Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area5100 Deer Park RoadOwings Mills MD 21117
Soldiers Delight is reached via I-795, to Franklin Blvd. west, right at Church Road, left on Berrymans Lane, then left on Deer Park Road.
9 a.m. to Sunset
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area (NEA) is comprised of 1,900 acres of serpentine barren. The area has over 39 rare, threatened, or endangered plant species as well as rare insects, rocks and minerals. Rare grassland plant species are threatened by invasion of Virginia Pines. Currently, a five year effort of removing 1,000 acres of pines and prescribed burning are underway to return the area to natural serpentine habitat.
There are seven miles of marked hiking trails. Equestrians and cyclists are prohibited due to the sensitive nature of the area. The visitor center has meeting rooms, a reference library and exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area. The visitor center is located at 5100 Deer Park Road in Owings Mills, Maryland, 21117. The Visitor Center is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (weather permitting). Sunday through Friday, the Visitor Center will be open only when staff is available. Call ahead at 410-922-3044 if you would like to have access to the Visitor Center outside our normal hours.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has modified the deer management program at the Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area (NEA). The adjusted program, which was implemented this past winter, took immediate steps to significantly reduce the deer population in order to fulfill the Department’s mission to protect, preserve and restore the NEA's globally rare ecosystem.
The Department's stepped-up deer management efforts were initiated due to immediate threats to the multitude of rare, threatened and endangered species uniquely found at the NEA. As the deer population in Baltimore County has increased in recent years, the ecological damage caused by deer over-browsing on the NEA has become increasingly acute. Globally-endangered plant species have been reduced to tiny remnant populations, and even some once–common plants have all but disappeared from the site. Unless the deer population at Soldiers Delight is reduced and maintained at an ecologically sustainable level, there is an imminent risk that the unique features of the site could be lost forever. The Department of Natural Resources has a clear responsibility to prevent this from happening.
The next phase of the deer management plan will include an expansion of the existing annual managed hunting program. The specific components of this phase are outlined in the schedule below and will involve the implementation of zones for archery, muzzleloader and shotgun hunting. Hunting will be limited on weekends (restricted Saturday hunting and no Sunday hunting) and will require pre-registration and daily reservations by hunters. The Natural Resources Police will provide enforcement support to ensure compliance with all hunting rules. The expansion of the managed hunt program is necessary to further reduce the deer population and to maintain the reduced herd size at a sustainable level into the foreseeable future.
Would you like to receive weekly e-mail updates on what is happening in Patapsco Valley State Park, Soldiers Delight and Morgan Run? Sign up to receive the Patapsco Valley News. Park staff send e-mails no more than twice a week highlighting special activities occurring throughout the park. Send your e-mail address to DNR and enter contact information to be added to our mailing list.
Many Maryland State Parks have been approved as partners of Maryland Green Travel, a free and voluntary self-certification program that promotes and recognizes sustainable environmental practices by businesses in the tourism industry. These practices include energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and water conservation methods.
Click on this link to view the green profile and the list of sustainable practices for Soldiers Delight NEA.
Letterboxing is a fun activity for individuals and families alike. In short, letterboxing is a lot like a scavenger or treasure hunt. It combines elements of map reading, hiking, creative expression, and puzzle solving.
Take the Soldiers Delight Letterboxing adventure and learn about history, fire, invasion and stories of survival!
We offer many programs at Solders Delight NEA for children of all ages throughout the year. Many of these programs are run in the Visitor Center at Soldiers Delight. Come and visit us and see if you can complete the Scavenger Hunt located inside the visitor center.
Please call 410-922-3044 in advance to see when the visitor center is accessible.
Environmental education programs & hiking.
An active volunteer organization assists with hike leadership, barren preservation, exhibits, and visitor center assistance. For information, call 410-461-5005.
Soldiers Delight offers an accessible visitor center, parking lot and nature trail. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401