altimore County has adopted an aggressive stream valley protection program that will ensure greenway protection along designated streams as development occurs. Selected stream valleys are designated as greenways in the county master plan. Through the master plan implementation program, the greenway network is slowly being pieced together via the development process and a greenway easement purchase initiative.

n addition, Baltimore County's rural residential clustering regulations require the establishment of a 70 percent conservancy area. Conservancy area guidelines stress the importance of connecting stream valley greenways with the conservancy areas.

1) Cook's Branch

he Cook's Branch greenway is a proposed stream valley greenway in western Baltimore County that would provide a footpath and serve as a wildlife corridor. The proposed path would be approximately 1.42 miles long and would link Liberty Reservoir to lands owned by DNR and the county. The stream valley corridor could eventually be linked to Soldier's Delight Natural Environment Area.

he corridor is not currently in public ownership, but the county hopes to work with property owners to purchase easements. Establishment of this corridor is aimed at providing water quality and habitat protection. If a protected corridor is established, the county hopes to have local volunteer groups provide any necessary maintenance. The county is looking to secure a corridor 200 feet wide along the stream.

2) Gunpowder Falls

unpowder Falls is an existing protected area consisting of several unconnected segments of Gunpowder Falls State Park totalling over 14,000 acres. In the northern part of the county, the state park includes the Northern Central Rail Trail as well as camping areas. In the Hereford area, the state park connects to Prettyboy Reservoir providing a substantial protected corridor that extends into Carroll County.

he Sweet Air segment of Gunpowder Falls State Park forms about one half of the border between Baltimore and Harford Counties (with a couple of small gaps). The Hammerman/Dundee section of the park is located in Chase near Eastern Avenue. This portion of the park connects to Loch Raven Reservoir providing another substantial, protected greenway corridor.

3) Gwynns Falls Greenway

he Gwynns Falls Greenway is a proposed stream valley greenway that would include a trail. The proposed trail would be about 1.75 miles long with a porous surface. It would connect Milford Mill Nature Trail to Silver Creek Park and the Old Court metro station. The trail would be designed for passive recreation and habitat protection and would be handicapped accessible.

his project is part of a larger effort to establish a greenway corridor along the length of the Gwynns Falls, linking Baltimore City and Baltimore County, and creating a major green loop with the Patapsco Regional Greenway.

4) Northern Central Rail Trail

he Northern Central Rail Trail (NCRT) is an existing state-owned, multi-user rail trail within Gunpowder Falls State Park. This 19.7-mile trail runs from Ashland Road (in the Hunt Valley area) and extends into Pennsylvania for a short distance. The Maryland portion of the trail was constructed in 1984 along the 152-year-old Northern Central Railroad right-of-way. The trail is suitable for hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. The trail is 10-feet wide and has a crushed stone surface. The trail is handicapped accessible. Click here for a detailed trail map with directions and parking information.

everal parking locations along the trail provide public access to the trail. A detailed map is available from the state park office. The trail parallels three streams: the Big Gunpowder Falls, the Little Falls and Bee Tree Run. The trail runs through both residential and rural areas.

1994 survey showed that local residents view the trail as a community asset and use the trail frequently. Use of the trail has increased from 10,000 people per year in 1984 to over 450,000 in 1994. The NCRT will be part of the planned East Coast Greenway system.

5) Northeast Creek Greenway

he Northeast Creek Greenway is a proposed tidal greenway in southeastern Baltimore County. This corridor would offer stream buffer, wetland protection, opportunities for nature study by canoe, and wildlife habitat. Footpaths are also envisioned. The corridor begins at Eastern Vo-Tech High School and runs about 1.5 miles down to Back River. The corridor encompasses approximately 100 acres, 80 percent of which is owned by the Maryland Department of Transportation. The greenway would ultimately connect Stemmers Run Greenway to Back River by way of Northeast Creek.

6) #8 Streetcar Path

he #8 Streetcar Path is a planned trail along a quarter-mile section of the old No. 8 streetcar line between Edmondson Avenue and Frederick Road near Montrose Avenue. The Old Catonsville Neighborhood Association has applied for a $7,100 grant from the county to cover the costs of cleaning, clearing and mulching the land. The project would include the installation of a sidewalk in the 1600 block of Edmondson Avenue.

7) #9 Trolley Trail

he #9 Trolley Trail is a completed rail trail project in western Baltimore County. The trail is approximately 1.25 miles long, beginning at the end of Edmondson Avenue and running through Oella to Ellicott City. It connects Catonsville Middle School to Banneker Historical Park (which connects to Patapsco Valley State Park) and ends near the Patapsco River in Ellicott City.

8) Patapsco Regional Greenway

he Patapsco Regional Greenway is a partially established, multi-jurisdictional greenway along the Patapsco River. The Patapsco Valley State Park serves as the spine for the greenway and provides almost 14,000 acres of protected land in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Howard Counties. The state park has five separate recreation areas that are heavily used by residents of the surrounding urban area.

lmost the entire length of the river in Baltimore County lies within the Patapsco Valley State Park, except for a portion around historic Oella. The Patapsco Regional Greenway Committee was formed in 1995 and is examining possible trail connections and promotion of the area's cultural and historic features.

he Patapsco Regional Greenway also extends north from the park along Liberty Reservoir adjacent to Soldier's Delight (a state-owned, 1,800-acre natural environment area). There are a number of potential stream valley greenways along tributaries (including Cook's Branch, Red Run and Norris Run) that would tie into the Gwynns Falls Greenway and Baltimore City.

Jump to the Maryland DNR Home Page.

Updated on November 15, 2000
Questions or comments? Send e-mail to Maryland DNR