Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Wildlife
Need to Know
Parking is free at Lake Elkhorn either off Broken Land Pkwy or Cradlerock Way. There aren't any water fountains, so bring your own.
A well-maintained, though lightly-trafficked, path runs through the Elkhorn Branch wetlands in the heart of Columbia. The path runs through mostly wooded and shaded areas, with a few breaks in the powerline and a couple road crossings (though it goes under all the major roads). Intersections are well marked with mileage, just follow the sings to Rte 108 (or Lake Elkhorn on your return).
Starting at the north bridge of Lake Elkhorn, head north on the west side. The path will rise to a powerline, then drop to Dasher Ct crossing. Turn right to follow Oakland Mills road until the path cuts to the left for an underpass of the same road.
At the first T, turn left, cross the bridge and keep following the path, staying straight. There are many tributary paths coming in from the left/west side. Cross Old Montgomery Road and keep following the path straight until it hits a cul-de-sac. Cross and continue straight, again keeping to the right on any Y or T intersections. Go under Rouse Pkwy.
Now keep left at the next two intersections, following the signs to Rte 108. At the third intersection, go right. The path passes under Tamara Drive and then comes up to Jackson pond. Take either side of Jackson Pond since the path rejoins at the other end.
The path continues north, straight through two four-way trail intersections, crosses High Tor Hill Road. At the end, it climbs a small burm and turns sharply left, paralleling Route 108. The trail terminates at the crosswalk across from Howard High School.
Flora & Fauna
Typical Maryland flora, as well as some surprising fauna, to include deer, raccoon, possum, and foxes along with the animals you'd expect.
Shared By: Cody Sharp