We can't help but sing Baltimore's praises because Charm City is our hometown! It's also home to a pretty stellar running community, and after reading ambassador Lauren Seserko's latest contribution to our City Limits campaign, you'll understand why!
Run along the waterfront. Running along the waterfront Promenade in downtown Baltimore is one of my favorite running routes, despite having run it hundreds of times. It’s mostly paved with some parts on wooden docks. If you hug the water, you can run all the way from Canton through Fells Point to Locust Point and even make it to Fort McHenry. Start at either end or pick a direction from the Inner Harbor, keeping the water on your side the whole way--anywhere from 1 to 10+ miles. Besides that, it’s flat and scenic, and a great way for visitors or newcomers to the city to see many different sights and neighborhoods without getting lost! Here’s a walking map that you can use as a guide, compliments of the Waterfront Partnership.
Run for the hills. Baltimore City has some great parks with Patterson Park being one of the largest. It is located along Linwood Avenue between Baltimore Street and Eastern Avenue with convenient street parking all along its perimeter. The park provides some challenging loops with hills that make for a great workout of 1 to 6 miles, as seen on the park’s paved trail map. There are even sports fields, a community pool, and a dog park all inside the park. Check out some more information and park landmarks here.
Head for the trails. If you are looking to run off the beaten path, there are multiple options for trails to run inside and outside of the city. Southwest of Baltimore is Patapsco Valley State Park which includes over 200 miles of trails, 70 of which are maintained. Inside the city, you can run the paved Jones Falls Trail (map here) starting in Mt. Vernon by the Baltimore Streetcar Museum and taking it up to Woodberry or by the Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus. Explore the more wooded part of the trail by running the portion through Druid Hill Park past the Maryland Zoo. More details can be found here.
The sole of the city! Charm City Run is my favorite running store, but I am biased because I’ve been their patron ever since I got my first pair of running shoes there and also now work there as a training group coach and store associate. With 8 locations in Maryland including 2 downtown (Fells Point and Locust Point), Charm City Run is the perfect place to stop in to grab some Baltimore-themed running gear or fuel for your run. Besides shopping local, you are also helping give back because 1% of each Charm City Run purchase is donated to a non-profit within the state of Maryland. Whether you need some new gear or just want a running route (or post-run fueling) recommendation, stop in!
Sweat and spin! If you are looking for a place to sweat with others indoors, REV Cycle Studio is the place for you. A fabulous boutique studio with two locations in Locust Point and Brewer’s Hill, REV offers both spin cycling and barre classes. I love their spin classes which include upbeat music, low lighting, and a big dose of inspiration and motivation. Their barre classes offer a serious burn in a fun atmosphere. It’s the perfect way to start your morning in Baltimore! More information on REV Cycle Studio and their classes is available on their website.
Just show up. If you’re in the city during the week, join November Project Baltimore for a free group workout on Wednesdays and Friday mornings at 6:30 AM (along with 5:30 AM on Wed too). There may be some high-fiving, sweaty hugs, and yelling along with fun bodyweight and running-based group workouts. No matter what your fitness level, all you need to do is show up--you are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face! On Wednesdays the group meets at Rash Field in the Inner Harbor and on Fridays the group meets at Patterson Park, but check their Facebook page for the latest details.
Go green. If you're craving something cool, fresh, and healthy, head on over to Pure Raw Juice Bar in Federal Hill for some of their acai and pitaya bowls or a delicious smoothie. It’s one of my favorite post-workout treats when I’m on the go. One of my favorites is their traditional acai bowl topped with fruit, gluten-free granola, coconut, and honey.
Indulge in brunch. Blue Moon Cafe is a great place to grab breakfast or brunch with its funky atmosphere and delicious food ranging from classic diner favorites to more adventurous items such as their famous Captain Crunch French Toast. Located in Fells Point with a second location (Blue Moon Too) in Federal Hill, a big breakfast isn’t too far away. My favorite items besides their French toast include Huevos Rancheros Santa Fe, the Full Moon breakfast, and their huge homemade cinnamon rolls. Be sure to stop by Blue Moon and bring your appetite!
Caffeine fix. As a coffee lover, I can’t leave visitors to Charm City without a few recommendations on where to grab a post-run coffee. A few of my favorites are Ceremony Coffee (in Mt. Vernon and Harbor Point), 3 Bean Coffee (right by Federal Hill), and Pitango Bakery and Café (in Fells Point). There’s plenty of great spots for coffee no matter where you are in the city.
There is so much to do and see in Baltimore, but these are just some of my top recommendations on how to get your sweat on in Baltimore. There’s plenty of choices whether you want to be indoors, outdoors, in the heart of downtown, or getaway into nature.
Check out some of these spots the next time you are in Baltimore and let me know what you think in the comments.
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Trail Sisters is a women’s trail running community and online journal. The TS mission is to increase women’s participation and opportunity in trail running through inspiration, education and empowerment.
We're excited to introduce Gina as the first woman featured in our 'Women-Led' blog series! (Hopefully, many more amazing women to follow.)