Oregon Ridge Park and Playground

13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030, USA

happyly approved

Huge nature facility with tons of options for the whole family.

Oregon Ridge Park & Nature Center in Cockeysville, MD.

If you're looking for a family-friendly park in Maryland, check out Oregon Ridge Park and Nature Center, about 18 miles from Baltimore. Originally an iron ore and marble mine in the mid-19th century, the land is now a public park on over 1,000 acres owned by the Baltimore County Department of Parks and Rec.

The central area of the park features the well-maintained Oregon Ridge Nature Center, kid-friendly hiking trails, playgrounds, and the remains of some of the original buildings from the mining village of the 1840s and '50s. The park also features a picturesque lake, although swimming and boating are prohibited. 

Throughout the grounds and in the nature center you can check out the birds, reptiles, and small mammals that are housed at Oregon Ridge. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park so make sure to pack a lunch – you’re going to want to spend all day here!

There are too many awesome areas to pick a favorite, but one of the most unique features of Oregon Ridge is the natural play area. Kids can leap across tree stumps, see-saw on a log, and climb up a steep hill with the assistance of a rope, among other things.

The focus of the park is "getting back to nature," and it can be muddy, even a few days after a rain. Dress appropriately and definitely choose footwear that can handle the dirt.

If the natural playground is too muddy for your crew, check out the other section of the park that's just a short drive up the road (turn right when exiting the main entrance and drive about half a miles, you’ll see the driveway and parking lot on your right). There you’ll find a huge playground with a solid rubber surface and tire playground that's great for all weather.

The Oregon Ridge Nature Center is staffed with friendly and knowledgeable park service rangers that will happily answer any questions you may have. You’ll also find trail maps, bathrooms (with changing tables), green space, and a children’s activity area.

Students can learn about the history of the area, rich in natural resources, via Baltimore County Public School's archeological programs to conduct excavations and historical research. There's a self-guided walking tour available, as well as viewing of live excavations, and displays of various artifacts from the former residents and labor force that lived in the former town.

We recommend making this your first stop and planning your visit from there. Oregon Ridge also puts on tons of free events. Check the website before you go to find out what’s planned. 

Parking is abundant and there is no fee for entry to the grounds or nature center. The layout of the park does not make it stroller friendly so baby-wearing is the best choice for infants and young toddlers.

The Nature Center makes this a great spot to visit year-round, especially if you can take advantage of one of their events. (Keep in mind that the center is closed on Mondays.) The vast space available in the park also ensures that it’s never overly crowded, even during popular events, which is why this is such a fantastic spot when you're looking for parks near Baltimore.

The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset, March thru October. In the winter (November thru February) the park is open 8 am-5 pm.

 

Katie Raspa
Baltimore, MD
Our work in Baltimore is truly a family affair. Husband and wife, Matt and Katie, work together to head up our ambassador team in Charm City. Katie is a Maryland native and has lived in the state her whole life. She moved to Baltimore in 2007 after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. She has been working in the field of early childhood education as a teacher and family coach for the past 12 years. Katie also holds a Masters of Education in Literacy from Loyola University. She is passionate about giving kids and families the knowledge and tools that they need to thrive. Matt grew up in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore. As a city native, Matt is a great resource on all that the city has to offer. After months of helping Katie explore the city for her role at a Happy Active Family, he decided to put his love of writing to use and officially come on board as an ambassador. Matt and Katie have two girls, ages 5 and 7. They spend their weekends camping, hiking, or exploring other hidden gems in their area. Tap into their insider knowledge by downloading the app today!
More activities by Katie
Huge nature facility with tons of options for the whole family.
One of Baltimore's biggest playgrounds!
A diverse, 503 acre park that includes wetlands, meadows, hardwood forests, serpentine barrens, and, of course, Lake Roland.

Amenities

Parking Hiking Playground Nature History

Nearby Recommendations

Recommended Gear