trails and loops available for walking, running, and biking. Some can be very hilly and challenging. 

Popularity/Crowds: It does not get very crowded. 

Views: There is a stream that is pretty, but there are few flowers and/or special plants. 

Rachel Carson, Brookeville

Distance/Challenge: There are multiple trails and loops available. I would recommend coming here to walk. It is possible to run and bike here, but it is very hilly and rocky. The footing is not always great, and after rain or snow it can get very muddy.

Popularity/Crowds: It does not get too crowded overall, but the main loop does if it is very nice outside. Peak crowds occur in the afternoon on weekends. Sometimes there are people riding horses around the main loop as well. 

Views: It’s nice to be in nature, but I would not come here for that, as there are other places on this list where different animals and plants can be more easily observed and appreciated. However, there are a few rock gardens that are nice to climb on. There is also a stream on the lower path that’s nice to take a break at.