For many area families, Memorial Day weekend means a trip to the beach. Last year, nearly 3,000 people took part in that tradition at two Baltimore County parks — without ever going near the Bay Bridge.
Baltimore County government doesn't operate outdoor public pools, but beginning Memorial Day weekend, many residents swarm to a pair of county-run beaches — Rocky Point in Essex and Oregon Ridge in Cockeysville.
On the east side of the county, the 375-acre Rocky Point Beach and Park (410-887-2818) has been owned by Baltimore County since 1969. The park, at 2200 Rocky Point Road, is at the mouth of Back and Middle Rivers, and offers views of the Chesapeake Bay.
It features a 300-foot beach, picnic areas with two pavilions, several shaded groves, two playgrounds, a sand volleyball court, a sailing center, a fishing pier, two boat ramps, bathhouse, first aid station and comfort station.
In the Cockeysville area, Oregon Ridge Beach (410-887-1817) is at 13555 Beaver Dam Road. The beach borders a spring-fed lake in what used to be a quarry. Amenities include a concession stand, bathhouse, pavilion, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits and a playground.
Swimming is available at both beaches Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Last year, Rocky Point saw 1,255 people on the Memorial Day weekend, while Oregon Ridge had 1,600 visitors, according to Baltimore County Recreation and Parks officials.
Meanwhile, two county facilities have indoor pools, both operated by the YMCA: the Dundalk Community Center at 15 Commerce St.,¿Dundalk; and the Randallstown Community Center, 3505 Resource Drive,¿Randallstown.