Looking for a great trail in Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland? AllTrails has 92 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 68 moderate trails in Patapsco Valley State Park ranging from 0.7 to 20 miles and from 32 to 534 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!



nature trips



trail running


dogs on leash


bird watching

kid friendly

mountain biking

wild flowers



dog friendly


horseback riding

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.

I recommend this trail. A little different than some of the other trails in Potapsco and definitely less traveled. Very green with several creeks but overgrown in some places. Lots of shade and mostly smooth with some rocky spots.

July 2019 hike, the stream by the cave was neat. Clear trails until one place by the river someone actually carried in a garbage bags and it was strewn all over.

Great trail and scenic walk to the falls. I took my 4 year old and 8 year old girls and they loved it. The trail was easy enough for the little one yet fun with butterflies, dragon flies and things to see. My phone and downloaded map worked the whole way through so it was great to follow along just to see how far the actual waterfall was away. Overall they girls had fun and want to do it again.

4 days ago

Patapsco Valley State Park - McKeldin Area Note to self, check what time the park opens before you show up at 6am and the park doesn’t open until 9am. No real good way to get to the head of the trail, no parking outside the park. No matter, decided to go to the other end since it was an out and back. No luck there. After planning this 16 mile hike I aborted and hiked the opposite side of the Patapsco. Inside Patapsco Valley State Park but outside the McKeldin Area. There is a small gravel lot at the end of Johnnycake Rd. Great hiking with an ample amount of elevation change. Lots of great things to see - waterfalls, steam crossings, walked along the train tracks and the river. There is a trail that avoids the train tracks, I’d recommend this option, the gravel along the tracks is baseball sized and loose, hard walking. There are a ton of footpaths that bisect the main trails although some are not often traveled and you have to use you imagination or in my case my alltrails inspired imagination, All in all pretty nice trail, some trails washed out.

Moderate trail, multiple stream crossings, some inclines etc. Pretty overgrown in spots & not easy to follow. Not a designated parking area/ lots of cars parked along the road. Pretty views along the river and cool insects spotted. Took us about 2.5 hours to complete

trail running
5 days ago

Great for the trail runner or hiker seeking a fairly flat six miles with enough small ascents and descents to keep things interesting. Really enjoyed the long stretch that parallels the river. Plenty of coverage for a hot summer day.

6 days ago

I hiked this well-marked trail but do indeed plan to trail run it. Hiking is one thing, running the complete loop is an entirely different experience, due to the elevation and technical terrain challenges in a continuous run. Based on a 4/4 scale, I’d say this trails scores as follows: elevation: 2.5 terrain: 3.5 Over the stated distance, the elevation gain would definitely be challenging in several areas if one were to run this course. However, the course is not in the mountains, so to speak, and continuous non-stop running is possible from start to finish. Secondly, this trail has highly technical terrain for trail running; a true ankle roller. I would say that 65% of the trail is covered by inhospitable rocks and bulging roots to roll your ankles, and it has ruts that can catch your feet or cause you to trip as you run. There is one point where you actually have to climb and scramble an arduous, rocky, killer uphill before returning to your pace — that’s hard. Rocky areas are interspersed by intermittent periods of smooth running, but the trail is more rocky than not over the complete distance. With that being said, this is not an easy course for trail running. It is clearly at the very least “moderate”, with strong leanings toward being “hard”. Hiking this trail I think is also moderate due to the terrain, but it does have some easy spots. I completed this trail while it was raining, so it was muddy, and blowdown occurred in several places on the trail. Nonetheless, I think this is a great trail and I will be returning. Completed: July 11, 2019

Nice trails but download the map! Parts of the trails aren't marked. Overall, very enjoyable and worth the trip! You forget you're so close to town on the backside of the loop. Highly recommend!

12 days ago

It’s a nice easy trail on a warm day. We have hiked it twice with our toddler and she has a great time. It gets a little muddy but it’s a well beaten path with rocks and logs along the muddy spots. The dam is beautiful. A fun destination to relax and cool off in or beside the water.

