Explore the most popular State Parks in Maryland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Didn't make it the whole way to Washington Monument just due to timing. The hike up Bartman Hill Trail is on the steeper side and there was a stream coming down the trail. Once on the AT the trail is mostly flat with only slight elevation gain. We saw a copperhead and a black rat snake on the trail. Some sections of the trail were quite muddy, but easy enough to walk through or on the side off without getting off trail. There are bathrooms near the lake. Entrance fee for the park is $5/person if you are out of state, and I think $3/person if you are in state.

mountain biking
1 day ago

I rode this trail on Saturday 9/15. There are some leaves down already and they were wet. In fact, it was quite muddy out there but I enjoyed it. One fallen tree blocking the trail around mile 4 (clockwise). Overall conditions good but muddy.

hiking
1 day ago

TRAIL CLOSURE UPDATE: Any and all trails leading to the severely damage Grist Mill trail are CLOSED. Forest Glen, Pigs Run and Nun's Run in the Hilton Tire Park Area are all CLOSED.
The ONLY trail OPEN in this location is the Santee Branch Trail. The entire Santee is Open.

Also note: The Sawmill and mostly All the trails in the HILLTOP area are also CLOSED due to blasting at the dam removal project. One trail is OPEN up at S. Hilltop Rd. but it's only a Out and Back on Buzzard's leading to the Ilchester Rocks over top the train bridge.

TRAIL CLOSURES UPDATE:
The entire Grist Mill Trail is still CLOSED due to the damage it received during the Memorial Day storm. The River Road Trail is NOW CLOSED due to blasting up at the dam. They blasted a hole in the dam on Sept 11. The complete road trail leading to the dam above the swinging bridge is now board off.

MESSAGE ALERT REGARDING TRAILS:
All of the Soapstone Trails ( Inner and Outer Loops ) are OPEN. Plenty of access and parking in the Upper Glen Artney section. The entire pond area is still CLOSED. The Grist Mill Trail is CLOSED and so are any trails leading to it. Vineyard, Backside of Nun's are CLOSED and now completely fenced off. The Santee Branch Trail has been OPEN and so is the fire road access to the main Santee.

A few of the trails in this area are closed due to the blasting of the Bloede Dam. They blow a hole in the dam on the Howard County side on Sept 11, 2018. For me to comply with the notice of TRAIL CLOSURES, I decided to simply blaze my own via GPS. Basically, any trail leading to the damaged Grist Mill is closed. Because of this, most trails that are open are Out and Back. Sorry, I am not a out and back kinda guy. The park is open, the woods are ours but the trails are closed. Fine, just don't hike on the trails. Great to get out after a week of rain and bombing heat. I saw over 15 deer in the woods today. I got my shots of the dam project I wanted. By the way, The River Rd. trail on the other side of the park is closed too. Why don't they want us to enjoy the view of the dam removal. They don't blast everyday. Only on 9/11 ???

The Food System Lab @ Cylburn ran by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is a nice bonus on Sunday. Baltimore is a great city!

Beautiful walk with spectacular views at the Annapolis Rocks overview!!

mountain biking
3 days ago

Nice and easy trail. clockwise is much more challenging. W more climbs. Watch out for self centered arrogant hikers who think standing in the middle of the trail is ok

hiking
3 days ago

Great trail the only drawback is sharing the trail with mountain bike riders. Nearly twisted my knee trying to get out if the way of a mountain biker. Had to step off the trail quite a few times that day for riders. Other than that great hike. Bring water you will need it.

while a good hike.... very Hot ... not much shade for most of it... BRING PLENTY OF WATER

Took the orange down to the beach and then back. About 5 miles. Peaceful little trail

Walked trail from Annie's playground about 2 miles out. My kiddos tired quickly. Beautiful playground and great paved trail. Nice mix of walkers and bikers. Many families, couples and singles were out and about.

Would not rate as easy but great views.

Good trail and decent workout as well. Ran into several deer on my hike. Would do it again.

walking
8 days ago

Nice little walk after work.

The initial climb is a good workout. But once you get to the ridge, there are a few spots with a view. Unfortunately we hiked it on a rainy day and were pushing to finish before dusk (had a late start). Climbing the ridge and the descent on the back end of the trail was also very scenic. One of the better trails in this area.

hiking
10 days ago

Rocky path. beautiful. good Sept canopy makes it nice to jog even in rain. about 4-5 fallen trees need to be cut from path.

Private property now is on the trailhead.

On the Elkridge County side of the Patapsco ( Howard County ) are multi trails that can be hiked in many ways. There are a few connector trails you can take if you wish to add or minus the miles of your loop. You could also have hiked the Cascade Falls trail which is color coded ( blue ). This trail does get crowded on weekends. The entire trail system is well marked and color-coded, except for Garrett's Pass but I would recommend a map as a backup. It felt great to get out after a week of high humidity. A few little showers were fine but now the rain comes. Stay away from the Swinging Bridge or the Restroom when saving your data. Park on the big lot and save data there. The other location is a dead spot.

Nice hiking trail, goes past/along a stream.

Except for the first part along a residential street and a couple of major road crossings it is very peaceful

Little crowded but nice and (mostly) out of the sun

mountain biking
11 days ago

Good clean fun

Hiked here via the Appalachian Trail, past Annapolis Rock. Great hike up, but once you're past Annapolis Rock it isn't very clearly marked. We wandered around a little trying to find Black Rock before finally stumbling onto the path for it. It is barely marked and not well cleared. Luckily google maps has it marked pretty clearly so we were able to guess. Great outlook with gorgeous views, and less people than Annapolis Rock!

Great trail. Stairs will make you winded but plenty of time between the hard parts to catch your breath.
Perfectly rated a "moderate" hike. Gets pretty busy on weekends, Friday morning wasn't busy but Saturday and Sunday were crowded! Dog friendly (on a leash of course) and everyone we came across was very friendly and kind. Go a little further down from Annapolis Rock to the little creek if you have a pup - great place to cool off and get a drink. I was proposed to at the top of Annapolis Rock :)

Watch for copperheads! Lots of them hiding out in the rocks.

Very nice,clean and clear paths some hills but then some levels

nicest place we have stayed so far on MD AT. peaceful and quiet. Best spring too.

Great trail for walking my dog. Just check for ticks after you get out of the woods.

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.

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