1/15/2020 Red Run Stream trail – Wetland Trail loop – Red Run Stream trail – Walnut Grove Trail loop – Nature trail – Red Run Stream trail
Location: 9283-9299 Dolfield rd. Owings Mills, MD 21117 (beginning of Dolfield rd. across from Residence Inn off of Red Run Blvd.). This side of Dolfield rd. is foot traffic only! Parking off street is very limited.
“The best way to be global is to be local.” – Alex Atala
I wanted to check this trail out for years! Probably 10 years. It hasn’t been always this organized but it has been here, hiding secretly under the ever growing infrastructure of this neighborhood. I’ve even ran passed it while training for a half-marathon a few years back.
I was trying to find a new local trail for today’s walk to link walking with accomplishing our daily chores. Then I’ve remembered this long forgotten – by me – hidden gem.
After overshooting the entrance, we had to turn around and drive back. Parking area was about half full so we didn’t have any issues with parking. Entrance is very inviting with safety zone posts, benches and bicycle stands.
This trail is a little paradise existing between residential and industrial areas. When building around this tiny valley, they thankfully recognized the importance of Red Run stream and the surrounding ecosystem. I’ve figured, originally Dolfield rd. was for car traffic, sort of a cut through so it’s paved but now it is closed off for foot traffic only. There are plenty of information boards teaching about the area. Closer to Dolfield Blvd. there are even manmade birdhouses to help the dozens of species living here.
At the first opportunity off the main trail we turned right onto Wetlands Trail Loop (0.19mile) and walked towards the boardwalk.
Even though the area was dry at this time, 8-9 feet high graceful golden grasses swayed in the light breeze above us, contrasting the clear blue sky.
It felt like spring and just to prove it a couple of chirping squirrels started chasing each other on the ground. Mag learned not to chase them so we were just bystanders in their interaction.
The first information board was here on the boardwalk about Greenways and Red Run Stream.
Mag was taking his time smelling everything as usual so it took us about 10 minutes to reach the end of this short loop. When back on the original trail, we turned right again after crossing Red Run Stream.
Shortly after, there was another fork at Walnut Grove trail loop (0.15mile).
And yet another onto the tiny Nature trail to Red Run overlook. We have taken the tiny path which led us to the stream.
Off course Mag thought the water was very inviting and took a dip. January’s low sun position provided with hundred of dancing shadows throughout the trees. While headed back on the path we noticed a bunch of turkey buzzards circling above us high in the sky.
Even though it was around noon, several parts of the trail were in shade caused by apartment buildings over-towering us from small hills.
When back on the sunny side again we’ve noticed an information board about a specimen tree.
It read: “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” Alexander Bryan Johnson, 1841
It’s about the White oak in front of us. When this sign was made, it measured 44 inches in diameter or about 11 feet in circumference. In Baltimore County a tree is considered a specimen if it is 30 inches or more in diameter. Unfortunately it doesn’t say how old this tree is.
Few feet later we found a small path to the stream so we headed down for a drink.
Following our journey on Dolfield rd. we yet again kept right after this small metal bridge. The previous right would take us up to the office buildings and the main road.
In the distance, the Dolfield Boulevard overpass is visible on the above picture.
The official trail actually ends about 600ft beyond Dolfield Blvd. but we were curious and kept following an off road path. We kept going for another quarter of a mile, then turned back. It turns out that if we would’ve followed this trail, could have connected to Dolfield trail within Solders Delight. Awesome discovery!
On the way back Mag had to pose at this bench while overlooking passerby office workers.
We’ve also met Nike, a black lab on the way back, who was very sweet.
About a quarter of a mile before we would’ve reached our car there was yet another trail to the right so obviously we took the opportunity to take it. It sattles in the shadows of the apartment buildings, leading deep into the small valley, ending at Lakeside Blvd.
Instead of pavement our feet could finally enjoy real trail material. Gravel/stone/mud/multi surface. Red Run kept us in good company on our left, while the residential building complexes were hugging us on the right and beyond the stream on the left.
There were no less than 7 bridges on this short trail (0.75 mile).
Between bridges four and five the trail got very muddy but we came across deer, squirrels, a lot of different birds and on the way back a pair of Red-shouldered hawks.
Mag enjoyed the stream again one more time before we got to the end of this walk. The trail ended at the end of the apartment buildings so naturally we turned back.
We had a wonderful time in very unseasonably warm weather, under clear blue skies.
Unfortunately I forgot to turn off the app and only noticed that it is still on at our next stop. Mileage for our walk is incorrect. We have walked 4 miles total.
We encourage you all to stay local every once in a while instead of travel far and wide. Know your surroundings before open up your heart and mind to the world outside. You’re not gonna regret it!