It can be very beneficial for your mental and physical health to take some time to step away from the 24 hour news cycle and social media, clear your mind, and enjoy some time outdoors while taking in the beautiful spring blooms. Howard County has a myriad of lovely lakes and award-winning parks, all connected by over 100 miles of paved scenic trails that take walkers, runners and cyclists past wildflowers, wildlife and even waterfalls. Below are some of our favorite and most popular parks, but be sure to check the full list of parks here.


Centennial Park Bridge

The 337-acre park features a spectacular 54-acre, man-made lake and is home to a variety of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, beavers, foxes, turtles, herons, and many other bird species. You can walk, run or bike the 2.6-mile paved pathway that meanders around the lake or the 7.3 miles of interconnecting paved pathway that includes links to surrounding neighborhoods.


Biking_Patapsco State Park_Summer_CV

The Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River encompassing 16,043 acres. The park is nationally known for its trail opportunities and scenery with over 200 miles of trails.


Savage Park

Savage Park offers many opportunities for discovering wildlife, wildflowers and natural history along 2.8 miles of interconnecting trails, including links to Patuxent Branch Trail and Lake Elkhorn. The Savage Loop Trail offers different lengths and terrains for hikers and bikers of various skill levels.


Scotts CovePart of the Patuxent Watershed, Scott's Cove in Scaggsville offers scenic views of the river with picnic tables, recreations and playground areas, boating access and many nearby hiking trails. Scott's Cove is perfect for birdwatching, kayaking or canoeing, fishing, and so much more. 


Symphony Woods

Located in the heart of Downtown Columbia, Symphony Woods is a forested area surrounding Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Lakefront Area. It features many paved walking trails and open areas, perfect for a picnic with family and friends. Nearby is the Colorburst Park: a unique and colorful art and outdoor door space.

The Howard County Bikeshare is the perfect way to explore Symphony Woods and Downtown Columbia. Learn more here


Blooming daffodils at Whipps Cemetery Garden

One-acre historical garden-park cemetery (1832 - 1915) with a self-guided walking tour featuring small gardens with many native trees and shrubs, featuring rose garden, butterfly garden, and herb garden. In the spring, the garden is flooded with gold as the annual daffodils bloom.

Our visitor guide is a great way to get even more information on the myriad of outdoor adventures to be had in Howard County
Check it out Here!

visitor guide