Explore the most popular horseback riding trails in Patapsco Valley 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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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

Definitely got lost. Hiked for 3 hours through really pretty forest and along some beautiful creeks. Not a bad morning.

Had a great time, only complaint is there wasn’t any signs to help out which way to go, in fact we walked the same route twice.

road biking
5 months ago

With rain all yesterday evening I stayed off the muddy trails. Today, I did a little biking around the park roads. Once a month I go up and check on the Bloede Dam removal project. Today, they we jack-hammering the concrete to remove the fish ladders. The dam is scheduled to be removed this September. The Grist Mill trail is CLOSED and will be for the rest of this year. You can now walk on the Swinging Bridge and look at the river but it's CLOSED on the Baltimore County side. The DNR has now created a wooden door on the opposite side of the bridge.

Amazing views . Parts are challenging especially to beginners . But awesome landscapes

Good two hour walk. Saw a great old abandoned house with a vulture sitting on the roof. Great river access. Will be back with our kayaks!

road biking
7 months ago

It’s a nice short ride. Perfect for after work before you catch the sun before it sets. Nice scenery riding along the lake and some historic ruins to pass by and swinging bridge.

Hiked this trail with my brother two summers ago. Aside from choosing an unbearably humid day, the hike was enjoyable and not too taxing. We're planning to use this section for a point to point hike from Mckeldin in to Ellicott City.

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

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

Monday, October 02, 2017

Love doing this trail! I have been twice now. Both times with a dog and once with a baby. Great trail paved and with awesome views and experiences!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Awesome trail.

trail running
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Can be used to make a nice running loop if run with Morning Choice and part of Cascade

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Nice place to jog

Thursday, September 07, 2017

The parking here for one is a joke. So much trail and acreage here I'm astounded there's not more space available for parking. Is there a secret parking lot?? Anyway, there's no markers whatsoever for Mcdaniels which is fine if you're using the app and most of the trail is just along the river anyway. Some of the little loops weren't obviously marked. We literally had to stand looking at the map on the app walking step by step and look down to see where the trail picked up. Sort of odd. The trail is nice. It's quiet here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

nice hike... a lot of up hill.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The trailhead has almost no parking nearby. There are "no parking" signs in the entire area. Additionally, be careful on this trail as it is a designated hunting area.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Beautiful paved trail that runs pararell to train tracks still in use. Very nice ruins to see, an old dam and two really fun suspension bridges to cross

Sunday, August 27, 2017

(Outing performed August 6, 2017; late review, see recorded track).

I actually hiked about 22 miles due to getting lost on a poorly marked trail. In the beginning the trail is well marked, but the farther you go on this 16-17 miler out n' back the less well marked it is. What happened was my GPS/smartphone's battery died out at about mile 13 -- lesson learned for me -- at a point where the trail was not well marked. With half dozen designated and undesignated intersecting trails at this point it was not good. I ended up hiking 3-4 miles the wrong way due to confusing tree markings and had to come back. Ran out of water when severe chaffing came on, and I was approaching dusk -- when the park closes. Ended up exiting not at the point I began, but about 1/2 mile removed. Lesson learned for me: hiking or trail running, any course over 12 miles on hard terrain requires a backup phone or charger, flashlight, mini first aid kit, and marking tape in case a poorly marked segment on a confusing course is encountered. When I started out, parking area was moderately full, when I finally got back, my vehicle was the only one there. Without question this was a challenging 16-mile course with stream crossings, but the poor markings almost made it a nightmare, making it a 3-star course, although I may do this trail again with better preparedness.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Great trail for the area!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

My friend and I started our hike at the Lost Lake parking lot. We started out on Grist Mill Trail. This trail was entirely paved (which was a little boring), but along the way, we spotted little viewing spots of the Patapsco River, tunnels underneath the train tracks, and even a few little tunnel-like passages that while I wouldn't recommend going into, were fascinating to see. At the swinging bridge off of Grist Mill, we crossed onto the Cascade Trail, which was much more rugged. It crossed streams and waterfalls many times and had lots of opportunities to explore the surrounding areas. This hike was only about 5 or 6 miles long but one of my favorites so far.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Easy scenic walk with beautiful views of the river on a wide, flat, paved trail.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

wooded trail along with river
several good spot to take a break during walking

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pretty crowded on a Saturday afternoon, especially near the swinging bridge, but overall a lovely, fairly easy hike.

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