60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Baltimore
by Evan Balkan (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Evan Balkan/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
This trail system here is relatively simple. Trails are flat except there is a small
section that is above a very small cliff at the head of the Lake. Some parts of the trail still have the railroad ties and some areas can be muddy especially where hte trails are close to the level of the lake water. This park is also known as a dog park. Lots of dogs accompanied by there owners. Do if you don't like dogs this is not the place for you to hike. There are a lot of small trails off the main trail but those trails are short and usually end at someones properly or a road. There are two trails that head up toward Bellona Ave. You can pick these up at the old railroad trestle near the Falls Road end of the main trail. I'd say a good mile to the trestle. One side of these two will eventually end at where some nice homes are. I'd say three miles on both of these trails. The other side of the trestle, that trail I have not explored but I believe that ends at a parking lot off Bellona Ave. Over all this is a very nice trail system that is simple for all. It's great for those hiking groups that is looking for a after work hike
I give the REL Park Trail a 4 for location. It's the wilds within the city. Shady, cool, and very peaceful. I actually ran a portion of it (having read elsewhere that it was a favorite of runners in the area). It's a bit of an obstacle course for the average runner, with fallen trees, railroad ties, and mud pools (after a rain) to navigate. However, it is very scenic and the detours around the obstacles keep the run interesting. For people who love trail running, this trail is a great find in Baltimore. The only improvement that could be made is if park services cleared the fallen trees off the main trail.
QUESTION: Trails.com lists the distance as 13.4, but the trail guide that is provided describes a 6.7 mile hike (total for roundtrip). Can anyone clarify this discrepancy?
A surprisingly nice woodsy trail for a park in the city. It is remote enough to make you forget that the urban life is so close by. Trails were in very good shape when we hiked on a warm summer day. Not marked at all though, and you can get turned around easily. I'd really rate it at 3.5 stars, but rounded up because it is so close in. Lots of shade for most of the walk.
IMPORTANT: The trail guide map to the start point is WRONG! The road that is labeled "Ruxton Road" is incorrect. The name of the road is OLD PIMLICO ROAD. We actually had to go back home and compare it to a paper map to figure that out.
In general the trail guide for this trail was one of the most confusing, distances were always off a bit, and the directions were at times vague. The lack of any signs or blazes probably contributed to that.
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