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Patapsco Valley State Park: McKeldin Area to Liberty Dam on Unmaintained Trails: A Moderate to Easy Side of Strenuous 7 Miles
Hike to Liberty Dam on unmaintained trails, which takes you to the developed, popular McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park. Starting at the trailhead, you will walk on a rocky, packed dirt trail that parallels the North Branch of the Patapsco River. After about 300 feet, much of the rock spreads across the trail and into the water. You will see massive ferns and mountain laurel on both sides of the trail and this is a remarkable hike with tons of wildlife with more than half of this hike on unmaintained trails so few people venture out that way (the other side of Marriotsville Road). Portions of this hike are on the same trails as our other McKeldin area hikes, but it is the portion on the other side of Marriotsville out to the dam that makes this hike most unique.
A moderate pace of about 2.0-2.5mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).
Activity Type: Hiking
Scenery: Patapsco River, Liberty Dam, McKeldin Rapids
Trail Surface: Dirt and some asphalt with some easy stream crossings and half of the hike on unmaintained trails.
Nearby City: Columbia/Ellicott City
Length: 6.5-7 total miles
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Moderate to Easy Side of Strenuous
Local Contacts: Patapsco Valley State Park McKeldin Area
Facilities: Restrooms and water at maintained area, picnic facilities, and disc golf course but none where the hike starts and ends.
We hike rain or shine! Click here (http://www.weather.com/weather/local/21043?lswe=21043&lwsa=WeatherLocalUndeclared&from=searchbox_localwx) to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions (http://www.midatlantichiking.com/pages/Directions%3A_PSP%3A_McKeldin_Area_%286.3_Mile_Hike%29/) to Where We Meet for this Hike
Hike Step Off Time is 09:30 a.m.
There is no park fee because we do not start this hike within the park.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-NoVA-Hiking/pages/Hiking_and_Trail_Etiquette/?name=Hiking_and_Trail_Etiquette). We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which help make sure that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please 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 (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-NoVA-Hiking/pages/Leave_No_Trace_Hiking/)
Fido is Welcome on this Hike!
PLEASE take a leaders phone number with you in case you have any difficulty locating our group...
Let's have good times and see you on the trail!