Hunting Ridge neighborhood full of charm

Residents enjoy cozy, hidden area of Baltimore

  • "Hunting Ridge is a very stable community. Crime is very low there, and it has an active Citizens on Patrol," said Major Anthony Brown of the Baltimore Police Department's Southwest District. "It's a very safe community."
"Hunting Ridge is a very stable community. Crime is very… (Baltimore Sun photo by Jed…)
April 11, 2010|By Nancy Jones Bonbrest, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Tucked away near the western edge of Baltimore, the neighborhood of Hunting Ridge is full of charm.

Stone, brick and wood homes are nestled on nice-size woodsy lots along winding streets and backed by beautiful parkland.

"It's beautiful and cozy and hidden," said David McDonald, president of the Hunting Ridge Community Assembly. "It's the best neighborhood in Baltimore."

Bordered by Cooks Lane, Edmondson Avenue, Swann Avenue and Leakin Park, the neighborhood is diverse, easily accessible and, according to its residents, is one of the city's best-kept secrets.

McDonald knew of Hunting Ridge because he used to drive through the neighborhood on his way to youth basketball games. He said he always remembered its appeal.

"I fell in love with it at that early age, and when I became an adult, I made it my mission to try and move here," he said.

The neighborhood's name dates back to the late 17th century, when a stretch of land running from present day Edmondson Village Shopping Center west to Catonsville was known as Hunting Ridge, according to the community Web site.

A sense of community is important to its residents, says Vicki Bringman, who is in charge of the welcoming committee for the Hunting Ridge Community Assembly.

What she tries to instill in new residents is the closeness the community offers.

"Everyone looks out for each other. You know your neighbors in Hunting Ridge, and you know your neighbors' neighbors," said Bringman.

Housing stock: Although many of the houses in the neighborhood date to the 1920s and 1930s, there are also duplexes and townhouses built in the 1950s and later. Cape Cods, bungalows and Colonials are mixed throughout the neighborhood and make up most of the detached homes.

"There's a very wide variety of housing. It's not cookie-cutter by any stretch of the imagination," said John Koenig, a realtor with Re/Max Advantage Realty and a Hunting Ridge resident. "I usually say there's small, medium and large houses. It has the ability to fit almost any type of a buyer."

He said housing prices over the past year ranged from a single detached house in need of renovations that sold for about $140,000 to a renovated house that went for more than $340,000.

Koenig not only knows Hunting Ridge as a Realtor but also as someone who grew up there. He moved back to the neighborhood just about a year ago. He often tells his customers that if they want somewhere to simply come home and go to bed each night, they can live anywhere. "But if you want to live in a neighborhood where you are going to know your neighbors and is 100 percent the term ‘neighborhood,'" Koenig said, then Hunting Ridge is the place to be.

Part of the attraction is that while it's so close to downtown Baltimore, it's also an easy commute to Washington and much more affordable than many nearby neighborhoods.

Hunting Ridge over the years has attracted several prominent residents including university professors, judges and former Mayor Sheila Dixon.

Schools: Within the neighborhood boundaries are Thomas Jefferson elementary and middle schools, which are cherished by residents. An International Baccalaureate school, Thomas Jefferson has fared well in state testing and has met all yearly progress requirements. The nearby public high school is Edmondson-Westside, which has a graduation rate of 89 percent. There are also several private schools nearby, including the Cardinal Gibbons School, one of the Catholic schools slated to close at the end of the school year.

Crime: There have been no violent crimes reported in Hunting Ridge this year, according to Major Anthony Brown of the Baltimore Police Department's Southwest District. There were two reported burglaries and one incident of domestic aggravated assault.

"Hunting Ridge is a very stable community. Crime is very low there, and it has an active Citizens on Patrol," said Brown. "It's a very safe community."

Shopping: Security Square Mall is the closest mall, but all types of businesses line the U.S. 40 corridor.

Transportation: Hunting Ridge is not only located along the Edmondson Avenue/U.S. 40 corridor, making it easily accessible to downtown Baltimore, but is also only a few minutes from Interstates 95 and 70. Public transportation includes MTA buses and a MARC train station in Halethorpe.

Dining in: The Giant Food store on Edmondson Avenue is within walking distance.

Dining out: Mostly fast-food and carryout places sit along Edmondson Avenue, but residents are within a short drive to Catonsville or Baltimore.

Recreation and parks: Gwynn Falls/Leakin Park borders the neighborhood and provides neighborhood trails within footsteps of its residents. Also in nearby Ten Hills is the Hunting Hills Swim Club, a popular summer destination for many Hunting Ridge residents.

Hunting Ridge by the numbers
ZIP code:
Homes on the market:
Average sales price:
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*Information based on sales during the past 12 months, complied by John Koenig with RE/Max Advantage Realty and Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc.

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