If you ask a local where you should lace up to get in a few miles, most of them will probably point you toward the Inner Harbor and its waterfront views. While we also recommend Inner Harbor as a Baltimore classic, but there are several more options to choose from than you might realize (especially if your only point of reference is The Wire).
If you find yourself in Baltimore and want to log some miles, be sure to check out the following:
The Inner Harbor to Fells Point
A run along the Inner Harbor is a classic, and is one of the most scenic in all of Baltimore. You'll have views of the water for a good portion of the run, as well as the opportunity to cross a few bridges and see some of the huge ships in the harbor.
The Baltimore Visitor Center is also in this area, just off Light Street and makes this a great first run if you are new to the city. Want to get in some hill work? Climb up to the top of Federal Hill and you'll be rewarded with one of the best views in the city.
Druid Hill Park
Druid Hill Park is located in the northwest corner of the city and encompasses 745 acres of land that includes paths around Druid Lake. The Maryland Zoo is also located here, as are several miles of the Jones Falls Trail.
Plan your route so that you end up at the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens. The collection of cacti, orchids and other unique plants inside this stunning building are worth a visit. Pro tip: There's free street parking right in front of the conservatory.
The Gwynns Falls Trail/East Coast Greenway
The Gwynns Falls Trail is a 15-mile urban trail that mostly follows the path of Gwynns Falls stream. There are 9 different trailheads from which you can start your adventure.
We started near the Raven's M&T Bank Stadium and just followed the green painted signs on the sidewalk. Check out this more detailed map for some tips on parking and where to find a bathroom.
Patterson Park is Baltimore's oldest park and one of its most beloved public spaces. A loop around the perimeter will get you roughly 2 miles, but there are numerous paths inside the park to tack on additional distance. Make sure to take a lap past the Pagoda in the northwest corner of the park.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Fort McHenry was the site of the Battle of Baltimore, which inspired Francis Scott Key's "Start Spangled Banner." Today, it's a national park site, part of the 560-mile Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, and has plenty of space for you to stretch your legs, including a mile-long waterfront path that goes around the perimeter of the fort.
Pay attention to signs, as there is no running inside the designated historic area. Parking, running on the grounds and exploring the visitor and education center are all free, but there is a fee to enter the fort.
Know Before You Go
Maryland weather is notorious for being all over the place. One day it can be hot and humid, and the next day it's windy and cold. Check the forecast and wear layers.
Carry your own water. We found very few water fountains on our runs and the ones we did find were turned off for the winter, so come prepared.
Bring your cell phone. In addition to assisting with navigation, you might want it on hand to snap a photo or two.
Charm City Run is a great specialty running store to visit if you need a new pair of shoes or forgot to pack something. They have two locations in Baltimore: one in Fells Point and another in Locust Point.
All photos by Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley.
Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley are based in Asheville, North Carolina, but are currently traveling the country in their van. You can follow along with their adventures at Authentic Asheville.
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