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General Information

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Description - Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, encompassing 14,000 acres and five developed recreational areas. The park is nationally known for its trail opportunities and scenery. Today, it is undergoing a renovation of those trails including upgrading signs and detailed information.

Attractions - Patapsco Valley State Park is one of the most popular parks in the state park system. It has a number of varied and popular recreation sites. Visitors can view the Thomas Viaduct, known to be the world's longest multiple-arched stone railroad bridge or view a number of exhibits, while touring the Avalon Area. They can experience a 300-foot swinging bridge or hike to Bloede's Dam, the world's first internally housed hydroelectric dam, while visiting the Orange Grove Area. Hikers are routinely enticed by the unparalleled scenery of the valley and river rapids along the McKeldin Area Trail system. Children run wild at the two-acre tire playground at the Hilton Area and campers relax at the family campsites and camper cabins while being only a short distance from other park activities and nearby Ellicott City and Baltimore. Fall tourists are awestruck at the foliage beauty found at the Patapsco Valley Overlook in the Hollofield Area, which remains the only valley overlook along the river. Anglers thoroughly enjoy the rewards found along the Daniels Area fish ladder, a spawning area for shad and herring.

Recreation - Recreational opportunities at Patapsco Valley State Park include hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park's many popular pavilions. This park also offers 2,000 acres for bow hunting for white-tailed deer in Howard and Carroll counties.

Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.

Location - Patapsco Valley State Park is located in central Maryland. Park areas are west and south of Baltimore City, with headquarters in Howard County on Route 40 West at the Hollofield Area.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We can drive here on Fri night to camp. Climb in the morning/afternoon and head out to ORV trail. There are several areas, all within the park. Ilchester The local climbers hangout and best place to met climbing partners for other stuff. Look for the IMSAR folks, tell em Rob says hello! Just south of Catonsville by Rolling Road. My favorite climbs here are 'Midnight Lightening' (5.12 ?) , done by Mark Chapman of Yosemite fame. (a local) Downside, this can be a heavily vivited area. Friction Wall East of Ellicott city across the river. Don't climb on the beautiful one by the road, it always gets a visit from the police. Couple nice aid routes though. :-) Anyway, it's a visible quarry. Most of the routes are on a single wall on the east side, it's an obvious spot. On the right side is the best 5.6 I've ever seen called 'Dirty Dog'. My favorite is '40 weight' ( 5.11+), which ascends directly up the seemingly blank wall. The crux move is literally a long stretch off a grain of sand! Dam Rock Downstream the Patapsco River from Ilchester. Blode's Dam is built right into it. It's got a few good topropes. Up hill from the dam is another rock, the 'Rock above the dam' is a short but fun friction wall covered in little quartz crystals. There's a great overhang there, but the crux is kinda painful. Hanging on while falling is *not* a good idea. :-(


More Information

Contact Information:
Patapsco Valley State Park, 8020 Baltimore National Pike , Ellicott City, MD, 21043, Phone: 410-461-5005

Additional Information:
Central Maryland - Central Maryland includes five counties ranging from pastoral agriculture fields, to the booming industrial metropolis of Baltimore, to the small water towns of the Chesapeake Bay where harvesting the water's riches is still a way of life.
Maryland State Parks - Maryland State Forest and Park Service offers 47 state parks with recreational opportunities offered for all ages. From the forested regions to where land meets sea, Maryland's public parcels provide recreation, relaxation, and education. Many facilities possess barrier-free design.

Links:
Maryland State Forest and Park Service -
Patapsco Valley State Park - Official agency website.

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