Outdoor Recreation

Baltimore city is home to almost 4,600 acres of parkland, three stream valleys, and miles of bike and natural surface trail. We have over 25 miles of waterfront, two public boat launches, dozens of crabbing and fishing piers, and one of the largest urban wilderness areas on the east coast.

With so many natural resources, BCRP continues to develop and expand outdoor and nature recreational opportunities. Outdoor Recreation opportunities in Baltimore include camping, canoeing, kayaking, boating, sailing, hiking, biking, trail and trail running, fishing and crabbing, birding, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, rollerblading, disc golf, kiting, climbing, sledding, cross-country skiing, challenge courses, mountain boarding and more!

These activities are healthy lifelong leisure activities that can be pursued at any age and foster a sense of connection to nature. With the natural infrastructure of Baltimore, these activities provide social, personal, economic and environmental benefits for all enthusiasts.

Guided trips and custom tours can be designed for your group by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. Please contact us for additional information and cost.  For more information on additional Outdoor Recreation Programs, view our BCRP Calendar of Events below or e-mail Molly Gallant [email protected]v

Check out our Facebook page and see what we do! https://www.facebook.com/baltimoreoutdoors/

FIND YOUR PARK-BY LAND:

Biking

Rides Around the Lake

Lake Montebello, Whitman Drive

Thursdays 5- 8 pm May-August

Saturdays 9 am-12 pm April-October

$5 suggested donation

Pedal around Lake Montebello on the 1.3 mile paved track, a current government issue Id is required.  This is an easy self-paced ride.  First come, First Served.

 

 

Guided Rides @ Herring Run

Herring Run Park, Halls Spring (3900 Argonne Drive)

Saturdays 1-3 pm May-October

$10 suggested donation

Bikes are provided for a guided 3 mile family-friendly and all ability rides on a wooded trail, Ride leaves from the Hall Spring area of Herring Run Park.  Registration is recommended.  Please contact [email protected] for registration or more information

 

Guided Rides @ Druid Hill Park Ride is held at The Market while the reservoir is under construction. 

Druid Hill Park, Rawlings Conservatory,

Wednesdays May-September Ride times at 5:15 and 7:15 p.m.

 $10 suggested donation

 Bikes are provided for a guided 7 mile mostly flat bike ride through Druid Hill Park. Registration is recommended.  Please contact [email protected] for registration or more information

 

Guided Rides @ Gwynns Falls Trail

Gwynns Falls Park, Winans Meadow, (4601 Franklintown Rd)

Sundays 1-3 pm April-November

$10 suggested donation

Bikes are provided for a guided ride through the stream valley on paved and unpaved trail, approximately 8 miles out and back ride Registration is recommended.  Please contact [email protected]  for registration or more information

 

City Employee Lunchtime Bike Rides (Targeting City Employees) 

As a partner with the City of Baltimore’s Health and Wellness Program, The Department of Recreation and Parks offers a chance for our city employees to Get Active and Get Healthy!  We provide bikes, helmets, and experienced staff to get participants out on bikes for a great workout.  We meet at War Memorial Plaza at Noon and are ready to ride by 12:15.  We bike as a group down to the beautiful Harbor Promenade and Federal Hill Park and then back to the plaza.  YOU MUST register at www.cityofbaltimorewellness.com (External Link)

 

Hiking

Moonlight, Weekend and Specialty Hikes

Various times and locations. Year Round!

BCRP and our passionate Friends Groups host hikes throughout the city on paved and natural surface trails at various times and locations. Hikes are for a variety of different skill levels—from beginners to urban adventures. Some of our favorite adventures are in Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, Herring Run Park, Druid Hill Park, Stony Run and Cylburn Arboretum. Please check the BCRP events calendar (LINK TO REC N PARKS CALENDAR) for upcoming hikes Baltimore Parks MEETUP for Friends Sponsored hikes (LINK TO BALRIMORE PARKS MEETUP)! http://www.meetup.com/Baltimore-Parks-Meetup/

 

Camping

Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park or Herring Run Park

June and July Dates!

