Explore the most popular hiking 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.

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!

hiking
3 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.

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

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'.

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.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike.

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 ....

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.

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

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

hiking
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.

I wasn't able to finish this hike to give it a fair rating but wanted to give future hikers a warning about ticks on the trail:

We started this pretty hike on a beautiful fall day with our pup. Unfortunately, we realized about a mile in that she was covered with ticks--so much so that we decided it would be better to turn around, even though we made an hour drive to get there. As another commenter mentioned, the trail is a bit overgrown with vegetation and I think this was what made it so bad for our dog (we were ok with pants, boots, and long socks). Ticks in the woods happen, of course, but this was worse than we've seen elsewhere on the East Coast. We hope to come back after the first hard freeze when hopefully the critters will be gone. In the meantime, I would avoid bringing dogs on this trail during tick season (her tick collar was no match for the bloodsuckers) and recommend humans plan accordingly.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Pretty fun trail with some rock obstacles to climb. We ended up doing a mix of the South Trail and the Highland Trail.

Really fun trail, but I'm glad I read the other reviews. I wore zip off long pants (I had to wear the pants for the entire middle part of the trail from the western loop to the northern gunpowder trail). I also brought a towel to dry off my feet after I walked across the river (I just walked barefoot - it was fine and the water didn't go above my knees). I'd suggest starting to the left on each loop. One difficult part at the top of the western loop - coming down a steep hill and then there is a section that has a large tree across it. I just crossed the stream and went down 50 feet or so and crossed back.

The first leg of the trail was okay, but when you went on the second trail after the bridge, the paths were very overgrown and spidery. I'm talking spiders crawling ALL OVER YOU. And sticker bush after sticker bush. We spent so much time whacking away at the spiders and sticker bushes that we never really could stop and enjoy the beauty of the river and the forest. If you are planning on using these trails, DO NOT WEAR SHORTS! You will most certainly get chiggers, scratches, and poison ivy because the path is so poorly maintained. I'd bring a machete, but I'm never doing that trail again.

Another thing, the imbecile that made this map had us lost a whole bunch of times to where we were so exhausted, we just said the heck with it and went off trail, using Google maps to find our way to a trail that actually exists. The third time we got lost, was a part where we were supposed to cross the river again, but like another reviewer noticed, there is the ruins of a bridge, but there is no longer a bridge there. Luckily there was Bunker Hill Rd, so we just walked back to our car from there, vowing to never set foot in those poorly maintained paths again.

Over all, the hike was pretty in some parts, and I ended up actually hiking 11 miles instead of 8, which had me exhausted, the bad far outweighed the good and 1 star is really too generous of me. This hike sucks.

Another thing

It was nice, did the south trail only. There are no bridges across any of the water. There may have been at one point but not anymore. We had to ford the river on foot on the return. Still a good hike.

Wasn't a bad hike. Watch out for the Section with rocks to climb around, it just takes a while . definitely a beautiful park with wildlife and wildflowers.

Not for mountain bikes!! AT ALL. At least from the damn to falls road. I tried to take the spur trail from the damn, huge mistake. Carried the bike the entire way over trees, rocks, steep slippery slopes. Then I reached trail and thought I am at a point of no return so keep going... Mistake #2. I followed trail to left that follows stream. Again never rode bike but for a minute. Very rough terrain all the way to falls road crossing. At that point I said screw it and rode falls road back to the damn where I parked. I don't know about the rest of the trail maybe I'll try it from other end one day.

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