Patapsco Valley State Park: Hilton Area Trails
Join Us For a 4 Mile Rugged and Remote Hike with Post Hike Meal
A surprisingly rugged and remote descent into a wooded stream valley to the Patapsco River! The trail provides access to a pristine stream valley, with serene pools and small cascading waterfalls. The valley is decorated with ferns and some sections of mountain laurel. The stream valley canyon is narrow and sometimes dark. The Patapsco River flows through a piedmont stream valley with steep-sided walls. The river descends in elevation through a series of bouldery rapids through hard, erosion-resistant mica schist rock.
The rocky nature of the trail discourages many from hiking here, creating a pristine environment. The steep-sided hills of the river valley are wooded with upland hardwood species including American Beech, tulip poplar, elm, oaks, hickory and ash in the canopy. Mountain laurel, dogwood, witch hazel, spicebush, paw paw and other shrubs comprise the understory. Numerous migratory songbirds and waterfowl frequent the river, the Sawmill Branch stream valley and its riparian habitat. Look for Belted Kingfishers and Great-blue Heron, two common avian species in the riverine habitat. Rainbow and Brown Trout are stocked in the river in the spring, but the higher water temperatures do not sustain them year-round.
Near the river’s edge, sycamores, box elder and other floodplain tree species predominate. The vegetation in the floodplain is constantly regrowing and can appear somewhat disturbed due to the
Click Here to see some pics from a past trip on this fantastic trail!
We break down into groups no larger than 15-20 hikers per leader/sweep team for a more enjoyable experience for all of us and is better for the environment. Large groups really take away from the hiking experience for everyone on the trail and not just our group. For this particular hike you have 2 to choose from so you can hike with others of a similar pace. Paces should be based on your preference but also please know your limitations.
Pace 1: This is a social pace, not a stroll so you must be able to hold a pretty steady 2.5mph hiking pace which is a great newbie or social pace in order to take in more of the environment.
Pace 2: This option will lead a moderate pace of about 3.0mph which is that of an average hiker
Please post your pace option in your RSVP if you know it at this time.
Nearby City: Baltimore
Length: 3.5 total miles with an option for more upon request after the hike as we know the area well for up to 5 miles.
Elev. Gain: Minimal -Take note this is the elevation GAIN and not indicative of the elevation CHANGE on the hike. There are lots of ups and downs on this hike but it is still on the easier side of moderate because of it's short distance.
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Moderate
Local Contacts: Patapsco Valley State Park Hilton Area
We hike rain or shine! Click here for up to the minute weather information for the trailhead
The park has a 3.00 dollar entrance fee.
If you can drive or want to carpool from any location, please post the location you need a ride from or where you are offering a ride from in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride
Directions to Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike
Hike Meetup Time is 9:00 a.m.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back and guides/sweepers which helps ensure no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing leaving no trace.
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!
Let's have good times and see you on the trail...