Gunpowder Falls North and South Loop Trail

MODERATE 88 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Gunpowder Falls North and South Loop Trail is a 13.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Parkton, Maryland that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and fishing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

13.3 miles
1177 feet

dog friendly



trail running



wild flowers


Two trails, the larger is the blue trail and shorter is the yellow trail. Crosses some streams and provides some good views. Currently better suited for hiking as there are a few large fallen trees but the area is being built up for MTB

5 months ago

ok trails... hiked from Masemore Rd to the dam and back. good amount of technical rock. not well maintained. wear breathable long sleeves and pants. discovered a yellow jacket nest 10 minutes from falls road. beautiful view when atop the dam.

5 months ago

Amazing views. Tranquil. One of the best trails I've been on in a long time.

6 months ago

This was a beautiful trail with rugged and diverse terrain. We started at the parking area off of Bunker Hill Rd. Then followed GP South to Highland. When Highland met back with South we continued on to Prettyboy Dam. We followed South all the way back, climbing rocks and fallen trees and navigating dense vegetation but still finding the blazes. We crossed over to GP North at Masemore Rd on our way back. North was pretty lackluster after the beauty and interest on the way out, though. The most exciting part was traversing the water, because we did not notice before setting out that the BRIDGE NO LONGER EXISTS to get from GP North back across to Bunker Hill.

9 months ago

The trails were awesome and it's so pretty, but my fiancé and I found six ticks on us after we left. Hopefully we don't find more later ....

10 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail system. They could be marked better and the parking lots should have full trail maps posted with "You Are Here" markers, but otherwise really good trails. It gets technical the close you get to the Prettyboy Reservoir Dam, but worth the time.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Quiet hike today temps in the 70's! We only saw about a dozen people on a 3 hour hike. Stopped for lunch overlooking the river. Leaves were beautiful.

Monday, October 17, 2016

I wasn't able to finish this hike to give it a fair rating but wanted to give future hikers a warning about ticks on the trail:

We started this pretty hike on a beautiful fall day with our pup. Unfortunately, we realized about a mile in that she was covered with ticks--so much so that we decided it would be better to turn around, even though we made an hour drive to get there. As another commenter mentioned, the trail is a bit overgrown with vegetation and I think this was what made it so bad for our dog (we were ok with pants, boots, and long socks). Ticks in the woods happen, of course, but this was worse than we've seen elsewhere on the East Coast. We hope to come back after the first hard freeze when hopefully the critters will be gone. In the meantime, I would avoid bringing dogs on this trail during tick season (her tick collar was no match for the bloodsuckers) and recommend humans plan accordingly.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Pretty fun trail with some rock obstacles to climb. We ended up doing a mix of the South Trail and the Highland Trail.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Really fun trail, but I'm glad I read the other reviews. I wore zip off long pants (I had to wear the pants for the entire middle part of the trail from the western loop to the northern gunpowder trail). I also brought a towel to dry off my feet after I walked across the river (I just walked barefoot - it was fine and the water didn't go above my knees). I'd suggest starting to the left on each loop. One difficult part at the top of the western loop - coming down a steep hill and then there is a section that has a large tree across it. I just crossed the stream and went down 50 feet or so and crossed back.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The first leg of the trail was okay, but when you went on the second trail after the bridge, the paths were very overgrown and spidery. I'm talking spiders crawling ALL OVER YOU. And sticker bush after sticker bush. We spent so much time whacking away at the spiders and sticker bushes that we never really could stop and enjoy the beauty of the river and the forest. If you are planning on using these trails, DO NOT WEAR SHORTS! You will most certainly get chiggers, scratches, and poison ivy because the path is so poorly maintained. I'd bring a machete, but I'm never doing that trail again.

Another thing, the imbecile that made this map had us lost a whole bunch of times to where we were so exhausted, we just said the heck with it and went off trail, using Google maps to find our way to a trail that actually exists. The third time we got lost, was a part where we were supposed to cross the river again, but like another reviewer noticed, there is the ruins of a bridge, but there is no longer a bridge there. Luckily there was Bunker Hill Rd, so we just walked back to our car from there, vowing to never set foot in those poorly maintained paths again.

Over all, the hike was pretty in some parts, and I ended up actually hiking 11 miles instead of 8, which had me exhausted, the bad far outweighed the good and 1 star is really too generous of me. This hike sucks.

Another thing

Sunday, May 29, 2016

It was nice, did the south trail only. There are no bridges across any of the water. There may have been at one point but not anymore. We had to ford the river on foot on the return. Still a good hike.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wasn't a bad hike. Watch out for the Section with rocks to climb around, it just takes a while . definitely a beautiful park with wildlife and wildflowers.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Not for mountain bikes!! AT ALL. At least from the damn to falls road. I tried to take the spur trail from the damn, huge mistake. Carried the bike the entire way over trees, rocks, steep slippery slopes. Then I reached trail and thought I am at a point of no return so keep going... Mistake #2. I followed trail to left that follows stream. Again never rode bike but for a minute. Very rough terrain all the way to falls road crossing. At that point I said screw it and rode falls road back to the damn where I parked. I don't know about the rest of the trail maybe I'll try it from other end one day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Only done the part from masemore road into the base of the dam, but it was a worthwhile, light hike, a little wet in places in early spring.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Great hike but on the map it has you crossing the river at bunkerhill road, but there is no bridge there anymore. Looks like the bridge has been gone for awhile now. I had to keep hiking next to the river and find a tree to cross, wasn't a big deal because I had the time but be careful if that is the path you take.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Absolutely Beautiful!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Attn: there's no bridge left to traverse the river and use the south loop, so you'll have to do out and back.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

At 1 of the road crossings/entry points, if you go across the street to continue your trail and get stuck at a stream with no more trail to cross, go back a short bit to the road and instead, head into the parking lot and on the left hand side, the trail continues. Take it to the right and then down the steps to continue the loop.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Thanks S. Adamson for your helpful review. This was a lot of fun! I'm glad I wore pants to cover my legs. We'll definitely do this trail again.

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