Join us for the “Great American Campout”!   Carrie Murray Nature Center, Gwynns Falls Leakin Park, Herring Run Park, Patterson Park and Wyman Park Dell are where camp outs are hosted.   Space is limited. RSVP is REQUIRED.  Please check the BCRP calendar for details.

 

Fishing

Baltimore City has License Free Fishing Areas! (Listed below). You are required to observe all other fishing laws and regulations. A free MD/PRFC angler registration is also required for anglers fishing without a license in designated license free fishing areas; you may register online through the Maryland Licensing System.  https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrcompassportal

  • Canton Recreational Pier at Boston Street
  • Middle Branch Park from fishing pier south of the Hanover--Pottee Street Bridges, to Hanover Street Bridge over Middle Branch. Directions: Route 2 to Middle Branch Park
  • Canton Waterfront Park

Fishing is also available at the City owed Reservoirs.  Please see link below for detailed Info

http://publicworks.baltimorecity.gov/sites/default/files/Boating%20and%20Fishing%20guide_1.pdf

Fishing RodeoFishing Fun

For organized Fishing Programs located in Baltimore City please see the list of events below.

April 1 - Spring Fishing Rodeo Patterson Park (200 S Linwood Ave, 21224) 10AM to 1PM

April 8- City Catch Leakin Park (4500 N Franklintown Road) 9AM- 1PM

April 22 – Fishing Fun in Herring Run (3900 Argonne Drive) 10AM-1PM

June 3 -Family Fishing Festival Patterson Park (200 S Linwood Ave, 21224) 10AM-1PM

July TBD- Baltimore Kids Catch Canton Waterfront Park (3001 Boston St, 21224) 10AM-2PM

October 28- Fall Fishing Rodeo Patterson Park (200 S Linwood Ave, 21224) 10AM-1PM

Please see more info at https://baltimorecityrecandparks.org or call 410-396-7900

 

Nature Center

Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park (1901 Ridgetop Rd)

The Carrie Murray Nature Center’s mission focuses on educating participants about animals, nature and conservation. A variety of classes and camps are offered by experienced staff. The center houses permanently injured raptors, insects, reptiles, and other animals found in the wild.   Visit www.carriemurraynaturecenter.org  to find out about their latest offerings or by phone at 410-396-0808

 

FIND YOUR PARK -BY SEA:

Water Activities

Canoe and Scoop in Middle Branch Park

Saturdays, April–Oct., 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Located in Middle Branch Park (3301 Waterview Ave. 21230) just south of the Hannover Street Bridge.  We provide certified staff and equipment for paddling and cleaning up all the rain leftovers from the shore line of Middle Branch Park.  This is a great activity for groups and service projects with up to 20 participants.  It is best to allow 3 hours for this activity.  This must be booked in advanced.  For more Information or availability Please contact [email protected]

     

Open Row in Middle Branch Park

Fridays, April–May, 6-8 p.m. & Aug.–Sept., June – July, 7-9 p.m.

$10 for City residents, $20 for non-residents

Located at Middle Branch Park (3301 Waterview Ave. 21230) just south of the Hannover Street Bridge.  The Recreation and Parks Department has 10 canoes and 10 kayaks available.  We provide staff and guided tours.  Depending on the participants comfort level there is self-guided paddling and tips/ group lessons available at this time.  PLEASE ARRIVE PROPMTLY. Please RSVP early to reserve your spot in a boat.   $10 for City residents $20 for Non- residents provides everything for paddling the Middle Branch. Pre- registration is required to reserve your spot. http://tinyurl.com/BCRPfindyourparkbywater

Open Row

Open Pool Time for Kayaks

at Cherry Hill Splash Park

Saturdays, June–Aug., 1-3 p.m.

$2 general admission, $5 to bring your own boat.

