Baltimore’s coastal climate, rich history, and classic architecture make it a somewhat hidden gem. The city’s gritty reputation turns some tourists away, but anyone who visits quickly realizes how much character Baltimore has. Running, walking, or biking its streets is an excellent way to experience our nation’s history firsthand (and burn some calories, too). Getting smarter and stronger? Where else can you do that? Here are our top spots for getting active in Baltimore.
The 15-mile Gwynns Falls Trail runs all the way from the Baltimore Greenway to the Chesapeake Bay through 2,000 acres of woods and streams. Hiking or biking just a section of the trail is a great way to feel like you’re escaping the city without really leaving. Along the way, interpretive panels teach you about the history of the Gwynn Falls Stream area and early American history that formed the Baltimore and Chesapeake Bay area.
This tiny park along the Stony Run creek is a quiet, relaxing spot to run, fish, or stroll anytime of day. Reviews describe it as “pleasant”, “cute”, and a “nice hidden park in the city”. You probably won’t set a new PR-here, but you will find a bit of inner peace.
The Waterfront Promenade is a paved walkway that hugs tightly to a seven-mile stretch of waterfront along the Patapsco River. It’s plenty wide for multiple bikes, pedestrians, and joggers, and the proximity to the inner harbor means there’s always boat traffic coming in and out of the port. As with most Baltimore trails, there are plenty of placards that let you know about the history of the area. The Waterfront Promenade links right up to Fort McHenry National Monument.
“Oh say can you see?” Francis Scott Key wrote after he saw the American Flag waving over Fort McHenry after a barrage by the British in the War of 1812. His original poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry” would later be adapted to become “The Star Spangled Banner '' and our national anthem. The national monument itself is pretty large and easily accessible. You can’t help but feel a bit patriotic walking or running among the old cannons and grassy, brick fortified mounds. You know what to do on Spotify.
Oregon Ridge Park used to be an old iron and marble quarrying site until the late 1800s, when it was turned into a recreational area for downhill skiing. Though there’s no more lifts, Oregon Ridge stands as one of the best Baltimore-area spots to visit during the winter for snowshoeing, sledding, and cross-country skiing. In the summer, you can hike and picnic among the green, wooded forest and take advantage of the designated fitness area. If you happen to be around over the Fourth of July, Oregon Ridge puts on a legendary fireworks display.