HIKES IN THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METRO AREA
METROPOLITAN NATURALIST
PATAPSCO VALLEY STATE PARK

Patapsco Valley State Park was apparently originally established to protect the valley and
banks of the Patapsco River from erosion, which would silt the river and clog the turbines of
a small hydroelectric plant. The hydroelectric plant is no longer in operation, but the park still
provides a buffer zone to protect the river as well as plenty of hiking trails and wildlife habitat.

In this almost 14,000 acre park there is hiking ranging from paved trails to unmaintained,
with some difficult hills and rough terrain. Many trails are shared with mountain bikes and the
park can be quite busy on weekends in nice weather. We usually start our hike at the
Orange Grove area, more out of convenience than for special attractions as this park has
many beautiful areas with gobs of birds and other wildlife.

Dogs are allowed on the trails on a leash, but are not allowed in developed areas of the
park. When the dog comes along we hike at undeveloped areas of the park. A parking area
along Marriottesville Road at the railroad tracks, near the McKeldin Area of the park,
provides convenient access for hikers with dogs. Another parking area is on Henryton Road
- take Old Fredrick Road to Henryton Road, go north on Henryton Road to the end.  




SEE THESE LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION

Patapsco Valley State Park at Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Patapsco Valley State Park at Wikipedia
Site Search
Garter Snake
Stinging Nettle
Indian Pipes
Map of McKeldin Area
Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) rises out of the forest floor in Patapsco Valley State Park.
This relative of azaleas and blueberries does not have green chlorophyll, getting
nourishment by parasitizing fungi.
A harmless Garter Snake near the old Henryton Road bridge. While most snakes in the park
are non-venomous, poisonous copperheads are found in some areas.