Sawmill Branch Trail, Patapsco Valley State Park Hilton Area

Baltimore, Maryland

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3 Reviews
5 out of 5
A surprisingly rugged and remote descent into a wooded stream valley to the Patapsco River. Special considerations: throughout the hike, remnant junctions from older versions of these routes sometimes cause moments of misdirection, especially at the bottom of Sawmill Branch. Stay with the fresh blazes. On the return, a dozen downed trees over 0.5 mile cut down on traffic and add to the feeling of remoteness, but they require some hurdling. If you are hiking with children, be prepared to go slowly.
Hiking Maryland & Delaware

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Maryland & Delaware

by David Edwin Lillard (Falcon Guides)

A surprisingly rugged and remote descent into a wooded stream valley to the Patapsco River. Special considerations: throughout the hike, remnant junctions from older versions of these routes sometimes cause moments of misdirection, especially at the bottom of Sawmill Branch.

Stay with the fresh blazes. On the return, a dozen downed trees over 0.5 mile cut down on traffic and add to the feeling of remoteness, but they require some hurdling. If you are hiking with children, be prepared to go slowly.

©  David Edwin Lillard/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Baltimore
Distance: 3.2
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Patapsco Valley State Park Hilton Area
Local Maps: USGS Ellicott City, Maryland
Driving Directions: Directions to Sawmill Branch Trail, Patapsco Valley State Park Hilton Area

Recent Trail Reviews

7/15/2009
0

This was a great trail. I did this hike with a group and we had relative newbies and veteran hikers like myself. This was a great midweek hike. Not to hard, not too easy. Lots of up and downs, but still easy. I would recommend hiking boots as the trail is rocky.


5/20/2009
0

Fresh Blazes so ignore the warning of difficult to follow trails!!!! This is a very rocky and rugged hike (still on the easy side of moderate though) but not a ton of elevation change so it was welcomed by some of the newbie hikers in my group. This trail is a great after work hike if you want to get away from it all. It's rocky nature keeps some people away but I didn't think it was much different than the typical MD terrain. There were a lot of wild flowers and songbirds were singing throughout this fantastic hike. Probably not for those who don't own hiking boots to prevent twisting an ankle on the rocks and there are also two very minimal stream crossings which you can cross on stones. When I visited today there had been a lot of recent rain and I still managed to cross them without getting wet. The forest is so dense in one area that I double checked the time as it seemed like the sun was setting. Wonderful trail and the directions are accurate although there are now fresh new blazes so ignore the warning of hard to read blazes. This was a delightful surprise. I would say the blazes are even less than a year old! Hope you enjoy this hike as much as I and my group did.


12/27/2008
1

The areas of the Patapsco Valley State Park are well designed, built, and maintained. The Hilton Area fits this bill other than the trail blazes being worn out and the trailhead signs having been painted over in many areas. Vandals may have painted the signs. The trails are just fine and include some nice views of other areas of the park system. We enjoyed this area and plan to return in the fall when it is likely to be very colorful.



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