Patapsco Valley State Park Loop

MODERATE 14 reviews
#10 of 30 trails in

Patapsco Valley State Park Loop is a 4.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Patapsco Woods, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
570 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

This loop is indeed an enjoyable one. Not many people walk the Santee trail. Park your car in the Hilton Area or at the Swinging Bridge in the Orange Grove area. There are restrooms and water fountains at both locations. You can even Camp overnight in the Hilton area but you have to pay. The Grist Mill trail is a fairly flat Blacktop trail that runs along the river. The Sawmill Trail (RED) has an up or down terrain pending your direction and features a stone tunnel you walk through, small very manageable stream crossing but there is one section that is a bit rocky. You have to walk on the boulders due to a down tree. You can still see the edge of the original trail. The Santee Trail (WHITE) crossing the whole top. It changes to (ORANGE) then back to (WHITE) because of the Charcoal Trail that runs around the campground. If you are hiking the Santee Trail from the Hilton Area to the Vineyard Trail just make all rights that are marked (WHITE). A long hike on the Santee but it is an easy one. The Vineyard trail (RED) is at a big intersection of trails and is well marked.(at the Fire Road). The Vineyard trail has an up or down terrain pending your direction. Please Note: If you need to shorten this trek you can break off the Santee and get onto the Backside Of Nun's. (Nunnery Trail) connects Santee to Grist Mill Trail.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Wife was working and Daughter was heading to bingo. Daughter’s boyfriend Chris wanted to hike with me so I took him on my favorite local ( Backyard Trail ). We left after 5 PM. but it was still hot as hell out. 90 Degrees, with a Temperature of 107, heat index. First two miles were a rocky up hill until we got the Hilton Area. We stopped and refilled our water bottle so we had enough for the other three miles. First time on this trail for Chris and he enjoy the rock hopping on the Sawmill Trail. (RED) then we hiked the bulk of the Santee (WHITE) all the way to the Vineyard. Because he was with me I decided to take the Hiker Only Foot trail, which is a Rocky Top trail to a straight down hill with NO switchbacks. He loved it but it put a hurting on my knees. He is in his later 20’s but I am a 64-Year-old Handicap Senior. We had a blast and I was the only one sweating. Dam Young Bucks !!..

backpacking
1 month ago

The weather was beautiful this evening with a cool breeze. Never got hot enough to sweat and it’s the end of June. This is a great loop indeed and I have enjoyed it many times. I Parked at the Swinging Bridge. Walk across and turn LEFT. Hike up the Grist Mill to the tunnel. Enter the tunnel from the LEFT side to get to the Sawmill Trail. ( RED ). There are boulders you have to rock hop over. When you get to the stream across over it and now you are on the Santee Trail (White). This trail was the original Patapsco Thru Trail before the Grist Mill was created. It's been all up hill for * 2 Miles * so you got it made at this point. You can take a break in the Hilton area. You will need to break trail a few minute's to get to the restrooms. I recommend you filling your water bottles there. Continue your hike on the Santee and it will break off at the Fire Road Split. Here you would turn right and go down the Vineyard Trail (Red) to the River. When you get to the river you are at the Grist Mill Trail. Turn right and head back to the Swinging Bridge. The last mile of the loop is ALL PAVED FLAT. (Great Job, You did a 5 Mile-r.)

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

birding
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

great trail, somewhat muddy in a few spots, this is a well used trail, with a few people going all the way around, with most people sticking close to the parking area, this trail took me just 2:30 hours with my wife my son and my dog. easy enough to walk and very pleasant.
I will be back in the spring time,

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago