Gunpowder Falls State Park-Hereford is a 12.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Parkton, MD that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fishing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Two trails, the larger is the blue trail and shorter is the yellow trail. Crosses some streams and provides some good views. Currently better suited for hiking as there are a few large fallen trees but the area is being built up for MTB
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.
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.
Wasn't a bad hike. Watch out for the Section with rocks to climb around, it just takes a while . definitely a beautiful park with wildlife and wildflowers.
Not for mountain bikes!! AT ALL. At least from the damn to falls road. I tried to take the spur trail from the damn, huge mistake. Carried the bike the entire way over trees, rocks, steep slippery slopes. Then I reached trail and thought I am at a point of no return so keep going... Mistake #2. I followed trail to left that follows stream. Again never rode bike but for a minute. Very rough terrain all the way to falls road crossing. At that point I said screw it and rode falls road back to the damn where I parked. I don't know about the rest of the trail maybe I'll try it from other end one day.
Great hike but on the map it has you crossing the river at bunkerhill road, but there is no bridge there anymore. Looks like the bridge has been gone for awhile now. I had to keep hiking next to the river and find a tree to cross, wasn't a big deal because I had the time but be careful if that is the path you take.
At 1 of the road crossings/entry points, if you go across the street to continue your trail and get stuck at a stream with no more trail to cross, go back a short bit to the road and instead, head into the parking lot and on the left hand side, the trail continues. Take it to the right and then down the steps to continue the loop.
Thanks S. Adamson for your helpful review. This was a lot of fun! I'm glad I wore pants to cover my legs. We'll definitely do this trail again.
The Mingo Forks - Bunker Hill loop is one of my favorite hikes in the immediate area. There is a great deal of diversity in the hike, including dense pine forests, the Masemore Hemlock Ravines, several stream crossings, an archery range, undulating terrain, and the Gunpowder River. The hike really feels like you are off in the wilderness. The hike described in this posting is a 4 mile loop. The hike can be extended to 7-9 miles by turning left at the intersection of the Mingo Forks and Gunpowder South trail and heading towards Masemore Road along the River. Cross Masemore, arriving at Falls Rd. Take a left on Falls Rd and continue up the hill for 0.5 mile or so until arriving at the Highland Trail on your left. Follow the Highland Trails back to the river, and once there follow the Gunpowder South Trail until arriving at the Bunker Hill Trail.
NOT meant for bikes or horses. there used to be signs informing visitors of this fact.
"No motorized vehicles, no horses, no mountain bikes"
NOT maintained for the above activities, AND please do not take matters into your own hands, clearing logs and blow-downs or cutting grass is prohibited.
Hiked here about three weeks ago. Recommend the trails off of the left parking lot . The trail below the right parking lot is narrow in places along the bank and portions of the trail are washed out. Vegetation is dense at your lower legs so watch for poison ivy, oak and check for ticks. Recommend taking the other, higher trail which is on your right, before the bank trail. More of an incline but no washed out banks to deal with and less vegetation on your legs.
I went recently and was disappointed by how much downed trees there were. I barely got any where with out having to stop and pick up my mountain bike, these were not little branches but big tree trunks. I hope that it will be taken better care of, it has alot of potential. It would be a moderate trail if cleared out of all the fallen trees.
We took the South Trail / Panther Branch trail in late October. Very nice hike, easy to moderate. There were some places the trail was rather narrow along the river, some slippery and muddy areas from a recent rain, but overall the trail is in decent shape. We didn't see much wildlife, though it is evident that there are beavers in the vicinity. We've done the trail perhaps over a dozen times, since it is only about 30 minutes from where we live. It is the kind of trail that changes dramatically over the seasons. Quite beautiful. It is generally well blazed, so as long as you pay attention, you won't get lost.
When we hike this trail we usually start at the parking area on York Road just where it crosses the river. To get there, go past Bunker Hill Road and follow to the bottom of the hill. You will see the parking area on the right and left sides of the road. The trail is accessible on the right (East) side of York Road. We prefer this because the road leading to the parking lot off Bunker Hill was --the last times we were there-- in terrible condition, with potholes and erosion that make it almost impassible for a normal car.