Explore MD Trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Great hike with the kids! Tons of stop off points. Front end is more entertaining than the back end. Though the back end is definitely less trafficked.

My family of five, (6-12yr) trekked this trail and had a blast! Views were worth the steep hike to the top.

This is a very challenging trail system with a lot of elevation changes. - On the Elkridge County side of the Patapsco ( Howard County ) are multi trails that can be hiked in many ways. This loop could have been larger but 7 miles is enough for this old senior. There are two connector trails you can take if you wish to shorten the loop. You could also have hiked the Cascade Falls trail which is color coded ( blue ). The entire trail system is well marked and color-coded, except for Garrett's Pass but I would recommend a map as a backup. If you are biking this loop you are good to go. Bikes are not allow on the lower section directly where the falls are. You would stay on the upper Cascade and bike directly to the Ridge Trail. The only restroom and freshwater is located at the Swinging Bridge. The only other spot for water or restroom would be at the playground. You would have to go down the Water Bars or the NEW Ridge Extension trail and go to the Playground. The NEW Ridge Extension trail is right in front of the Restroom.

Great hike with lots of little spots for wading in the water or shallow pools for kids to play in.

very nice walk and good get away!!!

Easy hike- took my 7yr old and puppy. Small but pretty waterfall and pretty walk along the creek. A lot of families, kids, bikers, runners. Felt safe. Overall very nice

Very cute easy trail that is very well maintained! Came across a handful of mountain bikers throughout the 3mile hike and plenty of people and dogs. Wasn’t as crowded as I thought it’d be (definitely not as bad as sugarloaf mountain). The falls are tiny but cute and it has 2 small pools below it that you can hang out in. The top pool is only about 3ft deep at its deepest and the bottom pool is max 2ft deep. Great spot to bring a friendly dog (my 10lb dog loved it, couldn’t bring my 30lb dog because she doesn’t do well with large numbers of nearby dogs while on leash)

Steep sections, some crazy rocks, and very narrow at different points. Nice challenge and great view at the top.

trail running
9 days ago

Great trail! Well marked and somewhat hilly. Excited to discover this gem in my backyard

Once again I have found another great location to share and hike the Howard County ( Elkridge side ) of the Patapsco Park. The Park gates don't open until 9AM but by then the humidity is becoming unbearable. If you wish, you can hike earlier by driving up to Landing Rd. and parking along the side. I got there at 7:30AM and it was a bit crowded. There is two locations to park. One is for Cascade and the other is for Morning Choice Trails. The only trail that was a bit overgrown was the Barley and Hops. All the rest I looped are wide and well maintain. All the trails in this area are basically flat and easy to hike. If you park at the first location you can also hike the Rockburn side. If you want Help or a few special maps I made . - Message me at baltoken@yahoo.com

First time on this trail along with my 12 year-old son (his first time on a real single track). Needless to say these trails did not disappoint. Great for beginners to experts who want to get a quick ride in but don’t feel like trekking out to Patapsco. Excited to see what the future holds as they build out the trail system.

Waterfall was nice but too many mountain bikers the day I went.

mountain biking
16 days ago

Trails are nice but they are not labeled at all, only signage is to get back to the parking lot.
Not too technical at all with just a few log crossings.
Great alternative when Patapsco is closed or just want a change in scenery

MESSAGE ALERT TRAIL CLOSED: If you drive into the Avalon section off of Washington Blvd. Beware, Only the Howard County side of the Park and trails are OPEN. When entering, turn left toward the Playground. The road is OPEN up to the Swinging Bridge. The road is blocked off at the Lost Lake Pond, the other way. The paved Grist Mill trail is pretty much gone. All the footbridge have washed away. The Glen Artney area is even worse. The stream and the parking lot at the Soapstone Trailhead is now a 8 foot deep trench. The Swinging Bridge is CLOSED. The Baltimore County side (trails) may end up being CLOSED all summer. ** If you need a special map I created it could help you learn the Howard County side. ** baltoken @ yahoo.com ( Ken )
PS: With only one side open. Go early or you are not getting in. Over Crowded and they stop cars from coming in. Two rental pavilions are open and they need parking for them first.

