Take a Hike & Explore Maryland

Sam Levin

Summer brings sunshine, hot temperatures, pool days, and new adventures. Being in Maryland, we are lucky to have different kinds of nature to explore throughout the state. Whether with family, friends, a significant other, or even by yourself, there are dozens of places to check out.

Maryland’s parks and reservoirs offer areas to rent for life-events, boating, hiking, swimming, fishing as well as many other activities. There’s something for everyone and most of them are free.

In Baltimore County alone, you’ll find places like Lake Roland and Loch Raven Reservoir. Lake Roland is near Mt. Washington and has plenty of areas to hike as well as a small waterfall, picnic areas and even a dog park. Loch Raven Reservoir is on Dulaney Valley Road and has miles of hiking trails, beautiful wildlife and nature to take in.

Infographic by Mass Communication student, Kelly Artiga.

Not too far from Loch Raven is Oregon Ridge Park which has a nature center along with hiking trails and even a fitness area. Another park is Gunpowder Falls located in Middle River. This park is divided into six sections which goes from Baltimore to Harford County.

Prettyboy Reservoir in Baltimore County stretches seven miles wide and 10 miles long; with a portion running into Carroll County. Go swimming, fishing, or hiking and take in the wonderful scenery and wildlife around you.

About 20 minutes from the CCBC Essex campus, lies Rocky Point Beach and Park. The park is open year-round, and the beach is open to swimming from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Unlike most of the other places on this list, Rocky Point does have an admission price. However, it’s only $8 at most.

Another experience with an admission fee is Ladew Topiary Gardens and Home in Monkton. The distinctively themed gardens along with the beautiful serenity of the environment would make for a perfect date night. If this is something you are interested in doing frequently, they also offer memberships which include discounts and admissions to summer concerts and other happenings. Explore the Ladew website to learn about what the memberships entail and offer.

Check out the other parks on the Department of Natural Resources website. They provide maps, hours of operation, activities, and other information you might need.

There are plenty of places to go across Baltimore County and the surrounding areas. From solitude to hanging with friends and even cheap date ideas, get outside and enjoy all that Maryland’s nature has to offer.

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