This past weekend, my roommates and I were craving a walk farther than our tri-weekly pilgrimage to Shriver Hall, our COVID-19 testing site of choice. At the suggestion of one of our friends, we decided to head to Lake Roland.
Located only 15 minutes north of campus by car and less than an hour by transferring from the 21 bus at the Wyman Park building to the BWI-bound Light Rail line, Lake Roland is the perfect destination for those who have an afternoon to spend away from campus.
The 503-acre park is free to enter, and it offers 10 trails of varying length and difficulty. For those interested in a more leisurely visit, there are ample benches to sit at and watch the dogs of Paw Point Dog Park mingle or take in the sights of the expansive lake, which is nearly 100 acres itself. Although we explored the trails ourselves this past weekend, the Lake Roland Nature Council also hosts expert-led programming throughout the year.
My roommates and I entered the park from Lakeside Drive and were immediately enchanted with the scope and beauty of the area. We visited on a Saturday morning and the park was already busy, though the paths were wide enough for us to maintain ample distance from fellow park-goers. We were lucky enough to be dog-sitting for my roommate’s uncle’s Goldendoodle, Lupita, and she quickly befriended the other dogs on the path.
Large homes line the hills overlooking the lake, and it was easy to imagine that we were on vacation in a lakefront town. We started off along the paved loop, which took us past the dog park and toward the tracks that run across the lake. From there, we started on the Red Trail, which is two miles in total, though we did not make it quite that far.
The trail was generally flat and took us along the western shore of the lake, offering beautiful views of the water and the flowers blooming along the path. At certain points, we stopped to marvel at the art installations along the trail, moving out of the way to let joggers run past us.
When the Red Trail met up with the Yellow Trail, we took the Yellow Trail back toward our starting point. The trail was slightly steeper, though still very manageable. It offered what I believe were some of the most beautiful views we saw of the lake during our visit, including a lookout point dotted with yellow flowers that jutted out high above the water. Even my roommates from California, who are quick to denounce the East Coast’s nature scene, found the spot undeniably beautiful.
With our remaining spring break days rapidly approaching, I can think of no better way to recharge than grabbing a Zyrtec, a bottle of water and your roommate’s uncle’s dog before heading north to explore this beautiful spot on the edge of Baltimore County.