Get Outside This Season With Family Programming at Lake Roland Park

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Kayakers on Lake Roland

Located on the historic Baltimore City reservoir of the same name, Lake Roland Park in the Jones Falls Valley is hands down one of the best places to hike, picnic, and enjoy nature near the city.

The park has over 500 acres of diverse ecosystems including wetlands, meadows, and mature hardwood forest. Originally part of an 18th century land grant from Lord Baltimore to several Maryland families, and opened to the public in the 1940s, Lake Roland is on the official National Register of Historic Districts.  A new nature center and ranger station recently opened providing year-round education programs and offering rentable indoor meeting spaces along with the event pavilions, playground, hiking trails, boat launch, and the dog park already featured in the park.

Each season, the park out-does itself with unique, outdoor, educational programming for children of all ages. See below for Lake Roland’s complete Fall 2017 Programming Calendar, including plenty of free and inexpensive activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Nature Scouts
Six Tuesday sessions,
9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24
4:30—5:30pm, for children ages 6-12.
$30 per child for all six sessions

Children will explore Lake Roland while learning important outdoor skills such as fire building, fishing, emergency preparedness, and much more!  *must register for all 6 sessions. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

Fall Campout
Friday, Sept. 29th, 5:30pm to
Saturday, Sept. 30th, 9:00am
$10 per person

Rangers will lead the group on a night hike and end the evening with a campfire. Bring dinner on Friday, or bring food to cook over the fire. Saturday breakfast will be provided. Bring your own tent, or rent a tent from us for $5. Please include in your registration if you would like to rent a tent. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. (Rain date: Sat. Sept. 30th). To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

Serpentine Trail Nature Quest Hike
Saturday, September 30th,
10:00am—1:00pm,
Ages 8 and up, Free!

Hike to the globally rare serpentine barrens and collect the Nature Quest marker rubbing along the way. Trail surface is packed dirt with a rocky incline. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring water with you on this challenging hike. Ask a staff member in the Nature Center for your free Nature Quest booklet! This event meets at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

County Walk in the Park
Sunday, October 1st,
11:00am—12:00pm
Free for all ages!

Start the autumn season by enjoying the great outdoors! Join a park ranger for an easy hike observing nature’s fall splendor. Rain or shine. Please dress for the weather, wear closed-toe shoes, and bring water with you. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Creatures of the Full Moon Campfire
Saturday, October 7th
7—8:30pm, Ages 5 & up,
$5 per person

Ever wonder what animals visit Lake Roland during the night? Join us for a night hike to observe our nocturnal visitors. We will look for bats, owls, and other mysterious creatures! Then, we’ll enjoy s’mores around our campfire. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Donut Run
Sunday, October 15th
9:00am, Ages 7 & up
$5 per person

Donuts and hot beverages await you at the end of our short (5 miles or less) run through Lake Roland’s marked trails. No run times will be recorded, but top finishers will be recognized at the end of the run. No pets or strollers, please. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Haunted Halloween Hike
Saturday, October 21
6:30-8:30pm
$7 per person
Encounter witches, owls, snakes and other spooky creatures as you try to solve a fun Halloween mystery. Bring your flashlight and treat bag to this somewhat scary event. Costumes are welcome! (Rain date: 10/22). This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Thankful for Turkeys
Sunday, November 12th
10:00am—1:00pm
(Story times at 10:30am  & 12:30pm)
For all ages, Free!
Drop in any time between 10am and 1pm to learn about the bird that almost became our nation’s symbol: the Wild Turkey! Participants will have the opportunity to make a turkey-themed craft, investigate turkey artifacts, and much more! No pre-registration required.

 

Pioneer Days
Saturday, November 18th
OR Sunday, November 19th,
2:00—4:00pm, Ages 6 & up,
$7 per person

Become a pioneer for a day! Build miniature log cabins, create corn husk dolls, play colonial games, and dip your own candles to learn how early American pioneers lived. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Wreath Making
Saturday, December 2nd OR
Sunday, December 3rd, Sessions at 12:00pm or 2:00pm, Ages 14 and up
$15 per person

Make a decorative wreath from natural materials such as pine, spruce, and holly. Inside we’ll have everything you need to make a masterpiece and brave the cold—including hot chocolate, cookies, and holiday tunes! This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Art on the Trail: Meet the Artists
Sunday, December 10th,
1:00—3:00pm
Free for all ages
Held at Pavilion #1 (Stone Pavilion)

Lake Roland Nature Council will host its annual artist’s reception at the stone pavilion on the north side of the peninsula.  Join us to meet the artists of Art on the Trail and learn more about the motivations behind the outstanding pieces of artwork on display on the Red Trail. Warm beverages and light fare will be served.

 

Holiday Centerpieces & Natural Ornaments
Sunday, December 10th
2:00—4:00pm, Ages 5 & up
$10 per person

Make a festive centerpiece from evergreens, a holiday container, and candle. Listen to holiday tunes, enjoy cookies and create natural ornaments for your home or to give as gifts! This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

S’mores, Stars & the Winter Solstice

Saturday, December 16
6:00—8:00pm
$5 per person. Ages 5 & up

This week marks the longest nights of the year. Gather around our campfire to learn about the solstice, stars, and folklore of holiday traditions. We’ll enjoy sing-a-longs and warm up while roasting s’mores. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Snow is Coming Story Time
Friday, December 29th
10:00am—11:00am
$2 per child. For all ages

What do animals do when it snows? Join us to read a book that answers this question. Then, make a winter themed craft to take home! This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

First Day Hike
Monday, January 1st,
10:00am—12:00pm
For all ages, Free

Start the year off right by enjoying the great outdoors!  Join a park ranger for an easy hike observing nature’s winter splendor.  Dress for the weather and bring water with you. This event takes place at the Lake Roland Nature Center. To register, please email LakeRol-RP@BaltimoreCountyMD.gov

 

Rachel Bone

Rachel Bone is a regular contributor to the Baltimore Fishbowl.