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
Park Hours: 7 am to dusk, or as posted
Main/South Google Maps | PDF
North Google Maps | PDF
West Google Maps | PDF
East Google Maps | PDF
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
Centennial Park Maps:
Full Centennial Park Map
South Area Map
North Area Map
West Area Map
East Area Map
Park pavilions are a great place to hold a birthday party, corporate event, large family gathering, school picnic or any other special occasion. Pavilions vary in size to accommodate any group, and many come equipped with cooking facilities.
The pavilion rental season runs from April 1 through Nov. 30, rain or shine (there are no refunds for inclement weather).
Pavilions are available free on a first-come, first-served basis during the remainder of the year. However, restroom water and water fountains are turned off during winter months and grills may not be available or accessible during this time due to winter maintenance. Your rental may begin as early as 10 AM and must conclude by sunset (times subject to change).
You MUST leave the park by the designated time of sunset or be charged a late fee of $25 per ½ hour.
For information about the pavilions or to make a reservation, click here. If you require additional assistance, you may call 410-313-4682 (Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm).
Amenities (included with permit)
To Get a Boating Permit:
All boats on Centennial Lake are required to have a boating permit. Only Class A boats are allowed, 16 feet in length or less, electric motors only. Rowboats, canoes, or rafts with three separate air chambers are allowed. Sailboats must be under 14 feet in length. A life jacket must be provided for each occupant. Sailboards, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboards, inner tubes and jet skis are not permitted on the lake. Complete rules below.
Seasonal Permits (Valid March 1st through November 30th) are $55, available for purchase from the Adventure Shack & Rentals during normal operating hours (www.howardcountymd.gov/adventureshack). On weekdays, permits may be available for purchase by appointment from the Adventure & Outdoor Office, located next to the Adventure Shack - Call 410-313-1754 to schedule to be sure someone will be in that office.
Daily Boat Permits are $5.00
The daily permits are available at the self-serve kiosk next to the boat launch area or through the Adventure Shack during normal operating hours - see the Adventure Shack page for current hours.
Centennial Lake promotes safe boating!
Through a grant from the Sea Tow Foundation, a Life Jacket Loaner Station has been installed at the boat launch! Forgot your PFD? Have an extra passenger? Grab a loaner life jacket for the day - stay safe and avoid a fine!
Centennial Lake Boating Rules & Regulations
1. All boats must have a daily registration permit or annual registration permit to operate on Centennial Lake. Annual permit decal must be displayed on side of boat in a visible location.
2. All Park rules & regulations must be followed. Failure to follow rules & regulations may result in expulsion from the lake temporarily or permanently, loss of park privileges, & in addition, thereto, may be subject to criminal & civil penalties set forth in Section 19.201 of the Howard County Code.
3. All Recreation and Parks employee instruction must be followed.
4. Swimming & Eskimo rolls are NOT permitted in the lake.
5. Sailboards, windsurfing, paddle boarding, or inner tubing is NOT permitted on the lake.
6. Gas Motors are NOT permitted on the lake.
7. Sculling is NOT Permitted on the lake.
8. Feeding the wildlife is NOT Permitted.
9. All rules & regulations for safe boating must be followed.
10. All anglers 16 years of age & older are required to have a Maryland Freshwater Fishing License and to conform to all fishing regulations in regard to catching or returning fish to/from the lake.
11. An approved U.S.C.G. Personal Floatation Device is required to be on board for each passenger.
12. All boats must be off the lake by sunset.
Boats are available to rent through the Adventure Shack & Rentals located in the South area! Visit the Adventure Shack page for complete information.
You may fish from shore or from a boat. A Maryland Freshwater Fishing License is required for anglers aged 16 and up. State fishing regulations are in effect, and game fish are part of a management program to maintain a balanced population.
Been fishing on Centennial Lake recently? We want to hear about your catch! Fill out the form on our main fishing page to share and view what other people have caught on the lake!
Recreation and Parks offers a wide variety of fishing programs, classes and events, including the Spring Fishing Tournament and Nite Bite Fishing! Visit howardcountymd.gov/fishing for complete information.