Old Ranger Trail to Hollofield Access Trail

MODERATE 127 reviews

Old Ranger Trail to Hollofield Access Trail is a 3.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ellicott City, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.5 miles Elevation Gain: 426 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


mountain biking

nature trips




partially paved



1 month ago

This was a nice hike and well marked. i look forward to my next hike there.

5 months ago

There were lots of rocks and roots on the trail. We were wearing regular walking/running shoes. Lots of opportunities to twist an ankle. Most of the path was only wide enough to go single file. Traffic noise was in the background. Still, the site is conveniently located. The park is nice with picnic tables, grills, and bathrooms (I think). It’s a nice family outing if you live nearby.

mountain biking
5 months ago

Great mountain biking trail!

Gave this a 3 star simply because it’s a boring hike with to much traffic noise. The out and back part adds mileage but most of it runs close to or parallel to the highway which makes the hike unpleasant. This is an easy hike. It would be a stretch to call any part of it moderate but there are a few very short uphill climbs that for an inexperienced or out of shoe hiker could be considered moderate. There are 3 small, easy stream crossings. The out and back trail is easy to follow but not blazed or marked and the rest of the trail seems to follow the blue blazes for the most part except there are several off shots and they are ALL the same color blaze which baffles me and makes knowing which direction to go impossible without the app and map.

First time to Patapsco Valley State Park. Very nice trail, well marked. A little muddy but really not that bad considering the recent rain. Tacking on the out and back Hollofield Access Trail is a good addition to Old Ranger for a little extra mileage and good views of the river.

This trail has some serious drainage problems for the first quarter mile. The trail is incredibly muddy and,as a result, trail widening is occurring as hikers try to avoid mini ponds on the main trail. As others have mentioned, you never really escape the city sounds along your hike; not even the Patapsco river can drown out the sounds of route 40 and I-70.

Sun Nov 11 2018

Was a well maintained trail with beautiful scenery but as others have said you could hear RT 70 noise for a portion of it.

Tue Aug 08 2017

nothing really stood out, nothing to see, traffic noise, absence of nature... What a dud

Sun Jul 16 2017

It was fun Sunday afternoon hiking with the family. It was our first hiking with our 3 years d daughter and she did awesome! She needed some assistance but most of the trail was wider and she was able to walk by herself! Will go back for sure!!

Sun Feb 26 2017

We were not fans of this trail. Leaving the parking lot, there's a small pond which was pretty nice but that's about as good as this hike gets. The trail features power-lines and goes under Interstate 70 which you can hear for most of the hike. A portion of the trail is paved which we were also not fans of. The out and back portion leads to an underwhelming view of the Patapsco. The trail itself is well maintained and for the most part is marked pretty clearly, just follow the blue trail marks. We probably won't be doing this hike again.

Fri Nov 25 2016

Date: 11/25/2016 Nice hike.

Thu Oct 20 2016

Our first hike for my husband my self and our 12 year old son. We enjoyed it very much and it looks like the beginning of a new adventure for us. We don't really have anything to compare it to. But it wasn't too difficult.

Sun Jul 24 2016

nice shaded trail on a hot day

mountain biking
Sat Mar 26 2016

Montain bike

Sat Oct 03 2015

Lots of trails to explore so I suggest printing out the map you can find on the website for the park (see link). I started at the large car park in the Avalon area and walked up the road to the Ridge Trail which you can talk all the way to Cascade Falls. From there you can hike up the stream to the Morning Choice Trail which will take you all the way back to Ridge Trail. About 7 miles.

Fri Sep 18 2015

I usually go to the other part of the park were Cascade Falls are and wanted to try some were else for a change and I really enjoyed it me and my dog Indy started out on the Old Ranger trail and then crossed the bridge on Hollofield rd and took the path on the other side to come back we did cross back over the river after we went under The Baltimore Natl. pkw. bridge and went on the Union Dam trail it was a really good hike I didn't find it real challenging which made for just a real nice hike the scenery was great.

Mon Jun 22 2015

It's a great place for those beginning adventurers. The scenery is just below flawless, and it's absolutely breathtaking. Be sure to take the trail to the railroad tracks.

Tue May 26 2015

Great trail

Mon May 18 2015

You will get a lot of nature, lush greens, and water areas in here. Theres a couple of trails to choose from but my favorite is the cascades trail which brings you to a small waterfall. If you start at the Ellicott city part, you will have great work out as you will climb first then climb down to get to the falls. I saw some biking, but the trail is very slippery during fall and late part of winter. I haven't hiked here on summer but I guess it shouldn't be a problem then. My dog was with us during the hike and he definitely loved it!

Tue May 27 2014

My unit will usually come out here and make us do Land Navigation training, its a fun trail to walk on. Although last time i went through, i was very sick. still fun to do.

Tue Jun 25 2013

I love this place! 5120 South Street, Baltimore, MD 21227 That is the address to the major part of the park. A lots of different trails, but bring GPS Water Falls, hiking, and biking. Shallow river for kids and dogs. Great for dogs because there's steams of water for them to drink from, a long the trails.

Wed Apr 10 2013

The trails at this location off of Route 40 are a bit limited, but good. I have been twice and have only located two trails, the ranger trail and the river trail. The river trail is short but more scenic, while the ranger trail is a bit longer. There is a charge during the week of $2 to use the park, so I would imagine they must have more than just the two trails, but I can't seem to find them! Not bad short hikes, especially for its proximity to the beltway.

Sun Jan 13 2013

Steep trails but fun to climb up and down as you go towards the Patapsco River. Great for dogs.

mountain biking
Mon Feb 20 2012

I entered the park at the McKeldin Recreational Area in Marriotsville. Has about 9 miles of loops that vary in skill level but nothing too crazy. Lots of horse traffic so be careful where you ride and try not to get kicked by a startled horse.

Sat Feb 11 2012

Great loop trail with a number of differences in scenery. Good elevation and uphill runs, long straightaway in the middle. Good for a 4 mile run if you do the loop twice.

Fri Feb 10 2012

Very pretty with lots of scenis water. Most of it is easy, with a few interesting places.

Sun Oct 23 2011

Beautiful! Worth the one hour drive for the morning spent in one of the oldest parks in MD. Meets the needs of bikers and hikers! Many trails to choose and enjoy.

Mon Sep 20 2010

This is a good easy hike for a day. Park provides bathroom and picnic pavilions. Close to Baltimore and an easy drive from Washington DC. Easy access to the Patapsco River.

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