Let's Go Fly a Kite: 4 Parks To Visit When Moving To Howard County

Whether you want to have a picnic, take a walk, or fly a kite, Howard County has the park for you.

Howard County has a park for everyone. Dogs, children, and fisherman alike can take advantage of the quality, often award winning, recreation areas offered throughout the area.

Centennial Park

We start our list with the award winning Centennial Park in Ellicott City. With a 54 acre man-made, stocked lake, nestled in 337 acres of wildlife rich woods, there are a variety of activities to satisfy your nature needs.

The lake provides vast fishing opportunities for bass, trout, sunfish, and tiger muskies. Kayaking and canoeing provide the avid fisherman with an opportunity to find just the right spot to pull in the big catch, or you can just row or sit and enjoy the wildlife.

White-tailed deer, beavers, foxes, turtles, herons, and a wide variety of bird species, make it an ideal setting for looking through binoculars or snapping an awesome photo.

From late Spring to early Fall, the Adventure Shack is open for concessions, paddle boat and kayak rentals, and a general store. They also offer themed weekends with activities and presentations and Lakeside Movies! Call to see about 1/2 Price Boat Rentals every Tues & Weds in June, July & August!

All watercraft on Centennial Lake are required to have a boating permit specific to Centennial Lake. Your Maryland boat registration isn’t enough. Only Class A boats are allowed, 16 feet in length or less, paddles or electric motors only.

Whether you want to take a hike, or throw a party in one of their nine pavilions, take your dog for a walk, on a leash when not in the dog park, or find a spot to paint the beautiful landscape, Centennial Park is open for business from Parks are open from 7AM to sunset unless permitted.

Alpha Ridge Park

If sport is more your thing, look no further than Alpha Ridge Park in Marriottsville, MD. 

Alpha Ridge offers: 

  • 2 tennis courts 
  • 3 ball diamonds
  • 2 multipurpose fields 
  • 2 playgrounds
  • a regulation-size inline hockey rink with bleachers, and
  • a target archery range

The park also has two 60-person capacity picnic pavilions on a first come first served basis, where you can hold your victory party, or a family reunion.

The 72 acre park also contains a .2 mile stretch of trail and a .8 mile stretch of paved walking paths. 

If you’re a star gazer, the “Howard Astronomical League Observatory has a 15-foot diameter dome housing the Paul S. Watson telescope and a 12-inch Newtonian telescope originally built in 1937. The observatory is open for events only, but they do host monthly star parties and programs coordinated between the department and the Howard Astronomical League.”

Whether you’re looking for sports or stars, Alpha Ridge has the activity for you.

 Guilford, Cedar Villa Heights, and Waterloo Parks

Next up in Howard County, three neighborhood parks, all within a short distance of each other, Guilford, Cedar Villa Heights, and Waterloo Parks in Howard County offer a wide variety of activities. 

Guilford Park has something for everyone. Covering 11 acres, it sports:

  • 2 tennis courts, 
  • a basketball court, 
  • a ball diamond (permit use only), 
  • a playground, and 
  • a picnic pavilion

The park also has a 1/2 acre pond with a pier for fishing and a gazebo. There is a .6 mile paved trail around the park, perfect for taking a power walk or just watching the games while taking a hike.

Cedar Villa Heights Park is a three acre park with a full sized basketball court, 2 tennis courts, a paved trail, and three picnic tables complete with one grill.

The paved trail is .2 miles in total and you have the option of cutting across the park, passing the 2 playgrounds and tennis and basketball courts, or staying next to the beautiful woodlands.

Whether you want to have a game of one on one or meet for mixed doubles, Cedar Villa Heights Park is a short distance 

Our final Neighborhood park is Waterloo Park featuring:

  • 2 picnic pavilions
  • Playground
  • Basketball court
  • 2 tennis courts
  • Ball field
  • Multipurpose field
  • .5 mile of paved pathway leading through the woods

Waterloo Park’s walking trail is a beautiful place to get in touch with nature and the multipurpose field is great for football and soccer games.

Savage Park

Finally, for longer trails, river fishing, and horseshoe pitches, try Savage Park in Savage MD. Not only is the park full of amenities:

  • “5 ball diamonds (permit use only) 
  • The outfields of ball diamonds 1-4 can be permitted out to serve as a multipurpose field or a mini-soccer field, but no goals are provided. Ball diamond 5 will be lit.
  • 2 basketball courts
  • 2 horseshoe pits 
  • Picnic pavilion available on a first-come-first-served basis, unless reserved
  • 4 lighted tennis courts
  • 2 volleyball courts 
  • Playground, and
  • Restroom facility”

The 2.8 miles of interconnecting trails include a river trail along the Middle Patuxent River, and if you follow the river east, you can see the ruins of the historic Savage Mill. Head south from the horseshoe pit and you’ll end up in the Savage Mill Mall Parking Lot, from which you can partake of great food, classes in Yoga or Fencing, or shopping. Just south of the Mall is the Historic Bollman Truss Bridge overlooking the River.

From Savage Park you can also enter the Wincopin Trail. The 3.5-mile loop trail takes an average of 1 h 21 min to complete. For birding, fishing, and hiking, the trail is open year-round. Dogs are welcome on a leash.

Speaking of fishing, Trout fishing on the Little Patuxent is fantastic. Creel limit on all species, with no minimum size, no closed season, and no restrictions on terminal tackle.

Savage Park pretty much has it all.

Trail Use and Safety Guidelines for Howard County Parks

All persons over 16 years old must possess a Maryland fishing license in order to fish in any applicable waterways. 

Observe all trail access and safety precautions. 

Stay on marked trails as unmarked trails are not maintained and may end and/or end on private property. 

Where applicable, mountain bikes must yield to all other users, pedestrian or equestrian. 

With the exception of authorized dog parks, all dogs must be on a leash and please clean up after yourself as well as your animals. Littering is a crime. 

Alcoholic beverages are usually prohibited.

You’ll need wind to fly your kite, but we’re sure that you can find great places for solitude, family gatherings, sports, and exercise throughout Howard County.

If you’re buying a new home from us here at VSells & Associates, make sure to check the Howard County Recreation and Parks page. Even if you're thinking of selling, take a minute away from the grind to go fly a kite. 

Looking for your next home in Howard County? Contact us today to get started!


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