Gwynns Falls Trail
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Trail Info

A Unique Urban Greenway and Stream
Valley Connector for Baltimore

The Gwynns Falls Trail travels through an environmentally valuable urban greenway park in west and southwest Baltimore City along the Gwynns Falls stream valley, a historically and culturally significant area. The Gwynns Falls greenway is the most complete system of watershed parks in Baltimore as originally envisioned by the Olmsted Brothers in their plan for Greater Baltimore Public Grounds prepared for the Baltimore Municipal Arts Society in 1904. The greenway is composed of over 2000 acres of publicly owned parkland within the Gwynns Falls stream valley and includes one of the largest woodland parks in the Eastern United States - Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park.

You must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to use the above link to the printable version of the Trail Map. For a professionally printed version, contact us at info@gwynnsfallstrail.org .

The Gwynns Falls Trail is a hiking and biking trail that begins in Leakin Park and generally follows the stream to the Middle Branch and Inner Harbor in the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River. The entire 15-mile trail system is open to the public. Within Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park and its 1200 acres, there are also approximately 20 miles of additional natural paths wandering up and down the slopes of this wilderness park that are wonderful for hiking and unique in an urban setting.

The Gwynns Falls Trail is a continuous recreation corridor that connects over 30 neighborhoods in west and southwest Baltimore with parklands, unique urban environmental features, cultural resources and historic landmarks. Local residents and visitors are able to bike, hike, roller blade, fish in the stream, picnic, watch for birds and other wildlife, undertake environmental education activities, find solitude and enjoy nature, host community festivals and meet friends and neighborhood residents along the Trail.

Special Points of Interest and Activities

Some points of interest near or along the currently improved section of the Trail are the Orianda House and the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School in the Crimea Estate area, the Carrie Murray Nature Center, Leon Day Park, the historic Carrolton Railroad Viaduct and Mt. Claire Mansion in Carroll Park, the B&O Railroad Museum, Middle Branch Park, Waterview West wildlife observation boardwalk and deck, the Baltimore Rowing Club, M&T Bank Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Solo Gibbs Park, Federal Hill Park, and the Inner Harbor West Park and Promenade. The Trail route offers easy access to Baltimore's historic cultural heritage, reopening a carriage path built on an old mill race, ruins of a mock civil war fort, a relic water wheel, and eighteenth century plantations and mansions.

The Trail has been the site of several unique and innovative park events and activities including National Trails Day, Tour du Park, Hon!, music concerts, movies in the park, the Leon Day Park Celebration, Cycle For Life Bike Tour, haunted hikes, poetry slams, Walk for Wildlife, a prescreening of Blair Witch: Book of Shadows, annual Art on the Trail exhibits, and an assortment of festivals, reunions, and group picnics. A 300-person Ben Cardin picnic pavilion, amphitheater, and restrooms have been constructed at the Winans Meadow Trailhead as well as new facilities provided at Leon Day Park including a playground, lighted sports fields for baseball, football, and basketball courts, and restrooms.

Project Partners

Making the Gwynns Falls Trail a reality required a public-private partnership. Project partners are the Baltimore City Departments of Recreation & Parks, Planning, Transportation and Police, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Trust for Public Land, the Gwynns Falls Trail Council, the Parks & People Foundation, and the Citizens of Baltimore.

The construction and land acquisition funds for the Gwynns Falls Trail have been provided by the United States and Maryland Departments of Transportation, Maryland Program Open Space, the City of Baltimore, and several private funders. Funding for the Trust for Public Land, the Gwynns Falls Trail Council and Parks & People Foundation have been provided by the Wallace Reader's Digest Fund and other private funders.( Click for more details about partners and funders. )

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the Trail?

From the West and I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) to Trailhead T1: Take I-695 Exit 16, I-70 East/Local Traffic/Park & Ride. Proceed past I-70 Exit 94, Security Boulevard, and park in the Park & Ride lot. The I-70 Trailhead (T1) is at the eastern end of the Park & Ride.

From the West and I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) to Trailhead T2: Take I-695 Exit 16, I-70 East/Local Traffic/Park & Ride. Exit at I-70 Exit 94 to Security Boulevard. Stay in the right lane and turn right at the Ingleside Avenue traffic light. Cross the bridge and turn right at the top of the bridge (just before the Franklintown sign). Proceed one block to the stop sign at Franklintown Road and turn left. Proceed on Franklintown Road approximately 1.5 miles past the intersection with Winans Way, and the Winans Meadow Trailhead will be around the bend on the left.

From the East and Downtown Baltimore: Take US 40 west (Franklin Street and Edmondson Avenue past Edmondson Village (4.5 miles) Go west on US 40 to Winans Way. Turn right on to Winans Way. Follow Winans Way to the third stop sign and turn right on to Franklintown Road. Follow Franklintown Road for 1/3 mile to the Winans Meadow Trailhead (T2).

From North Avenue: Go west on North Avenue. Cross Hilton Parkway. At the next intersection turn left onto Morris Road, turn right onto Franklintown Road. Follow Franklintown Road for approximately 1 mile to the Winans Meadow Trailhead (T2). Alternatively, at Franklintown Road turn left and follow it to the Leon Day Park Trailhead (T4) on the right.

From Liberty Heights Avenue to Trailhead 3: Take Hilton Street south to Gwynns Falls Parkway and turn right (west). Follow Gwynns Falls Parkway to the intersection with Windsor Mill Road and turn right. Follow Windsor Mill Road for approximately 3 blocks to the Windsor Mill Road Trailhead (T3) on the left.

