Patapsco Valley State Park Loop is a 4.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Patapsco Woods, MD that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This loop is indeed an enjoyable one. Not many people walk the Santee trail. Park your car in the Hilton Area or at the Swinging Bridge in the Orange Grove area. There are restrooms and water fountains at both locations. You can even Camp overnight in the Hilton area but you have to pay. The Grist Mill trail is a fairly flat Blacktop trail that runs along the river. The Sawmill Trail (RED) has an up or down terrain pending your direction and features a stone tunnel you walk through, small very manageable stream crossing but there is one section that is a bit rocky. You have to walk on the boulders due to a down tree. You can still see the edge of the original trail. The Santee Trail (WHITE) crossing the whole top. It changes to (ORANGE) then back to (WHITE) because of the Charcoal Trail that runs around the campground. If you are hiking the Santee Trail from the Hilton Area to the Vineyard Trail just make all rights that are marked (WHITE). A long hike on the Santee but it is an easy one. The Vineyard trail (RED) is at a big intersection of trails and is well marked.(at the Fire Road). The Vineyard trail has an up or down terrain pending your direction. Please Note: If you need to shorten this trek you can break off the Santee and get onto the Backside Of Nun's. (Nunnery Trail) connects Santee to Grist Mill Trail.
This is a great loop indeed and I have enjoyed it many times. Parked at the Swinging Bridge. Walk across the Bridge and turn LEFT. Go up the Grist Mill to the tunnel. Enter the tunnel from the LEFT side to get to the Sawmill Trail. ( Marked ). The Santee trail is (White) and to the right. You can take a break in the Hilton area and the Kids can play at the Tire Park in the Playground. You will need to break trail a few minute's to get to the restrooms then go and enjoy the rest of you Trek.