Escape Keys: Maryland Steeplechase Country

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting There

Maryland steeplechase country lies just north of Baltimore, on either side of Interstate 83. Consult the Maryland Steeplechasing Web site (see below) for directions to the individual races.

Where to Stay

Slade's Inn (15820 Old York Rd., Monkton, 410-329-6101, has 10 rooms for $250-$275 per night on weekends.

Where to Eat

The Manor Tavern (15819 Old York Rd., Monkton, 410-771-8155, is across the street from Slade's Inn, offering salads and sandwiches as well as fancier fare. The Oregon Grille (1201 Shawan Rd., Hunt Valley, 410-771-0505, has an upscale menu in a horsy setting. The Milton Inn (14833 York Rd., Sparks, 410-771-4366, features updated American classics and offers wine dinners.

What to Do

Consult with Maryland Steeplechasing (410-489-7826, for information on the races.

Gunpowder Falls State Park (2813 Jerusalem Rd., Kingsville, 410-592-2897, offers fly-fishing, hiking, biking, tubing and kayaking on its nearly 18,000 acres.

Monkton's town center is home to the hippie-ish Harmony Cafe (1900 Monkton Rd., Monkton, 410-472-6400) and the top-flight, though tiny, Diddywopps & Keeffers art gallery and gift shop (1901 Monkton Rd., Monkton, 410-472-0470, Monkton is also home to Ladew Topiary Gardens (3535 Jarrettsville Pike, 410-557-9570,, whose estate includes an 18th-century manor house and 22 acres of flower and topiary gardens. Proceeds from the My Lady's Manor races benefit this neighboring estate.

For More Information

Baltimore County Conference & Visitors Bureau, 800-570-2836,

-- E.H.F.

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