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Oregon Ridge Park,
Cockeysville, MD Day Hike

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On Wednesday, August 25, 2021 my cousin Ron Calabrese and I hiked various trails within Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD. What follows is a description of our adventure.

I got to Ron's house in Owings Mills, MD around 7:40AM. It then took us about 15 minutes to get to Oregon Ridge Park. The temperatures were in the 70's then and were expected to get to the mid to upper 80's by 10:00 AM.

According to the Baltimore County, MD website this park is 1,100 acres in size. There are 11 trails that provide about 7 miles of hiking/running/riding/etc. The area had extensive iron ore and marble mining within it during the mid 19th century. There was a nice nature center at this park but it was closed on this day.

When we arrived at the park we walked past a playground, then were not sure which way to go. We were supposed to go straight on the Shortcut or Schist Trail. However, there were no blazes or signage to guide us. And the map was not clear as to which way to go. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? We saw a trail to the right just past the playground. So we took it. It was the Baltimore Gneiss Trail and was supposed to be blazed purple. But there were no blazes. So we walked next to the treeline and into the woods until we got to the end of this trail. Then we got stuck.

We came to a picnic shelter and a number of mowed grass trails. It looked like this could have been a Frisbee Golf Course. We tried a few grassy paths but all were dead ends. So we took a paved path/road from the picnic shelter and it led to a lake, Ahh, we can find where we are on a map. Not so.

Before I proceed I have to note that our GPS apps, AllTrails and Google Maps, were not working properly today. We could not get the "blue dot" to come up within the Oregon Ridge Park map on AllTrails. And on Google Maps, the blue dot appeared farther east and very close to I83. So we had to rely on a paper map, blazes, signage, kiosks and asking other hikers where we were.

We walked around the lake and could not find a trail there that we could take. This was more of a pond than a lake. We walked away from the lake and along the parking lot edge and found what looked like a trail corridor up a small hill. As we approached this corridor a lady came walking the other way. So I asked her where were we and how could we get to the orange trail. She was very nice and explained to us what was ahead trailwise. She appeared to have an Irish accent. So we thanked her and proceeded on what I thought would be the orange blazed Loggers Trail. At least, it was orange on my map. We then found out that it was red and not orange.

As we were trying to find our way around this park the temperatures were soaring. And we had wasted between 30 and 45 minutes trying to figure out where the heck we were. When we finally got to the orange, which was really red, trail, we hiked along it for a short time and, when we came to the first trail intersection, we decided to take the blue trail to the red trail to the green trail and finally back to our vehicle via the white trail. This would shorten this trip from about 4.2 miles to about 2.2 miles. The blue trail was mostly up. The sweat was pouring down our faces. When we reached the red trail we took a break on a bench.

After a short time on the red trail we turned left onto the green trail. It was all downhill, which was nice. We then turned right onto the white trail and made our way back to our vehicle.

Even though the blazing, signage and kiosks were sub par, in my opinion, I would like to come back to this park some day and explore it some more. Hopefully, it will be cooler then and by exploring this park more, we can better learn where these trails go within it.

Mike C

Sign @ Oregon Ridge Park
   Sign @ Oregon Ridge Park.
   By Mike Calabrese
Along the Purple Trail
   Along the Purple Trail.
   By Mike Calabrese
Selfie on Purple Trail
   Selfie on Purple Trail.
   By Mike Calabrese
One of the 'dead ends'
   One of the 'dead ends'.
   By Mike Calabrese
The lake
   The lake.
   By Mike Calabrese
Blaze on Green Trail
   Blaze on Green Trail.
   By Mike Calabrese
Map of where we hiked
   Map of where we hiked.
   By Baltimore County, MD DRP.

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