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What to expect

Maryland has 1060 trails including medium and easy trails. The trail with the highest elevation climb is the Life on the Forest Trail and the one with the least climb is the American Discovery Trail - West Virginia. The longest trail is American Discovery Trail - West Virginia at 456 km. To complete this hike you should budget at least 23 days. For a shorter adventure, you can try the Kengla Trail from Muncaster Mill Road a t 259 m. This could be done in as little as 1 days. Trails with the best offering of hostels include Guyton Flats and Tuffy's Tavern Loop, Baltimore Waterfront Promenade - Inner Harbor, Rockburn Branch Loop Trail, Hard Cider and Loggers Loop Trail, and Jackson Landing Loop.

Guide to hiking in Maryland

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FAQs about hiking in Maryland

What is the climate like for hiking in Maryland?

Maryland's climate offers variety for hikers year-round. Spring and fall bring moderate temperatures ideal for comfortable trekking. Summer can be hot and humid, yet the tree canopy in forests like Catoctin Mountain Park provides some respite. Winters are cold but trails in parks like Gunpowder Falls State Park remain open.
For up-to-date weather conditions, check with the National Weather Service (
Keep in mind, conditions can change rapidly in any season, so it's important to pack and dress accordingly. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources ( can provide additional guidance on hiking preparedness.

Do I need a permit to hike in Maryland?

In Maryland, most trails don't require hiking permits, but camping or other special activities might. Check with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources ( for specific details and to obtain any necessary permits for activities like backcountry camping or fishing.

Is wild camping allowed in Maryland?

Wild camping in Maryland is allowed but comes with restrictions. Only certain state parks and forests permit backcountry camping and often require a permit. Strict leave-no-trace principles should be observed. Consult Maryland's Department of Natural Resources for detailed rules and regulations. (

Are there mountain rescue services in Maryland?

In Maryland, emergencies while hiking should be reported to local authorities via 911. For specific mountain rescue operations, the Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference (ASRC) serves the Appalachian region including Maryland. Ensure to have a charged cell phone for communication. (

Are there dangerous plants in Maryland?

In Maryland, hikers can encounter a variety of flora, from deciduous forests with oak and maple trees to colorful wildflowers like Black-eyed Susans. This biodiversity changes with elevation and location, adding to the hiking experience. Learn more here:

What wildlife should I be aware of when hiking in Maryland?

Hikers in Maryland may encounter diverse wildlife, from deer and foxes to insects like butterflies. Always observe from a distance, and be alert to avoid ticks and mosquitoes. More wildlife information can be found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website: