Where to Go Hiking in Montgomery County
Montgomery County is home to a lot of great hiking trails, both in the city and just outside of it. If you’re looking for a way to get out into nature and enjoy some fresh air while also exploring the city, these are the best places to go hiking in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County has 11,000 acres of parkland and natural areas, with over 275 miles of trails. The parks and protected lands are home to some rare species of plants and animals, including the northern leopard frog (Sugarloaf Mountain), yellow-billed cuckoos (Seneca Creek State Park), and three-toed salamanders (Little Bennett Regional Park).
Rock Creek Regional Park
Rock Creek Park is a regional park located in Montgomery County, Maryland. It is a popular destination for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The park is home to many species of plants, birds, and animals.
The park also offers visitors a chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Montgomery County. Rock Creek was named after its rocky outcroppings. The park contains many trails including the Peirce Mill Trail which passes by several historic structures like Peirce Mill itself as well as the site where George Washington once stayed overnight during his travels through Virginia when he was surveying land for Lord Fairfax’s grant (now called Arlington).
Patuxent River State Park
Patuxent River State Park is a great choice for hikers. In fact, it’s one of the best places to hike in all of Montgomery County. There are over eight miles of trails to explore, with several hiking areas along the river and through wooded forests. The park also features many picnic areas and fishing spots, as well as canoe launches for those who want to paddle along the water. A nature center is nearby if you need some information on what you’re seeing while hiking.
Little Bennett Regional Park
If you’re looking for a place to hike in Montgomery County, Little Bennett Regional Park is a great option. The park features eight miles of hiking trails and several different trailhead access points, so it’s easy to find something that fits your needs. Whether you’re interested in hiking through open fields or dense forests, Little Bennett has it all.
There are many beautiful views at this park. However, the best part about hiking here is that there are trails available for every skill level: beginner, intermediate or advanced hikers can all enjoy themselves here! This is also an excellent spot for bird watching—there are several varieties of birds that call this area home during certain seasons of the year.
Sugarloaf Mountain is an easy hike that offers spectacular views of the Potomac River. It’s located in Germantown, just outside of Washington, D.C., and has been a popular hiking destination for decades. This hill has a reputation for being steep, but it actually isn’t very difficult to climb because of its wide trail and flat top (which makes it perfect for beginners). The mountain offers hikers a beautiful view from its peak since there are few trees on top; once you get up there, you’ll be able to see all the way across town as well as into Virginia.
Black Hill Regional Park
Black Hill Regional Park is a park in the city of Gaithersburg, Maryland. The park is located on the west side of the city, near the border with Rockville. Black Hill Regional Park includes a large manmade lake and several smaller lakes, making it an ideal place for boating and fishing. There are several hiking trails throughout Black Hill Regional Park that make for great morning or evening strolls through scenic landscapes such as streams and meadows. One particular trail called “Old Rag” is about 7 miles long—it’s perfect for hikers who enjoy exploring nature but don’t want to walk more than 5 hours at a time! While you’re hiking one of these trails, keep an eye out for birds such as blue jays flying overhead or deer grazing nearby; these are just two examples of how diverse this regional park truly is!
Great Seneca Stream Valley Regional Park
Great Seneca Stream Valley Regional Park is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This park offers several hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult. The longest trail is 6 miles long and takes about 3 hours to hike on average. The shortest trail is 0.8 miles long, while the most challenging one is 2 miles long with an elevation change of 800 feet. There are also multiple other trails available at this park that range from 1 mile to 2.5 miles in length and have a maximum elevation difference of 550 feet or less (all depending on which trail you choose).
The parking lot for Great Seneca Stream Valley Regional Park has plenty of spots available for cars but fills up quickly during peak times so plan ahead if you’re looking to visit this spot during peak hours.
Lake Needwood and Lake Frank
Lake Needwood and Lake Frank are two lakes in Montgomery County. Lake Needwood is a man-made lake, while Lake Frank is a natural lake. Both have their own unique features and are popular places to go hiking and fishing. If you’re interested in checking out the local wildlife, these lakes have plenty to offer.
There are all kinds of fish in these lakes: trout, bass, bluegill, carp, and more! They also provide excellent opportunities for bird watching (especially during migration season), canoeing, and kayaking as well as boating with water skiing or wakeboarding equipment available on-site at certain times throughout the year (for an additional fee). You will need a fishing license from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources if you would like to try your hand at catching some dinner from these waters.
Seneca Creek State Park
Seneca Creek State Park is the closest state park to Rockville, MD. The park has a variety of trails that are suitable for hiking, biking, and equestrian use. A number of trails connect to other parks in Montgomery County for an extended outdoor experience. Seneca Creek State Park also has picnic areas, pavilions, and playground equipment as well as group camping facilities.
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area. This is a great place to go hiking in Montgomery County. Located near Potomac, Maryland, Bear Island WMA offers more than 4 miles of trails that are open year-round and are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
The park is a popular spot for anglers as well. It’s not uncommon to see a large number of fishermen on the lake picking up their catch each day! If you’re looking for something different than your average lake fishing spot, be sure to check out Bear Island WMA.
Montgomery County is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the DC area, so make sure you check out these parks next time you want to get outside for a hike. You can also visit one of the many other great sites throughout Maryland and Virginia. And if you’re looking for a place closer by with great views and fewer crowds than those around Washington DC, then consider visiting some of our famous Civil War battlefields.