The Baltimore and Annapolis Bike Trail is a popular 40-mile round-trip ride from just outside Annapolis to the Baltimore airport. The BWI Airport Loop circles the Baltimore Airport for another 10.6 miles. We connect the two, but offer shorter options.
Approx. 40 miles roundtrip | 50 miles if you add the BWI Loop
Easy along B&A | Moderate along the BWI section. There are some hills.
A very pleasant paved bike trail with conveniences along the way
- Plenty of parking to chose your length
- Plenty of places to stop for food & drink
- Parks along the way to rest and picnic
- Gets crowded on weekends & evenings between Arnold and Severna Park
- Hills to climb on the airport loop
OVERVIEW of B&A + BWI Trails
B&A Bike Trail is a former railroad track (rails-to-trails route) so you’re generally limited to a three-percent incline, except at a newer overpass where the climb is a bit steeper.
The trailhead is just across the Severn River from Annapolis. The trail meanders through woodsy areas on the Severn River cliffs, past suburban towns, and ends at a park where you can watch the airplanes take off or land.
If you want an extra ten miles and some hills, keep going on the BWI Airport Loop around Baltimore Washington International Airport.
The trail is asphalt and about as smooth as it gets. The entire trail was repaved and smoothed out 2019-2020.
You’ll cross over several wooden bridges along both routes which can be slippery when wet.
New signs have popped up to warn of busy sections, mainly in Severna Park. The trail typically clears out by mid-afternoon on weekends.
During the week, there’s a pattern. Early morning is the exercise crowd. In Mid-morning, the moms with strollers come out. Midday through mid-afternoon is fairly open. Kids and evening exercisers start coming out late afternoon and into the evening.
You’ll pass several popular restaurants, ice cream shops & pubs along the way, as well as convenience stores for reprovisioning. And there’s a bike shop on the trail in Severna Park.
The B&A Trail is a popular family ride and is an easy on-trail ride.
But, add the BWI Loop with its hills and you have a good exercise run. And because of that, the B&A attracts cycling groups, the kind that rides in formation. They're on their way to the BWI Loop.
Be aware that y'all have to share the space! Let people know when you're passing, keep to the speed limit, and it'll all be fine.
B&A / BWI Bike Trailheads
The B&A Trailhead is a parking lot a little more than a half-mile from the actual trail. There are no facilities at the lot.
To get to the trail, you ride down a county road with a sizable hill. But, there are many other parking lots along the route.
The BWI Trail Head is at the Aircraft Observation Area (1911 Dorsey Rd, Glen Burnie). The lot fills on nice summer days and evenings because that park has a big playground and is a popular family-getaway spot. People like to watch the planes.
B&A BIKE TRAIL DETAILS – 30 MILES
B&A Trail: Southern End
The southern portion goes through woods, over streams, past manicured homes and through the business portion of neat-and-tidy Severna Park.
A small strip mall in Severna Park has tables and chairs set up under trees along the trail with access to a bike shop, a popular coffee shop, a yogurt store, and a cheesesteak take-out restaurant.
You’ll know you’re in Severna Park when you see the train depot. It’s a museum featuring toy trains, however, it’s run by a private club and is rarely open.
B&A Trail: Middle Section
The middle section takes you through Pasadena with smaller, working-man homes, past a little-used indoor mall, and behind several strip malls. But the trail there is tree-lined with wildflowers and tiny parks with benches.
The Rangers Station is in that section. A historic house is the rangers’ office and there’s a recently built restroom and drinking fountain behind the house, along with a parking lot. There’s a bike tool stand and picnic tables in front of the house.
The park ranger station is open Tuesday – Sunday 8:30am – 4:00pm and is closed on Mondays and Holidays
B&A Trail: Northern End
The upper section is Glen Burnie, a 1960’s suburban haven with uptown business sections and a huge softball park. A traveling carnival sets up in the city park every August.
The B&A Trail end at the airplane observation park, formerly called Friendship Park. That’s where you can watch planes take off or land, depending on the wind direction. That section is busy with families strolling along the trail on nice days.
The park has portable toilets and bicycle tools. There’s usually a small ice slushy truck parked in the lot during the summer.
BWI Airport Loop Details – 10.6 Miles
For a longer ride, continue on the trail from Friendship Park (aka Aircraft Observation Area). It’s 10.6 more miles and includes a few hills.
This section is the most challenging of the ride because of those hills, but doable if you’re a moderate rider and willing to chug uphill for five to ten minutes.
Cyclists often wonder whether to ride clockwise or counterclockwise.
Clockwise: longer climbs on those hills, serious peddling required. The downs are fast, fun, and roller-coastery. Viewed as the more challenging direction here at ChesapeakeLiving.
Counter-clockwise: climbs are shorter and steeper, but you get them over with quicker and that ride down gives an oomph up the next hill. Viewed as the direction to take when you want an easier day.
The B&A Bike Trail goes around the outside of the airport on an asphalt trail mainly alongside the road around the airport, but you travel over a small marsh area, past a horse farm, and up a hill where you’ll find a picnic table overlooking one of the lesser-used runways. A nice stopping point.
Then you coast down and go back up another hill past a horse farm.
Be aware that horse riders also use the trail in this area.
Also, this section is near a school where people park to walk the trail, so beware that you may see walkers and horses on the downhill through this section.
Keep going, you’re about halfway through the loop.
Cycle past a school, cross the road and you’ll ride by the Benson-Hammond House, a historic brick farmhouse house in Linthicum Heights. It’s open on weekends sometimes.
There are no convenience stores on the BWI Loop trail, but you’ll see some on the other side of the road along with some fast food restaurants.
Enjoy your ride! Whether you do the entire route or a portion that fits your needs.