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Explore the Great Outdoors
Havre de Grace and surrounding areas offer many opportunities to get out into The Great Outdoors to walk, hike, bike, and paddle! Photo by Joan Black.

Havre de Grace and surrounding areas offer many opportunities to get out into The Great Outdoors to walk, hike, bike, and paddle! Photo by Joan Black.

Outdoor activities are fun, but even more importantly, being outdoors is good for your brain, body, and soul.  Research shows that 2 hours a week outdoors can have tremendous health benefits. Havre De Grace has a wealth of outdoor activities both right here in our city, as well as in the surrounding counties to help you get those crucial outdoor hours. Our geographic location right on the Susquehanna at the top of the Chesapeake Bay gives us access to a huge variety of scenic walking, paddling and biking adventures.

This page is geared toward helping you find the right “people-powered” adventure for yourself, family or group. Whether you are looking for recreational, fitness, specialty activity, or just want to try something new, Havre de Grace has the outdoor activity to meet your interest. Click on a button above to get started on your road to adventure!

The HdG Green Team also partners with and sponsors outdoor activities for folks who like their adventures in a group setting (following CDC guidelines to ensure COVID-19 safety). For more information on these events, please  follow us on Facebook:

NEW! Havre de Grace Green Team Launches Walk/Bike/Paddle Outdoor Activity Challenge!


Can’t get your fill of Preakness excitement? Well, we have our very own Havre de Grace Triple Crown Challenge (Walk, Bike, Paddle). This is a free, self-directed activity that allows you to challenge yourself, friends and family and have fun outdoors. Complete one or more of The Battle, The Decoy and The Graw. Then take a pic and tag us with your adventure at #GOGreenHdG. Commemorate your achievement by picking up a free HdGreen sticker at the Havre de Grace Visitor Center on Pennington Ave. Click Havre De Grace Green Team GO Challenge_Final Oct for details.
Hiking/Walking/Trail Running Adventures

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.

Havre de Grace - favorite routes in HdG
Lafayette Trail

This roughly 3-mile walk on sidewalks links museums, parks, marinas and historic buildings. Notice the blue numbered medallions embedded in the sidewalks. These denote the properties highlighted in the Lafayette Trail brochure, available at the Visitor Center on 450 Pennington Avenue. There is also a mobile app coming soon. You will see blue oval “Walk the Lafayette Trail” signs posted along the way to guide you.

North Park Joe K Loop Trail

A group embarks on a hike along the Joe K Trail. Photo by HdG Green Team.

A 1.5-mile long nature trail identified by white blazes. Crushed gravel, sturdy shoes recommended. During your waterside walk, the Trail will lead you over several footbridges where you can explore the natural environment and history of the area under a tree-lined canopy. Trail brochure available at the Lockhouse Museum.

The Promenade

This scenic 3/4 mile boardwalk provide spectacular views of the Susquehanna River, adjacent to Tydings Park, Decoy Museum, Maritime Museum, and Concord Point lighthouse. Enjoy waterfowl watching and interpretive signage about the Chesapeake Bay from dusk ’til dawn. Wheelchair accessible. Service Animals only.

Susquehanna State Park Trails

Located along the Susquehanna River valley with its heavy forest cover and rocky terrain, Susquehanna State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. The park is home to some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Maryland and the river itself beckons fishermen and boaters alike. History buffs will be drawn to the restored Rock Run Historic Area with its working gristmill, Carter-Archer Mansion, Jersey Toll House and the remains of the Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal. Susquehanna State Park contains over 15 miles of marked and maintained pathways across 8 different trails; ideal for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and nature lovers. The terrain varies throughout the river valley. The different trails have ratings ranging from easy to difficult. More details on each trail along with trail maps can be found at the park website link.

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway Trail

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.

