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

patapsco Map

Beautiful day out and the park got super crowded. It was so crowded the DNR was working the gate. Bikers and Hikers where everywhere. Great to see so many people out and about. I first hiked up old River Rd. to check on the dam removing progress. On my way back I decided to climb the Bike Buster trail to short cut my way to the Falls. To avoid much of the Cascade Falls trail I took the upper trails then came back down the Cascade. This way I did have to go up and back on the crowded Falls trail.

Nice views easy flat trail

I hike this area 3 to 4 days a week. I spend a lot of my time teaching people I meet the trail system here. The Cascade Falls Trail was super crowded. The park had tons of bikers and hikers. Remember to share the trail. ( Beware ) There are many down trees due to the recent 2 days of wind storms. With me still dealing with Planter Fascia IT band issues I have been limiting my distance to around 3 miles and I am no longer moving at 3 MPH. I have been taking it slow. ( Notice ) I created a map a few years ago of this complete area of the park. Message me at baltoken@yahoo.com for a copy. It can be printed at 2 foot by 2 foot.

After staying home for a few days because of the rain it was time to hit the trails. Temperatures today almost hit the 60 degree mark. I decided to hike the high trails today because they always dry out fast. Out of the 3.2 miles of this loop I completed today, only 5% of it had mud. This is by far my favorite loop in the Orange Grove and Hilton Area. Sawmill trail has water cascading on it and a cool rock hop boulder scramble. The Santee, Pig Run and Forest Glen are like hiking the AT with lots of rocks. If you like the best of the best then hike this loop. I created a map last year of this complete area of the park. Message me at baltoken@yahoo.com for a copy.

Once again we continue to deal with all the rain in Baltimore. This old senior is Thankful that it's not been snow. As many of you know, I am a weekly hiker and after being trapped in the house for days I am ready to hit the trails. I mostly enjoy the earthen trails but after all this rain I recommend hiking the Blacktop. The River Rd. and Grist Mill is one of my backups after a lot of rain. The higher trails do dry out first but getting to them means hiking in the mud. Be kind to nature and give them a few days to dry out. Plus it's safer mainly if you have stream crossing. It's no fun falling in the Mud or water this time of year. Need information regarding Patapsco Valley State Park or a map I created of all the trails at Avalon, Orange Grove, Hilton, Hilltop, Glen Artney and Rockburn. Contact me. baltoken@yahoo.com

Wow, 80 degrees today and it still February. The wife decided to take a hike with me so we brought the dogs with us. Because one of our two Beagles is 12 years old we didn't want to over do it so I planned out a small 2 mile loop. Kind-a glad I did because like a dummy I had on a cotton tee shirt. Cotton makes you sweat in the summer and boy did it feel like that. The park was super crowded with other people walking their dogs. Only restroom on this loop is a Spot-A-Pot by the Lost Lake Pond. I basically live in the park and hiked over 400 miles last year. I created a map a few years ago of this complete area of the park. Message me at baltoken@yahoo.com for a copy.

Fascination of February, In Feb. 2010 we had two back to back blizzards. This Year has been totally different but it has indeed been muddy. We got 3 inches of rain on the 13th. & 14th. On Feb. 15, it was 60 degrees out and I was hiking in mud. Feb. 18, I was hiking in snow but it melted the same day so it was muddy again. Today, It was 76 Degrees and they are calling for the same tomorrow. The side trails were muddy so I decided to stay on the Blacktop Grist Mill trail. I wanted to go and check on the progress of the dam project. The park was fairly crowded and people were in good spirits due to the warm temperatures. Please note: Restroom at Playground are closed but there are Spot-A-Pots in place. Water Fountains are turned off. There is one down tree in the middle of the Trail.

Crazy weather we are having again this month. Maryland weather, Wait 5 minutes and it will change. Just a few days ago I was hiking Rockburn park in 60 degree weather. Today it's back in the 40's - 30's with the wind chill and snow being forecasted in the evening. The only reason I saw a few people on the trails was because it's a weekend. I didn't take any photos today because I had my mittens on and my hands kept getting cold. I kept my cellphone in my pocket the whole time. Wear clothes in layers and try not to sweat. I am a local and hike everyday. This is one of my favorite loops.

I have now hiked this area many different ways and it's only getting better. As I look at other hikers recordings I see that everybody is missing the High Ridge. As you hike the stream section you have two options. One is the stone trail and the other is the sandy trail. If you stay on the sandy trail to long you may miss the best of all. Pro members need to load the OCM layer to see the additional trail. Watch for a quick switchback to go up to the top of the ridge. Don't cross the feeder stream. Stay on the left side. When you go up top simply go straight across the top of the ridge and rock hop the complete ridge top. Coming down is easy because of the switchbacks that lead you to the Switch/Plate Trail. I went early because I wanted to beat the rain.

quite muddy in some places and gps would not work at the beginning of the trail so it was a bit of guessing. but in all was a fun trail with challenges and easy spots.

