Our Hiking/Walking/Trail Running Adventures range from sidewalks and groomed trails to more challenging elevations and terrains. To help you choose the best activity for you, information is organized in three sections: 1) Trails located in Havre de Grace, 2) Nearby trails located within about a 30 mi radius (about 1 hr drive) or less, and 3) Organizations that lead related group activities and links to trail maps for more information.
One of our favorite of the Susquehanna State Park Trails, this “out-and-back” trail runs for nearly 7 miles in total one-way, of which 2.2 mi is improved. The improved section runs between the Conowingo Dam and Stafford Road at Deer Creek. This trail is accessible from the Deer Creek Picnic Area or the Conowingo Dam parking area. A one mile unimproved section continues along the Susquehanna, bringing you to the trestle bridge at the mouth of Deer Creek. The Greenways trail continues on a 3 mile unimproved section by following the Susquehanna Ridge Trail from the trestle or picnic area to Lapidum. Although there is a dense canopy overhead offering shade in the summer months, the river views are frequent and beautiful. Near the northern end at the Dam, a viewing platform provides river access to anglers, bird-watchers (the dam is a feeding ground for many varieties) and others.
Looking to tie together several trails into a longer adventure? The Mason-Dixon Trail (M-DT) is a 199-mile blue-blazed trail that connects the Appalachian Trail in Cumberland County, PA with the Brandywine Trail in Chadds Ford, PA. During its journey it travels through Harford County, Maryland along the Susquehanna River. The M-DT has been built and is maintained entirely by volunteers. Information on the trail can be found at https://masondixontrail.wixsite.com/mdts
In Harford County the M-DT is ~22.5 miles long with 15 miles on actual trail and 7.5 miles along public roads. It travels from Hatem Bridge in Havre de Grave to McLhinney Park where it follows the North Park Loop Trail (Joe K’s Trail) then heads north-west traveling by Vulcan Quarry and Meadowvale Elementary School and eventually entering Susquehanna State Park. From there it follows the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail up to Fisherman’s Park and Conowingo Dam. The trail then continues up the Susquehanna River passing by the Conowingo Visitor’s Center, where it crosses Rt-1 and then travels up through Rigbie Farm, Glen Cove Marina, Indian Lake Christian Camp and the Broad Creek Boat Launch where it crosses Broad Creek by way of Flintville Rd. From there it goes through the Boy Scout Area passing by the Harford County Sheriff’s Firing Range and heading farther north-west to the Mason-Dixon Line (MD/PA state line) located at the Tabernacle and Cooper Rd intersection where it enters Pennsylvania.
HdG Visitor Center):
Havre de Grace and the surrounding region provides everything from rails to trails to mountain biking and road biking. To help you choose the best activity for you, information is organized in three sections: 1) Trails located in Havre de Grace, 2) Nearby trails located within about a 30 mi radius (about 1 hr drive) or less, and 3) Organizations that support biking and links for equipment rental or more information.
The downtown/city area of Havre de Grace is a relatively low traffic area that allows for road biking by experience bikers wearing proper safety gear. For more protected bike riding, our favorite locations include:
- Susquehanna State Park – primarily mountain biking
- Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail – hiking and biking – both recreational biking on the improved section and mountain biking on the unimproved section. See information in walking/hiking section of this website.
HdG Visitor Center):
Please see the hiking/walking section also as many of the same walking paths and hiking trails allow for recreational or mountain biking.
About 27 mi from HdG. Torrey C. Brown (TCB) Rail Trail, a 19.7-mile multi-use surfaced rail-trail extending from Ashland, MD to the Pennsylvania line, was inducted into the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame in 2015. It allows for nearly 20 miles of flat travel, punctuated by a number of access points and an abundance of trees that provide refreshing shade on hot summer days.
The trail begins in Cockeysville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, and ends just over the state line in New Freedom, Pennsylvania, where the Mason-Dixon Line divides the southern Atlantic states from the Northeastern states. The southernmost trailhead and parking area is located just off York Road/State Route 45 in Cockeysville. A larger and more popular parking lot is located just a half-mile farther north along Paper Mill Road (1302 Paper Mill Rd, Cockeysville, MD.
About 35 mi from HdG. Maryland’s Ben Cardin C&D Canal Recreational Trail links to Delaware’s Michael Castle Trail; both run along the north bank of the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal and meet at the state line. The combined route takes travelers from the historical, quaint canal town of Chesapeake City to Delaware City. The trail is named after U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, whose efforts made the trail a reality. The trailhead for the C&D Canal trail is located on the trail’s western end at the base of Lock Street in North Chesapeake City. From there, the paved pathway runs along the waterfront for 1.8 miles to the Delaware border. The Michael Castle trail continues for an additional 12 mi.
