Buzzards Rock and Hilltop Loop

MODERATE 7 reviews
#2 of 5 trails in

Buzzards Rock and Hilltop Loop is a 4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Patapsco Woods, Maryland that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.0 miles
452 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running









A great trail loop in the Patapsco Valley which features Ilchester and Buzzards Rocks, the Sawmill Waterfalls and the Bloede Dam. The trail is rated as moderate because of the rocky boulder section on the Sawmill Trail. The Sawmill and Hilltop trails have a incline or decline terrain pending your direction so it’s half up and half down. The Grist Mill section of the loop is flat which is down at the dam. HIKERS ALERT : Scheduled for the summer of 2017, this area will be under construction because of the 42- inch sewer pipe relocation and Dam removal project. Access to this trail system will be limited due to construction along the Grist Mill Trail to place the new pipe. During construction use Hilltop Rd. area and stay clear of River and Ilchester Rd. The old Paper/mill lot is one of the staging areas for Heavy Equipment. The project will last over 18 months and the Dam will be removed in 2018.

12 days ago

Super great trail system which includes a number of well defined and marked trails. The Sawmill trail follow a stream and there are sections that you will rock hop on. All is very manageable.The Sawmill Branch trail takes you up to the top of the hilltop area. The Dam Viewpoint has access two different ways. The easy way or a steep trail which may require you to grab a few rocky to control yourself up or down. The viewpoint rocky are even nicer during the winter because of no leaves on the trees. Same goes for the Ilchester Cliff. It's hard to see the terrain with all the leaves in the summertime. Part of the Hilltop Trail down to the dam is closed but there is a reroute trail that raps around the ridge. I recommend you taking the side trail next to the Ilchester Rocks, Great views along the ridge and there is a Giant Oak tree in the middle of the trail. Great loop and you get to finish on the flat paved Grist Mill. Check Out my Pictures and Recorded Track.

1 month ago

1 month ago

First part of trail is paved, none of the trails are marked. But it is a nice hike.

2 months ago

Very steep climb at the beginning of buzzards rock as you depart the tunnel across from pigs run. Worth it for the great view of the hopefully soon to be gone dam and the nice easy stroll from about a half mile in to parking lot. Sawmill is a great option if you want to explore the pretty little rapids on the Santee branch, and the climb is more gradual.

3 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago