Robert E. Lee Park, Baltimore

Directions:   Take I-83 (Jones Falls Expressway to Northern Parkway (East) Exit.  Get into the left lane and turn left (North) at the first intersection, which is Falls Road.  You will pass two traffic lights in close proximity at Mt. Washington, then encounter another about a mile further up where Lake Avenue runs into Falls Road.  Lake Falls shopping center will be on your left. About a block past the light, just before the bridge, turn right into the Light Rail parking lot.  Bear to your right and enter R E Lee Park.  When you find a place to park your car, walk on down toward the bridge crossing the Jones Falls at the dam.

Trail Information:  When you cross the bridge, head up into the main park area.  There is a half mile loop in here, but the place is filled with picnickers and dog walkers.  On the crest of the hill, next to the picnic pavilion, you will see a trail heading downhill.  Follow this, cross the light rail tracks, and now you are in business.  This mostly flat trail follows an abandoned rail bed alongside Lake Roland.  About a mile and half up you will cross a single lane bridge.   Option 1 - Continue straight for another mile or so until the trail dissipates on Falls Road.  Be careful, go up the road shoulder about fifty yards, and the trail will resume on your right, climbing the hill.  Option B at the bridge is to take a right turn, and the trail will come out at L'Hirondelle Tennis Club about a mile later.   For a loop course, run out to Ruxton Road, and turn left for a mile.  At the four-way stop get inside the guardrail on your left and pick up a concrete culvert leading up the hill.  The culvert will take you to the trail.  Pass through the hole in the fence and continue on, and the trail will loop back to the bridge.

This portion is mostly flat, soft, and smooth...very easy on the legs.  If you want some real scrambling, take some of the side trails up and away from Lake Roland.   They cover a hillside rife with rocks and roots.  This area is not steep, but the rocks are perfect for turning an ankle, and you would be very wise to consider walking through this area.  When you find it you will know!

There is a water fountain or two in R E Lee Park, and a hose on the side of a building, but other than that be prepared to bring your own.  Fortunately, the trail is shaded and cool most of the time due to the dense woods.

Miscellaneous Information:  This has become my favorite trail system in the Baltimore area ( I don't count the Northern Centrail Railroad Trail as a "trail")

Jim Adams