Lake Roland is situated in
Baltimore County just north of the city. The park includes the Lake
Roland Reservoir and Dam. This is a good area for Yellow-crowned
Night-Heron, migrant warblers, thrushes, and both orioles. The Light Rail
track cuts through the Park. In addition to birding, other favorite
activities in the Park are picnicking, jogging, and dog walking.
Site At A Glance
- Deciduous forests and lake/streamside habitats
- Marsh around the far side of the lake
- Pine barrens on the west side of the park near Falls Road
- Best Seasons:
- Spring and Fall
- Can be birded all year round
- Fast food on Falls Road south of the park
- Port-a-potties in the park
- Picnic benches, pavilion
Directions and Description:
- Directions: The main entrance to the Park is located on
Lakeside Drive near the dam. There is also access from the Falls Road MTA station at the beginning of the boardwalk.
See map. From Baltimore Beltway (I-695), take Exit 23A (I-83) South or Exit 23B
(MD-25) Falls Road. From I-83, exit onto Northern Parkway East (turn
left). At the second light, turn left onto Falls Road. After the second
traffic light bear right onto a side road just past a small shopping
center. (Follow the sign for Light Rail.) Then make an immediate right at
the Lake Roland Memorial Park sign.
If taking Falls Road from the Beltway, get into the left lane on Falls
Road and make a left at 0.7 mile to get onto Falls Road south. Go south
3.3 miles, crossing a bridge over Jones Falls, then turn left immediately
before reaching the traffic light at Lake Avenue. (Look for the sign for
Light Rail.) Then make an immediate right at the Lake Roland Memorial
Follow the road for about 0.5 mile toward the Park entrance. When you
reach the dam, look for a parking spot along the side of the road. The
road will continue past the dam and dead-end at a parking area near a
- Description: A traditional meeting place for a Lake Roland bird walk is at
the beginning of the Boardwalk starting at the Light Rail Station. The boardwalk is a
good area to see warblers, finches, wrens, chickadees, titmouse, flycatchers and woodpeckers,
including nesting species. Move on to the dam where Yellow-crowned Night-Heron can be found
at the feeds at the base and along the stream. Swallows and Chimney Swift are often overhead.
Look for warblers and vireos around the area. Depending on the amount of time, you can bird
along the road back towards the Light Rail stop before heading across the bridge.
From the dam, follow the path up into the park towards the picnic area where bluebirds
can be seen year around and Baltimore and Orchard Orioles are seen during migration
(birding varies depending on the crowds). Follow the path along the lake shore,
counterclockwise around the picnic area, and on the side opposite the lake, look
for a dirt path which will take you down across the Light Rail track to the inner
part of the park. Be careful crossing the track.
After crossing the track, follow the trail along the lake. Barred Owls
nest in the area. Pileated Woodpecker has been seen flying overhead.
Look for various ducks in the lake. Scan for shorebirds and herons along
the shore and in the mud flat area on the north side of the lake. When
you come to the fork in the trail, you can take the path to the right,
which follows a dike and loops back to the main trail. During migration, vireos, thrushes, and
flycatchers are common, and 20 or more species of warblers can be found
in one day.
Compiled by Sukon Kanchanaraksa, January 1996; revised by Joan Cwi, June 2014.
Return to Baltimore Bird Club page.