One of the best kept secrets here just north of Towson is the public access to a "protected" area of Loch Raven Reservoir park on the weekend. On both Saturday and Sunday, park police close off Loch Raven Drive (some maps call it Loch Raven Rd.) between Morgan Mill Road and Providence Road. The road becomes a recreational area for walking, running, biking, and the like. In the warmer months, many people picnic or just relax on blankets and chairs along the water. The views of the water and the surrounding wooded areas are wonderful all year round.
It is an "out and back" hike, can't possibly get lost, bite off as much as you want to chew.
The total distance is approximately 3 and 1/2 miles which we complete in roughly 1 hour, so that you can probably be home before noon, if you want to. But also feel free to stay as long as you like.
To get there, if you are travelling north on Dulaney Valley Rd. from the Beltway, the road splits just after crossing a large bridge over the lake. Dulaney Valley Rd. is the one that continues to the right toward the east. That's what you want. Don't go up the hill which is Jarrettsville Pike.
Travel on Dulaney Valley Road for roughly another mile or so. You will enter the park from the north. To do so, you bear right/make a right hand turn from Dulaney Valley Rd onto Loch Raven Drive at the corner where Peerce's Plantation/Landing/Grille (the name depends on who owns it this week; it's had some turnover in recent years) is located. Peerce's address is 12460 Dulaney Valley Road 21131. If your GPS is telling you to go farther north on Dulaney Valley Rd past Peerce's, it's just plain wrong !!! Once you enter the park, the meeting place is about a mile down the road.
This hike will begin at the road closure gate at the corner of Loch Raven Drive and Morgan Mill Road. Parking is allowed on the west side of Loch Raven Drive and there is a sort of a parking lot on Morgan Mill Road.
When you see this sign, you've found the right place. We'll meet right behind it, by where you see the guy/rock.
Loch Raver Drive is a normal, well paved road, so there is no need for "off road" footwear unless you choose to get adventurous and challenge the rather steep hills that surround the lake. That is certainly an option for those who are more experienced and confident. However, I am not aware of any sanctioned, prepared trails in that area of Loch Raven and can't recommend it. It would be free style.
I will not post cancellations because of the weather. I assume we're all capable of making that decision as each of us sees fit.
If you decide to respond "Yes" to this event and later change your mind for whatever reason, please,please go in and change your RSVP to a "No". That way, we know not to be waiting for you. Thanks.
So come join us on Sunday for a brisk walk in the park. It's a great way to clean out the cobwebs and start a Sunday.