BeeTree Preserve is 263 beautiful acres of forests, fields, streams and wetlands located just 25 miles north of Towson in northern Baltimore County. Acquired by a group of generous and forward-thinking families, the eight parcels of land that became BeeTree Preserve were donated to Towson Presbyterian Church in 1965. Named for Beetree Run, a trout stream that meanders through the property, BeeTree Preserve's natural beauty and resources have welcomed visitors and inhabitants — both animal and human — for hundreds of years.
Come and see — and enjoy— for yourself! BeeTree Preserve not only offers miles of scenic trails for your use but many other facilities as well. Two open air pavilions (one with a fireplace), men's and women's restrooms, a large play field, and Adirondack shelters for camping are available for church, scout, school, business or family gatherings. Additional facilities are planned to make your visit to BeeTree Preserve as comfortable and delightful as possible.
The BeeTree Preservation Committee encourages the responsible use of the trails and facilities at BeeTree. Bring your family and friends for picnicking, hiking, bird watching, or other outdoor activities. Invite your children to attend the very popular Camp BeeTree summer day camp. Boy and Girl Scout groups have discovered the wonderful facilities at BeeTree and many weekends find more than one group using the property for overnight camping — it's a great stop over point on a hiking/ biking trip on the Torrey C. Brown trail or as a destination unto itself. Horseback riding clubs use the trails, as do day hikers and nature lovers.
The BeeTree Preserve also includes the BeeTree Cemetery.
Bee Tree is located approximately 25 minutes from Towson Presbyterian Church (located near the center of Towson).
Take I-83 north from the Baltimore Beltway toward Harrisburg 17.8 miles. Exit I-83 at Exit 33 marked "Parkton MD 45". At the top of the exit ramp, turn left and proceed 1.3 miles. Turn left onto Kaufman Road, proceed 1.3 miles to Bee Tree. At the Five-Forks stop sign, take the road directly in front of you. Signs designate a road on the left entering Bee Tree Cemetery and farther along, another leading to the Davis Pavilion.
European settlers began exploiting the resources of this area as early as the 1600’s. By the mid 1880’s, an important railroad line bisected the stream vally and provided a valuable economic link between Baltimore City and the northern industrial states. During the Civil War, Union troops were stationed here to protect the movement of men and materiel along the line. (An inscribed stone on the property is believed to mark the grave of a fallen, but as yet unknown, soldier from that period.)
By the turn of the century, trains brought an evangelist and his flock to BeeTree for bible meetings at an outdoor amphitheater on the property. Trains also brought wealthy Baltimoreans to nearby hotels to escape from city life and enjoy the therapeutic affects of the local fresh water springs. While trains no longer run on this line, it has become a popular state-owned hiking and biking trail (the NCR Trail recently renamed the Torrey C. Brown trail) running from Cockeysville, MD to Harrisburg PA and now serves as the western border of BeeTree Preserve.
The BeeTree Preservation Committee of Towson Presbyterian Church is charged with protecting the beauty of BeeTree Preserve while encouraging the respectful use of its resources. To this end, a comprehensive master plan was prepared as a guide to preserving and restoring the delicate ecosystems that exist at BeeTree, even as greater use of its trials and facilities are being encouraged. The detailed studies that were undertaken as part of the master planning process are available as resource materials for groups interested in studying the natural history and/or environmental diversity of BeeTree Preserve.
BeeTree Preserve is a tremendous natural resource and diverse habitat with grassy fields, wooded hillsides, mature forests, new growth woodlands, and valuable wetland areas. You will find many examples of indigenous wildlife species and native vegetation. Several main areas have been designated for their unique natural features, their accessibility, and their types of use.
BEETREE CEMETERY • A serene natural setting, reserved for members of Towson Presbyterian Church and their families. A scenic hiking trail links the cemetary to the rest of the Preserve.
DAVIS PAVILLION • Large covered pavillion with central fireplace, charcoal grills, and picnic tables. Easy access to restrooms, trails, and playing fields. Limited parking and tenting areas are available.
KITTLE PAVILLION • Favorite picnic and camping site with covered pavillion, picnic tables, charcoal grills, large fire pit and scenic overlook of field and stream. Many good tenting sites, ample parking, running water and modern facilities, as well as easy access to hiking/ biking trails.
ALT HOUSE RESTROOMS • Equipped with separate modern facilites for men and women.
SOLDIERS RIDGE • (Listed as Ron Ridge in the brochure) Old growth forest of oak accessible primarily by relatively steep walking trail from Bee Tree Road and the Torrey C. Brown Trail. Limited vehicle access is permitted for dropping off supplies. Four Adirondack style shelters with 8 to 10 bunks each, a privy, and fire pits are available. There is no running water so be sure to bring adequate supplies.
OAK RIDGE • New growth forest of maple, oak and poplar, accessible by walking trails only. The campsite includes five designated tenting areas, central fire pit, and flagpole for troop colors. No motor vehicles access or running water makes this relatively remote location a more advanced camping site.
HICKORY PASS • The northernmost section, accessible by walking trails only. A mostly undisturbed mature forest of oak and hickory. The lack of human impact and the quality of the forest makes this area a great place for nature study and bird watching.
Towson Presbyterian Church charges no fee to use the property.* However, we do require a signed authorization form, adequate adult supervision and appropriate liability insurance for groups utilizing the buildings and/ or being on the property after sunset.
*Donations to aid in the upkeep of the Preserve are welcomed, as are volunteers to help in planting, trail maintenance, litter clean up, and enhancement of the grounds and facilities. Please contact the church office to inquire about gifting and volunteer opportunities.
Please follow these rules and regulation whenever visiting BeeTree Preserve.
Linked below is the form for the use of the BeeTree preserve. Please print and fill out two copies of the form and sign them. Send the forms to Tara Runge at the Church (telephone 410-823-6500) so that she may sign them. In return, she will send you your copy and keep one copy for the Church office files. Keep your copy with you at all times while at BeeTree.
For a printable User Reservation Form, please click here
For a printable brochure that contains the Preserve map and directions, please click here
The BeeTree Preserve was awarded the 2015 Baltimore County Tree Farm of the Year by the Maryland Tree Farm Committee, American Tree Farm System (ATFS) in recognition of the stewardship of the BeeTree forest. Continual logging is not practiced in the BeeTree Preserve, but rare and selective tree harvesting does occur as part of a plan for maintaining a healthy and diverse forest. The award recognition letter notes that the committee was impressed by the many forestry practices implemented at BeeTree Preserve and that it was obvious that BeeTree Preserve was well managed in a sustainable manner for multiple woodland benefits. Please visit the Maryland Tree Farm Committee website (click here) to learn more about the committee and the ATFS.