Baltimore County Now
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. 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.
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)
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!
By Patrick McDougall
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks
Is there any better way to spend a Spring or Summer day than with rod and reel in hand, the fish biting, and dreams of a nice, fat catch at the end of your line? Not in my experience. Fishing is a great way to spend some quality family time, have a day out with the buddies, or just get away from it all for a few hours.
Did you know that there are a multitude of opportunities for great fishing available not far from your own back door? If you want to grab the fishing tackle, set up on a pier, and try your luck along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, or a stocked pond, then Baltimore County is the place for you.
We are home to over a dozen public fishing piers where everyone can bring their rod and reel and see what’s biting. How about a day on the reservoir, trying to hook a trout, walleye, crappie, catfish, or bass from a rented rowboat or electric motor boat? Head to Loch Raven Fishing Center and take advantage of their affordable boat rentals. Have your own trailered boat and need access to the Bay, Middle River, Bear Creek, Patapsco River, or other tidal waterways to spend a day trolling for the big one? Take advantage of Baltimore County’s FREE public boat ramps. Shoreline fishing is also available at most of our waterfront parks, but the best spots are well-guarded secrets that you’ll just have to discover on your own!
If you need information on how to get a fishing license or fishing regulations, visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ licensing page. Another great resource for fishing and waterfront information is the Baltimore County Marine Trades Association’s 2012 Waterfront Guide. So grab your fishing rod, gather your tackle, stop at a local bait shop for some fish-enticing victuals, and head out to your soon-to-be-favorite Baltimore County fishin’ spot!