Weekend warriors and serious cyclers unite! It’s time to switch up the scenery in your biking routine. Meander around lakes, bike over bridges and pedal your way through Howard County’s many miles by following the maps on the Columbia Association’s Pathway app. Whether you’re focusing on fun or gearing up for a big race, you can tailor your trail to suit your speed and experience level at these key destinations.
Mix it up at Patapsco Valley State Park. Ideal for mountain biking enthusiasts, the massive park follows the scenic Patapsco River. It is nationally recognized for its 200 miles of trails, winding through rocks and root gardens for a bumpier ride, smooth slopes for a downhill trek and paved lanes for an easy adventure. Afterward, indulge in post-cycling shopping and dining in nearby Old Ellicott City.
Challenge yourself and the whole family at Rockburn Branch Park, an Elkridge recreational hub with 450 acres and a multi-use trail system. Travel through the trees and see how you measure up on their pump track of three downhill lines for beginners, intermediate riders and advanced bikers.
Wind down with a leisurely workout from Terrapin Adventures, a recreational business offering tours via reservations. Try the 12-mile, self-guided loop, which follows the Little Patuxent River on paved paths towards Lake Elkhorn, or take a boozy break and book a Bike, Wine & Brew tour for a picnic of wine, beer, cheese and French bread at the end of your journey. (Hey, you earned it.)
Need some mob mentality motivation? Group rides are available throughout the county from Race Pace Bicycles, Princeton Sports and the Baltimore Bicycle Club. And if you’re still in search of the right race, check out the Columbia Triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon in Ellicott City in mid-May, or the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon with a 16-mile bike ride in August.