Nearby - Great walks/hikes within 30 mi radius (approximate distance from the
HdG Visitor Center):
Ma&Pa Trail

About 16 mi from HdG, the MA & PA Heritage Trail is located on portions of the former Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad corridor in Bel Air and Forest Hill, Maryland. Currently, this walk, run and bike trail consists of a 3.3-mile section in Bel Air and a 1.7-mile segment in Forest Hill. Recently, in partnership with the Town of Bel Air, Harford County has acquired an easement for a small stretch of land that will finally allow for the connection of its Bel Air and Forest Hill sections. The eventual connection will result in a nearly 8-mile long trail that runs through the heart of Bel Air. See trail website for more information.

Elk Neck State Park Trails

About 20 mi from HdG, Elk Neck State Park is located in Cecil County on a peninsula, formed by the Chesapeake Bay on the west and the Elk River on the east. The park has 2,370 acres of varied landscapes include marshlands, heavily wooded areas, white clay cliffs, and sandy shorelines. Elk Neck State Park boasts designated trails that vary in skill level from easy to difficult. Black and white trail maps are free and can be downloaded from the park website. 

Rocks State Park Trails

About 24 mi from HdG, Rocks State Park features 855 acres of rocky forest land nestled in rural northern Harford County. Primary attractions at Rocks include the King and Queen Seat and Kilgore Falls. The main section of the park includes three picnic areas, 3.5-miles of hiking trails, and access to Deer Creek, which is ideal for fishing, wading and tubing. The park’s two satellite properties, Falling Branch (home 17-foot high Kilgore Falls, which is Maryland’s second highest vertical drop waterfall) and Hidden Valley, are a short drive from the main park. More information is available on their website.

Gunpowder Falls State Park

Established in 1959 to protect the Gunpowder River and the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls, Gunpowder Falls State Park is now one of Maryland’s largest state parks. Covering over 18,000 acres in Harford and Baltimore Counties, Gunpowder’s narrow corridors host a varied topography ranging from tidal wetlands to steep and rugged slopes. Gunpowder features more than 120 miles of multi-use trails, protected state Wildlands, historic sites, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, a swimming beach and a marina. More information can be found on their website.

Gunpowder Falls State Park is divided into six areas:

  • Hereford Area, located in northern Baltimore County, east of Prettyboy Dam, is ideal for hiking, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, and includes the popular Mill Pond Cottage.
  • 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.
  • Sweet Air Area, comprised of land in both Baltimore and Harford Counties, is popular among hikers and horseback riders.
  • Central​ Area, encompasses both the Little and Big Gunpowder Falls and is historically the oldest part of the park. It is an ideal area for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. This area includes the Jerusalem Mill Historic Village.
  • Hammerman Area, located in Middle River, offers picnicking, pavilions, playgrounds and a swimming beach.
  • Dundee Creek Marina, also located in Middle River, offers boat launching, wet and dry slips, boat rentals, fuel and a marina store. It is located near the Dundee Creek fishing area and archery range.
Walking/Hiking/Trail Running Links
Local Walking/Hiking/Trail Running Orgs
Biking Adventures

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.

Havre de Grace - Some of our favorite bike rides

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.
Nearby - Favorite bike trails within 30 mi radius (approximate distance from the
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.

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

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.

Ben Cardin C&D Canal Recreational Trail

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.

Enola Low Grade Trail

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.

Bike Riding Links
Kayaking/Paddling Adventures

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 - favorite launch areas in HdG
Sunrise at Hutchins Park. Photo by Joan Black.

Sunrise at Hutchins Park. Photo by Joan Black.

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. 
Nearby - Favorite paddles within 30 mi radius (approximate distance from the
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.

Powered by paddling.com
Kayakers at Eden Mills. Photo by Joan Black.

Kayakers at Eden Mills. Photo by Joan Black.

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.

Anita Leight Estuary Center

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.

Opportunities to get outdoors abound in Havre de Grace and surrounding areas. Photo by Joan Black.

Opportunities to get outdoors abound in Havre de Grace and surrounding areas. Photo by Joan Black.

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).

Equipment Rental/Tours
Local Paddling Orgs
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