Prettyboy Reservoir spreads out over 1,500 acres in northern Baltimore County, Maryland. It is named after Prettyboy Creek, which is a located in a section of Baltimore County known as “Devils Backbone”. Legend says that a farmer bought his daughter a colt with a beautiful silken coat. The girl fell in love with the horse and named him Prettyboy. One evening after a storm, the horse wandered off, stopped to have a drink in the stream, and slipped down the soft bank into the water. The horse was never seen again.
Prettyboy Reservoir is owned and operated by Baltimore City, which also owns the surrounding land. Prettyboy is one of three reservoirs created to supply the Metropolitan Baltimore municipal water system. Loch Raven Reservoir, located downstream, and Prettyboy Reservoir provide over half of the drinking water for the entire Baltimore Metropolitan area. Rather than entering directly into Baltimore, the water from Prettyboy is transferred to Loch Raven Reservoir first, via Gunpowder Falls. It then travels via tunnel to the Montebello Filtration Plants in Baltimore where it is treated and distributed to the metropolitan area.
The primary purpose of the Prettyboy Reservoir is to provide high quality water to 1.8 mission customers in the Baltimore Metropolitan Region. Limited recreation included hiking, hunting and shoreline fishing is permitted. Activity outside of these listed above are either prohibited or require a Right of Entry Permit issued by the Baltimore City Director of Public Works.