Baltimore and Annapolis Trail

Baltimore and Annapolis Trail

The Baltimore and Annapolis Trail Park in central Maryland features a paved surface ten feet wide set within a corridor of parkland over thirteen miles long. The linear park is shared by walkers, runners, bicyclists, rollerbladers, equestrians, and others.

Among the most visited parks in Maryland, the "B&A Trail" stretches along the route of the old B & A Short Line Railroad, which formerly connected the state's capitol (Annapolis) with its major port and commercial center (Baltimore). Historic transportation structures such as the electric power houses, switch boxes, and the Severna Park Station still stand along the Trail and enhance its appeal. The trail passes through suburban communities, wetlands, mature deciduous forest, pasture and meadow and is home to a variety of wildlife.

Overlooking the United States Naval Academy and just south of the 0 mile marker of the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail is Jonas Green Park. Included as part of the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail Park, Jonas Green is a beautiful 2.24 acre park consisting of a grassy area for picnics, a sandy, rocky shoreline and pier for fishing and a newly constructed Visitor Center and Park Ranger Station. A fishing license is required for shoreline fishing, no license is required to fish from the pier. Canoes and kayaks may launch from the shoreline. Motorized boats and other motorized watercraft are prohibited in the park.

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Hours

The park is open during daylight hours, year-round; however the trail is not cleared of snow in winter and may be icy.

Trail closes at dusk.

B&A Trail Park maintains public restrooms at the Earleigh Heights Ranger Station, open from approximately 7:00 a.m. until dusk and at the Jonas Green Park Visitors Center, open daily 9:00 a.m. to 1 hour before dusk. Jonas Green Park portable toilets will remain in place for use when restrooms are closed.

Trail parking lots are generally open from 7:00AM to sunset.

The park ranger station is open Tuesday - Sunday 8:30am - 4:00pm and is closed on Mondays and Holidays

Fees

There are no entrance fees for admission to the trail park. Certain programs sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Parks and/or the Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails may have costs and user fees.

History

On the morning of May 9, 1887, 25 passengers boarded engine No. 1, the pride of the newly completed Annapolis & Baltimore Short Line Railroad. Pulling out of the Bladen Street Station in Annapolis bound for Baltimore; this maiden run marked the beginning of 63 years of passenger service on what would become known as the B&A Short Line Railroad. This rail line was the first major direct transportation route between the state capital in Annapolis and the city of Baltimore. The years between 1918 and the late 1920’s proved to be the most prosperous times for the railroad.

Passenger trains ran hourly between 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and an estimated 1,750,000 passengers a year used the line. It was during these years that Anne Arundel County developed an intricate web of transportation routes via steamboats, bus lines and rail service.

The existence of the B&A Short Line Railroad was the defining factor to the course of development of northern Anne Arundel County and the Broad Neck Peninsula. The communities of Glen Burnie, Severna Park, Arnold, Linthicum and others all came into existence because of the presence of this railroad. The B&A Blvd., and Governor Ritchie Hwy., both paralleled the development already established by this railroad. Despite the many financial difficulties of the line, it was the B&A Short Line Railroad that was the determining influence to the development of these communities we see today.

Activities

The B & A Trail Park presents programs and special events year-round. Among those typically scheduled are:

  • Baltimore-Annapolis-Washington Century Bike Ride
  • B & A Trail Father's Day 10K
  • Santa's Food Drive
  • Bicycle Safety and Registration programs
  • Wildflower Walks
  • Safe Boating Courses
  • Scouting badge fulfillment
  • The Planet Walk

Ranger-led walks, talks, and programs are publicized through the local media and in the Department of Recreation and Parks' quarterly Program Guide. Educational programs for schools or groups may be scheduled as staff workload allows.

Facilities

B&A Trail Park maintains public restrooms at the Earleigh Heights Ranger Station, open from approximately 7:00 a.m. until dusk and at the Jonas Green Park Visitors Center, open daily 9:00 a.m. to 1 hour before dusk. Jonas Green Park portable toilets will remain in place for use when restrooms are closed.
Stop at the Trail Ranger Station during your visit to pick up a map, relax, or receive recent Trail news or an answer to your questions.  

Water Fountains: Warm Season water fountains are located at:

  • Arnold Station Shopping Center (mile 1.1)
  • Jonas Greek Park in Annapolis
  • Jones Station Road (mile 3.5)
  • Riggs Avenue (mile 4.8)
  • Earleigh Heights Ranger Station (mile 7)
  • Chestnut Street (mile 7.7)
  • Oak Lane NW in Glen Burnie

Benches: Park benches are located along the entire length of the Trail. Shaded gazebos and benches are located in Severna Park (mile 4.8).

Picnic Facilities: Picnic tables are provided throughout the park. Please dispose of all trash in proper receptacles. The trail park has no pavilion facilities and no grills or campfires are allowed at any place along the trail. A limited number of picnic tables are available at Jonas Green Park and small grills are permitted. Coal bins are provided for disposal of hot coals. Campfires are prohibited in Jonas Green Park.

Accessibility

The Trail is handicapped-accessible at Earleigh Heights. Handicapped parking is available at both Earleigh Heights and Jonas Green Park. A short trail at Jonas Green is handicapped accessible.

Events

  • There are no events scheduled.

Related Trip Ideas

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