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Buzzards Rock and Hilltop Loop is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Elkridge, Maryland that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 4.1 mi Elevation gain 403 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Road biking

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Muddy

Rocky

Snow

Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

As of June 2019, the new section of the Grist Mill Trail is OPEN and so is ALL the rest down to the Lost Lake Pond. - All the trees in the new section are just babies so you are in total SUN LIGHT. - During the summer be sure to carry plenty of water to drink. - The entire trail is paved in blacktop. - If you are hiking between Ilchester Rd. and the Swinging Bridge be careful crossing the section where the bridge is washing out. - Rocks have been piled up to walk across but this spot can flood during a storm. - Flood signs are posted. A great trail loop in the Patapsco Valley which features both Ilchester and Buzzards Rock cliffs, cascading water falls and boulder hopping on the Sawmill Trail. The trail is rated as moderate because of the rocky terrain along the Sawmill Trail. The loop consist of big ups and downs. The Grist Mill section of the loop is a flat paved trail. Parking is available at the Swinging Bridge or up top at S. Hilltop Rd.

You can park in a couple locations when walking this area. One option is Swinging Bridge. Another is Hilltop Road. You can also park in the Hilton area and walk down the Santee Trail to the Sawmill Branch.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (52)
Photos (542)
Recordings (45)
Completed (162)
Dan S. Pogonowski
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HikingRockyScramble

Beware if you are linking trails and taking Buzzard Rock Trail to exit at the tunnel and the bike trail near Forest Glen Trail. The trail basically ends before the Forest Glenn trail and you will need to descend about 200 feet on a steep eroded path or go back and approach from another direction. It looks like the trails once connected but have degraded away. Made it down ok but if it was wet or muddy it may have been a different story.

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Laura Mangano
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Hiking

I STRONGLY recommend taking the very steep and rocky trail on the other side of the tunnel that cuts this loop in half. The views are incredible - there are many look out points. Will be perfect in the fall when the leaves have turned colors!

Krystle H.
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HikingRocky
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Kevin Yasutake
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Hiking

Even though I started pretty early, it got hit pretty quick! The new section of Grist mill is nice. Good job guys!

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Angelo W.
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Hiking

Very short Saturday hike. Completed: 15 June 2019

Tiara Feith
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Hiking

I love taking this all the way around! I've revisited multiple times, and I love when you leave the bike trail to go to the second set of cliffs. It provides a great challenge.

Julie Deibel-Pundt
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Hiking

just took a short trip to the overlooks today but I'll definitely be back!

Lynn Nichols
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Well maintained, we cut up from the train bridge underpass to Bloede's Dam Overlook and really enjoyed that steep section. Lots of fun!

David Claypool
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Hiking

Nice trail. Even though part of trail is closed due to repairs, it is a very nice area with some challenging areas. Lots of people on the weekend, though. Also an abundance of bicyclists can be a distraction. Still, worthwhile to hike.

Jason McPeak
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Hiking

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

Will Simpson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 03 2017

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.

Kala Puligilla
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Hiking
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Nick Clash
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Hiking
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Joe Digirolamo
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Hiking
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Brooke Exler
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Hiking
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Mellisa Moss
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Hiking
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scott coffman
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Hiking
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Geoff Rowland
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Hiking
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Alison Zenteno
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Hiking
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Jesse L.
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Hiking
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Kaitlyn Frost
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Hiking
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Sherri Capurso
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Hiking
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Moung Choi
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Hiking
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Shari Morris
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Hiking
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Simon Kurtz
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Backpacking
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Shahryar Tahir
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Hiking
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Carter James
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Hiking
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Rebecca Eisenhardt
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Hiking
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Mieko Ivasauskas
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Hiking
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