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Patapsco Valley State Park, Ellicott City

4.4
#1 of 6 in Things to do in Ellicott City
State Park Nature / Park
Patapsco Valley State Park is a Maryland state park extending along of the Patapsco River to the south and west of the city of Baltimore. The park encompasses multiple developed recreational areas on over of land. In 2006, it was officially celebrated as Maryland's first state park.History20th centuryFormation of the park started with provisions in the Forestry Act of 1906. The completion of Bloede's Dam in 1906 required the implementation of protections to prevent silting from nearby farm erosion. Patapsco Valley State Park was established as Patapsco State Forest Reserve in 1907 to protect the valley's forest and water resources. The first 43 acres were donated by Russell Sage Foundation director John Mark Glenn (1858-1950) from his Hilton estate. In 1912, Maryland delegate Carville Benson promoted expanding the Patapsco Forest Reserve as a park to support his suburban development initiatives. As other sections along the river were added, Patapsco Valley State Park became one of the largest parks in Maryland.In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps opened State Park Project 2 work camps 336 and 356 at the park. CCC workers created recreational facilities and performed tree plantings for erosion control and silt management around the dam from adjacent overworked farms. Keeping the shores and hillsides vegetated minimized erosion, thus minimizing the amount of silt that could clog the turbines of Bloede's Dam which generated electricity for surrounding communities.
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184 reviews
Google
4.6
  • We had a nice day because the weather was nice. The entrance is poorly marked and only my GPS got me there; this is a STATE PARK. The road follows the river; pretty, but limited access. Pedestrians an...  more »
  • The Cabin Camping was a great experience, at the Helen Area of the Park. Only negative, is that several cabins face in towards the road instead of out, looking into the woods.  more »
  • I've been going to the Patapsco State Park for years and it's always been a well-maintained place that's bursting with everything from chipmunks and box turtles to deer and foxes. Go take the family o...  more »
Google
  • Great place to ride a mountain bike. A lot of really well maintained trails. Not sure if they hire more in the summer but I was impressed with the amount of park workers I saw there actually working and not just driving around. The people who go to parks and the people who work at parks make the culture at a park what it is. I drove three hours to ride my bike here on a Monday morning. Awesome park.
  • For me this was a best kept secret. I took my family for a walk through this huge state park. The park was clean, the scenery was beautiful, and the trails were visible. We even stumbled across a waterfall. There was a cooking area and a play area for children. I would definitely visit again and take my family and friends. I highly recommend. Oh and it was free for military.
  • Beautiful park. There are miles of trails for all levels of hikers. Generally the closer you hike toward the river the more challenging the hike will be, with the exception of the wonderful paved trail that runs parallel to the river in the Hilton area. I suggest planning your hikes with a topographical map that is on the parks website. There are many hidden gems that are tucked away in this park and stumbling across them is very exciting.
  • Beautiful park with lots of options. Great hike trails, bike paths, and places to wade (or swim) in the water. Rangers are very nice, and the park is well maintained. Have had no issues here. Also, price is unbelievably affordable. Much better price than many surrounding parks, but offers more and at a better quality. Must visit by any park goers.
  • Nice park on the edge of the city. Bigger and more rustic than one would expect this close to a major east coast city (like a mile from beltway in a pretty high density area). Great neighborhood so no concerns there.