Holiday Hike at Lake Roland -- Featuring the Rare Serpentine Barrens and Upland Forest Trails! A Moderate 5.6 Mile Hike
Centered on Lake Roland in the Jones Falls valley, Lake Roland has over 500 acres of exceptionally diverse ecosystems including wetlands, meadows, and mature hardwood forests. Most significant is the environmentally sensitive serpentine barrens in the Bare Hills area, home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. The park is historically significant, with not one, but two National Register Historic Districts!
Our route follows along Jones Falls to Lake Roland before returning through a most unusual upland forest for our region. What makes this particular hike unique than many others within the Mid-Atlantic Region you might ask? The answer -- we will see some rare serpentine landscape. As a matter of fact, the Bare Hills portion of our hike plan includes one of only four Serpentine Barrens in the state. This area is customarily referred to as the "Pine Barrens" by locals because of the scrubby and stunted Virginia Pine that grows here. This area is particularly fascinating for botany and geology, with some unique and unusual plants that associate with the areas unique minerals.
Nearby City: Towson
Length: 5.6 total miles
Scenery: Rare Serpentine Barrens, Jones Falls, Lake Roland, and upland forest
Elevation Gain: 220 feet
Skill Level: Moderate
Facilities: Water fountain at the lake
Park Entry Fee
There is no park entrance fee.
Click Here for suggestions regarding what to wear and what not to wear for hiking the trails.
We hike rain, snow, or shine. Click Here to view the forecast for the area where we will be hiking.
The goal for this hike is to maintain an average moving pace of ~ 2.5 mph. This speed is frequently used in popular hiking publications to represent the pace of an average hiker. We welcome you to please sign up for another hike if you know that this is not a comfortable pace for you. We strive to offer a variety of hikes and pace options so we can always have something for everyone no matter their interest and ability.
Our RSVP and Group Etiquette
Click Here to review our RSVP policies and group etiquette.
Carpool Suggestions and Information
Note that you are responsible for knowing how to get from carpool locations to the venue. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is not responsible for transportation to and from events or carpools. Suggested carpool times and places are provided as a courtesy because many members are either new to the area or unfamiliar with a particular hike or venues location. Please use the 'Comments' section below, or reach out via e-mail to make arrangements for carpooling needs and offerings.
Baltimore Area Carpool Suggestion - Savage Station
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore area, people can arrange to meet at Savage Station. Click Here for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Savage Station location.
DC Area Carpool Suggestion - Centreville
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, people can arrange to meet at the Centreville Park and Ride. Click Here for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Centreville Park and Ride location.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click Here for a list of suggested carpool locations complete with directions and other details including other carpool information. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment — by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for this Hike
Meet & Greet and Sign-In — 10:45-10:55 a.m.
The Hike is at 11:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time from Savage Station is 10:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Centerville Park and Ride is 9:45 a.m.
Please remember we are a volunteer supported organization that values fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette and Leave No Trace principles. Our hikes are led by generous, dedicated, and qualified MAHG members who volunteer as leaders for Mid-Atlantic Hiking Groups volunteer leadership team. Hikes also have a volunteer “sweeper” to help ensure that no hiker is left behind. MAHG volunteers and members are very supportive, encouraging, with a focus on safety while enjoying the excellent camaraderie and benefiting from the many health benefits of hiking and unplugging from the stress of day-to-day life. Sharing what we know and learning from each other is an important part of MAHGs core values, as is our dedication to the conservation of our natural resources and our commitment to the organization's mission. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a volunteer supported tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, and donations ARE tax deductible. Tax ID: [masked].
A Well-Mannered, Leashed Fido is Welcome on this Hike!
Let’s have fun out on the trails and see you there
• Click Here to Learn more about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission.
• 100% of Every Dollar Goes Directly to the Expenses of Serving our Mission.
Refunds offered if:
Additional notes: Holiday & holiday weekend events are non-refundable & non-transferable. Visit midatlantichikinggroup.org for MAHG info or the 'Pages' tab. MAHG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization & donations (not fees) ARE Tax Deductible-Tax ID: 47-5141831
Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.