Explore the most popular hiking trails in Gunpowder Falls State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

All/Trails has this area covered. If you don't have a GPS or a map you can really get confused via the mazes. Way to many trails named Yellow. Would be nice if the area was blazed. I took a chance that it wasn't going to rain and made the long drive. I like the trails here. Defined but not well maintained. I saw a few guys fishing. I didn't see anyone on the trails. ( A Very Quite Day ).

Good and easy trail. Took six eleven-year-old boys from J. Mills to Bel air Rd and back. The small water crossing was exciting,(not shown on the map, right after the first double back) I'd anticipate it to dry up in the coming months. Enough of a slope to let beginners get a small taste of what it's like.

Great trail run on a well-marked looped course featuring it all —single and double track, on rooty, rocky, gravel, grass, and hilly terrain (501/550 gain/loss per 4.2 mi loop). I trust my Garmin’s output on elevation gain/loss over the trek’s recorded output; I don’t believe it is as accurate (see my posted recorded trek, there is a significant difference, especially when doing multiple loops). I went off course 2-3 times more so due to speed than focus at those particular points where I went off. This trail has a moderate stream crossing and plenty of sharp turns, but any lost time can be made up on the numerous straightaways. Again, great trail run.

Solid trail. A bit crowded along the stream but once you get to the elevation segment it really opens up. Great hike.

Great trail! Well marked... more easy than moderate but overall a perfect day hike!

Very solid enjoyable loop that actually links several trails together. Good for hiking (saw many folks out with their dogs) but also good for trail running to rack up loops and miles. Heading clockwise, start on the Stocksdale Trail (blue blaze) along Gunpowder Falls. Keep left onto Sweathouse Trail (yellow blaze). A couple stream crossings with rocks and challenging elevation changes. Hang left at intersection to get back on Stocksdale Trail again (turn right to head back to the river). Turn left onto Wildlands Trail (pink/purple blaze) and follow that until you arrive back at trailhead.

The outer reaches of the loop are nice and removed; I encountered very few hikers/runners out that way. Stocksdale Trail along the river tends to get crowded.

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous, even in late winter. There was one tricky part around the forest loop where the trail is not clearly marked when you come to a river crossing and we did end up off the beaten path for about 5 minutes before finding it again. I would love to come back in the summer to see everything in full bloom. Cutting down to see pot rocks is a must. There are seats naturally eroded into the rocks where you can eat lunch. But speaking of that, something that did bother me was the amount of human trash I saw along the trail, which was disappointing.

Even after a rainy day it’s still a great place to hike. Just wear boots!

For the most part I love this trail, very scenic and the cemetery is cool. The first few times I got pretty lost though, especially before I had this app. Trails generally aren't blazed. I take my dog, but if you do PLEASE be wary.. I've encountered aggressive off-leash dogs and even one man with 7 or 8 dogs, 4 off leash.

Good hike but the trail is hard to find in some places. The first part along the water is basically on the edge of a cliff and can be a bit challenging. Was pretty muddy and slippery in spots.

hiking
2 months 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
4 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
5 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
5 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.

5 months ago

Was beautiful scenery, enjoyed it with friends

hiking
5 months ago

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

mountain biking
5 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
5 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
6 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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