Hiking and Walking Trails in Montgomery County - Perfect for Dogs Too

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

Now that I have an active six month old puppy, I am constantly looking for new places to walk with him.  Happily, Montgomery County is home to a number of beautiful and inviting hiking and walking trails — all catered to varying skill levels. Hiking and walking aren't just great ways to exercise: they offer a chance to take in the local scenery and bond with family, pets and friends. 

The first place that comes to mind when I think of walking with Captain is the C&O Canal - either at Wide Water or Great Falls.  Even parts of the Billy Goat Trail are accessible for dogs and walkers.  However,  these areas are really crowded though on weekends and holidays.  Captain recently tried to chase a runner and pulled away from me on the Canal, so now I look for quieter places to walk.  Fortunately, there are other places to access the Canal which are quieter, such as Lock 10 off of the Clara Barton Parkway.   Of course, there is always Rock Creek Park in DC and Sugar Loaf Mountain in Frederick County - both of which are easily accessible to Montgomery County residents and guaranteed enjoyable for your pup.

If you are tired of walking the usual trails, here are some other places to walk or hike with your pup.

Cabin John Regional Park Trails

  • Location: Bethesda (located south of Montrose Road and north of Democracy Boulevard between Seven Locks Road and Westlake Drive)   Cabin John is particularly appealing because there is a dog park there too - so it is a two-fer - a walking trail and a place for Captain to run off leash.   Cabin John Park also has a train for small children to ride that guarantees lots of giggles and happy memories.
  • Trail Characteristics: More than 4 miles of natural surface trails and less than 2 miles of hard surface trails
  • Activities: Hiking, biking

Rachel Carson Conservation Park Trails

  • Location: Olney
  • Trail Characteristics: More than 6 miles of natural surface trails
  • Activities: Hiking, horseback riding

Fairland Recreational Park Trails

  • Location: Burtonsville
  • Trail Characteristics: 1.5 miles hard surface trails, 5 miles natural surface trails
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, horseback riding

Muddy Branch Greenway Trail

  • Location: North Potomac-Darnestown
  • Trail Characteristics: 9 miles one way; gently rolling, but hilly and steep in sections; includes several crossing of steep drainages currently awaiting bridges
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, horseback riding

Bucklodge Conservation Park Trails

  • Location: Boyds
  • Trail Characteristics: More than 2 miles of natural surface trails
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, horseback riding

Lois Y. Green Conservation Park Trails

  • Location: Gaithersburg
  • Trail Characteristics: 3.8 miles of natural surface trails
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, horseback riding

Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Park Trails

  • Location: Silver Spring
  • Trail Characteristics: 2.8 miles of hard surface trails (wheelchair and stroller accessible).  I just walked this area with a high school classmate who is using a walker right now after surgery - and it was a perfect place to walk!
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, skating

Underground Railroad Experience Trail Hikes

  • Location: Sandy Spring
  • Trail Characteristics: 2 miles of natural surface trails; primarily in the woods, but does go around a corn field; part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program
  • Activities: Hiking, Horseback riding

Matthew Henson Trail

  • Location: Wheaton (begins at intersection of Rock Creek Hiker-Biker Trail and Winding Creek Local Park)
  • Trail Characteristics: 4.2-mile hard surface trail featuring 0.6 miles of wooden boardwalk; surrounded by parkland, forested area, and Turkey Branch Stream
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, rollerblading

Woodstock Equestrian Park Trails

  • Location: Beallsville
  • Trail Characteristics: More than 15 miles of natural surface trails
  • Activities: Hiking, horseback riding




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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Good morning Lise,

What a wonderful list of trails to walk and enjoy nature.  And I bet your  new puppy Captain is enjoying also.  A

Jan 24, 2021 06:51 AM #1
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Nice list, Lise. I did something similar some time ago... maybe I need to update it?

Jan 24, 2021 06:51 AM #2
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Nina Hollander - hopefully this is an evergreen post - once I figure out how to add pictures well, I will come back and post pictures!

Jan 24, 2021 06:59 AM #3
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Ron and Alexandra Seigel - walking Captain is a complete and total joy!  TOday is a little nippy though so I am not sure how much walking we will get done!

Jan 24, 2021 07:00 AM #4
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information. I love hiking, but today it is snow blowing time!

Jan 24, 2021 07:20 AM #5
Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

It sure looks like Captain has a lot of great adventures ahead of him.  I love his name!

Jan 24, 2021 07:28 AM #6
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

When we visit the area we are quite content to just take a long walk around the neighborhood where my wife's brother lives.  Don't need to worry about a pet

Jan 24, 2021 10:08 AM #7
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Lise I do a lot of walking for this would be great information for me if I lived in your area.

Jan 24, 2021 11:03 AM #8
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Lise, What a great way to introduce everyone to Montgomery County Trails and Hiking opportunities to enjoy with your furry family members!

Jan 24, 2021 11:22 AM #9
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Lise- what a great post about the hiking and walking trails in Montgomery County. When we lived in the area, Larry and I went to Great Falls in VA many times. 

Jan 24, 2021 06:24 PM #10
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Lise,  Sounds like a lot of great trails to hike in your area.  Having a puppy makes it a lot of fun to go exploring these trails.

Jan 24, 2021 08:32 PM #11
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Lise Howe - I do believe variety is the spice of life! How nice of you to be on the look out for new happy trails for your pup! You sure have a lot! I'm sure your pup's happy feet enjoys the time of day you give him! 

I wish the very best for you, your pup, and family too!!!

Jan 24, 2021 09:58 PM #12
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good information to share.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding week.

Jan 25, 2021 08:42 AM #13
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

It sounds like there are many beautiful areas to explore while getting exercise in Montgomery County!

Jan 26, 2021 04:17 AM #14
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lise, I cannot imagine having a 6-month old puppy with so much energy!  Great post for the public to know where to hike.

Jan 30, 2021 07:01 AM #15
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Our HOA has a private trail discovered by many folks who are not member of.  The proscution sign was never enforced. The dog droppings are evident and I wish those non-members will pick them up and take them home. 


Feb 12, 2021 08:51 AM #16
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Lise Howe

Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC
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