Druid Hill Park is a 745-acre urban park in northwest Baltimore, Maryland. The park was established in 1860 and is one of the oldest landscaped public parks in the nation.
The park has many attractions including the Maryland Zoo, boat lake, Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, greenhouses, tennis courts, a disc golf course, playgrounds, Baltimore City Farms, picnic groves, and pavilions. Read on to know more.
Purchased by the city in 1860 – a few months before the Civil War – from Lloyd Rogers, family descendant and founder of the Baltimore Street Railway Company, Druid Hill Park was developed as part of a nationwide movement to provide large parks inspired by European park design. It is one of the oldest such urban parks in the nation, and today it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It features the largest earthen dam lake in the United States, and the park’s encircling 1.5-mile path is a favorite walking and running spot. Other highlights include the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Garden built in 1888; the zoo founded in 1876; and many picnic groves/pavilions.
The park is also home to seventeen tennis courts -of which ten are across from the Parks & People headquarters (directions here) and seven more located at the corner of Shop Road and Commissary Road. The latter is less crowded and often shaded.
Guests can enjoy the shady lawns and rolling hills of Druid Hill Park along with picturesque water features, majestic forests, and a man-made lake. The park also houses the Maryland Zoo and Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory.
The site’s anthropological lore has drawn humans to the park for centuries, long before the lake was added. Claire Agre and Nick Glase, principals with the landscape architecture firm leading the vision plan, have dug into local stories to inform the future of the lake and its surroundings.
The work they’ve done includes a look at the lake’s current condition and its redevelopment as part of a new project with never-before-seen amenities, such as a bridge across the lake, an outdoor education building, a cafe-boathouse, an Olympic-sized swimming area, fishing piers and shorelines, and floating wetlands to expand upon Daniels’ naturalist vision. This will reintegrate the park into its surrounding neighborhoods, which are currently cut off by large roadways. Here is another spot to visit.
Druid Hill Park is a large urban park, bounded by the Jones Falls Expressway (I-83) to the east, Swann Drive, and Reisterstown Road to the west, and anchored by the Maryland Zoo in the south. It includes shady lawns, picturesque water features, a majestic forest, Baltimore City Farm, botanic gardens and conservatory, athletic fields, playgrounds, picnic areas and pavilions, tennis courts, a basketball court, a disc golf course, a swimming pool, a jogging/walking path, the Jones Falls Trail, the Lakeside Loop Trail, and numerous other pathways.
The park also contains the third oldest zoo in the country – the Maryland Zoo. The Zoo is open in spring, summer, and fall and has limited hours in winter.
Things to Do
There are plenty of things to do in Druid Hill Park. The park features a number of trails including the Lakeside Loop Trail which loops around the Druid Hill Reservoir and the Jones Falls Trail. The park also has a disc golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool, Baltimore City Farm, a greenhouse, and more. The park is also home to the Maryland Zoo which dates back to 1876. The zoo has several new exhibits like Penguin Coast and offers a variety of events such as breakfast with the animals, overnights at the zoo, and paint nights.
The park is also home to a number of monuments such as the Wallace Monument which honors fourteenth-century Scottish hero and rebellion leader William Wallace and the Wagner Monument which honors German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner. The park also hosts a weekly farmers market at the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory and hosts the Charm City Cyclocross bicycle race each September. Up next is The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
Driving directions from Superior Soft Wash to Druid Hill Park
Driving directions from Druid Hill Park to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore