Floating on an inner tube down the leisurely Patapsco River is practically an initiation rite for residents. It is not uncommon to see large groups of people relaxing as they travel down the river, often trailing a floating cooler of refreshments. Not only is it a great way to beat the summer heat, but it is an awesome way to see the landscape from a different point of view. The sections of river around Sykesville feature open farmland, which transitions into rolling hills and eventually dense forest. There are a number of agencies in town which will rent tubes, life vests, and other essentials for an afternoon float.
The downtown town area of Sykesville looks like it has leapt straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, only a lot more fun. The antique brick and wooden storefronts provide the perfect venue for an eclectic collection of shops, bars, restaurants, and even a shop featuring some of the most detailed and expansive model train displays in the country. The many businesses can keep a shopper browsing or imbibing for hours and the lively atmosphere is perfect for finding a bench and doing some simple people watching. Recommended is A Likely Story, the only independent bookstore in Carroll County, which features a well wonderful collection of new and used books.