Upcoming Events and Park News

Fall/Winter Programs and Events Calendar

Fall/Winter Newsletter                               Newsletter Archives

Events This Fall
Fall Harvest Festival, October 11 and 12
Holiday Open House, December 6

Night Out with Nature - Friday evenings this fall:
October 3
November 7
December 12

Nature Quest 2014
Discover Baltimore County parks and trails.
Download your Passport.


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Cromwell Valley Park

The 426-acre park was acquired by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks starting in 1993. It is a stream valley park comprised of pasture, cultivated gardens, open fields, woods, hedgerows, orchards and wooded piedmont hills. The diversity of this habitat makes it an excellent area for wildlife. There are many species of raptors such as the Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, and Great Horned Owl, which prey on a healthy population of small mammals such as rabbits, deer mice, and meadow voles. White-tailed deer and red fox are also plentiful. Songbird populations include Baltimore Oriole, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Bluebird, and many others. Belted Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons are often seen around the stream, Minebank Run.

The valley has been settled since the early 1700s and used primarily for farming. Some iron ore mining took place in the area with the largest of at least four mines located at the stream's starting point - hence the stream's name. Later, due to an easily quarried supply of Cockeysville marble, the valley became a production area for agricultural lime. Lime kilns were built and used to heat the marble by firewood to create lime powder. The powder was then collected and bagged at the base of the furnace. The lime kilns in the valley operated until the 1920s and were owned by the Towson, Jenifer, and Shanklin families. The remnants of several of these are still visible in the park today.

Today's park was acquired from four property owners from March 1993 to the present, primarily with Program Open Space funds. The first 220 acre parcel was purchased from the heirs of Robert Merrick, a prominent Baltimore banker. The house and barn were built in the mid-1800s by A.W. Shanklin, who named it "Willow Grove Farm." The center 102 acres, the Sherwood Farm, were purchased from the heirs of Mrs. Frances Wellington Sherwood. The beautiful Sherwood House, dating from 1935, was designed by the Baltimore architectural firm of Palmer and Lambdin. Managing this property as a gentleman's farm, the Sherwoods operated apple and peach orchards, sold eggs and chickens, and raised farm animals for the family's own kitchen. The third property, the Good Fellowship Farm, was purchased from Mr. C. Franklin Eck, who operated a Christmas tree farm. Finally, the most recent acquisition is the 50 acre Barrans' property, a hilly parcel near Providence Road.

The educational focus at Cromwell Valley Park is in three major areas - farming, history, and natural history.

Information Kiosk

Park visitors will find an information kiosk across from the Willow Grove parking lot, where information about park programs, rules and regulations, and trail maps are available.

Attention all park visitors - Park gates closing!

A Message from the Park Manager & Cromwell Valley Park Council

Cromwell Valley Park is open for public visitation 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset. The only after-hours use of the Park is during staff led programming.

In order to enhance Park security, the gates at Willow Grove Farm and Sherwood Farm are closed each evening at sunset and re-opened at sunrise. All CVP visitors should make sure that they leave the Park before the gates are closed. Vehicles in the Park after sunset may be locked in overnight. Any persons in the Park after sunset may also be charged with trespassing. Everyone's co-operation with this procedure will ensure that CVP remains a safe and secure place for everyone in Baltimore County to enjoy.