Let's Visit a Simpler Time! Greenwell State Park: An Easy/Newbie Friendly Sneaker Hike of 3.5 Miles Including Historical Barns and Optional Post Hike Swim (Sandy Beach Included)!
This hike is only about 20 miles from D.C. and about a 60 minute drive from Baltimore but vastly different from anything else within this radius, so come on out for something different. Also, this is a great trek to bring non-hiking friends to introduce them to the great outdoors that we know and love. Who knows, maybe they will decide they enjoy hiking and join the group!
Okay, all of you city slickers and townies, get your rears in gear and join me to enjoy the farmland and forest of Greenwell State Park where you really feel, and probably are, in the middle of nowhere and almost 100% in the shade!
Take a swim in the river (sandy beach included) after a walk (seasonal) along the western shore of Maryland’s Patuxent River. This is a nice easy hike and NOT a workout hike but worth it for the variety and views! The trail travels through fields, meadows and woods, and offers dramatic views of the river, with visits to two historic barns (great pic opportunities!). The Patuxent River is the star of this hike. Here the river is wide and the views it offers are downright dramatic.
Our hike visits three coves, one with a sandy beach which is where we will stop for a swim after the hike and is right along the trail. Greenwell’s trails take you through a variety of settings typical of traditional rural St. Mary’s County. In a nod to local recreational preferences, the land is managed primarily for game wildlife and hunting. The seond cove visits open fields separated by hedgerows and stream valley woodlands predominate. These open fields offer hikers a welcome change of view, a chance to see many birds you miss on a forest hike. A delightful surprise includes two historic barns left alone far from anywhere for hikers to discover and still has antique farming equipment inside sort of like a museum with information sheets explaining what their functions and purposes were and is in the third cove we visit. There is also an abundance of wildlife to be seen on this hike in addition to spotting lots of interesting sea life from the pier. Parts of this hike and description are from the book, "Hiking Maryland and Delaware".
Sneakers are great for this trek as the gound is flat and not as rooty as most trails around the Mid-Atlantic area. No more than 15 hikers per set of leader/sweepers and you will have your choice of either a "stop and smell the roses" OR an average hiker pace of about a[masked]mph. Come to enjoy the sights and not be rushed as this hike almost begs for a relaxing pace but if you have to leave at a certain time, it is easy to get back to your car as the trails are so well marked.
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Leonardtown
Length: 3.5 total miles (if people would like to go further and explore more, then I am game!)
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Easy
Local Contacts: Greenwell State Park
Local Maps: USGS Bristol; Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Topo Map: Greenwell State Park Topographic Map
Guide Book: Hiking Maryland & Delaware Guide Book
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
The park has an honor system, with service charges ($3/vehicle) benefiting the Greenwell Foundation to help operate the park.
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
Click here for directions to Savage Station. To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station.
VA East Area Carpool (Fairfax Area METRO)
People can also arrange to meet at the Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station. Click here for directions to Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click here for directions to where we meet for this hike.
Meetup Time is at 10:30 a.m.
Carpool time from Savage is 9:00 a.m.
Carpool time from Fairfax Area METRO is 8:45 a.m.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!