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Patapsco Valley State Park encapsulates 32 miles of the Patapsco River, and more than 16,000 acres of protected land with eight developed recreational areas in Frederick and Carroll counties. Extremely popular with mountain bikers and hikers, Patapsco State Park's Recreational opportunities include 190 miles of hiking trails, fishing, swimming, canoeing, horseback riding and mountain biking, as well as picnicking and camping for individuals or large groups.

Ok. Very crowded. Tons of kids and bikers. Trails are pretty narrow so you literally have to move to let people pass — pretty enough but far too many people. There are most definitely not enough signs.

It was truly great to get outside after 4 days of rain. I recommend hiking the Blacktop trails or the parks River Rd. anytime after we get a lot of rain. All the other earthen trails were super muddy and the river was flood too. Give the trails a day or two to dry out. I hike up to the dam often to check on the progress of the dam removal. I think the dam will be gone by the ended of this summer when the water is it's lowest. I only did a short hike because I had tons of yard work to do when I got home. My grass needs to dry out for a bit. I plan on cutting it on high then let it dry and cut it again.

I created two new trail maps of Avalon, Orange Grove, Hilton, Hilltop, Glen Artney and Rockburn. I even made a special one for the Cascade Falls to be posted by the Swinging Bridge.
Contact me. baltoken@yahoo.com if you would like a copy.

at see we s4get oo

its a fun trail peaceful not a lot of traffic some mountain bikers but its nice pretty trail.

A little tough to start, but once you go up the first incline it turns into an awesome trail. There is a lot of graffiti on the rocks at the overlook, it is close to an access point but the view is lovely. Right now they are removing the damn so you can hear the construction off and on as you hike. We live near by so we will definitely so this trail again.

11 days ago

Park opens at 9am! I got here at 6am to start my hike but gate is CLOSED! WTF

With the temperature getting hotter be sure to carry plenty of water. Hiking along a stream makes it even better. You can dip a towel in the stream to cold off. The SAWMILL is one of my favorites because it's a main connector for traveling three sections of the Patapsco. Always enjoy the boulder hopping and cascading water along the SAWMILL. You can also sit on top of the TRAIN TUNNEL when you hike the DRUGS trail. It's a steep trail so I recommend always go Down it.

One of the most enjoyable features of the Glen Artney area of the Patapsco is the many ways you can hike the trails here. You simply decide where you wish to park then work your loop from there. No need to just hike a boring out and back trail. There are so many connectors that you have the ability to hike a long track or cut it short. I am a local senior hiker and here weekly. Within this one area you can hike one mile or seven and loop back from where you started by simply using the Grist Mill trail if needed. If you want a custom map of the Avalon, Orange Grove, Glen Artney, Hilltop and Hilton areas contact Ken: baltoken@yahoo.com

Nice walk. A lot of people and bikers on the trail.

Great location and trails.

I hiked two different locations in one day. Although it was extreme hot at the other location I got a break here. Garrett's Pass and most of the Cascade Trail was shaded and there was a nice breeze. This side of the river (in the heat - 92 Degrees ) is the best shade area up to about 2PM. I hiked ALL of both trails. Garrett's Pass is 2.6 miles just one way so I took a break at the stream up by Landing Rd. and soaked my feet in the cold stream. The last half a mile of this loop was all rocks leading to the Falls. When the Falls gets crowded I hike the bypass trail right after them. The trail goes directly down to the Restrooms. It's a steep downhill run. **** I found one baby TICK on me today. **** Start spraying !! Beware of any hanging bushes that you may bush up on during your hike.

I was done by 12 noon and it was already 90 degrees out. Be sure to carry plenty of water. I have now hiked this area many different ways. As I look at other recordings I see that people are missing the High Ridges. There is the one on the ( Backside of Daniels ) and the other is the ( Church Loop No: 1 ). Being a retire senior it's easy for me to hike during the weekdays. The parking here is now limited so beware of a crowded on weekends. The DNR closed off a large parking area we used in the pass. The canoe lot is always full so you need to park in front of the dam. The dam area has become a swimming hole and the DNR is not happy about that. Some people just can't read !!

I have hiked this loop many times. As the park becomes more and more crowded as the weather gets hotter you may want optional sections to park your car. The Santee, Branch and Nunnery trails are not as crowded as many of the others. If we get a hard rain the Santee can get muddy in spots. Today it was super warm out and this old senior started sweating. Be sure to start carrying plenty of water. If you hike with a backpack as I do, it's time to change over to a pack that doesn't lay on you back. Use a frame pack that has air flow behind it. You can also wet your bandana in the stream to cool you off.

hiking
23 days ago

The easiest section of my track today was the loop around Rochburn ( Purple ) trail. There are many big ups and downs on this trails. The Ridge trail section near the Old Connector is extremely rocky. The Three Sister's trail is truly the Morning Choice because it's brazed in (Yellow ). So is the Old Connector. As an option you could also choose to hike the View Valley ( White ) trail because it has better views of the Valley. The Ridge ( Orange ) is in the middle of the woods.

