Fun Things to Do in Patapsco Valley State Park with Your Family

Patapsco Valley State Park is a popular destination to have summer day trip in Maryland.

It stretches along 32 miles of the Patapso River, offering many recreational areas.

This is one of the family friendly parks where you can go out with your kids.

The park reserves local natural landscapes and creatures.

There are also numerous historic sites such as Former Union Mill Dam.



At one area of the park, Orange Grove Area, you can see the Sweet Pea tree surrounds the park. After that, you will find the swinging bridge that iconic. When you pass through this, you can see the spectacular views of the Patapso river. Then, Avalon Area is worth visiting the place at the end of your trip. It has a fantastic playground featuring many swings for older kids, toddlers, or even kids with special needs. There are also picnic facilities available.

Patapsco Valley State Park - Avalon Area

Open area with plenty of places to climb and explore.

There are several hiking trails and miles of park.

Address : 5120 South St, Halethorpe, MD 21227, USA


Patapso Valley State Park has been becoming the best summer day trip for everyone. There are just dozens of opportunities for fun activities with family even kids. If you plan to go hiking, you can start it at Grist Mill Trail. This trail is wheelchair accessible and it's safe for children too. Another option to walk along the river is through River Road Trail. This is such a beautiful area where you can sit near the river, throwing some rocks, and more. Don't miss out to visit Former Union Mill Dam in Patapsco State Park. The rail to get there is available for all skill levels.

Former Union Mill Dam in Patapsco State Park

Old hydroelectric plant and easily accessible trails.

Address : Patapsco River Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21043, USA


Patapsco Valley State Park - Hollofield Area Campground is a popular area for everyone who loves camping. The area is located almost in the center of the park along Baltimore National Pike. It's a perfect spot for a family gathering, picnic, or camp. The area also boasts one of the most breathtaking views of Patapso river valley. There are 73 campsites, some with electric hookup, and all completed with picnic table and a fire ring. You should make a reservation first before going to camp.

Patapsco Valley State Park - Hollofield Area Campground

Spacious campground with plenty of challenging to find.

The area surrounded by nature and wildlife.

Address : 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043, USA


If you plan to have camping experience in Patapso state park, Camp Hosts are available thee to assist you during the stay. You can ask for information and if there is something emergency, you can directly call them. While for safety swimming, you have to make sure yourself in a good condition and able to swim, because there are no guards there. The river can have strong currents, so you have to use care when swimming in the area.


The best time to visit Patapso Valley State Park is between May and September. You will have pleasant and warm temperatures as well as limited rainfall. Therefore, it's great for you to explore the entire park and do lots of outdoor activities.


Sonesta ES Suites Columbia is the right option for having a comfortable stay near Patapso park. This is a 3-star hotel that offers a choice of three spacious accommodations. Guests can enjoy a complete breakfast buffet and end the day with great dining. You can hire a car from this hotel if you wish to go to Patapso Valley park by car. While for the nearest hotel, book your room at Ramada by Wyndham Baltimore West. It's a budget-friendly hotel but has convenient amenities such as a refrigerator, air conditioning, and free wifi.

Sonesta ES Suites Columbia Baltimore

Chic suites in a contemporary hotel offering complimentary breakfast & parking, plus a gym.

Address : 8844 Columbia 100 Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21045, USA

Ramada by Wyndham Baltimore West

Down-to-earth hotel featuring an outdoor pool, plus complimentary breakfast, parking & Wi-Fi.

Address : 6422 Baltimore National Pike, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA


Take a visit to Manor Hill Tavern for a nice lunch or dining experience. The food here is varied including a gluten-free and vegetarian menu, but the restaurant specialized in pizzas. The place has large seating with a little bar inside. You can enjoy a variety of delicious menu and signature pizza as well as enjoy some beers. You can also stop by The Turn House for trying the local flavors of Howard County area. There are plenty of dishes that unfortunate to miss. They also serve burgers, salads, and any kind of dessert.

Manor Hill Tavern

Brewery-owned restaurant preparing familiar American dishes made with local produce & craft beer.

Address : 3733 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043, USA

The Turn House

Modern, roomy restaurant with 4 fireplaces serving innovative seasonal fare, plus golf course views.

Address : 11130 Willow Bottom Dr, Columbia, MD 21044, USA


It's easy to find some souvenir shops near Patapso Valley State Park. Within 6 minutes drive, you will find Forget-Me-Not Factory, a popular gift shop in Ellicott City. This shop has 3 floors loaded with many cute kinds of stuff including toys, jewelry, costumes, and more. The shop stands in the largest and one of the oldest buildings in downtown Ellicott City. You can also head to Southwest Connection, a Native American gift shop. There is plenty of handcraft stuff you can buy, as well as unique jewelry.

Forget-Me-Not Factory

A shop where bubbles and fairies meet to create shopping magic.

Address : 8044 Main St, Ellicott City, MD 21043, USA

Southwest Connection

Great shop offering Native American art and wonderful merchandise.

Address : 8173 Main St Suite A, Ellicott City, MD 21043, USA