The community of Ocean Pines, Maryland, located a stone's throw from Ocean City, may just appear to be a large, residential neighborhood near the beach, but tucked within its boundaries are several trails that are open to anyone - not just residents. The trails are some of the community's best kept secrets; many of the residents don't even know they exist, so we're here to change that!
Sherwood Forest Trail (a.k.a. Robin Hood Trail)
This 1.6-mile trail weaves all through the Sherwood Forest section of the Pines, which is located in the far south section of the neighborhood. The easiest place to park is at the Robin Hood Park, located off of Robin Hood Trail. If you park there, you have a choice of walking 0.3 miles in one direction (walk back toward the road and you'll see the trail continue across the street), or 1.3 miles in the other direction (trail continues back behind the playground). This trail has lots of side paths, and the main trail is not super well-marked, so we have a handy map here so you can follow along on your phone's google maps app. (be sure to open the link on your phone so you can bring it with you on the trail)
Route 90 Trail (a.k.a. South Gate Pond Trail 2)
The trail that circles the South Gate Pond is known as the South Gate Pond 1. It's a well known, very visible trail that many people walk on a regular basis. If you follow the crosswalk toward the library and head to the back corner of the library's parking lot, you'll then find yourself on the South Gate Pond Trail 2, or as most refer to it, the Route 90 Trail. This trail is about 1.5 miles long, ending at Ocean Parkway right near the Route 90 overpass. One of the highlights of this trail is the view of the second, lesser-known pond by the south gate. Waterfowl, turtles, and other wildlife can be spotted here frequently. A very small stretch near the east end of the trail overlaps with the golf course path, so please be mindful of golf carts that might be on the trail as well.
Back behind the Ocean Pines Community Center, skate park, farmer's market, and playground, lies a great 0.8-mile trail that heads back into the woods and even has a scenic spot that overlooks the St. Martin's River. The trail is almost a 1-mile loop, if you count the parking lot as part of the trail!
If you're not looking to log some miles and you just want some sun and scenic views, head to the Swim & Racquet Club. There is a 0.37-mile loop trail that wraps around the property and the best parts of this little trail are the sandy beach and the section along the docks. There is no shade (except for the covered pavilion), but it's perfect if you're short on time and you just want a some bay breezes and a little Vitamin D!
Again, all of these trails are open to the general public, so if you don't live in Ocean Pines, you are welcome to explore these trails (at no charge!).