7 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Maryland

7 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Maryland

Maryland is home to the Chesapeake Bay, the Appalachian Mountains, lush forests, and pristine beaches. Throughout this diverse landscape are any number of fantastic birding spots and hikes. Here are seven of the best in the state! 

1. Cranesville Swamp

The Cranesville Swamp is a gorgeous forest and wetland with a nice, easy boardwalk that’s perfect for birdwatching. While you won’t get too much of a hike out of this one, the swamp provides an incredible opportunity to look through a “window into ice ages past” and see over 50 rare plants and animals. You may even catch sight of the rare northern saw-whet owl or the Nashville warbler. 

2. Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, MD

When you think of birdwatching hikes, Civil War battlefields might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Antietam, however, is home to more than 77 unique bird species, and their self-guided hikes are perfect excursions. At the battlefield, you may see a common grackle, black-capped chickadee, red-tailed hawk, and much more! 

3. Laurel Trail at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge

Take the Laurel Trail in the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge to see songbirds and different migratory birds throughout. The trail is only about half a mile, but the gorgeous Mountain Laurels along the way combined with the different birding views are worth the trip.


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4. Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary, Mt. Airy, MD

The Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary near Mt. Airy, Maryland, carries on the legacy of the famous ornithologist John J. Audubon. As such, it is one of the best places on the East Coast to birdwatch. They host a variety of guided nature walks, as well. 

5. Meadowside Nature Center, Rockville, MD

Visitors to the Meadowside Nature Center in Rockville can enjoy eight miles of nature trails and up-close views of hawks, bald eagles, and owls. For the best views, make sure to take the Raptor Walkway. 

6. Pemberton Park, Salisbury, MD

The Pemberton Park in Salisbury, Maryland, covers 262 acres and 4.5 miles of nature trails. According to their website, “it is rare to find any other place on the Eastern Shore where tidal and fresh water wetlands, fresh water ponds, upland pines, hardwood forests, and meadows can all be studied within the same site.” 

7. Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD

The Adkins Arboretum covers over 400 acres, including five miles of meadow and paths. Birdwatchers should consider the South Meadow Loop. The arboretum is an Important Bird Area as designated by the Audubon Society, and is home to at least 12 unique species. 

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