Gorman Stream Valley Trail

Right off Route 29, south of Columbia, MD, lies a gravel parking area into which you might optimistically squeeze four cars. Scrabble down a steep, muddy slope, over a narrow stream on rocks, back up the other side, and you’re on the Gorman Stream Valley Trail.

Mostly flat, occasionally muddy, with some hilly bits in the middle. There are parallel options in some parts, some of which will lead you off the side of a cliff, so beware. You can keep going instead of turning around at the end, and sometimes we do. There are multiple methods of looping back at the end. Explore them. With a GPS.

Not crowded, as it seems few know about it, even in Covid times.

May 10, 2020 Variant

Total distance: 4.31 mi
Max elevation: 316 ft
Min elevation: 229 ft
Total climbing: 857 ft
Total descent: -857 ft
Average speed: 2.85 mi/h
Total time: 02:11:17

May 24, 2020 Variant

Total distance: 4.29 mi
Max elevation: 318 ft
Min elevation: 228 ft
Total climbing: 856 ft
Total descent: -859 ft
Average speed: 2.88 mi/h
Total time: 01:53:16

Mostly, you track a river. In the middle, you climb up to people’s backyards, skirting a housing development. You feel a bit jealous that these lucky people can walk out their backdoor to this. After a few houses, it’s back to the river. Depending on your choice of turnaround, you can ramble through some more woods.

This is on the hilly bit behind the lucky houses. Dar is being careful not to back up. Look at us socially distancing.
The river is lush in the summer. The turnaround point has access to the river to go splash about on a hot day.
I make zero excuses for whatever is going on with my hair. Also, IT CHANGED COLOR MID-HIKE! Just kidding, we’ve hiked this trail multiple times.
There’s a good amount of grass. No one mows it. Expect a sea of waist-high weeds in the summer. Wilderness!


Distance4-5 miles
Elevation Gain270 feet
Total Time2 hours
Average Pace26-30 minutes per mile / 2-2.6 mph