Loch Raven Reservoir trails offer “choose your own adventure” paths

Wide uphill trail with plants and trees surrounding it.
Here’s the entrance to the trails I ran at the Loch Raven Reservoir (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I had heard there were running trails by Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County, but I finally got a chance to run there three weeks ago. While in the area, I decided to do a run there that would finish the 26.2 cumulative miles of the Run Happy Fest and get me to 30 miles for the week.

There are various places where someone can start a run, but I decided to park near the intersection of Loch Raven Drive and Morgan Mill Road, as while Googling I found that spot on the Charm City Run site. This spot is also marked as “Loch Raven Reservoir Running Start” on Google Maps.

I saw other runners in the area, and there was parking off Morgan Mill Road. I looked around for a trailhead and found a wide uphill path heading into the woods, so I took that. It seemed a little remote, but I knew there were plenty of runners in the general area.

I figured I would run about five miles. I would run out and could turn around if I felt I was getting too far away. There were various places where the trail provided two options, particularly as I got further along in my run. I took the ones that made sense to me and kept an eye on my general location compared to the roads so that I knew I wasn’t getting too far off course without a way to get back.

Thinner path with leaves on it going through the woods.
Here’s another view from my run by Loch Raven Reservoir. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The trail became less wide as I continued. I wasn’t following a trail on an app or anything like that, but I did notice I was going back toward Morgan Mill Road, so I decided not to turn around. A little before I hit the Mile 2 mark, the trail came up against Morgan Mill Road. I could have exited the trail, but I decided to keep going.

I’m used to running on very flat land, so the hills were certainly a challenge for me. One of the Strava segments I completed along the way is titled “Mega Mountain 1,” a 0.14-mile stretch with a 14.6% incline. I did a lot of walking, and I was not worried about pace. I had done a long run with my friend Diana the previous day, and this was for fun, mileage and exploration.

Rocky uphill trail in the woods.
Here’s a rocky incline — the area where the photo was taken compared to the Strava map makes me think this is “Mega Mountain 1.”

As I continued to run, I decided that I would make my way to the road and continue back to my car on the roads so I didn’t make my run too long. I exited the trail on Running Fox Road and made my way back via Manor Road. I ran about 3.5 miles on trails and two on roads for a total of 5.5 miles. There wasn’t much shoulder, so I wouldn’t recommend the road, or I would at least be very careful.

The elevation on my watch doesn’t work correctly, but the elevation correction on Strava and Garmin Connect tracked my run as 699 feet (Strava) and 779 (Garmin). That’s a lot over 5.5 miles!

There were also some parts of the trail with a decent amount of rocks, which made it hard to run on. I also passed through a meadow area during my run.

I enjoyed exploring the Loch Raven Reservoir trails and hope to return, as there are certainly more trails to tackle.

Vanessa Junkin poses in running clothes and shoes by a rocky trail in the woods.
I got this photo during my run.

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