About 38 mi from HdG (Martic Township parking). Overall, the Enola Low Grade trail runs for nearly 29 miles. However, it is in some disconnected segments run by individual townships and a 2018 fire damaged the Martic Forge trestle over Pequea Creek, closing access to the trail going west from the Martic parking area. From HdG, the best section to ride is from the Martic Township parking area east to Quarryville. You’ll follow a very slight grade uphill going out, with the downhill to help your return. The section from the Martic parking (at the intersection of State Route 324/Marticville Road and Red Hill Road) and the Quarryville parking (Fairview Road just west off of Route 222) is approximately 9.5 miles from Martic to Quarryville, or almost 20 miles round trip.
Running east-west through southeastern Pennsylvania, the Enola Low Grade Trail is remarkably flat, never exceeding a 1% slope. The trail in this section is far removed from the Susquehanna, so river views are replaced with expansive farm country—when you’re not riding through a cut. You may see snakes, turtles, deer, foxes, turkeys, hawks, falcons, and bald eagles along the way. The crushed-stone path you’ll follow westward is nominally downhill, but with such a slight grade, coasting is not an option. The trail offers little shade and no drinking fountains, so come prepared with sunscreen and water.
Havre de Grace is a beautiful area for recreational and sea kayaking and paddleboarding. To help you choose the best activity for you, information is organized in three sections: 1) Launches located in Havre de Grace, 2) Nearby launches located within about a 30 mi radius (about 1 hr drive) or less, and 3) Organizations that support paddling and links for equipment rental or more information.
Havre de Grace has several kayak launch areas available for use. There are three “ramp” launch areas that paddlers share with motorized boats:
- Jean S. Roberts Memorial Park – Boat Launch on Otsego Street. From this launch, the safest paddles are along the shoreline either upstream or downstream of the launch. You can paddle south along the shoreline past the downtown area, Hutchins Park, the Concord Lighthouse and around to the city yacht basin. You can also paddle upstream and float back to the launch. Finally, you can paddle across and around Garrett Island, or over to Perryville and out to the Susquehanna Flats. These are more challenging routes due to boat traffic. Water flow and wind can also have an impact. Consider your experience level, weather and the type of watercraft you are paddling before venturing out into the river proper.
- Millard Tydings Memorial Park – Boat launch at end of parking area past city yacht basin. Paddling downstream toward Swan Harbor provides a relaxing, protected paddle.
- Lapidum Boat Ramp – Part of Susquehanna State Park. The boat ramp is at the end of Webster Road and Lapidum Road. Large parking area and boat ramp. There is a fee for launching from this ramp.
There are also several dedicated kayak launch areas:
- The new Living Shore area of the Promenade – tide dependent
- There are also 2 “floating dock” type kayak launches – one at the fishing pier by the Concord Lighthouse and one at Hutchins Park. The steepness of the ramp to the floating dock varies widely depending on the tide and river height, but once you get your kayak down to the dock, they are great launching docks.
HdG Visitor Center):
The “Go Paddling” map from paddling.com provides a pretty comprehensive list of launch sites and paddling locations. They also provide a mobile app that can be downloaded to your mobile device.
Some of our favorite recreational paddles include:
Perryville Community Park
About 6 mi from HdG. Nice sandy beach kayak launch. Paddle around Mill Creek, Furnace Bay, Principio Creek, Baker cove and around Carpenter Point. Scenic, protected paddling area with minimal motorboat traffic.
About 12 mi from HdG. The Anita C. Leight Estuary Center is the research and education facility of the Otter Point Creek component of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland. The Estuary Center is dedicated to increasing appreciation and understanding of estuaries. They offer we offer school (including home school) programs and public programs such as canoe, kayak, hiking, pontoon boat, craft, education, and research programs. There are public launch sites at Smith Park on Rt. 40 and at the Otter Point boat ramp. A 3.6-mi paddle trail map is available on the Estuary Center website. Parts of the trail may be difficult to access during low tide.
Broad Creek Public Landing
About 16 mi from HdG. Flintville Road and Paddrick Road, Darlington, MD 21034. No fee, Boat launch and fishing area – small parking area. Broad creek itself is a nice protected recreational paddle, and it also provide access to the Susquehanna River.
Eden Mill Nature Center
About 30 mi from HdG. In the quiet woods of Harford County, lug your kayak to Deer Creek in Eden Mill Park. Here, the beginner kayaker can enjoy a flatwater float, perfect for finding a relaxing paddle downstream or taking in the beautiful woodland views. To top it off, along the water’s edge, you can find a historic grist mill (complete with spillway waterfall).