Sweathouse Branch West Side Trail

MODERATE 165 reviews

Sweathouse Branch West Side Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Kingsville, Maryland that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

4.7 miles
380 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly




horseback riding

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


Trail with a refreshing swimming hole near the end. This loop follows the upland forests of the fall zone, crossing a few easy streams (pretty much non-existent in the winter) and visiting a pleasant waterfall, then meanders downstream along Big Gunpowder Falls as it leaves the piedmont. Watching Big Gunpowder Falls sliding through several narrow gorges, it is hard to believe that only 5 miles downstream the falls will spread to a delta-like, broad river more than a mile wide.

20 days ago

Muddy and busy. Too many muscle heads wearing weighted vests trying to rough it on the few easy inclines. The river is pretty and there are some nice paths thru green forests. Better off going elsewhere.

23 days ago

Really beautiful trail but warning if you are trying it in July 2018 because all the rain we got has made the trail really muddy. Also I had to turn around about only a mile in because of a down tree blocking the trail. Will definitely come back during a drier time. Happy hiking!

1 month ago

This was a really great hike. It wasn't very challenging but if you aren't paying really good attention than you may have a problem as you go on three different trails. We did the longest part of the trail through the uphills first and then went to the swimming hole to relax, have lunch, and cool down in the water before finishing the trail; which was a nice easy flat trail all the way back to the parking lot. I would say get here early as there seemed to be a lot of people coming in as we were leaving around 1:30. Up until then though the trail was really quiet and beautiful.

1 month ago

Great hike took my sister and our dogs. My lab loved the access to the river and the trees provide amazing shade for a cool walk. Fantastic Day!

1 month ago

Awesome trail. Get there early for parking though.

1 month ago

My dogs and I love this hike and visit it often.

2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous views...def wear great hiking boots, and walking sticks would be useful as you will cross rocks, mud, and water

3 months ago

Great day and a great walk. Beech forest is lovely and down by the river the bluebells are blooming like mad. Stunningly beautiful.

3 months ago

trail running
4 months ago

Very solid enjoyable loop that actually links several trails together. Good for hiking (saw many folks out with their dogs) but also good for trail running to rack up loops and miles. Heading clockwise, start on the Stocksdale Trail (blue blaze) along Gunpowder Falls. Keep left onto Sweathouse Trail (yellow blaze). A couple stream crossings with rocks and challenging elevation changes. Hang left at intersection to get back on Stocksdale Trail again (turn right to head back to the river). Turn left onto Wildlands Trail (pink/purple blaze) and follow that until you arrive back at trailhead.

The outer reaches of the loop are nice and removed; I encountered very few hikers/runners out that way. Stocksdale Trail along the river tends to get crowded.

6 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail today. I did the uphill first and finished along the Gunpowder. Sections were definitely muddy, even away from the river, making some uphills a little slippery. I also found some of the river crossings a little confusing, they could be better marked in that direction. It was moderately crowded on a lovely Saturday, moreso on the Gunpowder section of the trail. Every dog we passed was properly leashed, which was very nice.

8 months ago

nice hoke through the woods. a couple stream crossings as well

10 months ago

Laid back and fairly easy.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Nice hike!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Interesting trail with different tree stands and topography. Nice swimming hole, for those inclined.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Pretty nice trail though lots of mud so be sure to bring the right shoes.

trail running
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ran all except the Wildlands section as part of a training route I prepared for half marathon trail racing. Some very challenging uphills. Very scenic! Only downside were some unleashed dogs w/ owners...two of which ran away from owners towards me and barked, even though I had stopped...kinda scary!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Great hiking trail. Well marked. Lots of people and dogs. Runs along river. Saw ducks and deer. Easy nice 5 mi hike

Monday, February 06, 2017

Nice hike along the river and through the rolling hills. Trail is heavily used, we saw numerous people out early on a cold February morning. Must get very crowded on a nice spring/summer weekend day.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fun trail, mostly clearly marked and well maintained, even in January.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Beautiful fall day. Well marked trail

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tried out yesterday afternoon and enjoyed this trail. The trail is blazed, but at times not very well. Without the map on here I would have easily gotten lost. One trail even changed blaze color part way through. We started on the woodland section of the trail first and we only saw 2 other people on that portion of the trail, so it was nice and quiet. The section along the river was more popular and we saw probably a dozen people in all. A few steep sections, but mostly flat trail or sloping hills.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mid-June, Saturday about 9:30am to 12. Nicely maintained trail, clearly but rather sparsely blazoned. I walked it counterclockwise, so the first half was all uphill. Some challenging elevations, easy downhill, nice river walk to end it. Passed some polite parents with their kids, a bus full of fast walking seniors, a couple trail runners, one bird watcher.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Nice variety of scenery, easier than expected.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Beautiful and a great location just northeast of the city. Not too crowded on a summer Saturday and will definitely do it again. Next time we'll plan to grab a drink afterward at the gunpowder lodge just across from the parking lot after our hike.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Most of the trails are wide, clear, and well blazed. We hiked clockwise and lost the trail on the west side after crossing the creek, but picked it up later. Next time I'll go CCW. The interior loops allow you to shorten or lenghten your trek without too much backtracking. Not crowded, especially once you get away from the parking lot.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Very nice park, very busy. There is an underpass for hikers/bikers to cross under very busy road. We turned right after the underpass and if you want to do the whole 4.8 miles, you make rights at every split. You loop around and the last mile is along the river(and is flat). well maintained, there were a lot of people at first but as we went farther out we were alone. Moderate hills, well marked and well maintained. very pretty along sweet water branch. A little off the marked trail you can get to the confluence of the sweet water branch and the big gunpowder river. very interesting sand beaches.

Will go back in the summer and go straight to the confluence and have a picnic with the kids.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

My favorite trail in this part of the park. Takes you pretty far back into the woods. You wind up hiking into a sizable gorage then looping back to the parking lot. Very quiet after you get back into the trees.

1 day ago

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