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Five Places to Hike in Baltimore County

From easy to challenging, Patch has a list of great hikes to do within a half-hour's drive.

If getting out for a great hike is on your to-do list this summer, you don't have to leave the boundaries of Baltimore County to find your ideal trail. 

From state parks to county parks to nature centers, there are plenty of options.

We have a list of hikes available for you in Baltimore County.

Patapsco State Park: This park is in three counties and is a whopping 16,043 areas of woods, river, streams and open fields. The park also includes historical remains of many mills and factories that were once powered by the Patapsco River.

The Avalon/Orange Grove and Glen Artney areas are accessible through the western part of Baltimore County from either South Rolling Road in Catonsville or from Route 1 in Elkridge.

Highlights to this area of the park include a feeder pond to mills called Lost Lake, old building remains and a swinging bridge over the river.

Trails to do:

  • Buzzards Rock trail: This trail is a steep 2.1-mile trail rises up from the river valley and offers scenic views of the river gorge upstream.
  • Grist Mill Trail: This 2.3-mile trail is a paved trail that follows the river and is wheelchair accessible. If you want to see Lost Lake and the swinging bridge, this is where you should hike.

Patapsco State Park charges a $2 fee during the week and a $3 fee during the weekend over the summer.

To view maps, visit the park's website, where you can place an order for a map to be mailed to you. You can also pick up trail maps at the Avalon Visitor Center.

Oregon Ridge Park: Chances are if you've lived in Baltimore County, you've visited Oregon Ridge Park to take in a concert from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra or visited the beach.

But did you know there are five miles of trails on 1,100 acres this northern Baltimore County park?

The park is open from sunrise to sunset and there is no admission charged for using the trails. The park is located off of Beaver Dam Road, which you can get to from Shawan Road and Interstate 83.

The nature center has a website with a trail map that you can download. Most of the trails start at the Visitor Center and are all less than two miles, but intersect with other trails.

Trail to do:

  • The Loggers Red Trail is a 1.6-mile loop that traverses the section of the park closest the lake.

Gunpowder Falls State Park: Like Patapsco, this park is in two counties--Baltimore and Harford--but is larger at more than 18,000 acres.

Many people may have gone tubing down the river, but you can also hike, including 18 miles in Sweet Air area that straddles the border between Baltimore and Harford counties. The park map for this area is out of stock however.

Other hiking areas include in Ashland in Baltimore County and the Hereford area. This area is accessible off of Interstate 83 on York Road.

Trail to do:

  • The Panther Branch Trail: The trail is 4.2 miles that includes uphill and downhill following along a stream valley
  • Lefty Kreh Trail: This trail is formerly the Gunpowder South Trail and follows the river for 5.3 miles.

North Point State Park This state park in Edgemere is known for its beach, but visitors can also hike a few trails around the park. The park is 1,310 acres.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset and charges $4 per vehicle on the weekends in the summer months.

It is accessible from North Point Boulevard off of Interstate 695.

Trail to do:

  • The observation trail takes you an observation platform to view the wetlands.

Soldiers Delight National Environmental Area: This area near Owings Mills has more than 39 rare, threatened or endangered species.

The area offers seven miles of hiking trails that are open daily during daylight hours. The park is off of Deer Park Road.

Trail to do:

  • From Deer Park Road, a marked trail takes you on a loop through an overlook.

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