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


dogs on leash


Parkton, Maryland Map

This is a great trail. Be aware that most of the trail along the river has washed away with this summers rains. You have to take the higher trail until it merges back under 83. We walked from the parking lot at Bunker Hill Rd to hillbilly beach (other side of York Road), and heard from others there that the trail on that side was washed away too. Regardless, it’s a beautiful hike, rigorous elevation changes at points, but the trail is mostly clear and easy.

nice easy trail to start but with the amount of rain we have had(9/20/18) the water level of the reservoir is so high the trail is cut off by the water and we ended up bushwhacking. wish I brought a machete with me to clear the path. tons of prickly bushes

It is hard to write a review or rate this entire trail. I'll average it out and give it 4 stars. But they are really separate trails and should not be combined.

I have lived in this area and hiked these trails for over 35 years. First of all it needs to be clearly stated that ALL dogs are to be on leashes. Access points have signs that state this. And they add (even friendly ones).

This is not the same Gunpowder Falls Park as further downstream. The river should be marked as The Gunpowder River NOT Gunpowder Falls.

For this trail it needs to be clear that the Bunker Hill Road Bridge had been out for decades. It was vandalized, rebuilt, vandalized again and left as is. It can be shallow there so can be forded but you will get wet and often to your waist.

That being said if you start this hike from the West (NW) side of the Gunpowder River it is a very nice hike. It is one of our favorite hikes. Do it. There is access to it from the West side or better yet at the Masemore Bridge.

The East (SE) side is another story as depicted on this map. If you park at the Bottom of Bunker Hill Road in the parking lot on the map there are fields and a picnic grove nearby. It can be nice for a picnic, wading and fishing. You could hike by going East on the trail depicted. But it is not easy to follow. Do not attempt to follow the dotted line trail along the river. You cannot follow the river for more than 50-100 yards before must go up a steep hill and along( or even on) a fire trail. That is the route this trail takes you and I like it. The hill is steep. At the top the dotted line loop (not named on the map) is nice with a very old silo and old “junk yard” from way back. The silo also has remains of an old dairy farm.

Then you go back down the hill as you approach the bridge at York Rd. You have to walk across the road. Easy enough. But hiking along the river there (Panther Trail) is not easy and often not safe. This depends on the time of year as well as how much rain, or snow has fallen. It is not well marked.

That loop shown (Panther Trail) that goes along the river and the rectangular area behind the high school is not well marked and you have to cross a stream once or twice. Not easy to do.

I do not know of any waterfalls on this trail. There are some gentle water cascades in places. These are nice but don’t look for a waterfall.

I agree that it is moderate overall. But precarious in places. Dogs MUST be on leashes. I’ve witnessed bad encounters when this law is not followed.

Lovely trail off the Short Archery in Hereford. Lots of elevation change with long stretches near the creek

Nice hike. Gotta little off course at that big random parking lot but found my way.

Beautiful scenery, but the two trails for this loop are overgrown (which is probably worse during the summer months like July when we hiked). Also, in several areas the trails are hard to follow/poorly marked. If you do this hike wear long pants and breathable long sleeves because the trail is overgrown and you will have to push and brush against lots vines, ferns, branches, and other plants that extend out into the narrow trails.

Finished out the north trail today. I was trail running nicely until I found myself on the wrong side of GP Falls, which is unmaintained and filled with briars. There was also a lot of blowdown (see my recording). I almost grinded to a halt when I got to the point of scrambling rock and going off course between miles 4-5.

In the end, I'm chalking it up as a getting-to-know-you outing because the bridge to the other side is dismantled; its not there. I river crossed, but later found I didn't have to do that. There is an alternate way. Like I said, "getting to know". But, it still turned out to be a good outing.

Be prepared for fading blazes at super low frequency — you may not see a blaze for 200 yards. Running this course is like a steeplechase, with many fallen trees and logs. Actually I used Mark Hatfield’s recorded course — I don’t know this person but I used his trek to get a run in before sunset (~8:00 pm according to the forecast). Looking at Mark’s elevation profile, I ran the Gunpowder Falls loop in the opposite, clockwise direction. The waypoints on my recording reflect this. Thanks Mark for posting your recorded trek.

