Being an Urban Outdoorsy Woman: Where is the nearest nature?

An important question for women hoping to be professional as well as outdoorsy is: where can I find my nearest dose of nature? Sometimes, with skyscrapers, city blocks, and sequestered trees, there isn’t always a really easy answer. 

Luckily, most cities have a few main staples like parks, trails, and urban oases that give city-goers a little dose of nature when they can’t go outside the city and find the nearest State Park, hiking trail, or river. Luckily, I’ve visited a few cities, and have lived in Baltimore for the past four years. I’ve found Baltimore’s hidden green more than once, and even covered it in this City Paper College Guide Article titled “Get Outside”: (click either image below to read more.)

 ImageThe article includes a variety of options, especially for Baltimore college students, to get outside, be fit, and join athletic teams. 



City Paper article artwork by Ana Benaroya

In terms of going outside in Baltimore and getting the best dose of nature, I always seek out the little things, like my apartment: The Carolina. It’s right across the street from the Johns Hopkins lacrosse stadium. It’s the only one I’ve seen around my campus that has an actual lawn out front.

Here are a few of my absolute favorite options in Baltimore:

1. The Gilman Trail:


courtesy of Map My Run user who describes the trail as “Narnia”

This trail is a hidden alcove just beyond Hopkins House apartments; take a right then watch the left side of the street for the beginnings of forested area; run across a small wooden bridge and you’ll be on the trail. Students of the nearby Gilman school run cross country on these paths, and it’s great for a four mile loop. Just watch out for mud if it’s been rainy lately.



2. Druid Hill Reservoir


The Druid Hill Reservoir in Druid Park features scenic views, a running/bike/walking loop, gymnasium equipment, a local pool and more. It’s beautiful in any season.

Druid Hill is another one of my favorite places to run or bike, but it would be nice to just sit on a bench in the springtime and read here. It’s beautiful, and you’ll always see a lot of people out enjoying it even if the weather’s only hinting at warmth.


3. Patterson Park

Patterson Park and the neighboring Baltimore Zoo are both green spots in an urban expanse, urban oases, if you will. The beautiful pagoda within the park and areas for open air concerts are great for a taste of fresh green. That is, if spring will finally happen.



courtesy of


courtesy of the Friends of Patterson Park

These are just a few of my top picks, but fill a few crucial categories of green areas that manage to fit into urban environments:

1. Trails

2. Bodies of Water

3. Parks

Though Baltimore is relatively small, we have some real beauty if you’re willing to look for it. Check out that City Paper article for more of my suggestions.



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