Patapsco Elkridge Side Loop

EASY 11 reviews
#14 of 32 trails in

Patapsco Elkridge Side Loop is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Patapsco Woods, Maryland that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
374 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wildlife

This trail is a fairly easy one. You could park at the swinging bridge or on Landing Rd. If parking at Landing Rd. then access the loop via the Morning Choice trail.There is a water fountain and restrooms at the swinging bridge. The trail features the Cascade Falls and a few small stream crossings. Plenty of shade trees on trail when hot out. You can see the whole ridge during the winter season on Valley View trail section.

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was good but it was not what I planned. From the All Trails app I selected the Patapsco Elkridge Side loop (The Trail) and in the directions selection, I opened Google maps. I drove into the park until the roadway ended and parked in the parking lot. The only trail signs posted were the River Road Trail and the Cascade Trail. Google Maps indicated the location was 300 feet further on the left.
I hiked the distance and entered a trail where hikers were exiting. The incline was decent and when I looked at the All Trails app it indicated The Trail was located to the south. I spoke to a trail runner who said they were familiar with the area and he said the section that I came up was frequently used but not on any of the maps he had seen. He had not heard of the Patapsco Elkridge Side loop trail. I went to the south and ended up in the position that the app indicated was the Patapsco Elkridge Side loop. However it was part of the Cascade Falls Trail.
Since the app is new to me I found that I had to zoom in close to see the actual trail name which was in fact Cascade Falls Trail. As noted by Kenneth Grimm in another post, the cell service was a bit funny (intermittent especially on the west side) and cell service was lost numerous times.
Along the way I spoke to another hiker and during the conversation he said he inspects the birch trees to see what dates were in graved on them. He found a tree indicating 1945. I don’t cut into trees myself but I found that interesting and I found a marking “September 1955” see the posted picture.
As I was getting near the end of the hike I did go by the Cascade falls. To my surprise there was no one near the falls and I was able to take several photos. In the end my hiking partner got tired and planed 2.9 mile hike became 3.8 miles. But any day on the trail is a great day!
I noted the path that I took had several different trail colors and sometime two different colors together. In the picture the morning Choice trail is identified as yellow. I found another sign indicating the Ridge Trail was Blue. With the intermittent cell service I found the trail a little confusing. Next time I go to this park I will hike a trail by its official park name and use the All Trails app to help me stay on that path.

hiking
1 month ago

When it comes to Hiking, Backpacking or Biking the Patapsco Valley State Park, the Avalon, Orange Grove, Hilton, Hilltop and Glen Artney areas are by far the best trail system in the whole Valley area. Most of the review I read state it the best in Maryland. There are so many loops you can hike or bike so the miles and terrain will indeed vary pending your planned trip. Yes, plan ahead. Cell service is a bit funny in this area so carry a map as backup. Checkout the Loop I just recorded. A great loop if you have the time. My 7 mile loop consisted of Multiple trails and they are well marked and there is many changes in elevation. I have to help out a biker today. He had a Flat tire and no glue. I am a hiker and not a biker but I do carry glue to start a fire and I also carry duct tape on my trekking poles. I have been telling people for years in the park to be equipped for anything that could happen. I carry 15 Lb. of gear in my backpack anytime I am always patching up somebody’s kid that fell on a rock with my First Aid Kit. Nice to be in the right place at the right time. I am the old senior with the White Beard. Just say Hi !!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

6 months ago

Real guud.

walking
7 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

I parked on Landings Rd to access this. Somewhat limited parking at this site, but it was 32 - 36 degrees the day I went and I didn't have a problem parking. The trail is wide and well maintained. I hiked the trail this day. I started this particular loop by going counter clockwise to avoid some of the foot traffic heading to the falls. This was probably a good decision. By doing this I was able to get the hills out of the way in the beginning Be aware of all the side trails that may get you off track. The trails are blazed but it can get confusing on which route to take. I had good cell reception and used this app to navigate it. The small falls is a cool stop for lunch. It seems to be heavily visited though. Be aware of the bikes on the trail. There are lots of them, but not a huge deal. You hear them way before you see them. Biking this looks like fun. Overall this is a decent little hike worth checking out that won't cause you to drive forever to get to.