Gwynns Falls Bike/Hike, Orianda Mansion, Baltimore

This was another one of my Mountain Club or Maryland hikes but this time I threw in the bike part which was a twist.(They are working on the website so that link may or may not work). The weather was misty, cloudy and lousy, so I was pretty surprised when 3 unsuspecting souls decided to brave the elements with me and join me for this hike/bike event.

Andy, Jan, John and myself started at the trailhead at the Baltimore Rowing Club off of Waterview Avenue. We biked through Pigtown, past the hookers and the tweekers and then headed west on the Gwynns Falls Trail. Since we had had some rain recently the falls were flowing well and didn't smell too bad. We headed into the park and looked up our bikes at the Windsor Mill Road Trailhead (T3). The we took the trails through the park and stopped in at the Carrie Murray Nature Center to see all the neat animals they have in cages. They take in all sorts of reptiles and birds that people had as pets but for which they could no longer care.

We then made our way through the woods to the Orianda Mansion. Never heard of it? Well, it is the mansion part of the Crimea Estate. I've never been in the mansion but our group ran into a man named Rick Smith who offered up a tour. It turns out some group is fixing the place up and you will be able to rent it out for parties, weddings and such. Currently, the Outward bound group occupies the upper 2 floors and they have found a new use for sleeping bags: Window treatments. Who knew?

We then made our way up to the chapel and got to see the inside of that as well but I didn't take any pictures. We meandered back to the bikes and had a pleasant ride back to our cars.

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