Please join the Department of Recreation and Parks as we open the Cherry Hill Splash Park (101 Reedbird Ave. – 21225) for beginner kayak clinics this summer.   Beginner kayakers are provided kayaking instruction and skill building tips in a safe and controlled environment in one of our beautiful park pools.  Not a beginner and just want to practice?  We can go over the basics of rescue techniques and wet exits. We will be at the Cherry Hill Splash Park every Saturday from 1-3 pm there is a $2 general admission to enter the pool and $5 to bring your own boat.   Participants under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. RESERVATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED, otherwise done on a first come first served basis.    Contact [email protected]    

 

Sunday Afternoon Canoe Tours at Middle Branch

Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

$20 for City residents $30 for non-residents

Located at Middle Branch Park (3301 Waterview Ave. 21230) just south of the Hannover Street Bridge.  The Recreation and Parks Department has 10 canoes and 10 kayaks available.  We provide staff and guided tours.   Bring a picnic and let’s see where the tour takes us. Depending on the participants comfort level there is self-guided paddling and tips/ group lessons available at this time.  PLEASE ARRIVE PROPMTLY. Please RSVP early to reserve your spot in a boat.   $20 for City residents $30 for Non- residents provides everything for paddling the Middle Branch. Pre- registration is required. http://tinyurl.com/BCRPfindyourparkbywater   For more Information or availability Please contact [email protected]   

 

Harbor Waterfront Kayak Tours

Sundays, April–Oct., 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1-4 p.m.

$20 for City residents $30 for non-residents

Join BCRP and the Healthy Harbor Initiative for a Sunday of paddling. Departing from the Science Center, we explore the Inner Harbor. 15 slots available. Participant restrictions are determined by life vest size and boat space. Not recommended for beginner kayakers.  PLEASE ARRIVE PROMPTLY. Pre- registration is required. www.kayakbaltimore.com

Be sure to check out the other free Waterfront Wellness classes including Yoga, Parkour, and Zumba every Saturday and Sunday morning between 8AM and 10AM at West Shore Park!  All classes are led by industry professionals and are suitable for all skill levels. New classes, nutrition programs, meal makeovers, and other “wellness” activities will be added throughout the season. For more information, class times, and to register visit www.WaterfrontPartnership.org  (External Link).

 

Kids in Kayaks Program

April – June and Sept- October

For Baltimore City Schools through grant funds.

Kids in Kayaks  is an award winning program that works with 6-8 Baltimore City Middle Schools to show the next generation how to access the natural and historical resources in their own hometown, and to encourage an ethic of stewardship for that resource.   BCRP, National Park Service, Baltimore National Heritage Area and many other partners work together to serve 600 8th graders right here in Baltimore City. Check out our video https://vimeo.com/174420888  or contact Kirsten Perry our Coordinator at [email protected]

Volunteers and INTERNS—do you have certifications or skills that you would like to share? We have opportunities for dedicated people to be safety boaters, bike mechanics, bike and hike leaders . . . and much more! Do you have a group? Are you interested in creating your own group outing? For booking, questions or more information, please e-mail [email protected]

Park Friends—  What would we do without our fantastic Friends Groups there are over 78 Groups in Baltimore City who organize and host park clean up days, movie nights, farmers markets, concerts, movies and more. Visit our MeetUp group (http://www.meetup.com/Baltimore-Parks-Meetup/) to view all Park Friends events in one calendar.

Kids in Kayaks

Outdoor Recreation loves our Supporters! 

 

Tour Dem Parks, Hon!

Second Sunday in June

The annual bicycle tour “Tour dem Parks, Hon!” is committed to the promotion and enjoyment of urban cycling and the parks of Baltimore. Tour dem Parks is run by volunteers and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The annual recreational ride has something for everyone, and is fun for riders of all abilities.  We provide information and support for urban cycling to both experienced and novice.  All profits from the ride are donated to groups who promote cycling, the parks, and the environment.

 For more information https://tourdemparks.org/

 

Baltimore Floatilla- A rally for clean water!

