Towson is located just inside the I-695 loop that nearly encircles the entire Baltimore metro area and is 20 minutes to Baltimore and the Inner Harbor. Towson is the official county seat for Baltimore County, which was established in 1854.
Baltimore County is rich in history, parks, museums and recreational sites. Technically in Cockeysville, Oregon Ridge Park contains plenty of trails for hiking and exploring wildlife and wildflowers. In the summer, concerts and festivals are held here; more daring visitors can try the hang-gliding lessons offered by the Maryland School of Hang Gliding. At the 17,000-acre Gunpowder Falls State Park or at Soldier's Delight Environmental Area, you can explore wooded trails, meadows, streams, ponds, a marble quarry and iron ore pits. The Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area offers miles of trails and viewing areas. Historical sites in the area are numerous and include the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Hampton National Historical Site and Rockburn Branch Park.
Education Students in the area are served by the Baltimore County School District offering an excellent range of programs including advanced placement and a magnet school program. In addition to Towson University, area colleges include Coppin State College, the University of Maryland, Villa Julie College, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College, and Morgan State University.
Equestrian Facilities Baltimore County offers the finest for the horse enthusiast, including the Maryland Hunt Cup, the Pimlico Race Course, home to the Preakness Stakes, the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, Polo Clubs, and many other United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) events.
Shopping & Entertainment The Towson Town Center is the region's premiere shopping center featuring 180 stores including Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Macy's, Crate & Barrel and FAO Schwartz. Further north, the Hunt Valley Centre recently underwent a $45 million renovation and expansion. The mall's surrounding area now contains restaurants, shops and a 12-screen movie theater.
Historical Landmarks Baltimore County and Maryland history are traced through exhibits in the Baltimore County Historical Society Museum in Cockeysville, the Catonsville Historical Society's Townsend House, and the Hampton National Historic Site in Towson. The 18th-century Hampton Mansion is surrounded by a 63-acre national park. You can see vintage fire engines and learn about the 1904 Great Fire of Baltimore at the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville. This terrible fire led to the standardization of fire equipment in the United States.