About this run. What a workout! A lot of elevation gain and loss, and log jumping along the way. Some of the turns are hard to pick up, so I placed waypoints at just about every one of those turns. If you use my trek, the waypoints may be helpful, because having to label these turning points slowed me down more than I wanted to. There are stream crossings, and several tight corners that are more for hiking and are simply not runnable. Saw two deer which light bulbed me about ticks. In mid-spring, everything is starting to thrive, so make sure you are well covered in repellent if wearing shorts.

All in all, a rigorous outing (not too hard) with the biggest issue being fading blazes few and far in between. I will be returning. 4 Stars!

Great Hike; however, the bridge that's currently listed as the connecting point of the two loops is no longer there. There is a trail off of the road in between the bathrooms and the parking lot that will take you to the Masrmore Rd Bridge that can take you to the other loop.

Nice trails, although it was still muddy from snow melt. Scenic river views and nice gentle slopes. Some trail splits were unclear, but generally the trails were well marked. Ended up only completing the South loop because of rain coming in. Overall, it was a good hike!

7 months ago

Nice trail. Needs to be marked more clearly though!!
We ended up off trail and "lost" for quite a bit of time.Thankfully we could hear the traffic on 83 so it helped us know what direction to walk.

bushwhacked for a bit somehow think i was on an animal trail tbh. decent views of the reservoir. boring hike nonetheless

This is a nice trail and close to home. It’s actually two trails to make the loop. It’s very well-maintained. The only reason I gave it four stars is that if you were looking to get away from sounds of the highway this would not be the trail for you.

ok trails... hiked from Masemore Rd to the dam and back. good amount of technical rock. not well maintained. wear breathable long sleeves and pants. discovered a yellow jacket nest 10 minutes from falls road. beautiful view when atop the dam.

Amazing views. Tranquil. One of the best trails I've been on in a long time.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Great workout in the woods. Approximately 2 hours. At some locations, all you could hear was the forest and the gurgling stream. Therapeutic!

Monday, September 04, 2017

Very open and well maintained for most of the trail. Often near the end where you would expect the trail to end at the water you have to look for unofficial trails. One place this version of the path goes off the official trail and I had to do some serious bushwacking​ to find the 'trail'.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Great little hike. We stepped off around 10:30am on a beautiful, late summer day and were surprised by how few others we passed. The trail offers a good mix of scenery, elevation gains followed by stretches of flat trail.. we even came across a herd of cattle near the end. Not sure where we lost the extra .5mi (description mentions 4.4mi, we did 3.9) as I don't think we took any shortcuts, but it didn't matter. We were content at the end :)

This was a beautiful trail with rugged and diverse terrain. We started at the parking area off of Bunker Hill Rd. Then followed GP South to Highland. When Highland met back with South we continued on to Prettyboy Dam. We followed South all the way back, climbing rocks and fallen trees and navigating dense vegetation but still finding the blazes. We crossed over to GP North at Masemore Rd on our way back. North was pretty lackluster after the beauty and interest on the way out, though. The most exciting part was traversing the water, because we did not notice before setting out that the BRIDGE NO LONGER EXISTS to get from GP North back across to Bunker Hill.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Great hike.

trail running
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Great Lake view, but kind of a boring hike.
Good place for running hills. The strait trail has rolling hills and is about 3.5 miles from the parking area.

The trails were awesome and it's so pretty, but my fiancé and I found six ticks on us after we left. Hopefully we don't find more later ....

trail running
Friday, April 28, 2017

nice little trail just a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle

Beautiful, but very overgrown and hard to follow on the segments off the fireroad.

Really enjoyed this trail system. They could be marked better and the parking lots should have full trail maps posted with "You Are Here" markers, but otherwise really good trails. It gets technical the close you get to the Prettyboy Reservoir Dam, but worth the time.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Nice trail but lots of horse poop (my dog was a fan-- I was not). There are little trails branching off that just lead to homes so it was a little confusing. The water level this time of year is really low so the trails along the banks aren't really all that close to the water but walking on the dry beds was fun and the dogs enjoyed the small creeks that remained. Not well maintained right now, tons of thorn bushes growing into the trails.

Easy hike but path very hard to find once you get to reservoir

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

this was an easy hike, trail is very wide and not steep unless you plan to go off the path.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Quiet hike today temps in the 70's! We only saw about a dozen people on a 3 hour hike. Stopped for lunch overlooking the river. Leaves were beautiful.

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