Falls Road Turnpike Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Most Baltimore-area commuters know Falls Rd.; it stretches from midtown all the way through northern Baltimore County virtually to Pennsylvania. While these upper reaches are often spectacularly beautiful as the two-lane road winds its way through bucolic countryside, Falls Road in the city, while still lovely in places, sometimes fails to present its best face. The road—still just two lanes—is urbanized as it snakes through Hampden, but then it does something unexpected (and it’s here that many Baltimoreans become unaware of its continued existence): it plunges into deep woods speckled with old mills and runs alongside its namesake, the Jones Falls. It was along the Jones Falls that abolitionist Elisha Tyson started a milling business in the 1790s. Tyson was a true philanthropist, with a special interest in the disenfranchised: the poor, the working class, African Americans. He then turned his attention to the creation of the Falls Road Turnpike along an old American Indian trail. This turnpike connected his Woodberry mill to others along the Jones Falls. As noted, many Baltimore drivers know Falls Road. But Tyson’s portion—the original portion—is still shrouded in a somewhat mysterious aura: even though you’re in the middle of the city, a stroll through here transports you a century or two back in time (assuming, of course, you can ignore the massive Jones Falls Expressway ramp above you nearby)."