"In the midst of a metropolitan area, this Patapsco Park trail crosses the Swinging Bridge across the Patapsco River and then follows an old railroad bed to connect to the Hilton-area trails of Sawmill and Buzzards Rocks, where you will enjoy a dramatic overlook from a rock outcropping. Who doesn’t love walking over a swinging bridge? Our inner child aches to jump and make it sway! Well, you get a swinging-bridge start on this combination hike of the Grist Mill Trail, the Sawmill Trail, and the Buzzards Rock Trail. Cross the Swinging Bridge over the Patapsco River to the Hilton area of the park. Prior suspension footbridges at this location allowed residents of the Orange Grove mill town to cross the river to Baltimore County to work in the five-story Orange Grove Flower Mill of the C. A. Gambrill Manufacturing Company." Read more
"Cascade Falls on the ridge east of the Patapsco River is the highlight of this hike." Read more
"Three small cliffs within Patapsco Valley State Park are described below. The Ilchester area is, by far, the best and most popular. The Friction Wall and Woodstock Wall areas are included for informational purposes. These two areas should be of interest only if you live in the immediate area. Additional information on these, and other nearby mini-crags, is available in Mark Kochte’s Climb Maryland!" Read more
"Take in the best of the Glen Artney Area: two branches of the Patapsco River, mature forest, and Lost Lake. The trailhead leads onto Soapstone Branch Trail.
A long, flat ridge drops off both sides of the trail, with Soapstone Branch to the right and very big beech trees all around. Just before 0.2 miles, the trail heads into a very deep gully; follow it down to level ground. Soapstone Branch is just a trickle here—small and narrow, but running clear." Read more
"This is an easy yet scenic hike along a paved rail trail, passing two swinging bridges, an old viaduct, and a dam. Following the path of the original roadbed of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the trail parallels the river on the left and the railroad bed on the right, passing several historic sites." Read more
"Even though this is one of the more popular sections of Patapsco Valley State Park because of its camping infrastructure, you can still get a few of the trails to yourself. On the Forest Glen Trail, you’ll initially walk downhill on a wide, packed dirt trail through lots of sassafras, oak, and tulip poplar.
At 0.2 miles, go straight instead of cutting off to the right. You’ll walk along a ridgeline and soon end at an overlook that provides a nice view of the Patapsco Valley below, especially if you’re hiking in late fall or winter. Turn around and return to the righthand cut you just passed." Read more
"Although the area tends to have swarms of mountain bikers, the scenery is certainly a must-see, beginning with cascading falls and ending with ridgeline views. While the scenery is spectacular on the trails of Patapsco, as a hiker you must be warned to watch your back! This area especially is extremely popular for mountain biking, and bikers sometimes come fast and furious around a corner on a narrow trail. Most trail enthusiasts are considerate users, but it never hurts to be on the lookout. This hike combines the blue Cascade Falls Trail, the yellow Morning Choice Trail, the purple Rockburn Branch Trail, the white Valley View Trail, and the orange Ridge Trail to make a big loop around the Avalon and Orange Grove areas of Patapsco Valley State Park." Read more
"See waterfalls, rivers, streams, upland forest, historic structures, and entire herds of deer in one of the more diverse hikes in Patapsco Valley State Park. This hike begins in the Orange Grove Area and takes in the Avalon Area before returning to the Orange Grove Area.
The 300-foot suspension Swinging Bridge provides one of the few places for easy access across Patapsco River. You can cross it to go to the paved Grist Mill Trail and the Hilton Area of the state park, but if you want to hike in the Orange Grove Area, turn around and head up the hill on the stone steps to the blue-blazed Cascade Falls Trail. It winds uphill, taking in a little switchback, before quickly coming to Cascade Falls, at 0.3 miles. Ferns, mossy rocks, and oak surround a narrow ridge where the falls spill over; the trail becomes a series of rocks that lead across the falls and give you an unobstructed, obviously fantastic view. It’s a superb way to start your hike." Read more