A pretty and well maintained trail with a cute little waterfall! The hike itself is fairly easy and I was able to bring my dog. I am unfortunately giving less stars due to getting lost. This trail intersects with several bike trails and the markings are very confusing. We ended up getting a little lost and did part of a bike loop. Thankfully we were able to find our way back to the original trail. Some very friendly hikers helped point us in the right direction. ☺️

Just the best hike! Took four kids from 4-10 years old and everyone had a great hike. Beautiful to see spring rising

I hike this loop a few times a year. Be sure to be on the right side when you enter the tunnel at the Grist Mill trail. You can still do it from the left side but you will need to go up the Sawmill and cross the stream. I enjoy the rocky climbs on the start of the Forest Glen or the Pigs Run. The first mile is all up hill. The (White) Santee trail is basically flat with small ups and downs. The rest of the trail is quite easy.

Such a beautiful trail!

Solid trail. Well maintained. Took about 2 hours with frequent stops. I don't recommend going on a Sunday afternoon as it was very crowded. Too many families with little trail etiquette for my taste.

Gorgeous and mild, offering many opportunities to lengthen the hike with additional trails. I agree with other posters that way-marking could be better, but now that I've done it once I feel like I wouldn't get lost on a second go.

Fun tunnel and then climb buzzards rock which for me was a challenge as I am not in good hiking condition! Great view of damn at top!

Great hike ! Crowded by falls with been bikes and dogs but it is a Sunday and pretty spring day! Lots of other trails to explore and rocks to boulder around on.

The parks are getting super crowded on weekends now. Today, there was the boy scouts camping for the weekend in the Hilton Area. The trails were very crowded and the kids were loaded up with hiking gear. The Sawmill, Santee and Forest Glen trails are the rockiest in the whole park system. These trail will connect you from the Orange Grove area to the Hilton area. Many people will hike from the Hilton area all the way to the Cascade Falls, which is located near the Swinging Bridge. If you would like a special map I created 2 years ago email me, ( baltoken@yahoo.com )

The Rockburn ( PURPLE ) loop is in my opinion the easiest section of the Avalon area. Once you have hiked up the Water Bars ( Ridge connector ) you will see the Rockburn sign. The entire loop is a well used and marked. Many bikers are always on this section but the trail is plenty wide. Its fairly level with small ups and downs. This loop would be idea for anyone just getting into hiking or mountain biking. There is no water crossings unless you hike part or all of the Hop The Snake trail ( Blue ). Part of my recording includes the New Ridge extension. It's not yet finished but much of it has been cut out already. What's not cut out has flags you can follow. I saw bikers on it today.

very nice trail overall, a little above begginer. gets pretty steep at times for novices. at two parts you have to cross little creeks walking across the rocks. a lot of people and dogs on the trail. about 2 hours out and back if you stop at the falls for 10 mins.

This weather has been un-real. Cold or Raining one day then 60's or 70's the next. If the wind didn't die down I wouldn't have left the house. The Cascade, Bike Buster and Garrett's Pass has a lot of down trees. The trails are good to go again. These trails are always well maintained. My 3-mile loop today was one long up then all down the second half. Although we got a lot of rain the day before the trails were very dry. The wind dries the trails but you need to watch for falling branches. The water was a bit deep at the stream crossings and some of the rocks you hop across at the Falls were underwater.

Now that it's getting hot out the park is becoming super crowded. During the summer months, if you don't get there by 10 in the morning you may not be able to park inside the main area. You will need to park up on S. Rolling Rd. and hike down the Soapstone Trail. It got to 80 degrees today and with no leaves on the trees it was super hot out. Remember to carry plenty of water. Although this is one of my short trails it will indeed give you a workout. Many ups and downs. They placed Spot-A-Pots at the Soapstone trailhead but the water fountain is working. I never recommend this area of trails when its raining. These trails get very muddy and being steep could be a problem for some people. I wish I could have hiked more but the heat and steep hills drained this old senior. Happy Hiking !!

This was a good loop with good variety in trail type. A couple water crossings were a bit more challenging than anticipated. But there were a lot of smaller trails that went off in different directions and weren’t on the map so sometimes staying on the trail we wanted was challenging. Be sure to watch out for bicycles, a couple came up on us fast with minimal warning.

The main Park road into the Avalon section was blocked off due to a house fire on South Rd. The water pumper truck was connected to a fire hydrant. Because that area was closed I decided to drive up to Landing Rd. and hike the Morning Choice trail section. I first planed to hike 2.8 miles but ended up hiking 4.4 miles. The Morning Choice is a long trail which is well defined and marked. If you go off that main section you well see that many other trails are NOT marked but they do connect back to the main run. Today I added the (Barley and Hops) trail which is considers as a Horse and Biker trail. I hiked this to try and create a loop without back tracking. I also added the two Connector trails to gain access to the Ridge. I added mileage. The Ridge trail is the true butt kicker. Big ups and downs !! Great Day and it was almost 80 degrees but windy as it's been for a week now.

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