Outdoor Activities in Baltimore

It’s easy to enjoy the great outdoors in Baltimore. Whether you’re up for an early morning paddle around the Inner Harbor, a game of golf on an urban course, a bike ride through the woods, or a historic walking tour through city neighborhoods, there is an outdoor activity for every taste and style. Here are a few ways to get back to nature in Baltimore.

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One of the best ways to experience the heart of the Chesapeake Bay is, of course, from the water. Kayak tours depart from the Maryland Science Center in the Inner Harbor on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. from April to October (advanced reservation required). If you’re looking for something a little more laid back, head over to Pier 1 and climb aboard a dragon-shaped boat or a paddle boat, offered by Team Chessie, the Paddle Boats and Electric Boats of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. There are also electric-powered pirate ships for those who don’t want to do their own paddling. Additionally, Terrapin Adventures organizes a variety of kayak tours at different skill rivers and also provides tubes, life vests and maps for self-guided tours down the Patapsco River. The company also provides aerial rope courses and zip lining for those who prefer to stay dry.

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Explore Baltimore on two wheels. For a short, landmark-filled ride, cycle from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry with stops at Federal Hill and Tide Point. If you visit on the last Friday of the month, join Baltimore Bike Party, a roving monthly meetup that’s part fitness and part fun — themes change each month, but it’s sure to include music, lights and costumes!

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Baltimore’s “Classic Five” is a collection of public courses within city limits. Carroll Park is a 9-hole course that is close to downtown; 18-hole Clifton Park was built in 1915 on the grounds of Johns Hopkins’ summer mansion; the rolling, 18-hole Mount Pleasant was home to the Eastern Invitational Open from 1950-1963; the front nine at Forest Park is known for its tight, wooded fairways; and scenic Pine Ridge is the home of several PGA and LPGA tournaments. Outside of the city, you’ll find dozens more courses to choose from. The 18-hole Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace is a Pete Dye-designed course, and Timbers at Troy Golf Course is an award-winning, par 72 championship course.

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If hiking is more your speed, you’ll find plenty of ways to hit the trail in Baltimore. The eleven-mile Jones Falls Trail starts at the Baltimore Visitor Center and takes you from the Inner Harbor to Penn Station, and then to the Woodberry neighborhood, where you can enjoy a post-hike pint at Union Craft Brewing or dinner at Woodberry Kitchen. The final leg of the trail takes you to the 200-acre Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore’s largest public garden, where you’ll find three more miles of trails that pass through expansive gardens and woodlands.

Fitness Classes

Do you find you’re more motivated by group fitness classes? Each summer, Waterfront Partnership hosts a robust calendar of outdoor wellness classes, including yoga, barre, pilates, boot camp and zumba. All are instructed by industry professionals and offered free of charge. Movement Lab, which is located above R. House in Remington, offers drop-in fitness classes that range from yoga and meditation to martial arts and dance. They also offer antigravity fitness classes that can turn your routine upside down — you’ll build core strength by flipping and inverting while being suspended on a hammock. For more information about outdoor fitness classes and where to get the best workout, click here.

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There are dozens of yoga studios throughout the city that offer drop-in classes, but there are also a few attractions that host pop-up yoga classes, allowing you to keep up with your practice while using your time wisely! Do yoga alongside the animals at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, bend and stretch in the sculpture garden at Baltimore Museum of Art, or get fit before exploring the American Visionary Art Museum. Up for a challenge? FloYo at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore combines yoga and standup paddleboarding. Classes are open to the public and take place in the hotel’s outdoor infinity pool with the Inner Harbor as its picture-perfect background.

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Several downtown hotels, particularly those in the Inner Harbor and Harbor East neighborhoods, provide maps with outlined jogging trails for you to follow. Ask at the front desk, or if one is not available, you can find a number of options on History buffs will want to check out the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, which traces War of 1812 troop movements and stops at Fort McHenry, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, the Maryland Historical Society Museum, and more.