Summary: A easy 4.5 mile hike with a little something for everyone. There are gentle hills, pine woodlands, open fields, streams, a lake, and plenty of areas for child-friendly exploration. Along the hike you'll see all sorts of wildlife, from wildflowers to water snakes, tadpoles, and herons.
Before starting at the rear of the Bear Branch Nature Center, stop inside to pickup a map. Intersecting trails and occasional poor markings make the map worthwhile to have on hand.
Enjoy the diversity of the local ecosystems as you hike along forest edges, into the forests, along side streams, and through wetlands and fields. There are plenty of birds enjoying the numerous bird houses throughout the park and the Raptor Center showcases a variety of birds whose injuries prevent release back into the wild.
From an historic cabin to cable stream crossings this hike really is an interesting hike for yound and old alike.
Trailhead: Carroll County, Maryland, in the Hashawha Environmental Appreciation Area. To reach the area travel on route 97 about 5 miles north of Westminster. Turn right on John Owings Road. Travel about 1.5 miles to a left turn onto Hashawha Rd. Bear Branch Nature Center, the starting point of the hike, is about 1/4 mile ahead on the right. The trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot.
Trail Guides for Hashawha Perimeter Loop:
Hiking Maryland and Delaware
by David Lillard and Chris Reiter (Falcon)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Hashawha Environmental Center. 410-848-9040
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Brian Talbert, who has posted 20 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by TMB on 11/7/2010
Hiked on Saturday in mid October 2010. Nice day, nice hike, easy to do with kids, hardly anybody around. Really liked the injured raptor aviary, got to see some birds up close. Didn't make it to the nature center, but will do again. Nice drive thru old Maryland when traveling from DC.
Reviewed by RickWebb on 12/30/2009
From the wire bridge, to the wildlife, to the water features, there is something for everyone here. I just started hiking and Hashawha is my favorite place to go! Anybody can make this hike. It is simple and extremely fun. I was just there yesterday (12-29-09) with a wind chill of 11 degrees. Give it a try, you will love it.
Reviewed by Corinne on 10/18/2008
This was a great day hike. I would def get a map as you have to do the outer trails to get 4.5 miles in. There are great raptor cages for injured birds(bald eagle, owls, hawks, raven, etc) that were awesome. We saw lots of animals and one snake(it was little). The worker at the center was helpful and the trails were beautifully kept. We saw 8 people total during the whole hike. Great variety of flat and hilly. Mid oct with the leaves changing great. The prettiest park in MD.
Reviewed by JMR on 9/4/2007
I go with my church every year over labor day weekend and I always have a blast! From going down to the creek, to taking a pleasant walk, to doing serious hiking, it's a really nice place to go!
Reviewed by APG on 5/29/2006
Just returned from a very pleasant afternoon hiking around Hashawha. I will second the advice about picking up a map -- particularly if you're planning on starting out along the blue (Vista) trail that starts at the end of the parking lot as mentioned here. The blazing in that direction is poor at best. If the visitor center is closed you can also pick up a map from a box on the back of a small shed in the parking lot.
Reviewed by dave on 4/13/2006
nice, worth the drive from baltimore. I've returned several times over the last two years, but have found that the increase in mountain bikers can be annoying for bird watchers and dog walkers.
Reviewed by Shawn on 2/12/2005
i just got back from a trip to hasawha with my school and i had the timwe of my life. i came with ORMS and i had ms. Felter. this was a great experience. Thanks, Shawn OConnell
Reviewed by PLW on 8/22/2004
The park was very quiet - even on a beautiful summer day. Our dog enjoyed the walk, and the trails were well maintained and easy to follow.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Maryland Hiking, Maryland Trails, Maryland Hikes, Carroll County Hiking, Carroll County Trails, Carroll County Hikes