Where Will You #OptOutside?

Consider hiking one of Anne Arundel County’s conserved public trails

Spurred on by outdoor retailer REI, the #OptOutside movement is emerging as a new, beloved holiday tradition. In recent years, #OptOutside has made it popular to spend Black Friday enjoying nature and the joy of open spaces, rather than the traditional day of all-hours shopping and door busting retail sales. (Though, admittedly, some of us hit the 5 am sales and then we #OptOutside.) Fortunately, Anne Arundel County residents have many great options for getting outside to enjoy fresh air and connect with nature, including two Scenic Rivers conserved properties with public access. Here’s where we’ll be opting outside this weekend:

  • Bacon Ridge Natural Area. With its core conserved by Scenic Rivers and MET in 2010, Bacon Ridge Natural Area is 1000+ acres of woodlands, wetlands, and streams, owned by Anne Arundel County and open to the public. The trailheads are accessible via two gravel parking lots, one located on Hawkins Road and another on Bacon Ridge Road in Crownsville. The natural surface trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and dogs on leashes.
  • Contee Farm. Conserved by Scenic Rivers and MET in 2008, Contee Farm is 574 acres of forest on the grounds of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. The Contee Watershed Trail is a 1.6 mile loop with scenic views of the Rhode River and a winding path through the forest. Find maps and additional trails here.
  • County Parks & Trails. We are fortunate that the Anne Arundel County Parks Division provides a comprehensive system of parks and recreational facilities throughout the county totaling more than 17,000 acres of recreation and natural resource land, including beloved favorites like Quiet Waters Park, Kinder Farm Park, and Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, plus tucked away community parks and trails. Check out your options here.

Wherever you choose to #OptOutside, we hope you have a happy and healthy holiday weekend!

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