I wasn't able to finish this hike to give it a fair rating but wanted to give future hikers a warning about ticks on the trail:
We started this pretty hike on a beautiful fall day with our pup. Unfortunately, we realized about a mile in that she was covered with ticks--so much so that we decided it would be better to turn around, even though we made an hour drive to get there. As another commenter mentioned, the trail is a bit overgrown with vegetation and I think this was what made it so bad for our dog (we were ok with pants, boots, and long socks). Ticks in the woods happen, of course, but this was worse than we've seen elsewhere on the East Coast. We hope to come back after the first hard freeze when hopefully the critters will be gone. In the meantime, I would avoid bringing dogs on this trail during tick season (her tick collar was no match for the bloodsuckers) and recommend humans plan accordingly.
Lisa B. on Gunpowder Falls State Park-Hereford...
Pretty fun trail with some rock obstacles to climb. We ended up doing a mix of the South Trail and the Highland Trail.
Really fun trail, but I'm glad I read the other reviews. I wore zip off long pants (I had to wear the pants for the entire middle part of the trail from the western loop to the northern gunpowder trail). I also brought a towel to dry off my feet after I walked across the river (I just walked barefoot - it was fine and the water didn't go above my knees). I'd suggest starting to the left on each loop. One difficult part at the top of the western loop - coming down a steep hill and then there is a section that has a large tree across it. I just crossed the stream and went down 50 feet or so and crossed back.
The first leg of the trail was okay, but when you went on the second trail after the bridge, the paths were very overgrown and spidery. I'm talking spiders crawling ALL OVER YOU. And sticker bush after sticker bush. We spent so much time whacking away at the spiders and sticker bushes that we never really could stop and enjoy the beauty of the river and the forest. If you are planning on using these trails, DO NOT WEAR SHORTS! You will most certainly get chiggers, scratches, and poison ivy because the path is so poorly maintained. I'd bring a machete, but I'm never doing that trail again.
Another thing, the imbecile that made this map had us lost a whole bunch of times to where we were so exhausted, we just said the heck with it and went off trail, using Google maps to find our way to a trail that actually exists. The third time we got lost, was a part where we were supposed to cross the river again, but like another reviewer noticed, there is the ruins of a bridge, but there is no longer a bridge there. Luckily there was Bunker Hill Rd, so we just walked back to our car from there, vowing to never set foot in those poorly maintained paths again.
Over all, the hike was pretty in some parts, and I ended up actually hiking 11 miles instead of 8, which had me exhausted, the bad far outweighed the good and 1 star is really too generous of me. This hike sucks.