Step off at 10am from lower nature center parking lot - this is at the nature center, which is not to be confused with oregon ridge park and pavilion.
Allow 2 hours
Park at Green Arrow Here (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=39.493891,-76.690031&ll=39.49399,-76.687982&spn=0.006077,0.010643&num=1&t=h&vpsrc=0&z=17)(click this link for map)
Oregon Ridge Nature Center History
On land that is now Oregon Ridge Nature Center, there was a very active iron ore and marble mining operation during the mid-19th century. In order to process the iron ore efficiently and profitably, entrepreneurs built an iron-smelting furnace along Oregon Branch stream. The furnace operated from 1844 to 1858, and produced at its peak production 4,500 tons of pig iron annually.
An industrial village developed at the edges of the present day meadow just to the north of what is now the Nature Center. Workers lived in tenant houses (one of which has been reconstructed) conveniently located near the ore and marble pits and furnace complex. Many of the workers were Irish immigrants or emancipated slaves. Such towns as Oregon Ridge were common in the industrial northeast United States by the mid-19th century.
Music in the Woods
May 11, 2013, 10 am to 4 pm
Do you love bluegrass, Irish, folk and other "old time" traditional music? Each year amateur and professional musicians converge at Oregon Ridge Nature Center to play dulcimers, mandolins, auto-harps, fiddles, banjos and guitars at Music in the Woods, a traditional music festival that takes place in May. The woods and meadow come alive with musical renditions performed by plain folk who want to share their talents and love of music. There is dancing, too, with performances by local traditional dance groups such as the Carroll County Cloggers and workshops for visitors who want to learn a short dance routine.
If you enjoy folk, ballad, and other traditional music and want to shine your light, this is a free venue unlike any other. For those who just want to watch, listen, and learn, admission to Music in the Woods is FREE. There's no better way to spend a spring day with friends and family than at this melodious gathering. Just lay back and relax to the music, sing along, twirl to a dance or two, try out a didgeridoo, take a chance on a raffle, meet some good folks, have your cheek painted, and lunch on hotdogs and soda. There will be a number of vendors displaying, demonstrating, and selling handcrafted instruments and other musical fare. If you have your own instrument, bring it along and join a jam session. Or join a "Meet the Instrument" seminar. And if the spirit takes hold, ask to perform on stage if there's an opening. Anything is possible at Music in the Woods.
Constructed in 1983, the Nature Center structure houses wildlife and nature displays to delight all ages, as well as the library, gift shop, and an auditorium for classes, meetings and colloquia.
The Nature Center offers a variety of exhibits explaining the history, wildlife, and natural environment of the Park. There are exhibits of the local fauna and flora and displays of our archaeological findings inside the Nature Center. Our wildlife exhibits include live snakes, fish, amphibians, honeybees, and other creatures. The new aquatic turtle exhibit is our latest addition.