Sunday, June 30, 2024

Lake Roland at Baltimore

Lake Roland Park,
Baltimore Co.,

Hiking Trails:
Pink Trail
Red Trail
Yellow Trail

Total Time: 1:30 hours
Estimated Distance: 3.2 miles

Pros: Scenic lake, nice trail network
Cons: None
Hike Type: 8 Loop
Level of  Difficulty: Very easy

Google Maps of Parking:

On my weekend trip to Baltimore, I visited Lake Roland, a scenic lake on the Baltimore City/County Line. Its a quiet, peaceful place within the urban area with a large network of hiking trails. I parked at the parking area near the dam, and took the Pink Trail along the wide part of the lake to the cave, which appears to be an old mine, and then hiked to the end of the trail at the tracks. I crossed the bridge and then took the Red Trail north along the old railroad tracks alongside the lake, to the Yellow Trail and then back along the old tracks trail, then crossing the light rail tracks to the dog area. I then walked alongside the dam and across the bridge, and went back to my car.

Map of the Route

Lake Roland

Fascinating Live Tree

Pink Trail Crossing a Side Inlet of Lake Roland

Pink Trail


Strange Monument along the Red Trail

Rail Tracks down to the Lake

Yellow Trail

Yellow Trail Overlook

Lake Roland Dam

Friday, June 28, 2024

Cylburn Arboretum


Hiking Trails:
Border Trail
Vista Trail
Circle Trail
Buckeye Trail

Total Time: 0:23 hours
Estimated Distance: 1.0 miles

Pros: Scenic, green area in city limits
Cons: No views
Hike Type: Loop
Level of  Difficulty: Very easy

Google Maps of Parking:

I was in Baltimore for the weekend, and took a quick break to walk through Cylburn Arboretum. This quiet area within the city limits of Baltimore features several easy hiking trails, a botanical garden, and an historic mansion. I did a short look prior to heading into the weekend.

Map of the Route

Map of Cylburn Arboretum

Start of the Circle Trail

Bamboo Forest

Deer Fence to Keep the Deer Out for Plant Growth

Ripe Red Raspberries along the Trail

Large Tree

Cylburn Gardens

Cylburn Mansion

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cactus Ledge Shortcut Route

Ramapo Valley County Reservation
Bergen Co.,
New Jersey

Hiking Trails:
Pond Loop: Silver blaze
Cactus Ledge Shortcut Route: Unblazed
Vista Loop: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:00 hours
Estimated Distance: 1.8 miles

Pros: Good climb, nice view, cactus grove
Cons: None
Hike Type: Loop
Level of  Difficulty: Difficult

Google Maps of Parking:

I had a graduation event in the morning and then had to be in Brooklyn in the afternoon to visit family, so I only had time for a short hike. Cactus Ledge in Ramapo Valley Reservation is a short and sweet hike. I opted for one of the unmarked routes for a direct path up.

The weather was also excessively hot with a heat advisory for the area. So it was anyways appropriate for a shorter hike due to the weather. I parked in the main parking area, and took the path across the Mahwah River, and then I took the loop around Scarlet Oak Lake. At the point where the Vista Loop bears away from the loop and up the mountain, I took the steep shortcut trail straight up the mountain, before reaching the unofficial red trail. I then continued up the rocky area to Cactus Ledge.

Cactus Ledge features a sweeping view with a great view of the Manhattan skyline. There is also a grove of native cactus there, and they had beautiful yellow flowers. I know that late June is when the cactus flowers bloom, so I figured this would be a good time to visit. I then went down along the unofficial red-blazed route down the mountain towards where the Ridge Loop Trail ends near the lake. I then continued back to my car.

Map of the Route

Ramapo River

Scarlet Oak Reservoir

Mahwah River

Scarlet Oak Reservoir

View of the Mountain

Unofficial Red Trail Shortcut Up the Mountain

Cactus Flowers at Cactus Ledge

View from Cactus Ledge, with Ramapo College in the Distance

Climbing Down the Mountain