Loch Raven Reservoir Loop

MODERATE 6 reviews
#15 of 24 trails in

Loch Raven Reservoir Loop is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cockeysville, Maryland that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.7 miles
400 feet

dogs on leash


trail running





over grown



28 days ago

Good hike but the trail is hard to find in some places. The first part along the water is basically on the edge of a cliff and can be a bit challenging. Was pretty muddy and slippery in spots.

trail running
4 months ago

This is an alternately easy and challenging loop that is part of the larger Merryman's Mill Trail system that surrounds Loch Raven Reservoir. Start at the Delaney Valley Road trail head parking just south of the bridge crossing the reservoir. There you'll find three trail heads. For this loop, take the farthest right trail. The left-most trail is a fire road that is wider, but has more elevation.

The first ~1.3 miles of the loop follows the shoreline for some great views. Be warned however that this part is not marked at all and in the fall there is a lot of trail blindness due to poor trail maintenance and fallen leaves hiding the path. It's also very challenging as much of the trail is at an angle...it is narrowly carved into the ridge. A false step at points and you're on your way into the water. There are also many fallen trees, so this trail is not maintained. FWIW, I have no idea how one would navigate this at the height of summer when it's likely overgrown.

Eventually the trail turns uphill and meets up with the main trail/fire road.

From that point there's some highly enjoyable single track that winds around Merryman Point for more beautiful views and pleasantly challenging running. You'll come to a clearing underneath powerlines, where you can keep going to follow the shoreline further or turn left and run a short distance under the lines until you hit the main trail again (this is what I did). Here, turn right to keep exploring northward; turn left to head south back toward the start (this is what I did to complete the loop).

From there, the trail will be wider and better maintained, but straighter. You can eventually branch off left to find more single track or stay straight on the wider fire road (this is what I did). It's a pleasant, but hilly and grinding, climb for a while before you descend back to the parking lot.

Overall, a good loop, but I would probably not recommend the first section during the spring/summer. I can only imagine how hard it would be to stay on the trail, nevermind the ticks, poison ivy, etc. Also if you are seeking a more leisurely hike, steer clear. However, the main trail and fire road are probably fine in any season.

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