Situated in South Baltimore between Federal Hill and Locust Point, Riverside Park is one of the city’s oldest and most unique park spaces.
Riverside Park boasts the distinction of playing a crucial role in the War of 1812, serving as “Fort Lookout” in the Battle of Baltimore. Numerous features of the park, such the Cannon Memorial, recognize that proud history today. Other features, such as it’s natural topography, iconic pavilion, and spacious fields, contribute to Riverside’s special character.
Over 17 acres, Riverside encompasses three hallmarks of a great park—the first being passive recreation. With a Victorian-inspired design, Riverside’s paths are accented with memorials and entranceways to beautiful open space in the upper half of the park. The northern section, beginning along Randall Street, has gorgeous scenery and ornamentation, idyllic for an afternoon stroll, weekend picnic or leisurely reading. The upper half of the park also hosts the picnic pavilion, flagpole and Cannon Memorial.
The lower half of the park is active recreation space —a second hallmark of a great park. Riverside’s pool complex forms the transition between the two park halves. Through the poolhouse entry, park visitors will be excited to find a recently renovated kiddie pool area that adjoins the larger outdoor pool. Also comprising Riverside Park’s lower half: two basketball courts, a softball diamond, two athletic fields and a playground area.
Riverside Park’s historic character is part of a third hallmark of great parks—an educational component. The park’s natural setting overlooking the South Baltimore peninsula and toward the Patapsco River proved essential in the defense of Fort McHenry against British bombardment in 1814. In order to commemorate the role of Fort Lookout, called Fort Wood after the battle, the City of Baltimore purchased 3 acres at the site 1862, renaming it Battery Square.
In 1873, the city purchased an additional 14 acres of land and reestablished it as Riverside Park, noting it’s “commanding view of the Patapsco River.”
In 2008, Riverside Park was designated a Baltimore City Landmark, recognizing its historic role in the Battle of Baltimore, its cultural legacy as a public space and its Victorian landscape design elements. The Riverside Park Master Plan followed in 2009, resulting from collaboration between the Friends of Riverside Park, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks and CHAP. The plan ensured significant repairs and restoration take place at Riverside Park prior to the city’s bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.
• Basketball court (2)
• Ballfields (2)
• Athletic field
• Outdoor pool
• Picnic Pavilion
In Proximity to. . .
• Federal Hill
• Locust Point
• Port Covington
• Ella Bailey Recreation Center
• Riverside Park Master Plan
• City Park Rules
• Park Use Permits
• Athletic Fields Permit
• Public Pools Listing
Other Useful Links
• Riverside Neighborhood Association
• Baltimore Riverside Neighborhood