26 June 2012


With Google and such, you would think the web has information on everything.  That is not the case with Calvert Vaux Park, or at least its renovation.  Years ago I once took two nephews cycling there.  We rode as far as the water's edge.  I recall seeing a wide paved road with someone playing with a remote-controlled car.  There were some soccer players, too.  It rained a day or two earlier and on the way out we came across a flooded road.  Always up for an adventure, I encouraged the kids to charge right through.  I think they loved it.  It may be on this same bike trip that we also charged through some puddle-lake behind Home Depot.

If I recall correctly, Calvert Vaux Park then had two roads leading in and out of it.  There was a soccer field but not much else.  The wide paved road that I saw was far from the main road, Shore Parkway. A snapshop obtained via Google Maps confirms my faint memory, even though the captured image shows that construction already started.

When I started running seriously I needed new routes and wanted to re-visit the park but it appeared to be off-limit.  Some major renovation was started and the area was pretty much fenced off. It seemed like ages before the construction fence came down.  Sure the park looked nice but its gates were always locked.  There were no signs to indicate when it would be open to the public.  The Internet had nothing either.  I could see that only a portion of the park underwent renovation.  A large area closer to the water seemed to be left alone.  One day I decided to explore the undeveloped area.  One dirt road led into the area and there were signs of construction to come.  Some sections were fenced off and piles or stacks of construction materials laid here and there. I mostly run without my near-sight glasses and did not look hard to find any paths running toward the water.  On a second visit, I saw people heading for a baseball game.  The back area was certainly open to the public, it seemed.  One more run trip and I found a path to the water.  There was only a barrier to prevent cars from getting into the area.  A typical lithe runner could easily bypass the barrier.  There were no signs warning people not to enter so I walked past the obstruction.  There was a fork in the road and I took the left path.  A short distance later there was another barrier on the path, with many tree branches and such behind it.  The road seemed unpassable and I did not have much time left.  Gotta head back to shower and get to work.

Before I tried again to explore the waterfront of Calvert Vaux Park, I consulted Google Maps to get a better idea of the area.  From the outdated aerial photo, it seemed the right fork in the road was wider and connected to a path near the water.  That was exactly the case when I finally reached the waterfront.  What Google Maps did not show was a fallen tree that mostly blocked off the path.  Luckily, to the left of the path was just a grassy area that can be used to easily circumvent the downed tree.

There was no path that runs immediately along the water.  At the water margin, there is nothing to prevent anyone from jumping in or slipping in. The area was mostly wild alright. I ran along the narrow path near the water and it merged with the wider path eventually. I could have gone further but I was sure there was no exit that way. The path probably would end at the back of another construction area. I wanted no troubles and did not plan to trespass some off-limit area, so back I went.

Instead of the Fallen-Tree Path, I found the narrower path back to the second barrier. The path was actually blocked by tall grasses and would not join the wider path. Again, going around the tall grasses was easy, as the area was mostly open. Getting back to the "Left Fork" from behind the second barrier was easier than getting into it. Again it was time to head home and get ready for work. Maybe I will come back on a weekend, with baseball or soccer players in the area to feel safer.

The road appeared to be blocked but it was easily passable on the right.  I did not try to as it was time to head back.  On a later visit I came out to this side from the inside.

I could not help and wondered if anyone heard the sound of the tree falling.  The area was desolate.  Apparently not desolate enough for someone to place a wire trashcan in the midst of the branches...

There was no path to the water margin.  In the distance is the Verrazano Bridge.

If I kept taking this road (into the distance) I probably would end up behind some construction area that was off-limit to the public.

Years ago this was where I saw people parked their cars and someone playing an RC car.  I included the Verrazano Bridge in the picture to establish a point of reference.

The left fork in the road, after the barrier, would lead you here, where your journey would be blocked by the mass of brushes.  It is totally passable on the right though.

Somewhere in the short distance is the second barrier.


  1. Hi, ran across your blog by accident, the open paved road is used by a Remote Control Helicopter Club www.flysrw.com who maintains the field closest to the water. We trimmed the tree that was blocking the road and is now clear.


    1. Thanks for clearing things up, David, pun intended. I visited the area not too long ago and all was good.

  2. Looks like www.flysrw.com is defunct. The kid that killed himself on the news, was the vice president of the club stressing safety of all things....

    1. That seems to be the case. There is this YouTube video from May 2013 of some flying activities, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IPH-w2b_2s , although now that I know about the possibility of danger, I won't go near these model planes. Also, with the recent changes to the park, I don't think anyone can drive into the area any more, unless some gates somewhere can be opened up.