1 month ago

Loved it. Great place to take photos. A little slippery owing to all the mud but it is winter!

Hiked this one as a 7 mile trek. Part of the trail follows the river. It's not a difficult trail, but maybe a bit harder than moderate. End your hike with a beer and burger at the Woodstock Inn.

Hiked this trail as a 6-mile loop by starting with the ridge trail right away, returning on the trail close to the river bank, taking the trail under the power line as the connecting trail of the first two.

I agree with others’ comments about the difficulty level. Between moderate and hard, I think the trail should be rated as moderate.

Nice winter hike in the snow. The trail was a little muddy from yesterdays snow storm.

wonderfully diverse. nicely challenging. beautiful scenery. watch out for horse dropping

Well maintained, we cut up from the train bridge underpass to Bloede's Dam Overlook and really enjoyed that steep section. Lots of fun!

this trail is easy.

Easy track, saw lots of birds including a blue heron and various woodpeckers. Peaceful walk on the river

3 months ago

This was my only second hike since my ligament injure known as Plantar Fasciitis. It's still needs time to Heal but doesn't seem to get any better. I may need a operate after the holidays if it's a heel spur. After hiking 377 miles this year, this old senior may have done a bit to much. With my foot taped up like a football player I managed to walk a bit of this flat (boring) Grist Mill trail. With it being Thanksgiving Saturday and seasonally warm out the trails were crowded. I am hoping I can soon put my Santa suit on and be well enough to walk the trails. Ho! Ho! Ho! ( White Beard )

Nice trail. Even though part of trail is closed due to repairs, it is a very nice area with some challenging areas. Lots of people on the weekend, though. Also an abundance of bicyclists can be a distraction. Still, worthwhile to hike.

4 months ago

Super easy, flat trail. Not Moderate, but pretty walk to the dam.

We parked on the south side on Landing Rd—just a little pull off there. Hiked on the east side of the trail, following the river downhill. We ended up at the trail head by the bridge (scary when walking across!!) we doubled back along the creek instead of doing the whole loop. It got fairly dark by 430pm! And all uphill back was quite the burn

Pleasant stroll.

This hike was good but it was not what I planned. From the All Trails app I selected the Patapsco Elkridge Side loop (The Trail) and in the directions selection, I opened Google maps. I drove into the park until the roadway ended and parked in the parking lot. The only trail signs posted were the River Road Trail and the Cascade Trail. Google Maps indicated the location was 300 feet further on the left.
I hiked the distance and entered a trail where hikers were exiting. The incline was decent and when I looked at the All Trails app it indicated The Trail was located to the south. I spoke to a trail runner who said they were familiar with the area and he said the section that I came up was frequently used but not on any of the maps he had seen. He had not heard of the Patapsco Elkridge Side loop trail. I went to the south and ended up in the position that the app indicated was the Patapsco Elkridge Side loop. However it was part of the Cascade Falls Trail.
Since the app is new to me I found that I had to zoom in close to see the actual trail name which was in fact Cascade Falls Trail. As noted by Kenneth Grimm in another post, the cell service was a bit funny (intermittent especially on the west side) and cell service was lost numerous times.
Along the way I spoke to another hiker and during the conversation he said he inspects the birch trees to see what dates were in graved on them. He found a tree indicating 1945. I don’t cut into trees myself but I found that interesting and I found a marking “September 1955” see the posted picture.
As I was getting near the end of the hike I did go by the Cascade falls. To my surprise there was no one near the falls and I was able to take several photos. In the end my hiking partner got tired and planed 2.9 mile hike became 3.8 miles. But any day on the trail is a great day!
I noted the path that I took had several different trail colors and sometime two different colors together. In the picture the morning Choice trail is identified as yellow. I found another sign indicating the Ridge Trail was Blue. With the intermittent cell service I found the trail a little confusing. Next time I go to this park I will hike a trail by its official park name and use the All Trails app to help me stay on that path.

Flat hike not difficult. Beautiful scenery in the fall. Parking terrible on the weekend. Go during a weekday.

Parking can be found at the railroad crossing, Hike across the bridge and make a left on closed paved road. Shortly on left is a white marked trail. I think called crossover trail. This will bring you to the start. Trail makes turns that are poorly marked. I was talking and took the obvious trail and got lost 3 times :) glad I had my GPS. Trail is pretty easy overall.

This trail is great! I would not classify this as a ‘hard’ trail, although there are certainly challenging stretches of the hike. I would give this trail a 5/5 but the lack of signage makes it somewhat difficult to navigate. If you’re experienced, you’ll have no problem following the trail. For entry-level hikers, there may be more difficulty. I would love to see the trail markers repainted, a trail head that outlines the various trails in this area, and some interesting information on the local vegetation/wild life. Overall, a great trail. I stopped to enjoy several sites along the trail, but moved steadily throughout; it took me 2.5 hours to complete. I hope this is useful, enjoy!

It was great hike. Saw a few deer and some ducks. Also, I saw some ruins (think fireplace).

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