BNHA Jones Falls Trail


Chesapeake Bay Gateway

Resource Type

Parks/Green Spaces

Trails and Byways

The Jones Falls Trail is a hiking and biking trail that follows the stream valley of the Jones Falls. When fully developed, the trail will run from the Inner Harbor to the Mount Washington Arboretum. Several sections of the trail are open, including the route between Pennsylvania Station and Druid Hill Park.

Natural resources were instrumental in shaping the city’s industrial heritage. The harnessing of the Jones Falls fueled the production of mills located along them and sped growth north and west of the city. Now the Jones Falls and the Gwynns Falls stream valleys are catalysts for rebirth as they are turned into recreational amenities and natural havens for the surrounding communities and the region at large.

The Jones Falls Valley, with its many productive textile mills, was a magnet for families that migrated to the area from the surrounding countryside in search of work during the late 19th century. Former flour mills that had helped spur the growth of the city in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were converted into textile mills in the late 1800s. These mills employed nearly 4,000 people at their peak of production in the 1890s. Clipper Mill, Meadow Mill, and Druid Mill among others were located along the Jones Falls. From 1875 to 1890, the mills experienced their heyday, turning out more than half of the world’s cotton duck cloth. Cotton duck, a heavy canvas cloth, was used in the making of ship sails, and the mills’ proximity to one of the busiest ports on the East Coast was fortuitous in this regard.