Baltimore Community Rowing (BCR) promotes the sport of rowing for fitness, competition, and recreation for people of all ages and abilities. While striving to be a national leader in the sport of rowing, BCR is creating a membership that reflects the diverse Baltimore community in which it resides. BCR is a non-profit organization established in 1979 and is located in the Cherry Hill area just south of Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor.
Rowing got its start in Baltimore in 1864 when the Ariel Club was founded. First named the Baltimore Rowing Club before changing its name, the Ariel Club was soon followed by the Undine and Zephyr Rowing Clubs. As a group, the local clubs called themselves the Patapsco Navy, just as the rowing organizations in Philadelphia had dubbed themselves the Schuylkill Navy. Annual championships of the Patapsco Navy became a staple of local rowing at least through the 1870s. Through the 1920's, Baltimore clubs hosted several Mid-Atlantic and national championships that attracted crowds of up to 10,000 people and were covered by The Sun and other local newspapers as major sporting events, just as important as Orioles or Ravens games are today. Eventually, waterfront industrialization took the boathouses, and World War II took away the rowers, but not before Baltimore crews had established themselves as major powers on the East Coast circuit, winning numerous national championships and a few international titles as well.
Rowing in Baltimore was re-established in 1979, when a group of former college oarsmen and other enthusiasts of the sport decided to revive what once had been a extremely popular pastime on the Patapsco River. Since celebrating our Silver Anniversary in 2004, Baltimore Rowing has enjoyed tremendous growth, with programs for masters, recreational, and junior rowers, as well as an outreach program for Middle School athletes coming from underserved neighborhoods, called Reach High. Several High Schools currently row from The Boathouse: Bryn Mawr, Institute of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Prep, Roland Park, St. Paul's School for Boys and St. Paul's school for Girls. The Boathouse at Waterview Avenue is also home to two college programs: Loyola and UMBC.
Baltimore Community Rowing is a member of the Patapsco Navy, a group that represents all stakeholders who row out of the Baltimore Boathouse. We work together on issues of safety, event planning and advocacy for the community and the use of the Middle Branch and its waters.
Location and Directions
Baltimore Rowing and Resource Center
Middle Branch Park, 3301 Waterview Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230
Interested in renting the facility? Please contact the City of Baltimore Department of Recreation & Parks, at 410-396-3840.