Sweathouse Branch West Side Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Kingsville, MD that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Trail with a refreshing swimming hole near the end! This loop follows the upland forests of the fall zone, crossing a few easy streams (pretty much non-existent in the winter) and visiting a pleasant waterfall, then meanders downstream along Big Gunpowder Falls as it leaves the piedmont. Watching Big Gunpowder Falls sliding through several narrow gorges, it is hard to believe that only 5 miles downstream the falls will spread to a delta-like, broad river more than a mile wide.
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.
Mid-June, Saturday about 9:30am to 12. Nicely maintained trail, clearly but rather sparsely blazoned. I walked it counterclockwise, so the first half was all uphill. Some challenging elevations, easy downhill, nice river walk to end it. Passed some polite parents with their kids, a bus full of fast walking seniors, a couple trail runners, one bird watcher.
Nice variety of scenery, easier than expected.
Beautiful and a great location just northeast of the city. Not too crowded on a summer Saturday and will definitely do it again. Next time we'll plan to grab a drink afterward at the gunpowder lodge just across from the parking lot after our hike.
Most of the trails are wide, clear, and well blazed. We hiked clockwise and lost the trail on the west side after crossing the creek, but picked it up later. Next time I'll go CCW. The interior loops allow you to shorten or lenghten your trek without too much backtracking. Not crowded, especially once you get away from the parking lot.
Very nice park, very busy. There is an underpass for hikers/bikers to cross under very busy road. We turned right after the underpass and if you want to do the whole 4.8 miles, you make rights at every split. You loop around and the last mile is along the river(and is flat). well maintained, there were a lot of people at first but as we went farther out we were alone. Moderate hills, well marked and well maintained. very pretty along sweet water branch. A little off the marked trail you can get to the confluence of the sweet water branch and the big gunpowder river. very interesting sand beaches.
Will go back in the summer and go straight to the confluence and have a picnic with the kids.
My favorite trail in this part of the park. Takes you pretty far back into the woods. You wind up hiking into a sizable gorage then looping back to the parking lot. Very quiet after you get back into the trees.