Located in an area traditionally known as “Hunt Country,” where fox hunts and steeplechase races are still a popular pastime, some of the farms you see during this relaxing drive across the beautiful Maryland countryside are also famous for producing Thoroughbreds that have raced on major tracks across America.
Hunt Valley to Hereford
Including Tufton Ave., MD 128 & MD 127
Off I-83, the Oregon Ridge Nature Center’s trails and pond area afford birders excellent vantage points. The Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park provides meeting space and offices in barn-style buildings, along with hiking trails and “hands-on” educational opportunities.
The 300-acre Shawan Downs, a steeplechase course, hosts a series of equestrian events that are as famed for the tailgating as they are for the racing. Drive down the road to pass the 425-acre Sagamore Farm, a horse-breeding and training facility that was home to Native Dancer, a Thoroughbred that won 21 of 22 races and earned a spot on the cover of Time magazine. From there, you enter a land of graceful homes and rolling hills.
The quaint 19th-century town of Glyndon was once a Victorian summer community. Nearby is the 1869 St. John’s Episcopal Church, whose traditions include a Thanksgiving “Blessing of the Hounds.”
Continue up to Hereford and visit Gunpowder Falls State Park. The scenic, rocky Gunpowder River starts at the bottom of the Prettyboy Reservoir Dam and is a favorite for paddlers and fly fishermen, as well as hikers and bird watchers. In places, it parallels the bike-friendly Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail.