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Best trails in Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area

2,353 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area, Maryland? AllTrails has 29 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 22 moderate trails in Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area ranging from 1 to 20 miles and from 32 to 390 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
Park information
Park hours
Monday
9:00 am - dusk
Tuesday
9:00 am - dusk
Wednesday
9:00 am - dusk
Thursday
9:00 am - dusk
Friday
9:00 am - dusk
Saturday
9:00 am - dusk
Sunday
9:00 am - dusk
Helpful links
Top trails (29)
#1 - Soapstone Trail Loop
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(556)
Length: 2.6 mi • Est. 1 h 14 m
#2 - Avalon Loop Trail
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(263)
Length: 20 mi • Est. 9 h 34 m
As of June 2019, the new section of the Grist Mill Trail is OPEN and so is ALL the rest down to the Lost Lake Pond. - All the trees in the new section are just babies so you are in total SUN LIGHT. - During the summer be sure to carry plenty of water to drink. - The entire trail is paved in blacktop. - If you are hiking between Ilchester Rd. and the Swinging Bridge be careful crossing the section where the bridge is washing out. - Rocks have been piled up to walk across but this spot can flood during a storm. This loop covers the majority of the Avalon area, with multiple ruins, waterfalls and other artifacts to find along the way. You will see some settler homes (two of them) one with a dated gas pump 1930s era as well as two old possible outhouses that are probably state park buildings (old ones). This hike also features the Cascade falls area where you can view some of the best falls in the state! The falls are in a valley area and very secluded. A side hike loop is added for length, and adds some more ruins for some old piping fixtures and a barrel. Going over the swinging bridge you will find the ruins of the "superlative" company along the railroad tracks. More artifacts along the side of the road, as well as railroad bridges, tunnels, and aqueducts.Show more
#3 - Grist Mill Trail
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(200)
Length: 5.2 mi • Est. 2 h 12 m
As of June 2019, the New section of the Grist Mill Trail is OPEN and so is ALL the rest down to the Lost Lake Pond. - All the trees in the new section are just babies so you are in total SUN LIGHT. - During the summer be sure to carry plenty of water to drink. - The entire trail is paved in blacktop. - If you are hiking between Ilchester Rd. and the Swinging Bridge be careful crossing the section where the bridge is washing out. - Rocks have been piled up to walk across but this spot can flood during a storm. - Flood signs are posted.Show more
#4 - Cascade Falls Trail via Grist Mill Trail
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(103)
Length: 5.9 mi • Est. 2 h 43 m
As of June 2019, the new section of the Grist Mill Trail is OPEN and so is ALL the rest down to the Lost Lake Pond. - All the trees in the new section are just babies so you are in total SUN LIGHT. - During the summer be sure to carry plenty of water to drink. - The entire trail is paved in blacktop. - If you are hiking between Ilchester Rd. and the Swinging Bridge be careful crossing the section where the bridge is washing out. - Rocks have been piled up to walk across but this spot can flood during a storm. - Flood signs are posted.Show more
#5 - Soapstone Trail to Santee Branch and Grist Mill Loop
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(179)
Length: 4.7 mi • Est. 1 h 54 m
NOTE: there are many ways to get off route on this trail by taking side trails. Show more
#6 - Patapsco Valley Ridge Trail
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(103)
Length: 4.4 mi • Est. 2 h 13 m
The Ridge trail parallels the park road and the Patapsco River on the Howard County side. It starts at the (Avalon) Playground, which is the location of the New Extension. If you wish to shorten the trip up to the Ridge trail you can hike up the original Water/bars to the main connector. The Valley View and the Ridge trail both parallel each other. The Valley View trail has the best views in the wintertime. The Ridge trail is more the middle of the top of the mountain but the Valley View runs along the overlook edge. Both trails reconnect back to the Ridge and end at the famous Cascade Falls. At that point you could head back via the river road or just complete an Out and Back. The trail has many inclines and descents. From the New Extension, the first mile is a long incline but is quite manageable. There are a few small stream crossings but no need to worry. This area is a favorite for many Bikers and Trail Runners so be sure to share the trails. Some sections are single lane tracks and are quite rock too. Show more
#7 - Avalon & Orange Grove Loop
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(47)
Length: 5.2 mi • Est. 2 h 26 m
As of June 2019, the new section of the Grist Mill Trail is OPEN and so is ALL the rest down to the Lost Lake Pond. - All the trees in the new section are just babies so you are in total SUN LIGHT. - During the summer be sure to carry plenty of water to drink. - The entire trail is paved in blacktop. - If you are hiking between Ilchester Rd. and the Swinging Bridge be careful crossing the section where the bridge is washing out. - Rocks have been piled up to walk across but this spot can flood during a storm. - Flood signs are posted. This is a great multi trail loop that could be started from three different locations. As you come down from the Ridge Trail you have the option to connect to the famous Cascade Falls. The falls section is the only area bikes are no allowed. Bikers would have to exit the Ridge Trail and go down River Road. You can park at the playground, the Lost Lake Pond or at the swinging bridge. There are restrooms at all three parking location. There is only a Spot-A-Pot by the pond but you can get freshwater at the playground or at the swinging bridge.Show more
#8 - Soapstone Trail to Grist Mill Trail
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(70)
Length: 5.2 mi • Est. 2 h 16 m
Note: As of May 2019, two miles of the Grist Mill Trail opened TODAY. - From the Lost Lake Pond up to where the dam was removed is now open. - Special signs are posted regarding the evacuation point in the event of flooding. The two footbridge at the train tunnels are gone so beware of water crossings in those locations. The upper section above where the dam was is almost finished. - That section is still closed.Show more
#9 - Rockburn and Three Sisters Trail Loop
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(44)
Length: 4.4 mi • Est. 2 h 6 m
#10 - Captain John Smith Loop
Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(107)
Length: 0.9 mi • Est. 28 m
This is a new trail with no rocks and very few roots. To access the Captain John Smith loop (gray), simply hike up the New Ridge Extension trail (orange). Take the first trail to your right and loop around. Captain John Smith was an English explorer. On his first trip in 1608, he voyaged up the Chesapeake Bay and made it as far as the Patapsco River. He encountered many native tribes. Exploration markers are at many of the locations he explored. This loop trail features one of these markers.Show more
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