From Liberty Heights Avenue to Trailhead 4: Take Garrison Boulevard south, bear left at Clifton Avenue (Walbrook Junction) and turn right onto Denison Street. Proceed to North Avenue and directly across to Morris Road. Follow Morris Road to Franklintown Road and turn right. Follow Franklintown Road for approximately 1 mile to the Winans Meadow Trailhead. Alternatively, at Franklintown Road turn left and follow it to the Leon Day Park Trailhead (T4) on the right.

From North Central Baltimore and I-83: Northbound on I-83 take 28 th Street west bound to Druid Park Lake Drive. From local roads or I-83 southbound, take 29th Street westbound to Druid Park Lake Drive (The Druid Hill Reservoir is on the right). Follow Druid Park Lake Drive to McCullough Street (Druid Hill Park is on the right). Move to one of the two left-hand lanes. Continue to Gwynns Falls Parkway and turn left. Follow Gwynns Falls Parkway to Hilton Street and turn left. Continue on Hilton Street to North Avenue and turn right. Proceed to the next intersection and turn left on Morris Road. Turn right onto Franklintown Road. Follow Franklintown Road for approximately 1 mile to the Winans Meadow Trailhead (T2). Alternatively, at Franklintown Road turn left and follow it to the Leon Day Park Trailhead (T4) on the right.

Please Note: Trailheads (and other locations) have kiosks with maps showing the Trail and the surrounding area. Paper maps are available at kiosks as well.

Click the Trailheads below for location maps.

Trailhead 1 – Gwynns Falls Park at Interstate 70/Park & Ride at Security Boulevard/near Franklintown.

Trailhead 2 – Leakin Park at Winans Meadow, 4500 Franklintown Road, Baltimore, MD 21229

Trailhead 3 – Gwynns Falls Park at Windsor Mill Road, 4300 block Windsor Mill Road, Baltimore, MD 21207

Trailhead 4 – Leon Day Park at Franklintown Road, 1200 block North Franklintown Road, Baltimore, MD 21216

Trailhead 5 – Gwynns Falls Park at Frederick Avenue, 2700 block Frederick Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21223

Trailhead 6 – Carroll Park at the Golf Course, 2100 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230

Trailhead 7 – Inner Harbor at the Baltimore Visitors Center, 401 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Trailhead 8 – Middle Branch Park at Waterview Avenue, 3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

Trailhead 9 – Middle Branch Park at Hanover Street, 3200 block South Hanover Street, Baltimore, MD 21225

How long is the Trail?
The Trail is 15 miles long.

What neighborhoods does it go through?
The Trail will pass by 30 different communities in West, Southwest and South Baltimore. They range from Dickeyville, Walbrook, Edmondson Village, Windsor Hills, Shipley Hill, Pigtown, Morrell Park, Federal Hill, Otterbein, and Cherry Hill.

What parks does the Trail connect?
Leakin Park, Leon Day Park, Gwynns Falls Park, Carroll Park and Carroll Park Golf Course, Middle Branch Park, Solo Gibbs Park, Ridgely's Cove Park, West Park and Federal Hill Park.

Is the Trail a safe place to be?
Yes, the Baltimore City Police Department occasionally assigns Police officers to patrol the Trail which has experienced no serious physical incidents since beginning operation in 1999. This is clearly an example of "a used trail being a safe trail."

Is the surface of the Trail consistent throughout?
No, the surface changes in different areas. Asphalt is the predominant surface, although 1 mile is crushed stone, both of which are easy for bikers and walkers to use.

Can you bike? Can you hike?
Yes, all throughout the Trail and its many connecting paths.

Who uses the Trail?
Trail users are daily bike commuters, runners exercising, neighborhood residents (Some who walk dogs on leashes), students and teachers, business employees, tourists, and visitors from beyond the Baltimore area.

Are dogs allowed on the Trail?
Yes, if kept on a leash on all sections of the trail and in parks.

What will I see while I am on the Trail?
You will see beautiful scenery, historic sites, cityscapes, bridges and water. Come and explore!

What are some of the benefits of the Trail?
Open space and recreation opportunities affect neighborhood quality of life, reduce crime rates, and positively shapes perceptions of the city's attractiveness as a place to live, work, learn, and play.
The Gwynns Falls Trail offers:

  • More recreational, social and cultural opportunities for the City of Baltimore
  • Trail and greenways improve property values
  • Safer pedestrian and bicycle access
  • The most dramatic scenery within an urban wilderness setting
  • Promotes environmental education and outdoor classroom activities
  • Potential for youth employment opportunities
  • Stronger ties to other communities and institutions
  • Amenities for diverse population

How do I get more information about the Trail?
Contact the Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks at 410-396-7012 or the Parks & People Foundation at 410-448-5663. Faxes may be sent to 410-448-5895 to the attention of the Gwynns Falls Trail Council.

Can outside groups plan and schedule events and activities?
Yes, you can host parties, picnics, and family reunions on the Trail. There are several picnic groves and a large picnic pavilion at Winans Meadow Trail Head, which accommodate up to 300 people, as well as facilities at Leon Day Park, the Waterview West Wildlife Boardwalk, and Middle Branch Park, all available for group activities.

How can I get involved?
You can be one of many who join and take an active role in the Gwynns Falls Trail Council. Become a member! You can also volunteer to lead hikes, plant trees, host festivals, and clean up park areas surrounding the Trail. Sign up or contact us.

© 2014 Gwynns Falls Trail. All Rights Reserved.