Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Bel Air South, MD

  • Published 2022/11/30

The charming Bel Air South is a census-designated place in Harford County, Maryland.

It is home to 59,636 residents as of the 2022 census, making it the 15th most populated area in Harford County.

This quiet area offers visitors lots of outdoor activities, beautiful historical areas, and scenic parks.

There are also plenty of attractions to enjoy at Bel Air South for free!

Here’s a list of free things to do in Bel Air South, Maryland:

Go Fishing at the Bynum Run Park

A duck on the waters of Bynum Run Park

Chris Burkins Photography /

The Bynum Run Park is at 715 Churchville Road.

This small five-acre park is a charming spot to visit if you want to take a stroll or enjoy a quiet day surrounded by nature.

The park features a pond, benches, pavilions, and an asphalt trail that loops around the pond, allowing you to enjoy the scenic view of the waters as you take a walk.

Ducks on Bynum Run Park's pond

Chris Burkins Photography /

Four small docks reach into the waters, allowing for fishing opportunities if you have a fishing permit.

There’s also a large variety of birds, especially geese, in the area that flock to people begging for food; be sure not to give in, as the county feeds them.

Go on a Historic Stroll at the Ma and Pa Trail

The Ma & Pa Heritage Trail is one of the most historic areas to explore in Bel Air, making it the best place to start your trip.

Through this path, you can encounter multiple beautiful and historic spots to enjoy as you go through the scenic trails.

It goes through the path of the old Ma & Pa Railroad in Harford County, and you can find the start of the path at Ma & Pa Heritage Trail near Williams Street.

Its trail consists of three sections: the Bel Air Trail section, the Edgeley Grove section, and the Forest Hill section.

The first Bel Air section is home to a dog park, with separate fenced areas for small and big dogs, perfect if you’re taking a walk with a pet.

The second Edgeley Grove section offers two beautiful scenic overlooks, traveling on a nice boardwalk and a scenic 90-foot crossing through Winters Run.

A historic and old bitternut hickory tree can also be seen here.

The last Forest Hill section is a trail that leads to a path adjacent to ballparks and other parks, with a deck that provides a view of an active marsh.

Find Local Masterpieces at the Harford Artists Gallery

The Harford Artists Gallery is a charming art gallery featuring works of art by local artists in Harford County.

The Harford Artists’ Association Inc, or HAA, established it, whose mission is to promote art in Harford County.

The gallery features beautiful paintings and sculptures of local artists, and though it’s free to enter and admire, you also have the option to purchase said paintings.

The exhibits rotate bi-monthly, showcasing collections of paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, photography, and more.

The Harford Artists Gallery is in the Armory Marketplace, Suite 104, behind the history Reckord Armory.

Take Photos at the Harford Mall

The Harford Mall is a shopping mall and center in Bel Air.

This huge, over 500,000-square-foot historic mall is the only mall in Harford County.

It was originally opened in 1973 by Mid Atlantic Realty Trust, but under lots of changes of ownership, management, and renovations, it eventually became a beautiful mall, home to international and local stores for visitors to enjoy.

The mall has a gorgeous, Instagram-worthy interior perfect for photos and selfies.

You can also simply walk around and admire the beautiful lights, the bustling crowds, and the colorful stores.

Harford Mall is located at 696 Belair Road.

Go Jogging at Emily Bayless Graham Park

Emily Bayless Graham Park is one of the newer parks in Bel Air South.

Found south of the Festival Mall and next to a highway, at 15 West Wheel Road, the park offers 70 acres of beautiful nature right in the middle of urban areas.

You can walk through three-looped trails of wooded areas on nice and flat stone-dust paths.

There’s also a pavilion, picnic areas, and places to sit and relax.

You’ll also have the opportunity to see old, abandoned homes and agricultural areas, but you are not allowed inside as they are still unsafe.

As one of the newer parks in Bel Air South, Emily Bayless Graham Park is popular with families and pet owners out on a walk, so expect some company when you visit.

Visit the Historic Hays House Museum

Exterior of the Hays House Museum

Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hays House Museum is one of the many historic attractions in Bel Air.

Found at Kenmore Avenue, it is a historic home-turned-museum offering visitors a glimpse of the life locals had during their time.

The 1½ story-tall home was built in 1788, with an additional part built in 1811, making it Bel Air’s oldest home.

The house was moved and now stands on a concrete foundation and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in the 1980s.

The house only offers free admissions during the first Fridays of every month, so be sure not to miss out and plan your trip accordingly.

Stop by Hays House Museum and grab the opportunity to visit a historical site showcasing the culture and lives of the old locals.

Explore Harford Glen Park

Harford Glen Park is a beautiful park perfect for hiking and exploration.

It’s next to the Harford Glen School at 502 West Wheel Road.

It’s a huge area with a lot of history, filled with trails that showcase the beautiful nature of Harford County.

Here you can hike through said trails and enjoy the preserve’s various plants and animals.

You can also relax, sit by the many benches, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

There are also opportunities and spots for fishing and dipping your feet in the beautiful, shallow streams.

The park is only open to the public when the school is not open, but when school’s over and the summer is done, the park is open seven days a week.

Go Kayaking at the Bynum Run Conservational Area

Not to be confused with the Bynum Run Park, the Bynum Run Conservational Area is another park located southeast of Bel Air South.

