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

Monkton, Maryland Map
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Ran this loop along with a loop combining the Gunpowder South and Mingo Forks Trails on the opposite side of York Rd for 50k training.

Tl;dr: a challenging loop with scenic runs along a creek and up and down ridges and then along the Gunpowder River, which is very scenic. Mostly well-marked, save for end of Panther near junction with Gunpowder South. Very overgrown in parts, so think about doing this one in the fall and winter.

Details: The trailhead is down a hill on the right and across a small gulley. You'll see the post. You can go either way, of course; for this review, I went counter-clockwise.

The Panther Trail is marked blue and well-blazed, including turns. It begins with a good climb up the ridge and takes you away from the sounds of I-83. For much of this loop, you can't hear the traffic (although in the winter, with less vegetation to absorb sound, that might not be the case). The trailruns up and down some smaller ridges and then descends and then runs along a creek for a ways before climbing once more up a ridge and then down toward the river to meet the Gunpowder South Trail. The descent here is tricky, as the trail is fairly terrible in parts (not even single track) and all of it is overgrown. Some trail work is needed here to improve this section.

There is a post marking the trail junction. Turn left to head along the river to complete the loop. The Gunpowder South Trail is blazed white and this trail is marked fine, but less well than Panther. Which is OK, since it's really you're only option and as long as the river is on your right, you're fine. But large portions of this trail are heavily overgrown. To the point where you can't see the trail. And portions run right up to the river; one slip and you're getting wet. Those sections tend to go right over large rocks or climb up big tree roots, so that is not ideal. Again, some trail work to re-route the trail slightly here would make this part much more enjoyable.

But this trail is largely flat, given its route, and only ascends when it turns inland. You'll climb one big ridge and then head downhill back to the trailhead.

Love love this trail!! It’s my happy place!! Beautiful & peaceful. You can walk with a friend, jog, bike ride, even horseback! Neat things to see along the way & beautiful nature!!!

6 months ago

Loved this trail. Beautiful, tranquil walk that follows the river. The falls area is gorgeous with some great spots for catching a dip. So many trails will definitely go back.

walking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nice, quiet trail. Beautiful area! For the most part it's shaded. The occasional sun spots end up feeling great. This stop has a bathroom too!

hiking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

not a challenging trial at all, great for bike riding. however beautiful surroundings. Gets crowded after say 10:00 with people tubing

This is one of my favorite trails. You can hike the trail in sections of about an hour each. Or you can thru hike it in a day. There's lots of wildlife, wild edibles and just great single track hiking without a lot of people on the trail. The trail parallels the river the whole way and begins at the bottom of Prettyboy dam.

hiking
Wednesday, July 04, 2012

We actually could not find this trail. We were able to access the NCR trail from this location and it's a grey location for water tubing. LOTS of people tubing here.
But no visible trail to hike to any waterfalls or anything

hiking
Thursday, January 05, 2012

Great Thanksgiving morning hike. We hiked right after some heavy rainfall so some of the trail was in rough shape but we enjoyed it a lot. It was a good work out. One spot had several trees downed by beavers. Absolutely a must for anyone in the Harford/Baltimore County area.

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday, August 12, 2012