Second Saturday in June

A "floatilla" is a large gathering of paddlers in kayaks, canoes and other human-powered craft often structured as a rally to raise awareness of important issues. Every year thousands of people paddle in the Baltimore Harbor on kayaks, canoes, standup paddle boards, dragon boats, and other vessels.  Unfortunately, millions of gallons of sewage and polluted storm water runoff also flow into Baltimore's streams and Harbor every year. http://www.baltimorefloatilla.com/

 

 

Outdoor Recreation knows we can’t do it alone! 

 

Coming Soon...

 

• Equestrian—we are working with several agencies and organizations to bring back the ability to have horses in our parks. Please e-mail Molly Gallant if you are interested in this developmental stage.

 

• Climbing—we have sites that are in need of cleaning, and organizations and clubs that would be willing to adopt these sites. Please contact us if you would like to learn more.   Please e-mail Molly Gallant if you are interested in this developmental stage.

 

BALTIMORE CITY OUTDOOR RECREATION IN THE NEWS: CHECK US OUT!

Good Press for Outdoor Recreation

This is the Water Department Trip in Photos:

https:[email protected]/albums/72157653997359712/page1

KIDS IN KAYAKS with Baltimore City Schools:

https://vimeo.com/141215156

Navy Volunteer Clean Up Day with Baltimore City Schools:

https://vimeo.com/141824360

Baltimore Sun Health and Wellness Article- Inner Harbor Kayaking:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/maryland-health/bs-hs-water-front-fitness-20150805-story.html

Bay Journal - Nature is part of city life in Baltimore

http://www.bayjournal.com/article/getting_wilder_in_a_good_way

Bay Journal- Jones Fall Trail connects cyclists, walkers with Baltimore’s hidden gems

http://www.bayjournal.com/article/jones_fall_trail_connects_cyclists_walkers_with_baltimores_hidden_gems

Bay Journal - Urban Baltimore woodland now alive with cyclists, hiker’s picnickers

http://www.bayjournal.com/article/leakin_park

Campouts and Corpses in an Urban Park

Exploring an infamous wilderness in West Baltimore:

https://reason.com/blog/2014/11/17/campouts-and-corpses-in-an-urban-park

Baltimore Sun – OPENING DAY:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-trail-opening-day-20150328-story.html

That’s how you know Leakin Park from Serial and The Wire. But it’s more than that. . .

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/11/leakin_park_in_baltimore_is_featured_in_serial_and_the_wire.html

Baltimore City goes to DC for OAK:

http://sierraclub.typepad.com/missionoutdoors/2013/06/great-outdoors-america-week-in-pictures.html

Rides Around:

http://smartgrowth.org/charm-city-by-bike-baltimore-program-gets-residents-on-two-wheels/

New 'Freedom to Float' Campaign Aims to Preserve Chesapeake Watershed and Promote Public Access:

https://www.npca.org/articles/710-new-freedom-to-float-campaign-aims-to-preserve-chesapeake-watershed-and

Parks and People Canoe N Scoop Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBPNPgZqiL8

 Rails to Trails – Charm City by Bike:

http://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2015/june/02/charm-city-by-bike-baltimore-program-gets-residents-on-two-wheels/

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network:-Jones Fall Trail connects cyclists, walkers with Baltimore’s hidden gems

http://www.bayjournal.com/article/jones_fall_trail_connects_cyclists_walkers_with_baltimores_hidden_gems

Exploring Baltimore by Kayak:

http://www.baltimorefishbowl.com/stories/exploring-baltimore-by-kayak/

At Home On the Water:

http://www.chesapeakebay.net/blog/post/at_home_on_the_water_in_baltimore

Find your Park:

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/06/07/new-campaign-helping-to-attract-baltimoreans-to-the-outdoors/

The Baltimore Sun:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/bs-hs-urban-hiking-20160723-story.html

Chesapeake Bay Program:

http://www.chesapeakebay.net/blog/post/at_home_on_the_water_in_baltimore

https://vimeo.com/17442088

https:[email protected]/albums/72157668185620984

ABC NEWS SPOT:

http://www.abc2news.com/news/region/baltimore-city/healthy-harbor-helps-to-clean-baltimores-waters