Lake Elkhorn Park offers a two-mile path around the lake that is perfect for walking, running, or dog-walking. It is also a great place to relax and unwind.
This trail is a part of the Patuxent Branch Trail system and connects to both Wilde Lake Park and Centennial Lake for a longer outing. There is ample parking along Broken Land Parkway and on Cradlerock Way. Click here for more info.
Whether you want to take a stroll through the historic lanes or shop at top-notch department stores, Columbia offers a wide array of things to do and hidden treasures. Discover a captivating tapestry of the 1800s and 1900s as history merges with nature in this mesmerizing city.
The 37-acre Lake Elkhorn in the Owen Brown Village area is home to a park and walking path, a modest dam, and a serviceable boat dock. It also teems with trout every spring. The adjacent Forebay Pond also attracts a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds.
The paved 2.5-mile circle around the lake is a well-liked trail for biking, running, and birding. It passes through wooded areas, wetlands, and along several power lines, but it’s mostly quiet and shaded. Birders can expect to see American and Least Bitterns, Common Loons, Horned and Red-necked Grebes, and herons (Black-crowned night herons and Tricolored Heron). The best time for birding is early morning during migration or dusk in summer when the birds are most active.
The Lake is surrounded by a paved path that allows the angler access to nearly the entire perimeter. It is a fishing spot for casual anglers as well as serious fishermen. Only class A boats (16 feet or less in length) are allowed on the Lake and a daily or seasonal permit is required to fish.
The paved lake path is a favorite of walkers, runners, and dog walkers. The park also offers a picnic pavilion, a dam, and a playground. Forebay Pond, located to the east of Lake Elkhorn, is a good location for waterbirds and shorebirds in winter and spring. In addition, the mudflats at this site can provide opportunities for close looks at wading birds. In the summer, the wetlands can be quite productive, with a diversity of dragonflies and damselflies. The reedbeds in the vicinity of the wetlands are also important statewide for wood ducks. A number of other birds can be found at the lake, especially during migration. Here is another spot to visit.
A favorite of many people moving to Columbia, this park features a lake loop trail of over 1.9 miles for walking, jogging, and biking. It’s known for being an easy hike, even for those who aren’t quite up to a more challenging trek.
Along the south side of Lake Elkhorn, there’s a paved Fitness Circuit Trail with 16 stations that begins not far from the Broken Land Parkway parking lot. There’s also a scattering of picnic tables and a 150-person picnic pavilion at the lake’s southwest end near the dam.
For a bite to eat, there’s the Ale House Columbia. This dog-friendly restaurant has a rotating menu of local craft beers. If you want a more traditional meal, try Charter Deli. It serves early starters, deli-style sandwiches, and other foods, and even has a bakery section. It’s also a great place to pick up some coffee, too. There are also plenty of chains and fine dining spots throughout the area.
Whether you’re looking to take a quick walk around the largest lake in Columbia or you have a longer hike in mind, this is a great trail to consider. It is a paved path and is considered easy by most.
The two-mile path surrounding the entire reservoir of Lake Elkhorn is ideal for walking, jogging, and dog-walking. It is also a favorite spot for birding and fishing. The area around the lake is a popular birding hotspot for waterfowl and herons.
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