Explore the best trails 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.
dogs on leash
cross country skiing
many reviews online say over grown, I disagree in the sense that this isnt a traditional state park. The trails are mostly a combination of deer/animak trails & fisherman. No upkeep from DNR. Its a very real wooded area. youre wandering in 1000+ acres of mostly undistribed woods so thorn bushes and such are normal.
a walking stick for pushing aside brush is a great thing to have.
no hunting is allowed but it does happen. DNR is aware and is working inconjuction with people like myself to track these people down. its a park where people hike, fish, take their kids & dogs. shouldnt need to worry about a stray bullet hitting you.
Although this is a fairly short loop, its a great workout because of the long stretches of up and down terrain.
The Bull Run and Bike Jumper has always been a bit ruff on me but I am a handicap senior. I still manage to clock about 2.5 to 3 Miles an hour of this loop. Just beware of the weather due to muddy ups and downs, also the stream crossings which there are two of them. This is a shared hiker and biker trail so be kind to one another. The Santee trails is a bit narrow so heads up because it bends around blind spots.
If you are interested in viewing Bloedes Dam from the HIGHEST (Viewpoint) in the park I recommend using the Main Sawmill trail (Red). It’s much safer then going straight up the rocky cliff trail, which starts at the top of the log steps. At the end of the main Sawmill trail is the stream. Don’t cross the stream!! The Sawmill Branch trail is a sharp left up at that point. When you get to the very top you will then see a split trail and one is stone based. If you follow the stone trail it will take you to the Top of the Rocky Cliffs.
If you didn’t take the stone trail you would end up at the Top of the Hilltop Area. If you want to complete the Loop then follow the Hilltop Trail down to the Dam.
Section A- For someone with no real hiking experience, this trail was certainly challenging (in a good way) but entirely doable, despite also being a little out of shape. There were such breathtaking views throughout the whole 3.5 mile loop and the rock scrambling made it so much more enjoyable than trails that are more just like walks. It had rained several hours before my group went and the rocks were still somewhat slick from that, which especially made the 50' incline all the more difficult (but again, entirely doable). Taking it more at a leisurely pace, it took us (all in our 20s and healthy) 3 hours but it could definitely be done in 2-2.5. I would highly recommend this trail!