Found at Cedar Knoll Drive, it features five acres of lush woodlands smack in the middle of quiet neighborhoods.

It offers beautiful views of the orange and brown leaves of cedar trees, making it especially more stunning in autumn.

You can take a nice and quiet stroll in the area and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

There are also baseball diamonds and restrooms.

The Bynum Run Conservational Area is also an access point to a river, making it a nice place to enjoy water-related activities such as kayaking and fishing.

Play a Game of Baseball at Schucks Regional Park

The Schucks Regional Park is a large park in Bel Air.

Unlike other parks, this park has less nature and habitats but has lots of opportunities for sports and other outdoor activities.

This park was founded with the sole purpose of allowing children and adults to have the opportunity to play baseball.

The park has many expansive ball fields, two playgrounds, and interactive activities on the pathways.

With the space here for outdoor activities, you can do them all, such as archery, football, baseball, drone racing, ultimate frisbee, softball, and even yoga.

If you want to rest, you can sit under the pavilions or on the many benches in the park.

You can find the Schucks Regional Park is at Schucks Road Bel Air.

Roam around the Elegant Liriodendron Mansion

Exterior of the Liriodendron Mansion

Preservation Maryland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Liriodendron Mansion is a historical attraction and event venue here.

It is the historic home of the Kelly family of the famous Dr. Howard Atwood Kelly, one of the main founders of the John Hopkins Hospital and Medical School.

The 2½ Georgian Revival Style brick mansion was built in 1898; the original home the family lived in before the mansion was built was a Georgian-Style 2½ manor house in 1835.

The Liriodendron Mansion has free admissions every Wednesday and Sunday, so take note when you plan your visit.

Porch of the Liriodendron Mansion

Preservation Maryland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can spend the afternoon appreciating the intricate architecture, beautiful rooms, and the surrounding lush area, taking you back decades in time.

Situated on the first floor are grand fireplaces and antique furniture.

Meanwhile, the second floor showcases art pieces crafted by local artists.

From here, you can also access scenic locations such as Howard Park, the Ma & Pa Trail, and the hidden Larry Franz Woodland Walk.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Go Boating at the Flying Point Park

Flying Point Park is a fabulous waterfront park in Edgewood.

It’s a 19-minute drive from Bel Air South, located at Kennard Avenue.

It’s an amazing spot for family picnics on the picnic tables, on green grass, or under the pavilions.

You can also go boating through their boat launch, play on the horseshoe pits, or play volleyball on their sand courts.

A small sandy beach part is perfect for a dip or sitting near the shore.

Flying Point Park also has two big and smaller playgrounds, perfect for children of all ages.

Take the Kids to Annie’s Playground

Annie’s Playground is a historic community playground in Fallston.

It offers a massive playground and plays structures perfect for big and little children.

It’s a 13-minute drive from Bel Air South, inside Edgeley Grove Park at Smith Lane.

The playground was built in 2005 and was dedicated to Annie Cumpston and many other children who unfortunately passed away too soon due to an illness or an accident.

The playground was funded by donations from thousands of volunteers who wished to show support for the cause.

Your children will be surprised at how large the playground is here, with so much to do, and it’s even partially/fully handicapped-accessible!

Annie’s Playground also has separate zones to ensure that the little children and big kids can enjoy their time safely.

Bring Your Pup to Abingdon Dog Park

Let your beloved pets run and socialize with other pups in a safe environment at Abingdon Dog Park.

Just an eight-minute drive from Bel Air South, at Abingdon Road, you can enjoy this beautiful dog park with a wide open space.

There are two areas in this four-acre park for big and small dogs to ensure your pups have fun safely.

You can also sit in the chairs at Abingdon Dog Park under the shade as you watch your pup have fun.

There are trails outside the fenced areas, perfect for walking with your beloved pet.

You can also walk towards the top of the hill and enjoy a fantastic view of the surrounding scenery.

Learn about Forests at the Stoney Demonstration Forest State Park

The Stoney Demonstration Forest State Park is a state forest at Aberdeen.

With just a 15-minute drive from Bel Air South to Nova Scotia Road, you can visit this hardwood forest rich in wildlife and nature.

The area measures 1,223 acres, a massive hardwood forest, and a perfect place to educate students and visitors about safe forestry practices.

Here you can take a hike and escape the cityscape with its tall, lush variety of trees such as basswood, red ash, yellow birch, and more.

After receiving a permit, you can also hunt animals here at the park; take extra caution as plenty of endangered animals can also be found here.

Take a Fun Hike at the Old Quarry and Little Gunpowder Loop

The Old Quarry and Little Gunpowder Loop is an amazing hiking area and trail in Kingsville.

Just a 14-minute drive from Bel Air, this trail at Little Falls is a popular spot for hiking, biking, birding, and fishing.

This trail leads you through a moderately challenging yet beautiful hike alongside a river.

You can follow either the white trail, which is the one that follows the stream, or the orange trail, which follows the Old Quarry trails and lets you travel deep into the forest.

Remember that there are also plenty of bikers on the trail as you share the paths at the Old Quarry and Little Gunpowder Loop.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Bel Air South for free.

Here, quiet, tiny parks to large ones with fields for outdoor sports and historic homes and buildings are free to enter from time to time.

Take note of this list of free things to do in Bel Air South, Maryland, to help build your itinerary for your next trip.

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