Anne Arundel and Howard counties maintain regional, community and neighborhood parks with sports facilities, recreation areas for picnics, and scenic outdoor trails for hiking and exploring. Nearly all the public parks have playground areas, as well as several stand-alone playgrounds. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your area has to offer. For Howard County parks, go to www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Recreation-and-Parks/Parks-and-Planning/Park-Directory. Visit www.aacounty.org/departments/recreation-parks/parks-explorer for all of Anne Arundel County regional and community parks. A partial list for some of the major parks in both counties follows.
B&A Trail Park
51 W. Earleigh Heights Road
Severna Park, MD 21146
Stretching 13 miles from Jonas Green Park in Annapolis to Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County, this lengthy trail park has a gazebo, horticultural gardens, picnic areas and public restrooms at the ranger station and visitors center.
Cedar Lane Park
East Entrance: 10745 Route 108
West Entrance: 5081 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044
Cedar Lane boasts one of the most popular sports complexes in the county, with volleyball courts, two bocce courts, four tennis courts, several basketball courts, two lighted synthetic turf fields, four lighted ball diamonds and a pair of natural turf multipurpose fields. A paved pathway connects the park’s two main areas, which cover 93 acres.
North Entrance: 9801 Old Annapolis Road
South/Main Entrance: 10000 Route 108
East Entrance: 4800 Woodland Road
West Entrance: 4651 Centennial Lane
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Award-winning for its natural design and sensitivity to nature, this 337-acre park features a 54-acre, stocked, man-made lake, and wildlife such as white-tailed deer, beavers, foxes, turtles, and herons and many other bird species. A 2.6-mile paved pathway meanders around the lake and links to 7.3-miles of interconnecting paved pathways to surrounding neighborhoods.
8311 John Downs Loop
Pasadena, MD 21122
Downs Park borders the Chesapeake Bay and offers many activities on its 236 acres, including more than five miles of paved and natural trails, a playground, handball courts, ball fields and basketball courts, and a fishing pier. The park’s three large pavilions and one small one are available for rent.
Fort Smallwood Park
9500 Fort Smallwood Road
Pasadena, MD 21122
This 90-acre park offers walking trails, a 380-foot fishing pier, a playground, a pond and volleyball courts. Visitors can explore the historic gun battery and old barracks, swim or walk on the beach, check out the Bill Burton Fishing Pier or rent the historic Cedar Pavilion for special events.
Kinder Farm Park
1001 Kinder Farm Park Road
Millersville, MD 21108
Kinder Farm Park consists of 288 acres of natural and recreational activities. There are walking and biking trails, picnic tables and grills, a playground and tot-lot and two large pavilions that can be rented. The park has a playground and a new visitor’s center that showcases farming artifacts from the 1930s as well as the Harvest Hall meeting room available for various functions. Its agricultural history program and working farm shows past and present agricultural practices in Anne Arundel County.
Lake Waterford Park & Adaptive Recreation Complex
830 Pasadena Road
Pasadena, MD 21122
The 108-acre Lake Waterford Park & Adaptive Recreation Complex are at the corner of Pasadena Road and Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard. Watch waterfowl on the 12-acre lake, do a little shoreline fishing, rent one of the three pavilions for a celebration, turn the kids loose onto the “Boundless” playground in the picnic area, or fish, walk, play tennis or basketball. The adaptive recreation athletic field is overlaid with a rubberized, wheelchair accessible surface suitable for baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, and track and field; it is available for use by permit only by calling 410-222-7313.
Quiet Waters Park
600 Quiet Waters Park Road
Annapolis, MD 21403
Quiet Waters Park has more than six miles of paved trails that meander through hardwood forests and beautiful scenery. There is a multi-level children’s playground, the South River promenade, a scenic overlook and picnic areas, six outdoor pavilions for rent and an indoor facility, the Blue Heron Center, as well as — weather willing — ice skating in winter. The Visitor Center with its café and three art galleries is a good place to begin your park visit.
Rockburn Branch Park
East Entrance: 5400 Landing Road
West Entrance: 6105 Rockburn Branch Park Road
Elkridge, MD 21075
Explore nine miles of trails that wind through 415 acres of scenic woodlands, freshwater marshes and stream valleys, and search for crayfish, minnows, water striders and dragonflies along the way. Or play almost any sport on the six ball diamonds, two multipurpose synthetic-turf fields, two basketball and four tennis courts, three multipurpose fields — two mini and one regular — an 18-hole disc golf course, a BMX skills track, a playground and picnic areas with pavilions.
8400 Fair St.
Savage, MD 20763
The Historic Mill Trail, Wincopin Trails and Savage Loop Trail offer different lengths and terrains for hikers and bikers of various skill levels. The park’s recreation areas include five ball diamonds, two basketball courts, four lighted tennis and two volleyball courts, a pair of horseshoe pits, a picnic pavilion, a mini-soccer field, a multipurpose field and a playground.
Schooley Mill Park
12975 Hall Shop Road
Highland, MD 20777
Wildlife thrive in meadows maintained in their natural state to allow for food, cover and nest sites. This hidden gem is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature or peer into a stream for minnows, crayfish, frogs and turtles. And don’t forget the 4.6 miles of trails, three ball diamonds, two basketball and four tennis courts, two multi-purpose fields, an indoor facility, the county’s only regulation-size cricket field and three equestrian rings.
Western Regional Park
14800 Carrs Mill Road
Woodbine, MD 21723
This 190-acre park in a rich, scenic countryside contains four grass multipurpose sports fields, two lighted synthetic-turf fields, tennis and basketball courts, a playground, four ball diamonds (one lighted) and five pavilions. And the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood and the library are only a stone’s throw away.
Worthington Dog Park
8170 Hillsborough Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Dogs and their owners can run and bark without a leash in this park. Areas include the regular area, plus a separate area for small, timid or elderly dogs. Fenced areas are available for rent, and training is also available. Visit the website for seasonal information.