To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. — Elliott Erwitt
With this blog I am starting an occasional series of locations in Maryland that I go to to make images.
Loch Raven Reservoir is a drinking water source for Baltimore located north of the City in Baltimore County. You can canoe or kayak in the lake with a permit, but the craft can be used only on the lake to prevent introduction of invasive species like zebra mussels. David Simpson has a fantastic book on Loch Raven if you want to see what is possible from a small craft. There are hiking trails like this one from Backpacker magazine, or these from a hiker but I am getting older and tend to forego the more physical opportunities. It is less than 100 yards from where you can park your car on Loch Raven Drive (at least on weekdays) to walk down to the beach. Unless the weather has been especially dry, it is often somewhat muddy so be prepared. During weekends, the section of lake opposite the beach is closed to vehicular traffic but is open to pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles. You can park on weekends at Morgan Mill Road, about 0.4 miles away as described below.
Heavy traffic heads south on Dulaney Valley Road in the mornings to access interstate highways and north in the afternoon as folks head home.
Ducks and geese are common, with gulls frequenting a little island a few hundred yards out in the lake. The geese are relatively habituated to human contact and you can fairly close. Early morning light is at your back as you face the light, and the sun sets behind the island.
The lake is not about awesome scenery, but more about quiet light and serenity.
Elevation 276 feet
Take Dulaney Valley Rd turn north from Towson, MD. At the fork at the north end of the bridge stay right on Dulaney Valley Rd (don’t take Jarretsville Pike). At the next fork (Pearce’s Landing Restaurant) bear right on to Loch Raven Drive. Several miles further there will be an unmarked intersection on the left that is Morgan Mill Rd. You will also see a sign on the right saying that vehicles cannot pass, between 10 am and 5 pm on weekends and a yellow gate that is closed on weekends. On the left there is also a little roofed bulletin board with various notifications. On weekends, you can park on Morgan Mill Rd immediately on the left. On week days, you can continue another 0.4 miles and park on the road right opposite the beach. Just before the beach on the right you will see a sign on the right that says “NO” and lists prohibited activities.
An island off Loch Raven Beach
A composite image of the island described in the text with light on the trees in the surrounding watershed.