Explore the most popular river trails near Ilchester with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

6 days ago

Nice cool breeze this evening. I started at the NEW trail (Ridge Extension) across the road from the Playground parking lot. The trail was recently completed. The old way up was the Ridge (Waterbars) trail that is always washed out, rocky and tons of roots. I hiked the Ridge trail up to the shelter bench then came down an old trail to River road, then hiked back. This loop can be hiked in different directions. You could also hike the Valley View because it heads the same way. It's nicer in the winter because of the views. Many biker and hiker on trail this evening. Less of a crowd weekdays and evenings.

road biking
7 days ago

With rain all yesterday evening I stayed off the muddy trails. Today, I did a little biking around the park roads. Once a month I go up and check on the Bloede Dam removal project. Today, they we jack-hammering the concrete to remove the fish ladders. The dam is scheduled to be removed this September. The Grist Mill trail is CLOSED and will be for the rest of this year. You can now walk on the Swinging Bridge and look at the river but it's CLOSED on the Baltimore County side. The DNR has now created a wooden door on the opposite side of the bridge.

The Avalon Section of the Patapsco Valley State Park has reopening. The Howard County side is still your best option. Only the Soapstone trail is open on the Baltimore County side. Today, the park was super crowded again. Weekend Mad House. I HIKED up to the dam via the old River Rd. trail which is all flat The dam will be removed this September. I also HIKED the Bike Buster and Cascade Trail. They are becoming very rocky due to all the wash out from the recently storms. The upper Garrett's Pass along the ridge is still your best option if you want to avoid the crowded Cascade Falls.

amazing view and beautiful walk

30 days ago

Today, I thought I could beat the rainstorm and hike when the Park opened. I LOST. Here's the cool thing. With all the leaves on the old growth trees it took a little time before the trails got muddy. Sure glad I carry a backpack all the time. One item in my pack is always a Poncho but you end up getting wet just from sweating. Great when it cold out but not when it's hot. I hiked up the New Ridge Extension and follow the old Ridge trail. When the rain got worse I jumped on the Valley View trail and headed back. As I doubled back, I should have taking the old Stone road down to River Rd. because the New freshly cut Ridge Extension trail became very slippery on my way down. Item number two: Thank God I always carry Trekking Poles or I would have gotten a muddy backside. I was always worrying about getting wet and as soon as I got home ( I TOOK A SHOWER ).

All trails on the Howard County side of the park ( LEFT-SIDE) are OPEN. - I entered the park at 9AM in a backup of traffic. - The cool breeze crowded the park so early that the place was overcrowded by 1PM. - They stopped cars from coming in. - Maybe best to show up 3 hours before the park closes, which is 8:20PM. - Update: 7/29/2018 The Glen Artney side road is NOW open. The pond area is CLOSED. - You can now drive up to the Soapstone Trailhead. - It's the only trail open on the Baltimore County side of the park. - Grist Mill trail is CLOSED. - It's in very bad shape. - All the footbridges are washed out.

This was a really nice trail. Some parts aren't marked very well, but it doesn't take a lot to figure it out. It connects with other trails, so use your trail map tracker to stay on the right path.

Amazing trail and absolutely beautiful. Some of the hills are steep, but overall an amazing tail.

I originally was going to head directly up Water Bars ( Ridge Sign Posted ) to the Three Sisters ( Morning Choice ) trail then rap around to one of the connectors then return back on the Valley View trail. You can extend this loop by simply hiking to the second (Green) connector. A bunch of people were digging and working on the NEW trail, which will be a extension of the Ridge trail which will work it's way over to the Playground. I am soon going to hike the Flagged trail to scope things out. My recent recording of that section is the right hook part of the track. Some of the trail section is completed but not open to pubic yet. I did shoot a few pictures that shows part of the NEW trails. It was Very Windy up top today.

We saw some horseback riders which was really fun for my kids. The creek was partly frozen and we had to find a place to cross it going out and then back. We did get off course walking back by 10 minutes at one point... the trail must have split and we didn’t see it! Rolling hills were beautiful and there were a couple openings to big, beautiful, open fields.

Rockburn trail is a moderate scenic forest ride with a few sand traps, lots of roots and 4-6 inch logs to jump. Morning Choice is a hard ride with berms, stream crossings, tight switchbacks and constant 6-12 inch logs. Definitely a chance to work on skills.

trail running
Monday, July 10, 2017

Very fun and technical run along this trail. I started at the southern end, which begins right off River Road. The initial climb is tough, but not awful. Once up on the ridge, the trail gains and loses elevation and winds through the forest. Some really fun descents mixed in as well. There are a couple ruins along the way, which is cool. The trail ends and intersects with the Cascade Falls Trail right at the waterfall itself. There are a couple small creek crossings too that are probably more pronounced after good rains.

The falls were busy when I was there (Sunday late morning, about 11am), but probably much less so if you go during the work week.

While I encountered a few mountain bikers along the way, the trail was busiest within ~0.25 mile of the falls, unsurprisingly. More hikers and bikers here. The trail itself is mostly rocky, technical single track from the southern trailhead to about 0.5 mile from the falls, when it buffs out a bit more.

Highly recommended for hikers, runners, or bikers. Hard to believe you're 15 minutes from downtown Baltimore when you're in the middle of this trail.

3 months ago

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