Wednesday, March 31, 2010

VERY IMPORTANT: potential closure of ALL Loch Raven single track to ALL runners

If you don't read the Baltimore Area Running News Digest, there was a very important article in there that everyone needs to read. Apparently someone that is either a. a massive douchebag, or b. completely out of his mind, proposed that *all* single track trails in Loch Raven Reservoir should be closed to all traffic other than mountain bikes since apparently "mountain bikers are the only user group that feels that they need to have the single track 'experience'." This is obviously completely ridiculous, not only because it is a runner's dream up there, but also due to the fact that by a law put in place in 1998 (though almost never enforced), mountain bikers are technically not even allowed on the single track or anywhere other than the fire roads in Loch Raven. In any event, the Department of Public Works is actually somehow considering this and will be discussing it at their next meeting. A local runner named Paul Kovalcik is going to be bringing any emails he recieves to the next DPW meeting to express how insane this potential law would be, so regardless of how often you run there, for the sake of other runners, PLEASE email Paul at As you know, I'm no longer in Baltimore, but as you also know, this is the only legitimate trail system anywhere near Northern Baltimore and its closure to runners would consistute a gross governmental failure. The full message in the Digest is as follows:

Hello All,

Please see below. If you are a trail runner who enjoys running single track trails, especially the Loch Raven watershed trails, please drop a short note saying as much to Paul Kovalcik [ ]. He will print out copies of the emails and take them to the Department of Public Works meetings where the issue of closing single track trails to the general public is being discussed.

> From: Linder, Jennifer <
> Subject: FW: opinion from loch raven runners
> To: "" <>
> Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 4:54 PM
> Hi Jim~
> I hope you are doing well! I stopped by to get some
> shoes recently but you weren't in that day. Please see
> below...could you please distribute to the running
> list? The Baltimore Dept of Public Works is revising
> the usage plan for the Loch Raven watershed, and will
> potentially close the single track trails to all
> users. Hopefully some of the trail runners can write a
> letter to show support for using the trails. Thanks!
> Jennifer Pitt Linder

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Kovalcik []
> Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 6:25 PM
> To: Linder, Jennifer;
> Subject: opinion from loch raven runners
> You two are the only other peope I know who might run at
> loch raven beside myself and my wife so I thought I would
> send this to you first.
> In our last meeting with DPW, one of their staff argued at
> least a few times that mountain bikers are the only user
> group that feels that they need to have the single track
> "experience". All other user groups are content with
> staying on the woods roads (fire roads).
> I disagree. I know that I like to run on a loop and
> prefer when the loop is on mostly narrow trail.
> How do you feel about this? And if you have the time,
> please forward this email to your RUNNING friends and have
> them respond to me (be nice in your response). Its
> probably going to come up in the next meeting and I want to
> have a small stack of responses to give DPW. Even if
> this is an unscientific survey.
> Thanks,
> Paul


Collin said...

By the way, you can always CC Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on your message as well. If she gets enough crap about this, I'm sure she'll step in and give some input. Her email is .

alyssa said...

Collin, I think this is the first post of yours I have actually read all the way through. Good work. Now, everyone else, do it. Mmmkthanks.

TurtleHead said...

wow, this is crazy. This does seem like a case of major douchebaggery. I'll send an email, but I guarantee i will continue to use the trails, no matter what some silly sign says. Just like the bikers do now.

Collin said...

Hey everyone, just got this message from Paul that he wanted me to share.

Thank you Collin. It appears that you posted the original message to

If you have some time, please post this message too.

Thank you for the quick response and support from the trail runners. It is important that Baltimore City DPW understands that trail runners are also interested in using the singletrack trails at the City owned reservoirs.

This evening a group of mountain bikers, a university professor, a representative from Baltimore County, and DPW staff met to discuss revisions to the 1998 Mountain Biking Plan and trail access issues at Loch raven and the other City Owned Reservoirs. In the interest of continued dialog and cooperation with DPW, I cannot discuss the meeting at this time.

I still encourage the runners, hikers and any leaders of formal trail user groups to maintain close contact with DPW and City personnel.

For the latest updates and meeting minutes when they are finalized and posted, please visit.




JAR said...

In recent years, we've been running a lot at Patapsco, but I use to run many miles on the trails at Loch Raven. It's ridiculous to suggest that a serious runner could stick to the "fire roads" and have a reasonable running experience at Loch Raven. On the other hand, if you get on the "single track" trails, it can be a great place to run. I also would ignore it if they did implement this rule, and if they ever arrested me (first they'd have to catch me), they would get a lot more publicity than they ever wanted. If they want to remove the law prohibiting bikers, I would be okay with that, but not with implementing a rule to prohibit runners. I also will write an email to Paul and to the mayor.