Explore the Great Outdoors (In and Around Towson)

Towson University's location is incredibly ideal for all types of people. If you're a city person, you're just a short drive from Baltimore. If you're more of an outdoorsy person, Baltimore County and its surrounding counties are great for that too!

With the beginning of fall finally here, now is the perfect time to get a little extra time in the sun before it gets too cold outside! If you're itching to get out there and soak up some of that nautral vitamin D while you still can without having to bundle up, here are a few great places to do just that!

1. Cromwell Valley Park

Location: Parkville, MD

Cromwell Valley Park is a small park right off of Cromwell Bridge Road in Parkville. It's super easy to get to and has plenty of short trails to explore. The lenght of the trails ranges anywhere between 0.2 miles and 1.67 miles. Its Sherwood Farm area also serves as a great backdrop for impromptu photoshoots. My friends and I chose it as ours for our "family photoshoot" that we had last November. Here are some of those pictures:

Source of all four pictures: Jane Greis

 

2. Rocks State Park

Location: Jarrettsville, MD

Rocks State Park is about a forty-five minute drive from campus into Harford County. It is most definitely worth the journey out there. It has three different areas with trails that include picnic areas to stop at and jaw dropping scenery. The trail leading to the King and Queen Seat is definitely not for the faint of heart, though. The majority of it is uphill and there are steep dropoffs around the cliff areas (obviously, it’s a cliff). But, it is definitely a trek that you will not regret and scenery you won’t soon forget (ha, that rhymed).

Here's a little more background on what the King and Queen Seat is because some of you might be thinking that there are actual thrones sitting on the top of this hill. Not quite! At the top of the hill are massive boulders, some of which form into the shape of a seat. According to Rocks State Park’s website, the cliff was used by the Susquehannock Native Americans for ceremonial gathering area, which is how the cliff got its name.

Here's a picture of my incredibly brave sister going out to sit on the edge:

Source: Jane Greis

 

3. Gunpowder Falls State Park

Headquarters: Kingsville, MD

Notice that I didn’t put the specific location above. That’s because there is no one specific location for this park. Gunpowder Falls State Park follows the Gunpowder River and the Big and Little Gunpowder Valleys throughout parts of Harford and Baltimore Counties. Some areas of the park, like Dundee Creek Marina, Hammerman Area, and Hereford Area, are more geared towards people interested in water recreation such as fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. The Sweet Air, Central, and especially Torrey C. Brown (TCB) Areas are perfect for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding. If you’re up for a really long and extensive hike, the TCB Area has a 21-mile trail follows the former Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad and stretches from Ashland, MD to the Pennsylvania state line. Gunpowder Falls State Park really has something for everyone.

 

4. Patapsco State Park

Location: Catonsville, MD

Much like Gunpowder Falls State Park, Patapsco State Park has a little bit of everything for everyone, just in a more confined area. Patapsco State Park, which is shown in the thumbnail picture for the article, has several different trails. Some trails follow right alongside of the Patapsco River, while other trails, some unpaved, take you back into the woods to explore the River Valley and the tiny creeks that run through it. This is a great place to go on a hot day because you can always take your shoes off and take a dip in the water. An even bigger plus of the park is that they are taking down the Bloede Dam, which benefits both the environment and park goers!

I hope that this list has helped you get some ideas on places you and a group of friends can go to enjoy the outdoors! I know that after writing it, I’m just aching to get back out there! Happy hiking!