Loch Raven Reservoir, Maryland, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Loch Raven Reservoir — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Loch Raven Reservoir

The Loch Raven Reservoir is located just a few miles north of Baltimore. Unspoiled and surrounded by forests and hiking trails, it has long provided Maryland city dwellers with relief from the urban heat and humidity.

The first dam and water tunnel were constructed in 1881 to channel water to nearby Lake Clifton and Lake Montebello. The present Loch Raven Dam was completed in 1915 to provide more water to Baltimore. An entire town was flooded in the process. By 1923 the dam was increased to 240 feet high to meet the demand of a growing metropolitan area. Big Gunpowder Falls River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, provides most of the water that flows into Loch Raven Reservoir

Loch Raven Reservoir does much more than provide water for millions of people. The lake has a skeet shooting range and many trails and picnic areas. Visitors can also go fishing in a rented boat or bring their own. The fishing opportunities are excellent, featuring largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch and northern pike. The Loch Raven Fishing Center will give you tips on the best spots for anglers to try their luck and provides services such as boat rentals, freshwater fishing licenses, bait and launching permits. No gasoline powered engines are allowed, so you will need oars, paddles, or electric motors.

On weekends the lakeside Morgan Mill Road and Providence Road are closed to cars, so runners, bikers, walkers and rollerbladers can take advantage of the smooth asphalt with spectacular views of the water. Joggers and back-packers will enjoy a semi-gravel path which was an old railroad track from Maryland to Pennsylvania. It is completely flat and is over twenty five miles long. There are a couple of places to park your car and walk along the path. There are bathrooms along the way as well as benches and equipment to exercise. On the path are little country stores where you can purchase snacks and drinks.

Visitors can rent a canoe and glide through still lake waters sheltered by a canopy of leaves. Swimming is not permitted in Loch Raven Reservoir. The name Loch Raven does sound Scottish, the word loch being Gaelic for lake. The deep green waters near the dam will remind you of Loch Ness, but the giant creatures swimming below are most likely catfish.

Things to Do at Loch Raven Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking

Fish Species Found at Loch Raven Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Loch Raven Reservoir

If you’re considering a Loch Raven Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Loch Raven Reservoir Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Loch Raven Reservoir lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Loch Raven Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Baltimore City Dept of Public Works

Surface Area: 2,400 acres

Shoreline Length: 39 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 240 feet

Maximum Depth: 70 feet

Water Volume: 72,721 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1923

Drainage Area: 305 sq. miles

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