Soapstone Trail

MODERATE 148 reviews

Soapstone Trail is a 2.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Catonsville, 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.

2.6 miles
419 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running


bird watching




wild flowers




over grown


washed out

Directions from Baltimore, MD: Travel Interstate 695 to U.S. Highway 40 / West Frederick Road exit. Proceed 2 miles. Turn left on South Rolling Road. Proceed just past the I-195 Park and Ride and park on the right side of the road. Trailhead is located just to the right of the wide section of the shoulder. Chances are cars will already be parked there.

6 days ago

3 months ago

Map has factual and attribute error, attribute bias. Trails all run together and overlap. Highlighted trail is not soapstone trail. All trails overgrown and mostly unmarked. Really sad.

4 months ago

This trail has the classic, pretty woodsy look throughout Patapsco park. The only reason I wouldn’t give it more stars is because we had to go off this map and follow a different trail back. The section on the map that says “overgrown” yeah... they mean that, it’s not just a trail name :p So unless you want a hair full of spiders or some ticks to hitch a ride on you, I’d avoid this trail or go but prepare to detour when you hit the stretch on the map that says “overgrown”

5 months ago

The trail is not well marked and parts of it are closed. it can be confusing especially where it intersects with other trails. The title is misleading as you're actually on a handful of different trails. I had to use AllTrails quite often to make sure I was going the right way and to find ways around closed or overgrown trails. Ultimately it ended up being over a 4 mile hike. Also, it's not very visually stimulating. There are some nice, small stream crossings but that's about it.

7 months ago

Took the family on this hike and we enjoyed it. We never saw the cover photo, however, we were able to cross a nice stream a few times. Some of the trail were a bit overgrown and not well marked. After the field we followed the well worn footpath back to our starting point. We crossed a few hikers on there way out towards the field who said their path overgrown as well. All in all a good 3 mile hike.

10 months ago

This is a good hike, nothing spectacular. You get some pretty good views of a babbling brook, otherwise not much visual stimulation.

A few notes: one. This is NOT “Soapstone trail”! You are only on soapstone for about 1/3 of the overall time, you cross over Santee Branch, Bull Run, and others. So, the title is very misleading. If you stay on Soapstone, this would be a different hike all together.

***Also, I used 3 different apps and clocked this at average of 3.2 miles with elevation gain 530 feet

Saturday, December 02, 2017

not bad. was a bit boring for the kids

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Not a bad trail.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Neat, easy little build-your-own-hike area. The old ghost town remnants are especially cool, as is the bridge area. Moderately crowded.

mountain biking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Loved it for biking. I took a 5 and 7 year old on their bikes and it was a bit too challenging for them yet, however I enjoyed it immensely on the mountain bike. For hiking it's great for kids.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

This is a moderate trail with hard aspects. Following the tracks of the course, I found it to be not well marked. I prefer moderates and hards that are well marked because they become extensively harder by trying to stay on course when they are not well marked. Such is the case of this trail. Patapsco State Park is considerably large with many cross linking trails, and some are much better marked than others. The upside is that this course is less than three miles long. Going 7 miles or longer on a poorly marked trail can be taxing when there are cross links. This course is runnable, but I suggest walking or hiking first to learn the proper turns. It was a good outing, but bothersome in having to stop, reverse, or go back to stay on course. 3.5 Stars

Thursday, June 01, 2017

This one was a workout! Definitely a "moderate" rated hike, not really a stroll through the woods. Lots of up and downs, rooted trails, cross creeks, and variations of terrain. On this Thursday I passed maybe six or seven folks throughout the whole loop during the four o'clock hour. Trails were a bit muddy in spots, two days after a rain. Sneakers were not the correct shoes to navigate through the mud; I was slipping quite a bit out there. I had to constantly watch the map on my phone, as the trail markings were not obvious in some spots. There were a lot of intersections that were not marked, so you either had to guess and backtrack, or check the map on the phone. Keep this in mind on your journey. The falls pictured on this trail's description are not seen on this loop, not sure where they are in this park.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A few parts of this loop were closed and/or overgrown. Several crossings are not well marked so we ended up doing a lot of backtracking. Ran into a few other hikers with the same problem. Would be a 4 star hike with better trail maintenance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

This was an ok trail just to start out with. Not a ton of great views. (your walking down into a valley). Tons of people with pets and bikers.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Great terrain changes.Fun hike.

Monday, September 19, 2016

so peaceful

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Well maintained trail, good markings.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Absolutely loved this trail! Be sure to pick up a map though, as I got stuck in the bull run trail for a bit as it stems off of the soapstone trail. I parked at the end of I95 and it worked out nicely.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Nice walk but the trail markings are sub par at best and some areas are very over grown with vegetation. We also found ourselves having to take game trails to get back to the main trail.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

There were several creeks in which I saw fish, crayfish and a frog. The trails are good, not too intense and not too easy. I liked the scenery. It seems like a good place to bike. It's definitely one of the best trails near where I live. Will go back to explore the other trails that I haven't explored yet.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Great short trail. I wouldn't rate it as moderate.

Monday, July 04, 2016

It was a real challenge navigating for the first time. I lost the trail a few times and had to backtrack a lot. Otherwise, the views were spectacular and the traffic was very light (started hiking at 8:45 am). Those inclines are no joke, and are all over the loop. If you're looking for an easy and even path, this is not the trail for you. I loved the challenge and the scenery was very rewarding. Will be visiting again.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lots of inclines for a good workout!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

It was fun! Got to see a lot and enjoyed the serenity. It was a bit difficult finding the trail (I came in from Eddie's Welding shop/the area below the waterfall.) but once I did, I enjoyed myself. Stay hydrated and if crossing the stream, know that the rocks are very slippery.

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's a nice path. You cross streams a lot. The second part does past the parking lot and that hill is quite challenging but worth it.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

This trail was so much fun! Lots of little streams to jump on rocks to cross it which is super fun yet challenging because its so slippery. We got a little lost and tried to take our own route but then we ended up back on the purple trail! It wasn't too hard besides the rocks.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nice trail if you get out early to beat the rush. Connects to just about every trail i patapsco.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

You can start the trail at the end of Interstate 195W on route 166 where there is parking along the road. The trail is marked with a purple blaze but some of the intersections along the route are not well marked. The trail heads down a small valley crossing the stream several times and the trail can get muddy after a rain. You will arrive at a small parking lot and a set of bathrooms (didn't check to see if they were open) The trail continues up the hill on the other side. Right before you get to a paved access road, turn left to continue down the trail which will end at another access road which, if you take it to the left, you will return to the small parking lot. Turn right to head down to the Patapsco river and other trails. As you head back up the Soapstone Trail to your car you can take the Bull Run trail which branches off to the left for a quick trip up to the top of the hill, a loop around the top and back down. I hiked hike both trails along with a quick trip down to the river in about an hour and a half. My highlight was seeing a Pileated Woodpecker.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Great Hike!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hard to find at first as it is across from a park and ride but once in the trail is was a nice trek through the woods. You eventually get into the park. Nice and not too hard

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