Old Main Line and Daniels Loop Trail

EASY 102 reviews

Old Main Line and Daniels Loop Trail is a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ellicott City, Maryland that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 328 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

bird watching

running

cave

forest

river

views

wild flowers

bugs

muddy

rocky

In addition to the hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities for kayaking in the area.

running
icy
muddy
2 days ago

Nice today. A little chilly but NBD. Muddy spots were unfreezing at about 12:15 PM.

hiking
3 months ago

Today was gorgeous. Our first time here. Lots of wet, colorful leaves along the trail covered some loose and slippery rocks but not too bad. Although we did the loop, it was somewhat the same trail. Stayed on the north then south trail. Peaceful with just a few people spotted along the way. Was looking for birds and saw a nice handful. Saw squirrels but surprisingly no deer. Great place to spend an autumn afternoon!

running
4 months ago

As others have mentioned there is very limited parking (like 6 spots). Good for a trail run. There are a few muddy spots and some rocky spots. You definitely need to be careful with the leaves covering the trail. Overall a good place for a run.

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful well maintained trail along the Patapsco River. Easy trail head to find but parking is scarce, especially on a warm summers morning. We parked at Daniels Dam. There were lots of people kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and trail running. The trail is heavily trafficked and narrow at points. There are a lot of places to get off the path and into the water. There is a nice mix of faster moving water and calmer, slower moving. The trail turns around near the train tracks.

It starts off rocky which is great for hiking but not the best for running or biking, then flattens out to a calmer trail. Anyways, I loved it

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

It is a nice EASY walk along the river with little to no inclines on a wide well maintained path. Was very pleasant, only saw a few other hikers. Not sure why this is rated as Moderate.

hiking
bugs
off trail
8 months ago

This trail was one of the best I’ve been on. We followed the river along the newer version of the trail (the original seems to be a pond now) and it was lovely. The water was calm and the railroad was fun to follow along the other bank. We didn’t see much of the town because we took a shorter loop, but we did see an old house foundation and what appeared to be a cave. Pretty cool. We enjoyed the ascent and descent although it got pretty steep at some points. Loved that the path was not overgrown at all, and the surrounding woods were beautiful!

hiking
8 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Maryland, but there is a problem too: There is very little parking as the DNR is trying to cut down on the number of parkgoers who come on the weekends and trash the place by partying at the dam. It's a pain, but it has really cut down the amount of garbage that gets thrown all over the place. DNR is pretty strict about enforcing the no-parking signs there too. If you have to you can park closer to the top of Daniels Road and hike a half mile or so down the road to the trail entrance. The park is wonderful-very quiet, beautiful views of the river, and the occasional hint of the old town with its fascinating history (kept getting destroyed in floods; factory/town owner didn't want to upgrade sewer so when the final flood came it was abandoned). The house referred to in one of the reviews is gone, so don't look for it-it was razed earlier this year. You can still see the back yard, though, because there's a lot of abandoned metal stuff. Keep an eye out for house foundations, scraps of glass or plastic, and other indicators of the town.

hiking
9 months ago

For a beginner, this trail was a pretty easy walk. It’s a cool trail and you get to see the ruins of an abandoned mill town from a flood back in the 70s. Mostly flat except to see the church and graveyard. I saw people fishing in the river and fly fishing in the middle of the river. Phone coverage is good. Parking SUCKS!! You can park at the beginning of the trail but there are only spots for like 6 cars. And around the corner maybe another 5 cars. We drove up the street where the train tracks are at to park and walked down the street. I don’t recommend that because there is no place to walk on the side of the street and the cars might smack your ass down. If you play Pokémon Go, there is a pokestop up top the big hill where the church is. There is also a pokestop by the tracks across the green bridge. Great trail to walk and hatch eggs.

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

The trail was a bit muddy in spots but not too hot yet and fewer bugs out. I recommend taking some fo the side shoot offs along the trail that take you up into the ridge for nice views and a breeze. The trail was pretty quiet though we did see a few other morning hikers.

hiking
muddy
off trail
9 months ago

Mostly flat. Couldnt find the old house. Got turned around at the small loop a few times. Parts of the trail are not clearly marked.

hiking
Sun Jan 06 2019

A little muddy but very enjoyable. All the dogs we saw were on leashes, which I appreciated.

Wed Jan 02 2019

Great trail, not as crowded as other parts of the park. Parking is limited, but seemed sufficient for the morning crowd. Mainline trail is a nice easy walk along the river with some opportunities to scramble up some rock cliffs. The ridge loop is more challenging but offers some fantastic views. Be sure to check out the Camel Den "cave" near Daniels rd!

Mon Dec 03 2018

good place for dogs

Tue Jul 03 2018

Good two hour walk. Saw a great old abandoned house with a vulture sitting on the roof. Great river access. Will be back with our kayaks!

hiking
Thu Jan 25 2018

Loved it. Great place to take photos. A little slippery owing to all the mud but it is winter!

Fri Oct 27 2017

Flat hike not difficult. Beautiful scenery in the fall. Parking terrible on the weekend. Go during a weekday.

hiking
Mon Sep 25 2017

Awesome trail.

hiking
Thu Sep 07 2017

The parking here for one is a joke. So much trail and acreage here I'm astounded there's not more space available for parking. Is there a secret parking lot?? Anyway, there's no markers whatsoever for Mcdaniels which is fine if you're using the app and most of the trail is just along the river anyway. Some of the little loops weren't obviously marked. We literally had to stand looking at the map on the app walking step by step and look down to see where the trail picked up. Sort of odd. The trail is nice. It's quiet here.

Wed Aug 23 2017

Great trail for the area!

Sat Jan 28 2017

Not a loop more of an out and back.

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