Soldiers Delight - Serpentine

Owings Mill, MD
Length: 2.50 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

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Soldiers Delight is an unusual sight, but offers a wonderful change of scenery nearby 795/695.

The Serpentine Trail has a few twisty ankle sections, but overall is a relatively smooth trail to follow. The flora is a variety of asters, Oaks, Pines and Grasses. The trail is delightfully wide in most spots, although I recommend you stay in the middle even when the way is broad, since some plants unique to our ecosystem are trying to emerge from their winter slumber right at the trail’s edge this time of year, and ticks are already appearing due to our mild cold season. Ticks cling to the tall grasses and wait for an unsuspecting deer (or human) to walk by.  As soon as a mammal brushes up against a blade of grass, the opportunistic tick hops on for the ride, so it is critical to not only stay on the trail but to stay in the middle so you don’t brush up against the grass.

To start this hike, park at the lot by the (amazing) Nature Center. Follow the trail to the left (though in all fairness this trail is wonderful to complete in either direction and is a loop). You start off in a small dense forest of Oaks (mostly blackjack, post and black) and Pine (scrub and Virginia) and then come to a thicket of Serpentine wild grasses. This savannah can quickly gobble up tiny toddlers out of sight, so keep an eye on the kiddos in this opening for power transmission lines. Follow the Serpentine Trail downhill and watch those ankles as you progress downwards in a gradual descent of elevation. Skies never seem bluer on hikes here as do birds of prey seem any less graceful. You’ll stay on this path mucking through some water and the unique rock bed, eroding due to its chemistry. When you have to take a right to stay on the trail, you’ve reached a good spot to stop and snack even if there’s no bench. It’s wide enough for them to plop down, especially to fuel up for the return ascent. Looping back uphill you’ve reach the Mecca for every child…the stream crossing and the one mile point. Chimney Branch is unavoidable for kiddos to not jump in and splash away to their hearts content, especially on warm days. After they’ve tons of fun and you’re ready to head back up, enjoy this open area in winter as the sun opens up….or stay shaded with sunscreen in summer heat as there is no reprieve for a 3/4 of a mile. You’ll re enter a small section of woods then pop out onto Deer Park Road and the official look out. Return back to the parking lot through a small shaded and usually muddy section.

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Trail Features

Surface type Dirt
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Mud Puddles, and Visitor Center

This nature center is a hidden gem. Strongly suggest making sure it’s open before visiting the center….but definitely do and give yourself plenty of time to explore and interact.

Trail Contributor

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Hey! I started as a BA in 2016 because I was looking for ways to not only connect with other outdoor fanatics but to also find a way to encourage new parents and caretakers the courage and support to find ways to get outside. There is no greater joy than watching a child come alive outside! I am happy to help you find the best- for you- Trails, Parks and Epic Play areas in and around Maryland….and add some fun facts in the mix.