Lake Elkhorn in Columbia, Maryland

Lake Elkhorn is absolutely one of our favorite spots in Columbia! It’s the perfect combination of playground and nature to keep my little one entertained for hours.

The playground is fantastic for younger children and is usually nice and shady. It includes a sandbox, spring cars, slide equipment designed for 2-5 and 5-12, and both infant and big kid swings. The sandbox usually has communal toys for the kids to share. There are benches for the parents and nearby picnic tables if you want to do a craft or have lunch by the lake.

The lake offers a paved pathway that takes you around the lake, about a 2 mile walk or bike ride. We often spot turtles sunning themselves, ducks paddling around in the water or napping on the shore, and various other wildlife.

Lake Elkhorn is a beautiful spot for fishing or walking your dog around the lake. This can be an added treat for the kiddos who enjoy greeting all the dogs that pass. We once even came across a friendly cat who wanted nothing more than to hitch a ride in our cart (pictured)!

There are a few important things you should know before you go:

  1. Parking: there is a parking lot located at 7200 Dockside Ln, Columbia, MD 21045. If the lot is full, you can pull back out onto Cradlerock Way and park along the road in front of the playground.
  2. Bathrooms: there are no bathrooms at the park. The nearest bathroom is across Cradlerock Way at the McDonalds.
  3. Safety: Children will need to be supervised at all times here. The playground is not fenced in so this could be a very uncomfortable spot to have your child wander off given the street and the water both a short distance away. There are no railings on the dock so children should be watched closely while on the dock to prevent falling in the water.

Overall, I highly recommend Lake Elkhorn for year-round enjoyment. I know we will continue to enjoy this playground and lake walk for years to come.

<- Exploring playgrounds in and around Howard County, MD

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