All About Patapsco Valley State Park You Should Know for the Great Hiking and Camping Experiences

Nov 06, 2020 09:00 PM

Patapsco Valley State Park - Photo by Perry Hampton from Flickr
SHARE - Patapsco Valley State Park is a fun public destination you should visit when you are in Ellicott City or Maryland. This natural place has a 64.92 km² area where you can do many good outdoor activities, like swimming, kayaking, watching the views, and many more. 

The most popular things to do at Patapsco Valley State Park are camping and hiking. In this Tripboba article, we want to show you more about the park. Then, you will know the areas and what to prepare before going to Patapsco Valley State Park.

Patapsco Valley State Park MD

Patapsco Valley State Park - Photo by Nicolas Raymond from Flickr

Patapsco Valley State Park is a wonderful destination and recreation located along 32 miles of the Patapsco River south and west of the city of Baltimore. It's perfect to visit with your buddies or family.

Besides enjoying the natural area, there are many outdoor activities you can do at this park. In this Tripboba article, you will find other information about Patapsco Valley State Park. 

Address: 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043, United States

Contact: 410-461-5005​

Open hours: 9 AM to 5 PM every day


  • $2 per vehicle in-state
  • $4 per vehicle out-of-state
  • $10 per bus 
  • Weekends and holidays
  • $3 per person in-state
  • $5 per person out-of-state

Patapsco Valley State Park camping

Patapsco Valley State Park - Photo by Maryland Department of Natural from Flickr

Camping is one of the favorite activities to do at Patapsco Valley State Park. The natural camping area offers a great escape from everyday trappings and buzzes.

The camping area is a piece of wilderness with nice outdoors. Here, there are 73 campsites with good facilities, like electrical hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. If you have a plan to stay overnight at the campsite, here are some important rules you should know before going to the park.

  • A maximum of 6 persons including visitors is permitted on each site. 
  • 2 vehicles are the maximum for each side and all vehicles should have a parking pass. 
  • The check out time is 1 PM. If you want to extend your stay, it must be done by 10 AM. 
  • Campsites MUST be occupied daily for the duration of your reservation. 
  • Don't leave or store camping equipment on site unattended. 
  • Don't move camping units. They must be located on the camping pad only. 
  • There is a quiet time that will be maintained in the sites from 10 PM to 7 AM. 

Patapsco Valley State Park trails

Patapsco Valley State Park - Photo by Jeff Kubina from Flickr

Patapsco Valley State Park is also a heaven for hikers because it has various trails to choose from. Each trail offers different experiences and views to enjoy. You can take a trail with forest, river, waterfall, and many more.

Here, we have 5 top areas you can reach by hiking so that you can decide your trail and prepare well for the hiking. 

Avalon/Glen Artney/Orange Grove area

This area has trails with 6 miles-2.3 miles in length. If you choose this, you will see the Avalon Nail and Iron Works, and some remains of the bustling mill town still endure.

Also, there are relics of the past half-hidden in the brush alongside trails to see. At the end of the trails, make sure you don't miss the Lost Lake. If you want to bring your pet, don't worry because pets are allowed as long as they are leashed. 

​Hollofield/Pickall area

This area has trails with is 0.1 mile-1.5 miles length. The area is popular for its river views, located in the heart of Patapsco, Hollofield runs along Baltimore National Pike. Also, many groups of family or friends choose this trail because there will be lots of large shelters for picnic groups. Pets are also allowed but they must be leashed. 

Hilton area

This area has trails with 0.2 to 2.4 miles in length. The trails are the favorite route for visitors or locals who do morning workouts or afternoon strolls. This is also a good choice for families who bring their kids because there is the Nature Center where they can play at a 2-acre playground made uniquely from recycled tires. 

If you want to stay overnight too, you can go to the 12 primitive campsites or 6 small cabins. During your hike through this trail, you will see: 

  • Forest Glen
  • ​Santee Branch
  • ​Pigs Run
  • ​Sawmill Branch
  • ​Charcoal Trail

​​​Daniels area

This is the most undeveloped area that you can reach only through Daniels Avenue or Alberton Road. The good thing is you can paddle in the river at the canoe ramp. This route is perfect for a slow hike along the river.

Many kayakers and canoers really love they enjoy the 3 miles of calm and flat water behind the dam. Lastly, swimming is allowed in the river. There is a single trail in this area that meandering up the river.

​​​​McKeldin area

To reach McKeldin area, there are 6 trails with 0.3 to 4 miles in length. There are panoramic views you will get along the 6 trails, like Main and South Branches of the Patapsco River, the Liberty Reservoir Dam, and many more.

The trails are multiuse because you can go hiking, biking, and horse riding. If you want to stay overnight, you can go to the 10 shelters that accommodate from 10 to 175 people. So, choose your trail to get the best experience at Patapsco Valley State Park!


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