hiking

forest

walking

trail running

dogs on leash

nature trips

views

birding

kid friendly

wild flowers

river

wildlife

mountain biking

Gunpowder Falls State Park stretches nearly 18,000 acres in Harford County and Baltimore County. The park was established in 1959 in order to protect the stream valleys of the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls and the Gunpowder River. The park displays a variety of topography ranging from tidal marshes to steep rugged slopes and hosts a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and canoeing. Fishing is another a popular activity in the park, as the park has great trout fishing. The park is divided into six park areas: the Hereford Area, The Torrey C Brown Trail, Sweet Air Area, Central Area, the Hammerman Area, and the Dundee Creek Marina.The Hereford Area, located along York Road contains the Millpond Cottage and is best for hiking, fishing, and canoeing kayaking. The Torrey C. Brown Trail Area contains the most renowned trail in the Park, the Northern Central Railroad (NCR) Trail. This rail-trail is also known as the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, named after Dr. Torrey C. Brown who was the third Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. This multi-use trail extends from Ashland, Maryland to the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line. The Sweet Air Area is best for hikers and equestrians. The Central Area contains both Big and Little Gunpowder Falls as well as the Historic Village of Jerusalem Mill. This area is popular amongst hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. The Hammerman Area offers a large swimming beach area on the Gunpowder River, great for the whole family. Dundee Creek Marina offers boat launching, boat rentals, fuel, and a marina store. There is also fishing in this area. The park headquarters are located in Jerusalem Mill Historic Village in the Central Area.

hiking
15 days ago

A wonderful 1200 acre area highlighting the Little Gunpowder Falls as it transects the Piedmont. Well maintained trails, blazes are apparent but trail intersections can sometimes be confusing. GO WHEN THE LEAVES ARE DOWN! A totally different experience as the sight-lines extend considerably in the winter. Also, the human traffic is considerably less. The Harford Co. side of the river (white trail) is exposed to the sun, but the ridge blocks the north wind. Very comfortable on a sunny winter day. Many trail options. Try it.

While the main trail to the swimming hole in Gunpowder can be quite busy, most of the other trails have low traffic. This makes them great for bird and wild life watching. This is one of our favorite go to trails!

Fun trail with lots of smaller trails you can connect to. There's also a creepy underground room, an old family cemetery, and part of the foundation for the Merryman house if you want to explore at little. Only downside to this trail is people frequently let their dogs off leash despite the signs.

I really enjoyed this trail today. I did the uphill first and finished along the Gunpowder. Sections were definitely muddy, even away from the river, making some uphills a little slippery. I also found some of the river crossings a little confusing, they could be better marked in that direction. It was moderately crowded on a lovely Saturday, moreso on the Gunpowder section of the trail. Every dog we passed was properly leashed, which was very nice.

bushwhacked for a bit somehow think i was on an animal trail tbh. decent views of the reservoir. boring hike nonetheless

1/10/18

The weather is finally above freezing after last week's arctic temps. The trail was easy to walk. The sun was out shining down the path. The birds out singing their morning praises loud and proud, flying in formation. The water is trying to unfreeze and or a fish is letting out air bubbles. It sounds like an echo of a bellow as it moves it's energy to the edges to break the ice. Almost like a video game lol! The beauty and sounds in nature can only try and be explained. Come experience it!

Nice peaceful hicking not busy early mornings ., no swim holes for dogs

nice hoke through the woods. a couple stream crossings as well

Great in the fall

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike with beautiful leaves changing colors. Definitely recommend a backpack carrier for any little ones because some of the paths get pretty narrow and there are multiple streams to cross on rocks.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail with a friend. I have it clocked at closer to 5.75 miles than 4.1 according to the Fitbit. Beautiful views of the water, plenty of places to stop for photos and walk out on the rocks. The Lost Pond Loop is very nice (we didn’t see an actual pond) and takes you deeper into the woods. Note, the second half of the Lost Pond Loop is overgrown, and single person only. Lots of sticky plants so be careful. Also note there are several steam crossings on this trail. Overall we still really enjoyed the trail. Hiked in autumn with beautiful changing leaves.

trail running
3 months ago

This is an alternately easy and challenging loop that is part of the larger Merryman's Mill Trail system that surrounds Loch Raven Reservoir. Start at the Delaney Valley Road trail head parking just south of the bridge crossing the reservoir. There you'll find three trail heads. For this loop, take the farthest right trail. The left-most trail is a fire road that is wider, but has more elevation.

The first ~1.3 miles of the loop follows the shoreline for some great views. Be warned however that this part is not marked at all and in the fall there is a lot of trail blindness due to poor trail maintenance and fallen leaves hiding the path. It's also very challenging as much of the trail is at an angle...it is narrowly carved into the ridge. A false step at points and you're on your way into the water. There are also many fallen trees, so this trail is not maintained. FWIW, I have no idea how one would navigate this at the height of summer when it's likely overgrown.

Eventually the trail turns uphill and meets up with the main trail/fire road.

From that point there's some highly enjoyable single track that winds around Merryman Point for more beautiful views and pleasantly challenging running. You'll come to a clearing underneath powerlines, where you can keep going to follow the shoreline further or turn left and run a short distance under the lines until you hit the main trail again (this is what I did). Here, turn right to keep exploring northward; turn left to head south back toward the start (this is what I did to complete the loop).

From there, the trail will be wider and better maintained, but straighter. You can eventually branch off left to find more single track or stay straight on the wider fire road (this is what I did). It's a pleasant, but hilly and grinding, climb for a while before you descend back to the parking lot.

Overall, a good loop, but I would probably not recommend the first section during the spring/summer. I can only imagine how hard it would be to stay on the trail, nevermind the ticks, poison ivy, etc. Also if you are seeking a more leisurely hike, steer clear. However, the main trail and fire road are probably fine in any season.

3 months ago

Was beautiful scenery, enjoyed it with friends

hiking
3 months ago

Great after work hike. Nice views of the river. So some ducks and deer.

mountain biking
3 months ago

A nice single track trail that runs along the river as well as up into farm land and fields. It is not as scenic as some of the other Gunpowder trails. There used to be a single track that branched off past the picnic area and ran closer to the river. It has been closed due to safety concerns. In the first mile there is a water crossing that requires a dismount and there are some tight switchbacks, but otherwise it is not too difficult.

mountain biking
3 months ago

This is a simple but very scenic trail along the Little Gunpowder. It is on the opposite bank of the white blazed trail, but it is still an approved trail with an official trailhead. It is a narrow single track trail that runs alongside the river. It has now been expanded to include a full loop that mirrors the quarry trail on the other side of the river. That portion of the trail begins where this one ends at Route 1. You can either turn around or take the loop. The loop has a lot of rocky sections with boulders that will require all but advanced riders to dismount. It runs up into the forest and has nice elevation changes.

relatively easy walk along the river. Great views of the stream for most of the hike

mountain biking
4 months ago

I am an intermediate rider who does not enjoy trails with lots of rock piles and boulders, particularly if they require you to dismount. The little gunpowder trail on the white blazed side of the water is quite rocky. From the entrance to the quarry trail branch point, there are a number of minor water crossings that are strictly rock piles. I attempted to take the quarry trail, but the elevation is too steep and rocky. Perhaps an advanced rider could tackle it, but not me. Returned to the main trail, which is a mostly nice ride with lots of roots and a few more rocky sections. I found the little gunpowder trail and loop on the far side of the water to be much more enjoyable.

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