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The Dam is completely gone and they are grading the hill to be able to complete the Grist Mill Trail. - I spoke with the State Park Supervisor regarding the Grist Mill Trail. - He informed me that when the construction crew finished up top where the dam was then work will start on the sections down below. The only damage below in the Memorial Day storm was two Foot Bridges and the parking lot at the Pond. I will keep you up to date regarding this matter. - This is basically why I have been hiking one side of the park more then the other. - The Grist Mill is the main connector to the entire Baltimore County side of the Avalon, Orange Grove, Hilton, Glen Artney and Hilltop trails.

A little muddy but very enjoyable. All the dogs we saw were on leashes, which I appreciated.

This section near the playground is in my opinion the easiest section of the Avalon area. - Once you have hiked up the Water Bars (Ridge ) or the New Extension you will see many options to hike different trails. - All the trails in this area are well used and marked. - At the main intersection you can loop the Ridge, Valley View, Morning Choice or Rockburn. - Nice day out but it was a bit windy. - Being a Sunday and a Playoff game I was surprise how crowded the park was.

This loop starts out with a bit of a climb up the Inner Soapstone trail at the Restroom. ** The Restroom is Closed during winter. ** When you head up you will connect to the park road on the upper level. Head up until you see the Santee Branch Trail. This trail or the Fire Rd. trail leads you to a large junction. Right before the junction is a un-marked trail to the right. That is the Bike Jumper. The Bike Jumper connects to the Bull Run. The Bull Run is basically a loop up on top of a high hill. You can go around the Bull Run either way and connect to the switchbacks that lead you down.
The complete loop has two water crossing but both are manageable.

Great trail, not as crowded as other parts of the park. Parking is limited, but seemed sufficient for the morning crowd. Mainline trail is a nice easy walk along the river with some opportunities to scramble up some rock cliffs. The ridge loop is more challenging but offers some fantastic views. Be sure to check out the Camel Den "cave" near Daniels rd!

Not 'hard' as rated... very easy in fact. First 2 miles is like a boardwalk, then there is one big hill towards turn around point into some nifty power lines. followed the white trail, it is a bit easy to get lost near the houses.

Went out today on trail and was pretty good. We did do the trail in reverse so the falls were the last thing we saw. There are a lot of people biking on this trail though so watch out. Not all the bike riders were willing to give a heads up they were coming, which is difficult when you have two kids and a dog in tow. There were also a great deal of people walking with their dogs, they were all on leash and very nice. Overall I was amazed how many people were out on the trail even the day after the holidays, so i can only guess how busy it must get the rest of the year.

Good trail. Close to a neighborhood at some point but overall great trail. Almost no markings, need this app to follow the trails

MESSAGE ALERT TRAIL CLOSED - The Grist Mill Trail is still CLOSED. We hiked the trail to survey the damage and to see if there has been any repairs. The Pond area parking lot is still trashed with concrete and wood debris. The Grist Mill trail itself is in fine condition. No damage except for the two washed out foot bridges. This is the only reason the trail is closed. You could get trapped between the two tunnels during a heavy rain storm. Water can flow through the tunnels super fast and can be 3 feet high. One of my pictures show the washed out foot bridge area. I also have a photo that shows a stone rocky mound at the bottom of the Back side of the Nun's trail.
For some reason the GPS tracking failed in this area. Not normal.
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Fun trail. Little muddy, but not terribly. Passed a couple groups of bikes, maybe eight bikes in total. Trail itself was maybe moderate difficult, at most, but definitely wouldn’t give it a difficult rating. Would hike it again for sure. Seems like a great tubing or swimming spot in the summer!

hiking
1 month ago

Super easy hike, flat mostly paved (it was a road) be sure to go up hill and off of the paved track to see the old church, then back on the paved road to see the rest of Daniels. Interesting walk, beautiful view of the river!

Great trail! Muddy but not too bad

Easy hike along the river, with lots of history along the way. Impressive cliffs and river views along the entire route. Make sure to visit the church ruins on the hill.

After mulching my flowerbeds for two days it was time to take advantage of this beautiful November weather. Quite breezy but the temps have been in the mid 50's for the past few days. Being a weekday and right before Thanksgiving, the park was quite empty. I saw no one on the trails.Today's hike was very challenging for this old senior. Lots of elevation changes along with multi trail names. If you hike this large loop you do have 3 parking options and the ability to use two restrooms if needed. There is a restroom at the swinging bridge next to the Cascade Falls trail and if you go down the Water/bars trail on the other end you could hike to the playground, which is marked as the Ridge trail-head. It would add an additional mile for the down and back but you could re-connect via the New Ridge Trail Extension. The New Ridge Trail Extension and Garrett’s Pass are not brazed with a color. There are multi ways to hike this area and there are a few connector trails you could use to shorten your distance. Not sure when I will be back on trail so Happy Thanksgiving to all my Hiked Family.

somewhat muddy. decent trail system

Was a well maintained trail with beautiful scenery but as others have said you could hear RT 70 noise for a portion of it.

Beautiful views w. lots of history.

TRAIL CLOSURE NOTICE:
Officially the Grist Mill trail are still CLOSED. Some trails head down to it are legally Out and Back trails for now. The Bloede Dam is almost totally gone. You can walk on the Swinging Bridge but it now has a wooden door. No crossing over from one side to the Grist Mill trail on the other.

I have just completed creating a map of the OPEN trails on the Baltimore County side of the park. Red will indicate what is OPEN. Request a map: baltoken@yahoo.com

The entire Grist Mill Trail is still CLOSED but you can hike the River Rd. side, which is the Howard County side of the river. - After breakfast the wife and I once again took a small hike to check on the progress of the dam project. - Not very much of the dam is left. Only a small section on each side of the stream. - Although it was windy as heck the park was fairly crowded. - Lots of people with their dogs.

Not too muddy, nice valley and river

Perfect difficulty level with a nice variety of terrain for a shorter trail.

It was super breezy out but it was only cool in the woods. - All the trees were blocking the wind. - Be sure to watch the time if you are planning a hike late in the evening. - The sun is going down sooner every day. - The wife and I got at the park at 4:30 and we just finished in time. - Park closes at 6:30 right now but that will change to a earlier time as it gets darker soon. - Garrett's Pass is not marked so you need to learn the trail system. The entire Cascade System and Falls are marked in BLUE.
*** Contact me for a special map I created of this area and more. *** baltoken @ yahoo.com

First half of the hike along the river is great, 5/5. The second portion goes through an unmarked and overgrown meadow that left burrs all over our dogs. If you do this trail I recommend you turn around when you get to the northern tip instead of making the loop.

Beautiful views and a good hike! We cut across at the last mile or so because of time, but enjoyed the entire trip!

Had to use map to stay on trail and lots of mosquitos near the river. But a nice hike nonetheless.

nice views of the river for about 40% of trail. didn't see what made it hard other than it was difficult to find some turns.

Apparently this trail is closed now due to flooding. It was a good trail. I wanted a quick bike ride after work before the sun went down, and this trail on a bike took me much less time than I thought, so maybe better for a walk than a bike until they stop construction and open up the whole trail. The trail is nice and paved though!

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