Fun Things to Do in Ellicott City

Are you visiting the greater Baltimore area? Stop by the suburb of Ellicott City and experience a slice of history. This former mill town features original buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Named one of the “Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns” (Newsmax), Ellicott City’s historic downtown streets are lined with independent antique shops, galleries, boutiques, and cafes. Get out a little farther and you’ll meet countryside and the region’s many parks.

Here’s a taste of some fun activities Ellicott City offers residents and visitors:

Main Street Music Fest

This family-friendly music fest is held every September to showcase local, unsigned musicians. Enjoy performances from the best indie talent in the Mid-Atlantic region. The festival takes place along Main Street and throughout the downtown area. Stop by the beer garden, grab a bite at one of the local restaurants, and browse locally grown and made products at the Main Street Marketplace. Admission is free.

Centennial Park

One of the most popular parks in Ellicott City is 337-acre Centennial Park. The park circles Centennial Lake, a popular fishing spot to hook trout, bass, tiger muskies, and sunfish. Joggers and bikers enjoy the 2.6-mile paved trail that goes around the lake. Keep your eyes open for the various wildlife, including turtles, white-tailed deer, foxes, herons, and beavers. The park is divided into four distinct areas, each featuring picnic pavilions, sports fields, tennis/racquetball courts, playgrounds, and additional hiking trails. Pets are welcome, but must be leashed.

Trolley Trail

On the outskirts of Old Ellicott City runs the 1.5-mile #9 Trolley Trail. In operation from 1899 to the mid-1950s, this railway connected Ellicott City to Baltimore. A century later, a section of the abandoned railway line was converted into a paved hiking/biking trail thanks to the efforts of a local Boy Scout troop. Some highlights of the trail include a boardwalk running between granite canyons, a gentle stream, abundant wildlife, and conveniently placed benches. If you’re not in a hurry, look for detours along the way that lead you to the Banneker Historical Park & Museum, The Breadery bakery, and The Trolley Stop Restaurant. The trail can be completed by all fitness levels, and leashed dogs are welcome.

Clark’s Elioak Farm

The Clark family has been farming in Howard County for over 200 years. Clark’s Elioak Farm is their latest offering to Ellicott City: 540 acres that feature a petting zoo, gem mining, pine tree maze, and more. The farm also serves as the restoration site for Enchanted Forest, a former theme park. Visitors to the farm will be greeted by some of the theme park’s beloved structures, such as Cinderella’s Pumpkin Coach, Papa Bear and the Three Bears’ House, and the Old Woman’s Shoe. Venture into the Castle Store for 100% grass-fed beef and pork, homegrown produce, and delicious products from local Maryland vendors. Admission is $6 per person.

Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City

Are you a paranormal junkie or just enjoy a good old ghost story? Ellicott City is the perfect place to get spooked! Perhaps the most haunted town in Maryland—and one of the most haunted places in America—Ellicott City hosts ghost tours from April to November. Learn about the lady in white, the Civil War soldier who haunts Main Street, the firefighter who still goes on duty, and other resident spirits. Related tours include “The Spirits” Pub Tour and Historic Savage Mill Ghost Walks. Guides come in costume and lead by lantern. The ghost tours are organized by the Howard County Historical Society. Tickets are $11 per person.