Lower Gunpowder Falls
The Lower Gunpowder Falls Watershed is located in the central eastern portion of the County. The Loch Raven Dam divides the Loch Raven watershed from the Lower Gunpowder Falls. The watershed begins at the Loch Raven Reservoir and flows generally towards the east. Where it meets the tidal portions of Gunpowder River, it becomes the Gunpowder River watershed. Major tributaries in the watershed include Minebank Run, Long Green Creek, Sweathouse Run, Haystack Branch, Jennifer Branch and Bean Run.
The Gunpowder River forms a unique geographic divide in this watershed with very rural countryside to the north and a very urbanized area on the southern side. The land to the north is primarily agricultural in nature and includes the communities of Long Green, Hydes, Glen Arm, Fork, Kingsville, and Upper Falls. Land south of the river consists of older developed areas such as Towson, Carney, and Parkville, the commercial corridor along Joppa Road, and newer, rapidly developing areas such as Perry Hall. The valley forming the Lower Gunpowder Falls main stem consists of heavily forested lands that are part of the Gunpowder Falls State Park. Gunpowder Falls State Park, Maryland’s largest, is a popular destination for fishing, birding, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
The Lower Gunpowder Falls watershed is also home to Cromwell Valley Park, which is owned and operated by the Department of Recreation and Parks. Located in the Minebank Run stream valley, this 367-acre stream valley park is comprised of pasture, open fields, woods, hedgerows, cultivated fields and floodplain. This diverse habitat makes it an excellent area for wildlife. The Department of Recreation and Parks hosts events and educational programs year-round for children and adults with a focus on farming, history, and natural history. A portion of the park is a demonstration farm, illustrating animal husbandry and sustainable/organic farming. The farm also operates a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm program. The County recently completed a major stream restoration project on the Minebank Run through Cromwell Valley encompassing three stream miles.
Watershed Management Plan
The Lower Gunpowder watershed management plan was completed in September 1999. The plan identifies non-point source stormwater pollution, management measures and a restoration framework for Environmental Protection and Sustainability's capital restoration program. View the executive summary (PDF).
To participate in watershed activities, contact your local watershed association the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy.
Revised June 12, 2015