Gunpowder Falls State Park (nearly 18,000 acres in Harford and Baltimore Counties) was established to protect the stream valleys of the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls and the Gunpowder River, which begins at Days Cove where the Big and Little Gunpowders converge. A variety of topography exists in this long, narrow park, from tidal marshes and wetlands to steep, rugged slopes. There are more than 100 miles of trails, including the 21 mile Northern Central Railroad (NCR) Trail, now known as the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail in honor of Maryland's third Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary. The park features excellent trout fishing opportunities, as well as other freshwater and tidal fishing areas. Park areas include Hereford Area, along York Rd. in Parkton; the NCR/Torrey C. Brown Trail which extends from Ashland to the Pennsylvania line; the Central Area which extends from Baldwin to Days Cove along both river valleys and includes the historic village of Jerusalem; the Hammerman Area which is located in Chase near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Grace Quarters Road and offers a swimming beach on the Gunpowder River; and Dundee Creek Marina, also located in Chase which offers boat launching, rowboat rental, fuel and a marina store.
Views are pretty and it was a nice hike. However, somehow three of us got off track. We have no clue how but because of it we lost about half a mile of the trail. My husband was using the GPS and it appeared we were on track and then all of a sudden we werent! We don't know when or where it happened. We just ended up going from blue blaze to white blaze.
Also, when we went inside the visitor center, the woman there knew absolutely nothing about any of the trails. And there were no maps.
Pros: Great hike, especially for young kids. We brought out 4 year old and 7 year old on the hike and made it down to the pot rocks and back with minimal complaining. Lots to see and explore, will definitely do again.
Cons: A bit crowded, and parking lot was jammed, I'd go again on a weekday to avoid the throngs.
Nice trails, but this map is wrong - you can see on my recording where I tried to find the marked trail but couldn't and turned back to take another connector trail. Aside from confusion, very pretty and very close to the river on the Little Gunpowder portion.
Also known as the North Central Railroad (NCR) trail, this trail is perfect for anyone, well maintained surface, relatively flat with amenities like benches, picnic tables and port-a-johns along the route. Frequented by joggers, dog walkers and bikers but normally not overly crowded even on nice weekends. Plenty of places to jump on-off trail allow you to customize your ride. Notable trial locals include the Sparks Bank Nature Center in Sparks, MD and the Monkton Railroad Station (Ranger Station) in Monkton - Both have Port-a-pots, water points, picnic tables and limited parking. Also available at Monkton are tubing rentals to float down the Big Gunpowder Falls. The trail is well shaded so even on a hot day, the temperatures are tolerable. If you are just getting into Trail riding, this would definitely be a great introduction.
Tried out yesterday afternoon and enjoyed this trail. The trail is blazed, but at times not very well. Without the map on here I would have easily gotten lost. One trail even changed blaze color part way through. We started on the woodland section of the trail first and we only saw 2 other people on that portion of the trail, so it was nice and quiet. The section along the river was more popular and we saw probably a dozen people in all. A few steep sections, but mostly flat trail or sloping hills.