Horses & Hounds
Since Colonial times, fox hunters have swept across these rolling, grassy fields in a colorful pageant of horses, hounds and “hill toppers,” who prefer to watch and ride at a slower pace.
The Maryland Hunt Cup, a steeplechase race run on the last Saturday in April, has become a popular spectator event. Tailgating is a favorite way to watch the race.
Monkton to Towson
Including MD 138 & MD 146
After a meal in Monkton, continue to Ladew Topiary Gardens, which features 22 acres of sculpted shrubbery, 15 thematic flower gardens, a historic manor house and a "Groovin' in the Grass" summer concert series. Polo is occasionally played on the grounds, while the My Lady's Manor steeplechase is held nearby.
Head south through Jacksonville, where a shopping center and many small stores are located, and then loop around the sun-dappled coves of Loch Raven Reservoir. Northeast of this spot, you’ll soon find yourself at a fork in the road. A left will take you to the training track of Merryland, a Thoroughbred farm; a right turn puts you on the road to the Colonial-era Jerusalem Mill Village. Tour the mill, visitor center, blacksmith shop and gun factory. Then it’s time to head back to the 21st century.
Steeplechase events primarily take place between April and September. Check the complete calendar at Maryland Steeplechasing.
It is a long-standing tradition in the Worthington Valley for the Greenspring Valley Hounds to meet at St. John's Church, Western Run Parish on Thanksgiving morning for the annual Blessing of the Hounds.
Below the Loch Raven reservoir, you can hike along a stream that borders old lime kilns within Cromwell Valley Park or tour the opulent 1790 mansion at the Hampton National Historic Site near Towson.
The Maryland Hunt Cup, a four-mile steeplechase race held in Worthington Valley, was started in 1894 by two competing fox hunting clubs. Today, fans watch from the hillsides as riders charge over 22 fences, vying to qualify for England’s Grand National.