Walking trails, historic sites, and even a winery – Bel Air may surprise you!
Situated in Harford County, the town of Bel Air was founded in 1780 and soon rose to prominence – especially during the Civil War when they saw a boom in building and land development. Today, the town has grown substantially and is a center for educational, commercial, and governmental institutions.
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Ma & Pa Heritage Trail
The Ma & Pa Heritage Trail follows the path of what was once the Ma and Pa Railroad, or the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad as it is officially known. Situated within the heart of Bel Air, there is a 3.3-mile section known as the Bel Air segment as well as the 1.7-mile Forest Hill segment – there are plans for trails to eventually connect and create an 8-mile-long complete trail.
You can spend hours walking, jogging, running, biking, or even relaxing at the duck pond at Friends Park.
Spanning fifty-one acres, Rockfield Park is one of the most family-friendly outdoor spaces in the area. In the middle of it, you’ll find the historic Rockfield Manor landmark which has a stunning indoor and outdoor space for events.
The rest of the community park has a large playground, gardens, several sports facilities (baseball/ softball diamond and soccer field), and paved nature trails. You can even take your fur babies with you because pets are allowed as long as they’re on a leash.
Keep an eye out on their events calendar because Rockfield Park often hosts annual events such as an Easter Egg Hunt, the Rock & Blues Festival, and the Candlelight Valentine Dinner.
Hays House Museum
Owned by The Historical Society of Harford County, Hays House Museum gives visitors a glimpse of what the home of an affluent family would look like in Bel Air in the late 18th century. The home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1788 but was moved for preservation in 1960. Go on a guided tour to see exhibits of period furnishings, vintage clothing, antiques, and more.
Harford Artists Gallery
The Harford Artists Gallery can be found within the Armory Marketplace on Main Street. A part of the Harford Artists’ Association, the non-profit gallery has a constantly-evolving collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, pottery, and other works of art. In addition to the rotating exhibits, they also host lectures, demonstrations, and several other events throughout the year.
Bynum Run Park
Bynum Run Park is a community park with facilities such as a pavilion, picnic areas, a pond, and walking/ jogging trails. The trails are paved so it’s perfect if you’re there with younger kids. Grab your rods during the summer because fishing is allowed at the pond; don’t forget to get your fishing license before heading over though!
Located within the community-based Edgeley Grove Park, Annie’s Playground is an elaborate playground that’s perfect for kids of all ages. The playground was built in 2005 by thousands of volunteers over thirteen days. There are climbing structures, bridges, tunnel slides, swings, and so much more. Be aware though, that your kids might not ever want to leave.
Harford Vineyard and Winery
You’ll find the Harford Vineyard and Winery in Forest Hill, which is less than ten minutes away from Bel Air. The vineyard was founded in 2003 and the winery became official in 2009. Get away for a much-needed break and have an amazing down-to-earth experience here.
You can try many of their finely-crafted wines, distilled spirits, or cordials – they have over seventeen wines to choose from. You can also purchase custom wine gift baskets, wine-related gifts, and even creations such as jewelry and home decor by local artisans.
Jerusalem Mill Village
Jerusalem Mill is one of the oldest and most intact mills in the nation. Located alongside the Little Gunpowder Falls River, the living history museum shows how the Quaker village functioned from the 18th to early 20th centuries. In addition to the mill, you’ll see other structures such as a gun shop, a blacksmith shop, a farmhouse, the ruins of a barn, and more.
Dine at one of their many establishments
Bel Air has everything from fast food to fine dining. Head to One Eleven Main for craft cocktails and perfectly-concocted seasonal dishes – perfect for date night! You’ll also love the energy at 510 Johnny’s, which is a sports bar that often hosts live music performances over the weekend. And if you have kids, you can’t go wrong with the family-owned Margherita Pizza of Bel Air – little ones and adults will love their mouthwatering specialty pizzas.
The Harford Mall is an indoor shopping center with over one hundred stores on site. You’re bound to find some must-haves at cute little boutique stores like Bray & Em or Brittanynj.
You’ll also find the usual haunts like Francesca’s, American Eagle Outfitters, and the legendary Macy’s department store.
Take a break at one of the many restaurants located within the mall such as Five Guys, Red Robin, Friendly’s, and the Bonefish Grill.