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

22 days ago

Muddy, and no trail to follow. Steep, slippery. Not kid friendly

easy walking the ridge. side trails down to the water make it more fun.

2 months ago

The trailhead is unmarked and the rock scrambling is tough, but the view of the stream makes it worth the trek.

3 months ago

This trail has a little bit of everything. From wide to narrow path, climbing over rocks and crossing a stream. The stream was fantastic from all the rain that has fallen this past summer and fall. Will go back and hike again this winter.

nice easy trail to start but with the amount of rain we have had(9/20/18) the water level of the reservoir is so high the trail is cut off by the water and we ended up bushwhacking. wish I brought a machete with me to clear the path. tons of prickly bushes

4 months ago

Nice loop with hills and stream crossings. The lower section hugs the river and has some cool rock croppings to climb over. Most of the trail was pretty wide open with a few sections very over grown, like hiking a single track deer path. The river section was fun and I will decently be back.

4 months ago

Read this for directions.

5 months ago

Path had been flooded and nothing was really marked so I basically just stumbled around the woods for two hours and then got stung by a bee. That being said, the moss and ferns are gorgeous and I did see a cool purple mushroom.

5 months ago

Very very overgrown! Made the mistake of continuing on when the trail became nearly non-existent and I honestly felt like it was the closest I’ll ever get to naked and afraid. We hiked through tons of thorns and poison Ivey. On the bright side, some parts have really pretty views, places to sit and it was a GREAT workout. Definitely turn around when the trail gets overgrown lol

I was disappointed in this trail. In the summer the trees prevent you from seeing the water, even at the waters edge the view is obstructed. Trail is an old fire road that is cut in below the forest floor and is overgrown with grass is some spots. Very smooth trail. Moderate rating is a stretch.

The fire road is not all that interesting but the side trails lead down to nice spots on the reservoir.

6 months ago

Great spots along the river and good bouldering cliffs. Very overgrown at beginning of trailhead (poison ivy)

Some parts of the trail were hard to make out. We didn’t see a waterfall or mill. I would never take my dog on this trail.

This is a fantastic trail with remnants of a paper mill and small graveyard. There are two actual trails that take you to the same spot. A place my friends all call Paradise. The longer trail is flanked by trees on each side and is a easy hike. The other trail back is a little more difficult and don’t take a dog on that trail. Certain spots require 3 points of contact. Anyway this trail ranks in my top 5 for this area of Baltimore county. Give it a try and there’s a beautiful surprise at the end. Oh and if you like to forage for edible plants, there area bounty of them there to try. If you know what you’re doing.

9 months ago

What I hiked looked nothing like these pictures (think much more boring). I followed the directions to get to the trail head, and I started walking down where the coords said it was, but it just dead ended at a little solar powered apparatus of some sort. So I walked back up to the road, and I walked up the "fire road" on the other side of the bridge. After walking along the creek for a while the path went pretty far up the hill to the left and then forked. I decided to go right, back down towards the water. I followed that for a while until it narrowed and I came across a Canadian Goose nesting which was pretty cool. Not even sure the trail continued at that point but I kept following the creek and after 2 miles eventually came out across from a rodeo. At that point I decided I'd been hiking for too far to be on the right path and something wasn't right, so I turned around and went back to my car. Besides the goose, I saw some cool wildflowers and a herd of deer drinking at the creek but I could easily have done essentially the same hike, without going so far away (hour and a half drive for me). Never did see any waterfalls. I guess if you're local to the area it's nice, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go back. All in all a nice basic Earth Day hike.

on Hemlock Trail

9 months ago

The trail is tricky because it isn’t marked, but you have the river to follow. I don’t think we did the full trail because we seemed to hit a dead end where we would need to cross a branch of the river and get very wet (horses appear to cross there though). We saw many frogs and they were noisy. :)

11 months ago

Great place to hike and birdwatch. My favorite place to be in late spring

Sunday, January 21, 2018

bushwhacked for a bit somehow think i was on an animal trail tbh. decent views of the reservoir. boring hike nonetheless

nature trips
Thursday, January 11, 2018


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!

on Hemlock Trail

trail running
Sunday, October 08, 2017

As already commented, it's a very nice trail but very poorly marked. Some of the stream crossings are unfeasible by foot. In some, there were horse tracks; at least for some part of the trail, it's clearly better for riding.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Very open and well maintained for most of the trail. Often near the end where you would expect the trail to end at the water you have to look for unofficial trails. One place this version of the path goes off the official trail and I had to do some serious bushwacking​ to find the 'trail'.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Beautiful trail, but poorly marked. I took a picture of the start of the trail by the bridge. I met another person who found this place on AllTrails, but he took a different trail. It's a fairly difficult trail with some stream crossings and overgrown patches.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Beautiful and fun!

Friday, July 21, 2017

This trail is beautiful, especially on the section just south of Walker Run. Be careful for slick, mossy rocks. I didn't have much trouble sticking to the trail because the river provides a good reference. Crossing the Gunpowder Falls before returning to Gunpowder Rd. is a little challenging if you're trying to stay dry. I needed to step on a few submerged rocks to make the crossing.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Hey All,

I live on one of those border properties people mention in their reviews. Thanks for keeping the area clean and pristine. If you ever see a German Shephard full of energy running around, she's nice as can be and wouldn't hurt a fly (just might play too hard) - sometimes she just roams a little too far! Her name is Stella and loves a good stick toss into the water. Feel free to play with her or tell her to go home.

Thanks again

trail running
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Great Lake view, but kind of a boring hike.
Good place for running hills. The strait trail has rolling hills and is about 3.5 miles from the parking area.

on Hemlock Trail

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beautiful trail along the river but this isn't an easy stroll. Trail is unmarked.

Nice walk, not many views.

horseback riding
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Where can horse trailers be parked for day use of these trails?

trail running
Friday, April 28, 2017

nice little trail just a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle

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