Transforming the Public Realm by Providing Equitable, Healthy Trail Access for People of All Ages and Abilities in Baltimore City

On the Jones Falls Trail in Druid Hill Park in Baltimore, Maryland | Photo by Side A Photography

Explore the Trail Network Footprint

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Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park to Middle Branch Park (Western Loop Segment)

This mostly complete section of the loop heads southeast on the Gwynns Falls Trail from Gwynns Falls/Leakin park—one of  the largest urban parks/forests in the country—to Middle Branch Park, with a further connection to Cherry Hill Park further south. On its way, it connects a number of historically significant neighborhoods and parks, the oldest railroad trestle in the country, the B&O Museum and roundhouse (the birthplace of the railroad in America), St. Agnes Hospital and many other significant historic destinations.

Hanover Street Bridge to Canton (Southern Loop Segment)

The loop segment extends from Hanover Street Bridge—on the southern side of the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River—north to Port Covington. A large-scale planning and redevelopment project at Port Covington for Under Armour’s world headquarters is underway, which will include public shoreline access and the connecting of both sides of the river via a disused railroad trestle. The corridor travels through one of the last undeveloped sections of the Baltimore shoreline, provides great views of the city skyline and passes by many historical sites.

The route, which includes parts of the Jones Falls Trail and Gwynns Falls Trail, will also provide further access to the Inner Harbor and some of the city’s other popular tourist destinations as it makes its way to Canton Waterfront Park.

Jones Falls Trail South to North (North-South Loop Connector)

This segment—which essentially cuts through the middle of the project loop via the Jones Falls Trail—extends from the Inner Harbor of Baltimore north to Cylburn Arboretum (and will eventually extend to Mount Washington), passing shops, natural areas, farmers’ markets and Druid Hill Park—a major green space and civic attraction.

The trail provides direct access or easy connections to four universities, including the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Baltimore, as well as to many of Baltimore’s unique green spaces, neighborhoods and cultural attractions.

Canton to Herring Run (Southeast Loop Segment)

This segment of the project involves the transformation of a north-south utility corridor kissing the southern end of the Herring Run Trail, in conjunction with an unused rail line segment, to support the economic development and growing population of several neighborhoods—including Brewer’s Hill—which are experiencing rapid revitalization. This includes the recent and ongoing addition of breweries, residential and commercial spaces, tech hub startups, artists, workshops and more.

The route for the future “Highlandtown Highline”—elevated in a few sections like its namesake in New York—extends south past Highlandtown and then swings west toward the Inner Harbor, and could provide a transit connection to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center as well as the new tech incubators and DIY spaces coming to fruition in Highlandtown.

A BGE utility corridor that runs north of the Highlandtown Highline route and links to the Herring Run Trail could serve as a connector for the adjacent residential neighborhoods and provide a direct trail link to the Inner Harbor from northeast Baltimore.

Herring Run to Lake Montebello (Northeast Loop Segment)

The segment heads north to Lake Montebello along the existing (and recently improved) Herring Run Trail, which parallels Herring Run and is surrounded by residential and Main Street neighborhoods, as well as parkland consisting of stream valleys, forests, meadows and ball fields.

Olmsted Corridor – 33rd Street: Lake Montebello to Druid Hill Park (Northern Loop Segment)

A star of this segment is the 33rd Street Corridor, one of the routes developed by the Olmsted Brothers and originally envisioned as a connecting parkway between the east and west. Currently comprising automobile lanes and a median strip, plans are in the works to create a multiuse pathway that connects the Herring Run Trail in the east with the Jones Falls Trail and Johns Hopkins University.

The route is already one of the most-used bike corridors in Baltimore, with the 0.5-mile area surrounding the corridor receiving double the use than that of the rest of the city. Coalition partners are working with city agencies, neighborhoods and professional engineers to determine how this historic corridor can be honored by bringing the original shared-use paths and multimodal intent to a contemporary vision of safe connectivity to support public health, urban greening and economic development.

Read more about this project.

Photo courtesy Mark Peters | CC BY 2.0

Lake Montebello

Lake Montebello is a reservoir serving the region’s drinking water system and has 1.3-mile walking, biking and fitness path—one of the most popular places in the city for recreation and physical activity (particularly from the nearby neighborhoods of Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello, Belair-Edison and Hamilton-Lauraville). Just north of Lake Montebello is Morgan State University, a historically black college significant to the post-Civil War era and the American Civil Rights Movement. To the west of this corridor is the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, Wyman Park Dell, and the bustling neighborhoods of Remington and Charles Village, just a short distance from Druid Hill Park and the Jones Falls Trail.

Olmsted Corridor: Druid Hill Park to Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park (Northern Loop Segment)

Heading west from Druid Hill Park, the route passes through many neighborhoods with significant African American history, including Rosemont, Mondawmin, Ashburton, Walbrook Junction and Auchentoroly Terrace.

Another Olmsted Parkway between Druid Hill Park and Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park could serve as a multiuse pathway that connects these neighborhoods to the greater loop—providing new and improved access to jobs, schools, hospitals, shopping centers and green space. Nearby anchors include Coppin State University, Lake Ashburton, Mondawmin Mall, the Baltimore Zoo and the Parks & People Foundation headquarters, located in a repurposed, historic park property.

Safe Crossings at Druid Hill Park

In the Greater Mondawmin neighborhood, a major intersection and divided highway make it nearly impossible for residents to safely cross the street to reach Druid Hill Park, essentially isolating them from the public space and the many community events and farmers’ markets held here. A safe street crossing as part of the larger trail network will remove this barrier.

RELATED: 112 Years Later: Baltimore’s Trail Network Vision Is Coming of Age

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