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Sweathouse Branch and Wildlands Loop

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Gunpowder Falls State Park

Sweathouse Branch and Wildlands Loop is a 4.7 mile heavily 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.

Length 4.7 mi Elevation gain 380 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Fishing

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Over grown

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Tips

NOTE: The parking area for this trail is under construction, and will reopen Fall 2020. 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.

This has a fantastic swimming hole that I marked on the trail which clear, cool, and averages 5 to 8 feet in depth. Since it does require a hike to reach it, it is not very crowded and there is no way to park any closer than where we do and hoof it in. Stream Crossings (5 Very Minor Crossings) There are 5 minor stream crossing meaning the water is usually even less than ankle deep and very easy. As a result, there are no crossing stones since the water is so shallow, even in spring. However, the swimming whole never dries up and is part of the river flowing through much of Gunpowder Falls State Park.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (227)
Photos (334)
Recordings (260)
Completed (527)
Wayne Murphy
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HikingMuddy
Kevin Weeks
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HikingMuddy
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Lexi Barriere
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HikingMuddy
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Randy Seely
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HikingMuddy
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Prentiss Searles
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parking is closed while they work. there's a park and ride across the street. you can hike on a trail on the same side as the Gunpowder Lodge or cross the bridge behind the jersey wall and hike this trail. it's a beautiful hike in the winter.

Joseph Roberts
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HikingMuddyRocky
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Terri Lenz
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HikingOff trail

Somehow I got off trail and ended up by the Sweathouse Branch where this is no trail. I had to cross the creek a few times and then climb back uphill to find the trail. It’s difficult to stay on this one when the leaves fall but I like the challenge. After getting back on trail, I picked up the Gunpowder Falls and made my way back to Stocksdale Trail which takes me home for an overall 5 mile hike. .the only reason I can access this trail at this time is because of where I live. I am not accessing it from the parking lot which is closed right now.

View Terri's Recording
Laura de Vera
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HikingOver grown

My husband and I used to go to Gunpowder every weekend. We haven’t been all year, and we arrived to find the parking lot closed, as anther reviewer noted. To those who haven’t been before - there is a lot across the highway next to the Gunpowder Lodge where you can park. Walking up to the restaurant, on the other side of the lot (across from the front of the restaurant, and on the far end) you will see a narrow trail entrance. You follow that down to the underpass, walk along the side of the underpass, and you will come out at the head of the trails, right by the tunnel entrance just as you would if you had parked in the lot. From there you can walk along the river and choose your trail. We took the blue trail (don’t remember what it’s called), and while most of it is fine, there is a portion around 3/4 of the way through that is 100% overgrown. It was easy for us to navigate because it’s familiar, but if you don’t know the trail, it’s important to watch your step because that section is narrow and there is a deep rut that runs through it. You can’t really see it because of the fauna, and if you don’t know it’s there it would be very easy to lose your footing and twist an ankle. Full disclosure - there are signs saying that entire park entrance is closed because of the construction. We ignored the signs and met plenty of people along the way who had done the same. The only area that needs to be avoided is the tunnel at the entrance (looks like they’re redoing it and hopefully adding drainage), and it isn’t currently accessible, anyway.

Megan Pontious
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Hiking

Was going to try this trail out, but the parking lot is closed due to construction on the bridge and there is apparently no other access to the trail. Parking lot is scheduled to reopen Fall 2020.

Sean Magnusson
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HikingBridge out
James W
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Hiking

Other than parking to get here the trail is great. This will be my second time on this trail.

Valeriia Laryoshyna
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Not enough parking, people having to park on the side of the highway

Madison Lindung
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HikingMuddyOff trailOver grown

This trail was a lot of fun but when it got muddy we took a newer path (made by other passersby to avoid the mud) and ended up essentially lost on the hill, and had to use the map on my phone to get back to the trail at the point where it curves. Must have missed the reentry at some point, but overall still a great hike. The trail could be rated as easy if you are experienced. Loved the views along the river. We stopped and ate lunch at a small island along the path with a peaceful view of the river. If you want the best experience, don’t take any shortcuts along the trail (you’ll miss out on some of the views!) Recommend but with waterproof shoes for the best experience!

Max Rosenthal
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Muddy
Emily Wilson
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HikingMuddyRocky

Loved this trail! Lots of cool places to cross the water and lots of different terrain to walk through. :)

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Michael Shirey
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Hiking

Rainy Sunday morning in Gunpowder Falls State Park, Perry Hall, MD. 2 Eastern Box Turtles and 2 large toads.

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I SC
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Hiking

Great trail for a moderate hike near Baltimore city. There are a few water crossings. Manage to do it w/o taking shoes off but was wearing waterproof hiking boots. Went clock wise and took shortcut towards the end because we were running out of time for another event. For an experience hiker this trail is easy. It had rained this morning and was a bit muddy in a few sections at first. We use this trail to test new hiking shoes and one if us was testing a backpack with all backpacking gear to test others could have probably done it faster with just day packs.

Patrick Nolan
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HikingMuddy

Highly recommended 5 1/2 mile hike. Hiked counter clockwise knocking out the elevation rise immediately. 4 to 5 stream crossings, only 1 or 2 you need to watch your footing. Spotted a northern brown snake sunning on rocks, and birds/butterflies. Busy after 11am

Clare Brennan
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MuddyRocky
Frank Smith
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HikingMuddy
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Kim Doucette
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Hiking

Nice views of the river and saw a herd of deer! Quite muddy by the river but with the recent rain that was expected. Several creek crossings so waterproof boots were essential.

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Emily Zhao
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HikingMuddy
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Angie Ferguson
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Hiking

FYI -- hiking boots will almost definitively get filled with water at one of the stream crossings. The rest of them were shallow enough or had enough rocks, but for one stream, you either just step into deep water and fill your boots or risk falling in and getting more wet because the rocks are too far from each other. Pretty sticky mud at some spots, but otherwise it was a nice hike. Make sure you tie your boots on tight! :-)

Dennis Ferguson
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Hiking

Very muddy, but quite nice while walking along the water. A bit more challenging when going through the woods, but nothing extremely difficult.

Christian Piatt
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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.

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