Today was my first real hike since I got pneumonia on June 22. - Finally feeling better but I did hike with my future Son-In-Law. - 8 tenths of this recording failed which was the complete old river road trail heading up to connect with the new trail. - Today the trail crew was working on one of the bridges. - Most all of the trail has been cut out. - Things are looking great for this Fall.

14 days ago

Easy for kiddos. My 2 and 3 year old walked the entire trail. The view of the dam is awesome.

Beautifully maintained trail. I would definitely recommend following a map of some kind as there are tons of trails and it would be easy to end up hiking much further than you intend to. Pretty heavily trafficked, lots of hikers, bikers, runners. Crowds of people at the falls, so not very peaceful, but still pretty.

16 days ago

This was my first trip out since I was diagnose with pneumonia on June 22. - Feeling much better now but the heats a problem for this old senior. - The wife and I went out for dinner but had time to checkout the park before the gates closed. - This was my first hike so we took it easy by doing the flat paved Old River road trail and also up to the falls.

This hike hit the spot for me on a hot summer Sunday morning (low 80s)... I wanted something relatively flat and shaded that would allow for over an hour of hiking, and this fit the description! It took me about 45 minutes each way. I almost turned around at the lake but am so glad I decided to check out the loop trail around it! Highly recommended to see different angles of the quarry/lake. Also, I decided to take a right to follow the trail closer to the river on the last leg of the way back (it’s the trail the goes opposite the one going towards Old Court Rd). It was nice. I wore natural insect repellent and only had an occasional bug buzzing near my head. Pros: solitude (only passed 2 people on the Quarry trail... though there were lots of people right off the trail where the river is, fishing and swimming and grilling), wide trail in most sections, follows a stream most of the way, sounds of stream and birds throughout, boulders to relax on by the lake Cons: some mud (not too bad, especially given that we had thunder storms last night, but I can see it could be bad after more precipitation), horse poop in sections, confusing to find the trail at first (easiest to follow the road that goes past the gate rather than head towards the trails by the bridge), could hear gunshots from the nearby shooting range at times I hiked this on 6/30/19.

the trail is on the blue marks for half of the hike, but then diverges and heads back without any markers. otherwise it was very pleasant and fun.

Easy to moderate trail through central Maryland forest. Blue blazes can be inconsistent on the trail, so bringing a map or using a mapping application is recommended.

over grown
19 days ago

Trail running is listed for this trail, but it is more geared for hiking in my opinion. The course is described as “out & back”, but it has loop character, and the estimated elevation gain may be off. I found it to be less than what is stated. Regarding the loop, in the clockwise direction I went, about 95% of the trail is unmarked, and the other 5% is marked in a way that makes no sense, until the very end of the loop when it is obvious which way to go. There are also parts that are overgrown. Finally, you need bug spray as there are tons of insects and bugs. This trail is a workout...even for hiking. My recording is posted. Completed: June 28, 2019

NO PARKING! Was looking forward to this but they only have a handful of spots and were ticketing while I got there for those who couldn't fit

23 days ago

Went on a Sunday it was very busy and people don’t pick up after themselves so more trash than I like to see. But all in all a nice short hike.

the trail is well marked. it's a well hiked trail I saw many other hikers. the steam running alongside is very picturesque. I enjoyed the waterfall. I would have liked to see a map to check progress. I wasn't sure whether to go on or turn back from the falls, I turned back. over all I enjoyed the hike

great scenic trail, I would recommend wearing long pants in the summer due to poison ivy along the edge of the trail.

good trail. leads you to the railroads and peaceful river . not much crowd.

24 days ago

Nice, easy trail but docking points b/c there are NO signs anywhere on the trail. Got turned around a few times and some, or any signage would have been nice to guide you back to trailhead.

24 days ago

Load More