Department of Recreation and Parks
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Oregon Ridge Nature Center

Park Hours: Park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Nature Center Hours: Thursday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Naturalist: Winny Tan
Community Supervisor: Jessica Jeannetta
Administrative Aide: Betsy Kadow

Photo of the entrance to the Oregon Ridge Nature Center.

Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

13555 Beaver Dam Road
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030

Phone: 410-887-1815 T.D.D./Deaf 410-887-5319
Fax: 410-887-1816


The Nature Center is located within the 1100-acre Oregon Ridge Park in Baltimore County. The park was an active iron-ore and marble mining operation during the mid-19th century. Visitors can enjoy learning about the past through mining town remains and several interpretive displays. In addition to the historical displays, several exhibits on natural history can be found along the trails. Throughout the school year over 9,000 public, private and home school children participate in environmental education field trips.

The Oregon Ridge Nature Center, the first nature center built by Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks, features:

  • Exhibit hall
  • Living classroom containing native animals
  • Auditorium for school visitations and other audio-visual presentations
  • Non-lending nature library
  • Nature observation areas
  • Staff working area

After exploring the Center, visitors can hike on a network of trails and experience firsthand three diverse habitats – the forest, the field, and the stream. Additionally, the meadow contains picnic tables, several outdoor exhibits and a wildlife management pond. 

Hikers will enjoy almost five miles of trails that vary in difficulty and pass through a variety of habitats including forests, meadows, lakes and streams. Bikes and horses are not permitted and dogs must be leashed at all times. Please be courteous and responsible by cleaning up after your pet.

Programs and Special Events

Visit the Oregon Ridge Nature Center Council website for a complete list of programs and calendar of events. Meetings of the council are held on the third Monday of the month. All are welcome.

Weekend Programming and Special Events

The nature center also provides weekend programming and special events. These are free and open to the public.

  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Birding
  • Wildflowers
  • Native Americans
  • Campfires and Canoeing
  • Honey Harvest
  • Maple Sugar Weekends
  • Music in the Woods

Featured Special Events

  • Maple Sugar Days
  • Annual Pancake Breakfast
  • Primitive Technology Weekend
  • Music in the Woods: Traditional Music Fest
  • Honey Harvest Festival

Featured Weekend Programs

Weekend public programs give visitors the opportunity to enjoy and learn about the changing seasons and diverse wildlife in one of Baltimore County’s largest tracts of pristine deciduous forest, which also encompasses field and stream habitats.

  • Nature Hikes
  • Holiday Wreath Making
  • Holiday Crafts for Kids
  • Halloween Programs
  • Night Hikes
  • Canoe and Tubing Adventures
  • Summer Camps for children ages 4 to 12

Monthly Lecture Series

The Oregon Ridge Nature Center Council lecture series features authors, botanists, biologists, scientists and other environmental experts. Lectures are held at 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month, except for February, June, July and August. In place of a lecture in June, the council sponsors an annual picnic.

Finding the Nature Center

From Beaver Dam Road:

  • Enter the park between the red shed and the Oregon Grill
  • Go across bridge
  • Fork right (following one way signs)
  • You will see the Beach Building on left
  • Continue to the paved parking lot for the Nature Center
  • Nature Center is located at the top of the path

Revised November 3, 2015

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