I love nothing more than slipping into my running shoes to get some exercise and explore the great outdoors. Since the weather has improved and evenings are getting brighter, my husband and I have been out and about discovering some parks and trails new to us in the Annapolis area.

Downs Park offers beautiful views, dog beach

Downs-ParkOne recent discovery is a fantastic place called Downs Park, which is located in Pasadena (8311 John Downs Loop). This park spans 236 acres and is situated on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. We brought our pooch with us as we normally do and he loved it there too. From the parking lot we followed the main trail through some forest woodlands—very scenic and peaceful. The trail, quit flat, isn’t too strenuous. Halfway through the first main trail there is an aviary containing two owls and a hawk inside large cages. You can come up closely and look at them perched in their homes.

One of the highlights of this park is the wonderful view of the Chesapeake Bay at the edge of the trail. There, you can see miles of tranquil waters that blend into the blue sky. It really makes me feel a great sense of calm and quiet, and it is so beautiful. There is also a dog beach where you can release your dog off its leash to run free in the sand and even have a swim in the water if it wishes.

Quiet Waters Park: take to acres of trails, bring a picnic, rent bikes or kayaks

Quiet-WatersAnother one of my favorite places, where I like to jog and hike, is Quiet Waters Park (600 Quiet Waters Park Rd.) in Annapolis. It is not far from downtown (about 3 miles) and it is a wonderful scenic park which spans over 340 acres. There is a six-mile paved trail which is a really enjoyable walk or jog, as it winds through the tranquil forests and meadows and brings you up to the South River Overlook where you get a scenic view of South River.

We love going there to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and to get some peace while enjoying some fresh air and exercise. You can also rent a bike if you prefer to cycle around instead. If you wish to bring some food you can have a picnic afterwards, using one of the park’s many picnic benches and grills. If you want to brave the waters, you can rent a kayak or paddle board at the park.

Sandy Point Park boasts an expansive beach front and great views of the Bay Bridge

Sandy-Point-2Another one of my favorite places to visit is Sandy Point State Park (1100 E College Pkwy). It is a large park spanning 786 acres along the North Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. My husband and I love to walk up and down the beach; it’s a good long walk as you feel like you really exercised your legs afterwards.

While walking you can take in the fabulous views, one being the Bay Bridge. An impressive 4.3 miles long, it stretches all the way over to Kent Island, which is also worth a visit. Another sight you will see is Sandy Point Lighthouse. Not far from the shore, you can make out its distinct red brick color very clearly from the beach. There are a few different trails you can follow too, away from the beach. During the summer time there are numerous festivals held here including the Blues Festival and Seafood Festival, which are extremely popular and really fun to attend.

Now that I’ve shared with you some of Annapolis’ awesome parks, you have no excuse to stay indoors. Put on your tennis shoes, get out there and have fun!


Photos courtesy of Sinead Harold