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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: beach

Michael L. Schneider, Community Outreach Liaison, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

At the risk of giving away my age – I’ll start this blog with another paraphrased punch line from an old TV commercial…

This HOT Baltimore summer, “How do you spell relief?”

B-A-L-T-I-M-O-R-E- C-O-U-N-T-Y –P-A-R-K-S

It’s better than some old medicine – Your relief this summer comes in the form of the many beautiful waterfront parks that can be found throughout our County!

Now, if you are anything like me, your first instinctive response to “waterfront parks” might be, Rocky Point Beach and Oregon Ridge Beach.  And, YES, you would be right!  More on these incredible wet and wonderful places later on in this blog…

But did you know there are lots more waterfront parks in our County than many of us can even begin to imagine – who knew?? 

Waterfront Parks  are, indeed, plentiful and offer so much more than a gentle breeze and beautiful views. We are talking shorelines, fishing, boat ramps, boat rentals (at one particular site) and of course, a variety of other amenities you will love on a hot summer day when you “seek the relief.”  Pavilions, ball fields, playgrounds, trails, multipurpose courts – it is a long list of options for you at these waterfront havens! 

Imagine, sitting on the shoreline looking out on the incredible Chesapeake Bay or one of its magnificent tributaries.  Now, imagine a fishing pole in hand, with a cool drink by your side (are you getting the picture?!)  Or, how about for you Mr. and Ms. Boat Owner – seven, count ‘em, seven boat ramps around the county at Cox’s Point, Inverness, Merritt Point , Rocky Point, Southwest Area, Turner Station and Wilson Point Parks.  Imagine easing out onto the beautiful waters under the clear blue sky seeing magnificent birds flying above you and knowing the bounty of the bay or Patapsco is below you.  Life is good, isn’t it!

Now, back to that fishing…how about doing it in another “jewel” of our County. The Loch Raven Fishing Center  is just “luring” you to come on out (you took the “bait” on that one, didn’t you?!).   Only a 2,400 acre reservoir stands between you and a large - or small - mouth bass, yellow perch, northern pike and a variety of other catches of the day.  You need to know that docking and launch permits for the 2014 season are sold out (talk about your hot ticket!), but there is still the opportunity to rent a boat or canoe and all the fishing gear you will need for a few hours on the water.  Your friends at Baltimore County Recreation and Parks want you to enjoy  Loch Raven Fishing Center  for all it is worth, be certain to read the above link for all of the important facility rules.  If you have additional questions, give the good folks at the Fishing Center a call at 410-887-7692.  This could be “reel” fun!

Of course, there’s always the chance to soak in some fine learning while relaxing near the water.   Destinations like Marshy Point Nature Center feature protected environmental areas whose educational displays and programs emphasize the Chesapeake Bay and its ecosystem.  Imagine your kids (and you!) learning something – and having a great time all the while!

Of course, the “big two” water front areas that folks associate with Baltimore County would be those beautiful beaches of ours – Rocky Point Beach and Park and  Oregon Ridge Beach. photo of Rocky Point beach  Let’s skip the three, four or more hour jaunt down Route 50 and play the part of the beachcomber practically in your own back yard!  Each beach features beautiful sites to see, lots of waterfront and the security and confidence in well trained guards. 

Didja Know…

The Baltimore Sailing Center is located at Rocky Point?  Lessons are offered for individuals and groups.  And over at Oregon Ridge Beach, there is shallow and deep water for swimming  and all kinds of amenities to make your day at the beach a bundle of fun and pretty darned convenient to boot!

Here’s a sampling of some other waterfront fun awaiting you in Baltimore County Parks…

Robert E. Lee Park – canoeing and kayaking on Lake Roland

Fort Howard Park – Fishing and pier

Battle Grove Park - Shoreline

Inverness Park – Fishing and Boat Ramp

Merritt Point Park – Fishing and Boat Ramp

Turner Station Park – Fishing and Boat Ramp

Southwest Area Park – Boat ramp and Pier (access to the Patapsco River)

For more information on the above, and other Waterfront Parks , click here.

And in the name of “good times,” we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Gunpowder Falls State Park  which is located in Baltimore County.  Their telephone number is 410-592-2897.

So there you have it – it is a certainty that it is going to be hot and sticky this summer; and your wild and wet relief really can be spelled out B-A-L-T-I-M-O-R-E- -C-O-U-N-T-Y- -P-A-R-K-S.  In the words of another old-time TV commercial – Oh, what a relief it is!!

By the way – Baltimore County Recreation and Parks office is proud to be honoring its earlier “guarantee” – there has not been one snow flake in the county since we made that promise way back in April!  We kept that promise, now you have to believe our promise that our parks are a great option to beat the heat – and to have a great time!


Your local county library

by Jamie Watson

Collection Development Coordinator

Baltimore County Public Library

A trip down the ocean is part of every Baltimore County resident's summer routine, but what's the point of going to the beach without a good book to read? Before you make your way to the beach this summer, swing by your local branch of the Baltimore County Public Library and get some great beachside entertainment, free of charge.

The newest Jack Reacher novel comes out in September, and the first Jack Reacher movie, starring the ubiquitous-this-summer Tom Cruise, will be out in December. If you’ve not read this thriller series, about a former military policeman, Killing Floor is his first, although you can jump into this series anywhere. Baltimore County Public Library has volumes of the series in print, large type, book on cd, Playaway, downloadable audiobook, e-book, and even one volume in Russian!

Another hot genre for summer escapes is paranormal romance. Melissa de la Cruz began her series, The Witches of East End,  last summer. Set in the Hamptons, it features two sisters and a mother who have been alive for hundreds of years, but are currently forbidden from practicing their magic – until now. The first volume ended on a cliffhanger, but never fear, Serpent’s Kiss, the follow-up, came out this summer.

Fiction written for teens remains hot, especially on the heels of The Hunger Games, but don’t write it off as “kids books.” Many of the hottest teen books can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. John Green’s The Fault in our Stars tells the story of two teenagers, Hazel and Gus, who are suffering from terminal cancer. All the tropes of a teen novel are here – growing up, life’s purpose, the opposite sex, friendship, your family, but at an accelerated speed – because unlike most teenagers, Hazel and Gus don’t think they’re going to live forever. This is one to read in an air-conditioned room, not the beach or pool, unless you’re ready to shed a few tears in public.

Finally, it’s almost Olympics time! It’s also the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team – the US Olympic basketball team made up of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and more. Sports journalist Jack McCollum was “embedded” with the team from their inception to their Gold Medal, and he has lots of tales to tell!

None of these strike your fancy? Come check out Baltimore County Public Library’s newest blog, Between the CoversRecent posts on cozy mysteries, small-town romance, and even books for kids will have suggestions to keep the whole family busy for the rest of the summer!


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