5 Great Biking Areas in Maryland

Imagine riding through a picturesque town on main streets lined with shops, or pedaling on a trail beneath a canopy of towering maple and oak trees. No matter your interest or skill level, Maryland has a bike route for you.

Biking Maryland’s Shoreline

A VisitMaryland.org repost written by Jennifer Ajello

The flat, coastal roads of Maryland’s Eastern Shore make the Chesapeake Bike Tour an easy, enjoyable ride for sightseeing and relaxation. Tour rides range from 20 to 45 miles, or longer if you feel ambitious! Register for an organized tour with a group like Wilderness Voyageurs or tour at your own pace. With so much to do, consider an extended stay (at least four days). Tour St. Michaels, a quiet historic town on the Chesapeake Bay. From there, ride through inland farms and woodlands, eventually arriving in Oxford. Conclude the day by returning to St. Michaels aboard the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry or settle in on the porch overlooking the Chesapeake Bay at the Robert Morris Inn.

Oxford-Bellevue Ferry in Maryland
Oxford-Bellevue Ferry is America’s oldest privately owned ferry, established 1683. It crosses the scenic Tred Avon River between Oxford and St. Michaels area.

Cycling Along Roads and Canals

The ideal trail for a family bike excursion, the paved 13-mile Baltimore & Annapolis trail stretches from the state capital to Glen Burnie and offers plenty of snack and water stops along the way to replenish energy levels. For a longer excursion complete with camping and long stretches of trail, look no further than the C&O Canal Towpath. The full length of the mainly dirt trail is 184.5 miles and spans from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, but you can enjoy any of the four sections of the trail which are open year round.

Biking through Loys Station Covered Bridge
Biking through Loys Station Covered Bridge on the C&O Canal bike trail (Photo courtesy Visit Maryland0

Five Frederick Bike Tours for Nature Lovers

Choose from one of five themed Frederick County Heritage bicycle tours through the mountains. Take in downtown Frederick and Civil War sites on the Campaign Ride, see three of Maryland’s six authentic covered bridges on the Northern County Bridge Sampler, or enjoy a mostly flat ride along the C&O Canal on the Transportation Heritage Trail. Or, try the 50-mile Catoctin Mountain Challenge. Lodging options along the way include The Inn at Springfield Manor in Thurmont, and the Frederick B&Bs 10 Clarke Place or Hollerstown Hill.

Biking in Patapsco Valley State Park
Biking in Patapsco Valley State Park
Photo By: Clark Vandergrift
(Courtesy Visit Maryland)

Great Allegheny Passage

Bike the Great Allegheny Passage and find out why National Geographic called this bike trail one of the “Top Ten 2012 Fall Trips in the World.” Stretching 150 miles from Cumberland, through Frostburg and West on to Pittsburgh, this stunningly beautiful trail uses historic tunnels, viaducts and bridges for a smooth, mostly flat journey through the rugged terrain and friendly small towns of Western Maryland.

Bike Tours for History Buffs

Head to Washington County for a hilly 21-mile ride on the Antietam Battlefield tour. Begin at the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center and follow Bike Washington’s suggested route onto the C&O Canal. Make a weekend of it and reserve a room at the Antietam Overlook Farm Bed & Breakfast, a cozy inn nestled atop a 95-acre mountain ridge.

See more at Visit Maryland.

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