At a Glance
Hours: Sunrise to sunset.
Tips: The park is well-used during the day but safety can be an issue after dark. Be sure to lock your car and stow valuables out of sight.
Best Seasons: All year, but especially during spring and fall migration.
Breeding Bird Atlas Block: Baltimore East SW
Local MOS Chapter: Baltimore Bird Club
27 South Patterson Park Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21231 (410) 276-3676 (Friends of Patterson Park)
Patterson Park is a large, 137-acre city park located in a residential neighborhood in east Baltimore. The park is the heart of the neighborhood and includes open fields of grass with scattered large trees, paved walkways, historic battle sites, a lake, playgrounds, athletic fields, a swimming pool, an ice rink, a city farm garden, a dog park, and other amenities. The many open lawn areas speckled with trees attract “edge” species usually found in urban and suburban areas.
The park is notable for its man-made Boat Lake, which provides an environment rarely found in urban areas, thus attracting numerous species of water birds. Dating from the Civil War era, the 2.5-acre lake was dredged and renovated in 2003 to include wetlands planting and environmental education signage. Flat paved pathways make for easy birding around the lake and the entire park.
Another notable feature of the park is the presence of the Patterson Park Audubon Center, whose office is across the street and which offers extensive programming within the park.
Over 215 species of birds have been reported on eBird from Patterson Park. A diversity of songbirds make up the majority of the population, including less common species such as Baltimore Oriole, House Wren, and Wood Thrush. The park is notable for hosting a breeding population of Wood Ducks at the Boat Lake. Wintering birds on the lake include American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, and Ring-necked Duck, as well as Pied-Billed Grebe and American Coot.
Summer brings an assortment of herons, egrets, swallows, and flycatchers. Rarer species that have been sighted include American Woodcock, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Least Bittern, Brown Creeper, Swamp Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Seaside Sparrow. The park has a well-deserved reputation as a spring and fall migrant trap, when some of the less common warblers, vireos, and flycatchers can be found.
On-street parking around the perimeter of the park. Parking is permitted on all streets bordering the park; vehicles are not allowed within the park. The park is bordered by East Baltimore Street, Eastern Avenue, South Patterson Park Avenue, and South Linwood Avenue. There is a main pedestrian entrance at each corner. ◾ The Patterson Park extension lies to the east of the main park, and is bordered by East Pratt Street, South Ellwood Avenue, and Eastern Avenue. ◾ It’s usually easy to find a parking spot. Be sure to lock your car and stow valuables out of sight.
The paved walkways in the park are wheelchair-accessible. ◾ Programming at the park is supported by the Friends of Patterson Park. ◾ The park hosts several festivals and large-scale events during the warm months; check https://pattersonpark.com/ for schedules. ◾ The Patterson Park Audubon Center, whose business office is located across the street at 2901 E. Baltimore Street, offers bird walks and numerous environmental education programs in partnership with the City of Baltimore Parks and Recreation Department. One of the Audubon Center’s keynote programs is the Baltimore Birding Weekend and a Winter Waterfowl Special; see http://baltimorebirding.com. ◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Baltimore Bird Club. The Baltimore Bird Club is the founding chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, and remains an important hub of birding activity in the state. The club offers monthly meetings with informative presentations and a full schedule of field trips and bird walks, all free and open to the public. ◾ For a whimsical look at birding activities in Baltimore, check out the graphic arts booklet, “Birdland,” created by local artist Book Karnjanakit.
From the North: Take I-83 Southbound (turns into President Street) to Pratt Street. Make a left onto Pratt Street and continue for 1 mile to South Patterson Park Avenue, the Park’s eastern boundary. OR take I-95 Southbound towards Baltimore City. Take Exit 59, Eastern Avenue and bear right off the ramp (west) towards Highlandtown. Continue on Eastern Avenue for 2.5 miles – the park will be on the right.
From the South: From I-95 Northbound, take I-295 toward Baltimore. After passing the Ravens’ Stadium and Camden Yards, turn right onto Pratt Street. Follow for 2 miles until the street dead ends at the Park at South Patterson Park Avenue.
Alternate route from the South: Follow I-395 into Downtown Baltimore. Turn right onto Pratt Street. Follow Pratt for 2 miles until the street dead ends at the Park at South Patterson Park Avenue.
By Bus: The park is easily reached by #65 bus from downtown.
Nearby Sites: Fort McHenry National Monument, Cylburn Arboretum, Druid Hill Park, Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center.
HedgerowsUpland Deciduous Garden or ArboretumLawn, Ballfields, Golf CourseUrban or Small Town Landscape Freshwater Pond, Lake, or Reservoir
Features:Ball Fields or Other SportsBeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)FishingFree - No Entry Fee at Any TimeHistorical FeaturesNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsNature Education ProgramsPets AllowedPicnic AreaPlaygroundSwimmingWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Type:Community and Urban ParksGardens & ArboretaNature Centers