Running can be intimidating, especially when you’re in a new place, but it doesn’t have to be! If you want to explore Charm City to its fullest, you have to escape the “Hopkins bubble.” To us, there is no better way to do that than in a pair of running shoes with a few good friends. Here are some of our favorite running trails around Baltimore, ranging from easy runs with little hills to long runs that will take you all around the city, with a detailed run-down of each route!
Easy (two to three miles)
The campus loop (two miles)
We are starting in our own backyard! The loop around the Homewood campus is 2.2 miles long with a negligible 76 feet of elevation gain. Plus, you get the best of both worlds here: racing down a brisk Charles Street and enjoying the quieter San Martin Drive that cuts right through the woods.
Stony Run (three miles)
You don’t have to go far to find a nice trail. The Stony Run trail starts just off San Martin Drive, although the trailhead is a bit hidden. The whole run is a scenic 2.9 miles that takes you along the creek and past the dog park. Stony Run is the perfect place to start if you are looking for a friendly trail without too many technical portions and little elevation gain!
Sherwood Gardens (three miles)
During spring, Sherwood Gardens is probably the prettiest place within two miles of Homewood Campus. 3.8 miles is a little less friendly, but it isn’t too hilly, and you can cut down the distance through some shortcuts. If you go in late April, you will even get to see tulips bloom at their peak! This route is simply too beautiful for us to leave it out.
Moderate (four to eight miles)
Gilman Trail (four miles)
Another trail that we often find ourselves on is the Gilman Trail. It runs parallel to Charles Street but cuts through the much more scenic woods. On the trail, you can hardly feel the climb. You can easily add on more miles by connecting with the Stony Run down south or exploring Lake Roland up north if you are feeling ambitious.
Lake Montebello (files miles)
Starting off our moderate collection of running routes is Lake Montebello. At 5.22 miles and 200 feet of elevation gain, it is the flattest five-mile run that you can find around Baltimore. The 1.3-mile loop around the lake is flat and perfect for a workout if that is what you are looking for. You can also easily tag on more miles by exploring the Herring Trail system near Montebello.
Druid Hills (six miles)
East of Homewood Campus is Druid Hills and the Maryland Zoo. Living up to its name, this run packs in 300 feet of elevation gain in six miles — perfect for a hill workout and a challenge. The rewards are high though. You may get to sneak a peek at giraffes and elephants through the fences or see the most beautiful sunrise over the hills if you get there early enough.
Long (10+ miles)
Towson University (11 Miles)
Kicking off our long runs is an 11-mile run up to Towson, most of which is done on a familiar Charles Street. Nearly 500 feet of elevation gain is no fun, but the way back is almost all downhill and fast, perfect for building a workout into a long run. Plus you can get the satisfaction of casually mentioning to your friends, “Oh, I ran up to Towson this morning.”
Fort McHenry (14 Miles)
The last one is just for fun since its half-marathon distance and 600 feet of elevation gain are quite a challenge. This time, we head south towards the historical Fort McHenry and run along Inner Harbor in all its glory. It is not a personal favorite of mine given all the traffic lights between Homewood Campus and Inner Harbor, but it is certainly an experience and the ultimate run to do in Baltimore!
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