2-6-2020: Centennial Park West Pedestrian Bridge is CLOSED. Howard County Recreation & Parks shoulder detour is complete for safe pedestrian travel along Centennial Lane due to the closure of the west-area pedestrian bridge. The detour will be in place until the new pedestrian bridge is installed. The anticipated completion of the new replacement bridge is May 1, 2020. Bridge closure and detour signs have been posted at each of the park access paths. Please see the accompanying detour map for the alternate route during the bridge closure. Click here to read the press release.

Weather permitting, the lake will open to boaters March 1. Annual boat permits available for purchase by appointment beginning March 1. See complete details in the tabs below.





Centennial Park


10000 Clarksville Pike (Main/South), Ellicott City, MD 21042

4800 Woodland Road (East), Ellicott City, MD 21042

4651 Centennial Lane (West), Ellicott City, MD 21042

9801 Old Annapolis Road (North), Ellicott City, MD 21042

Phone: 410-313-7271 or 410-313-7256              

Adventure Shack and Rentals: 410-313-7303 or www.howardcountymd.gov/adventureshack

Park Hours: 7 am to dusk, or as posted


Main/South Google MapsPDF

North Google MapsPDF

West  Google MapsPDF

East Google MapsPDF

Centennial Park has won awards for its natural design and sensitivity to nature. The 337-acre park features a spectacular 54-acre man-made lake, which is stocked by the State Department of Fisheries, and is home to a variety of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, beavers, foxes, turtles, herons, and many other bird species. You can walk, run or bike the 2.6-mile paved pathway that encircles the lake or the 7.3 miles of interconnecting paved pathway that includes links to surrounding neighborhoods. Cast for bass, trout, sunfish and tiger muskies. The park has four main areas: North, South, East, and West, each with a separate entrance. Included are 9 picnic pavilions available on a first-come, first-served basis, unless reserved, and 3 first-come, first-served picnic areas (propane grills are not permitted). From late spring through early fall, Adventure Shack & Rentals is open for concessions, boat rentals and general store items.  Located in the park's South area, visit the Adventure Shack & Rentals page for complete information!

Park Information

Rules and Regulations

To Report a Park Concern

To report damage or park concerns, leave a message on the Department's hot-line, 410-313-DIRT (3478). For emergencies dial 911.

Park Rules

The purpose of these regulations is to provide a safe and peaceful use of County parks and park land; for recreational and educational benefit and enjoyment; and for the protection and preservation of the property, facilities and natural resources of the County. Park land and recreation programs conducted on park land are open for use by all members of the public regardless of race, religion, creed, color, sex, national origin, or disability. Click on the links below for more information about our regulations.

See the boating permit and fishing tab for regulations about boats on Centennial Lake.

Howard County Code

Title 19 - Recreation and Parks

Things to Remember  

  • Help to keep your parks beautiful -- please take your trash and recyclable items home. Take only pictures and leave only footprints. 
  • Dogs are prohibited on all Department of Recreation & Parks athletic fields.
  • Dogs must be secured by a leash or lead and under control of a responsible person capable of immediate and effective restraint of the animal.
  • Dog droppings may attract disease-harboring pests, and even a friendly dog can scare the birds, wildlife and park visitors. Clean up after your dog and keep it leashed; it's the law. 
  • All of our parks are inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife such as deer, snakes, fish, rabbits, insects and birds. Please do not disturb them; remember, this is their home.

Howard County Bans Smoking in All County Parks

In a continued effort to be a model public health community and preserve its rank as Maryland’s Healthiest County, Howard County was the first jurisdiction in Maryland with a total ban on smoking and tobacco products of any kind in all the 57 County-owned parks and recreational areas. Enforcement will take the form of requesting voluntary compliance. However, if a smoker does not extinguish a smoking product, park staff will remind them of the new policy and could request exiting the property if they choose to continue smoking.

For more information about the ban, to read the Executive Order or to learn more about smoking cessation programs, click here.

Amenities/Natural History

South Area
  • Man-made lake (54 acres)
  • Benches
  • Adventure Shack & Rentals (concessions, general store items and boats available for rent)
  • Boat ramp and dock area (the dock area is accessible to persons with disabilities)
  • Drinking fountains
  • Natural areas
  • 2.6-mile paved pathway 
  • 7 picnic pavilions available on a first-come-first-served basis, unless reserved
  • 3 first-come-first-served picnic areas (propane grills are not permitted)   
  • Playground 
  • 3 first-come-first-served sand volleyball courts
  • Restrooms
  • Parking                        

North Area

  • 2 ball fields (informal, #1,2)
  • Skate spot
  • Benches
  • Drinking fountains
  • Hiking trails
  • Natural areas
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • 6 racquetball courts
  • 2 tennis courts

West Area

  • 3 ball fields (#3-5)
  • 2 basketball courts
  • Benches
  • Drinking fountains
  • 2 multi purpose fields (lighted, #6,7)
  • Hiking trails
  • Natural areas
  • Parking
  • 1 pavilion (o)
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • 5 tennis courts; 1 tournament court
  • 1 sand volleyball court

East Area

  • 1 ball field (informal)
  • Basketball court
  • Drinking fountains
  • 4 horseshoe pits
  • Parking
  • Pavilion (h)
  • Playground
  • Restrooms
  • 2 tennis courts
  • 1 reservation-only sand volleyball court
    * Court is part of the Pavilion H rental package. 
    For information about the pavilions or to make a reservation, you may call 410-313-4682 Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 4:30 PM.

Natural History Species list for this park have been provided by the Howard County Bird Club. The bird club's contribution has been a valuable asset in the gathering of data and documenting the numerous species of flora and fauna found in our county.

Please do not feed the wildlife - The park's natural habitat provides plenty of food for birds, waterfowl and wildlife to eat, and their digestive systems are not designed for a human's food. If they become dependent upon being fed, they become less able to feed themselves and multiply in an area that may not support their population. Such overcrowding causes destruction of habitat, pollution of the lake, and, ultimately, disease and starvation.

Field and Court Rentals

Softball/baseball and multi-purpose fields are available by permit only. Preference is given to sports leagues and community groups. There are reservation, light and tournament fees. Call 410-313-4626 for details. Softball/baseball and multi-purpose field locations are below. Tennis courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis except during scheduled lessons or tournaments.


Park Map

Centennial Park Maps:

Full Centennial Park Map

South Area Map

North Area Map

West Area Map

East Area Map