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“Small, Beautiful Park”

Patapsco Valley State Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
45 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Small, Beautiful Park”
Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

Nice little park with places to camp, BBQ, hike. The Patapsco River valley makes for some solid hiking with mostly easy to moderate trails. Great getaway from the city and suburbs.

You won't find the most breathtaking scenery in the world here, but bring a wide-angle lens anyway because this little pocket of Maryland can surprise you.

2 Thank Yanick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A wonderful place to take the family, friends, the dog......”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Until Tropical Storm Agnes flooded the entire river valley in 1972 the Patapsco Valley State Park was contiguous; one long park along the Patapsco River which separates Baltimore and Howard County southwest of Baltimore city. Agnes tore up entire sections of road, railroad, even railroad right of way requiring Chessie, predecessors to the current CSX, to replace sections of double track with a single line. Now the park is split into several different areas, Avalon/Orange Grove, McKeldon and others.
All offer picnic facilities, while some allow camping and have covered picnic pavilions.
The many mills, most built by the Ellicotts, founders of nearby Ellicott City, were all swept away by a monstrous flood in 1868; nothing but ruins remain. The "swinging bridge", once the only way mill workers could cross the river from their houses to the mills, is still there, although its current form is not nearly so "Indiana Jones-ish" as it was in the mid-`40s when I used to scare my little sister half to death on it.
The 18th century mill village of Ellicott City is nearby, now a favorite destination for those interested in antique shopping and fine dining. The B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, the first and oldest in America dating to 1831, is one of the village`s prime attractions.
Visiting the Patapsco Valley State Park is a terrific way to escape the hustle and bustle of the surrounding urban areas of Baltimore, Columbia and Washington D.C.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank WisHuey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
“Pretty good place for Biking”
Reviewed September 22, 2013

It's not a bad place for some mountain biking. Not a whole lot of biking trails but the few that there are, are pretty nice. without a trail map it's very easy to get lost

Visited May 2013
Thank Ben W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
56 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Best kids bike path in the area”
Reviewed September 19, 2013

A great stroll for the adults too. Wide asphalt paths along a wooded river connect the swimming holes. Historic plaques at the grist mill ruins and train trestle. An easy climb to Crystal falls at the end of the 3 mile path (restrooms nearby). Those with a fear of heights may find the wood suspension bridges a challenge. Several side paths for those who can handle rough terrain and steep climbs.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank MICHEL S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Excellent hiking”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

This beautiful park is an oasis. Excellent hiking trails from easy to challenging. You can hike and bike on a trail or along a paved path. Great mountain biking, a swinging bridge and a hike up to falls are among the popular activities at this park. You can also float down the wide stream in a tube. There are picnic, camping and bathrooms that help to make this a versatile fun outdoor experience.

Visited July 2013
Thank momssharecare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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