Soapstone Trail to Santee Branch and Grist Mill Loop

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Patapsco Valley State Park Avalon Area

Soapstone Trail to Santee Branch and Grist Mill Loop is a 5.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Halethorpe, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length5.7 miElevation gain797 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingNature tripsRunningForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyFee
Description
Waypoints (0)

Patapsco Valley State Park charges a fee to enter. The fee is $5 per vehicle.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (259)
Photos (771)
Activities (258)
Completed (429)
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Andrea Wurster
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Hiking

gorgeous day, pretty streams, some mud but ok

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Brenan Batten
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Hiking
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anmol kumar
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Hiking
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Dan Gabor
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Hiking
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vijay kanth
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Hiking

You definitely need AllTrails Pro for this hike. It’s a combination of different trails and it’s easy to get lost if you go without the map. Beautiful views and the sound of stream running throughout. One of my favorite trails around here.

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Shawn McCaffrey
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HikingFloodedMuddyOff trailWashed out
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Laurenellen McCann
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HikingGreat!MuddyOver grown

Absolutely beautiful trail with lots of varied terrain. As others have noted, this trail is hard to follow, though. The blazing is pretty inconsistent (pay attention to which subtrail you're on!), overblazed in some sections, hilariously underblazed in others. Plus, there are zillions of little side-trails. I quite enjoyed getting lost, but if you're not open to that, make sure you've got a solid GPS tracker with you. Also, whether you're hiking or biking, please mask up: the pandemic is still happening and the air we breathe is connected. Masking just when you're passing by someone, or not at all, doesn't do anything to stop you spreading COVID or potentially catching it...

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Dave Buttner
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Hiking

While pretty with varied terrain, this trail/recording is EXTREMELY difficult to follow - even when constantly checking your GPS via the Alltrails app. This kind of made the hike not too fun, as you need to look at your phone about 70% of the time. When it was all said and done, our distance was 5.4 miles. That's the bad stuff... Good stuff: Nice climbs - with over 800 feet of vertical gain, which is hard to recreate in this area. Lot's of pretty streams and small waterfalls. Plenty of parking near the trailhead.

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John Glancy
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Hiking

Some parts were 3 stars, some 5. Definitely check the route against known/official trails. Some of the sections on the default All Trails track were closed or old and no longer in use.

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Andrew Rogers
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Hiking
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How L
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RunningGreat!Muddy

Very fine trail - had a great trail run, very scenic even in the middle of winter. Very easy to get off trail as others have said, and unless you are familiar with the course, dollars to donuts you’ll stray off the course a bunch of times, so you’ll need your map/gps - and cause there’s lots of cell dead spots your cell phone battery will probably run out faster - but I really like the trail! Ended up 5.5 miles but that’s cause of various episodes of straying off trail and sometimes just choosing to reconnect at a later point along the trail instead of backtracking.

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Katie Evans
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Hiking
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Victoria Jordan
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Hiking
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Dennis Angst
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Hiking
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Allison Hinson
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Hiking

It was pretty and unique, but muddy

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Daniel Batterson
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Hiking
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Jorge Lopez
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Hiking

Muddy, confusing not marked well

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Rese Scarbor
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Hiking

Trails are beautiful. However, trails are hard to read.

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Katie Cho
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Hiking
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Amanda Cataneo
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Hiking

We did not start from the trailhead suggested; we started from Hilton Ave and made our way to the loop part of this route. Great variety of terrain. We passed some people but not many. As others have mentioned, trails are poorly marked plus multiple trails have the same name even though they will fork in different directions (how many Bull Runs are there?) Had to keep referring to the app to watch the the blue dot on GPS to know if we should bqcktrack or not.

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Jennifer Melis
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HikingMuddyRocky

Very poorly marked trail. Moderate to high traffic — not “light” like the description says. We chose this trail to work with our fearful/skittish dogs, and were disappointed by how many other hikers, runners, and bikers we encountered along the whole loop.

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Sarah Walter
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Hiking

Willing to give it another try as my mood definitely effected my feelings. Poorly marked and had to keep looking at my phone for the trail map. Usually I don’t mind getting a little lost and figure it out but I wanted an easy no thinking trail today. Ended up turning around and not doing the loop as we couldn’t figure out which way to cross the water and wasn’t worth the effort.

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Hannah Powell
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Hiking

As others have said, bring a map! We got off course quite a few times but it was still a fun trail. A couple of really steep climbs to get your heart rate up too!

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