MESSAGE ALERT: If you drive into the Avalon section off of Washington Blvd. Beware, Only the Howard County side of the Park and trails are OPEN. When entering, turn left toward the Playground. The road is OPEN up to the Swinging Bridge. The road is blocked off at the Lost Lake Pond, the other way. The paved Grist Mill trail is pretty much gone. All the footbridge have washed away. The Glen Artney area is even worse. The stream and the parking lot at the Soapstone Trailhead is now a 8 foot deep trench. The Swinging Bridge is CLOSED. The Baltimore County side (trails) may end up being CLOSED all summer. ** If you need a special map I created it could help you learn the Howard County side. ** baltoken @ yahoo.com ( Ken )
PS: With only one side open. Go early or you are not getting in. Over Crowded and they stop cars from coming in. Two rental pavilions are open and they need parking for them first.

Good workout for a beginner like me.

hiking
26 days ago

clear well-kept trails through the woods. lots of elevation changes to keep things interesting.

Great trails . Heavily wooded and great shade.

Absolutely gorgeous falls and trail! I would go again!

This was a beautiful park!

I hike this a few times each years. Stunning in the fall and the gorgeous greens in the spring are worth the climb. Week day early evenings aren't too busy but weekends get crowded. Typical PA rocks on the trail and some of the climb can get steep at parts. Totally worth the views, fresh air and wildlife. Make sure you check for ticks as I've found a few after this trail. Mostly shaded by trees which is nice and keeps it cooler in the summer.

Fantastic for hikes with kids and dogs. Didn’t encounter anyone else on the path. Paths are wide in most places and mowed down enough to be comfortable to hike/walk. There’s a nice little point to access the river, with a sandy/rocky little cove where the dog and kids could wade. Well marked paths. Nice variety of loops. The original access is currently under construction. Follow Trotter Rd through the traffic circle (when you’re coming from 108) and look for the pedestrian crossing signs. We parked in the court across the street, walked the paved trail and were able to access the grass trails a little ways down. This app makes it easy to see how to get onto the trails.

hiking
1 month ago

Not hard to to find but no trail parking that I found. Also not well marked. I was fortunate to meet a local who directed me to a suitable parking place and directed me to the view. There was an interesting tunnel and rr footbridge on penns creek with parking but it was filled with fishermen!

road biking
1 month ago

It’s a nice short ride. Perfect for after work before you catch the sun before it sets. Nice scenery riding along the lake and some historic ruins to pass by and swinging bridge.

Great hike today!!!! Dam project is underway but does not limit this hike. Grist Mill section is paved. Carried the 2 year old in the pack down and up, a few rocky seconds but we would do it again. He had a great time throwing sticks in the river and walking through the tunnel. Beware of limited parking at the Hilltop entrance, it was full even on this chilly day (Sunday) and we'll be making a DNR "donation" for unauthorized parking. We will do this one again!

Beautiful and peaceful!

Good uphill hike. I made a mistake thinking it was a short hike in cool weather and overdressed... It was strenuous and I got way too hot.

Only reason for removing a star is the jagged rocks you have to walk on. Wear thick shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a cool area in the heart of Anne Arundel County. The description above is a little misleading... the trail marked is actually the Hawkins Trail off of Hawkins Road, there are many trails in the area that make up the Bacon Ridge Wildlife cooperative.

We started at the Hawkins Rd. trail head and hiked until we saw the first parking sign and headed back, it was pretty muggy today and we didn't realize it would cut the trail so short. It ended up being about 2 miles total, had we kept going it would have been much longer. The road sounds aren't terrible and once you get away from the road it is really a lovely and enjoyable trial. There are no blazes marking this trial, but it's VERY clear where the path is- it is not at all difficult to see where the trail is and where it will go.

This area is great for hiking, trail running, and (based on the number we saw) biking. This would be a great trail for kids, and there is a cool old car graveyard on this trail.

trail running
1 month ago

Pretty challenging. A great way to start the day! There are a lot of hills and fairly significant elevation changes.

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