Patapsco Valley State Park
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description:

Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, upstream of where the river flows into the Chesapeake Bay at Baltimore harbour. One of Maryland's first state parks (1907), Patapsco Valley includes five developed recreational areas, providing 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.

The Patapsco River valley and its natural resources have been used and enjoyed for centuries - by Native Americans, explorers, settlers and now present-day citizens. With its source in Frederick and Carroll counties, the Patapsco is the largest Chesapeake Bay tributary on the western shore between the Patuxent to the south and the Susquehanna to the north.

Location / Directions:

There are five developed areas of Patapsco Valley State Park. Follow the directions below to reach these areas:


From the Baltimore Beltway (I-695): Take Security Blvd. (Exit 17) westbound. Go 0.5 mile and turn left on North Rolling Rd. Take next right (Fairbrook Rd.). Go 1 mile, turn left on Johnnycake Rd. Go 1.5 miles. Park Entrance is on the left.

From US Rt. 40: Take Rt. 40 to North Rolling Rd. toward Security Square Mall. Go 2.5 miles, turn left onto Fairbrook Rd. Follow above directions.


From the Baltimore Beltway (I-695): Take Frederick Rd. (Exit 13) through Catonsville to South Rolling Rd. Turn left and continue straight onto Hilton Ave. Follow Hilton Ave. 1.5 miles to the park entrance on right.

From Howard County: Follow Frederick Rd. through Ellicott City into Baltimore County, turn right at South Rolling Rd. and follow directions above.


From the Baltimore Beltway (I-695): Take Rt. 40 West (Exit 15). Follow Rt. 40 West 2 miles to the park entrance on the right.

From I-70/Rt. 29: Take Rt. 29 South (Exit 87) to Rt. 40 East 2 miles to the park entrance on the right.


From the Baltimore Beltway (I-695): Take Rt. 1 (Exit 12-A) toward Elkridge. Follow Rt. 1 South about 3 miles to South St. Turn right. Park entrance is on the left.

From I -95: Take I-195 to Rt. 1 (Exit 3) toward Elkridge to South St. Turn right. Park entrance is on the left.

From Howard County: Follow Rt. 1 through Elkridge and into Baltimore County. Turn left onto South St. Park entrance is on the left.


From I-695/I-70 West: Take I-70 to Marriottsville Rd. (Exit 83). Go north on Marriottsville Rd. for 4 miles to the park entrance on the right.

From I-70 East: take Rt. 40 to Marriottsville Rd. Turn left. Park entrance is 5 miles on the right.

From Rt. 26: take Rt. 26 to Marriottsville Rd. Go South 4 miles, park entrance is on the left.

Mailing Address: Patapsco Valley State Park
8020 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Visitor Phone: (410) 461-5005

Hollofield Area – This area features a scenic river valley overlook, playgrounds, picnic sites including rental pavilions, fishing and camping. There are 73 campsites, some with electric hookups, a pet loop and a camp store. Hunting is available by permit.

Daniels Area – This area provides year-round flatwater canoeing for two miles of river behind Daniels Dam. Paddle your canoe or kayak and enjoy your lunch on rocks at the headwaters of the Patapsco. View abundant Great Blue Heron, kingfishers and beaver activity, or bring along your fishing rod. The Daniels Dam has a fish passage and accompanying exhibit.

Pickall Area – Eleven large picnic pavilions are available for rental by reservation only. Playgrounds and ball fields are also on site. Hunting is available by permit.

Hilton Area – Hiking trails and shaded picnic sites are available, along with a recycled tire playground. Youth group camping is available. There are 14 family campsites (tent camping only - no electricity). This area also has camper cabins, with heat and electricity, and a camp store/concession.

Avalon-Glen Artney-Orange Grove – This area offers hiking, picnicking, mountain biking, canoeing, bicycling, tubing, rental pavilions, fishing, equestrian trails, ball fields and playgrounds. The Orange Grove Scenic Area has a two mile drive along the Patapsco to the Swinging Bridge. A fish passage has been installed at Bloedes Dam. This area is known for several historical sites – the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Thomas Viaduct, remains of the Orange Grove Mill, Avalon Iron and Nail Works and Bloedes Dam. The Avalon Visitor Center houses exhibits detailing 300 years of Patapsco history.

McKeldin Area – This area offers youth group camping, picnicking, rental pavilions, playgrounds, fishing, ball fields, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian trails and a disc golf course. Hunting is available in designated areas by permit only. Hike, bike or horseback ride scenic valley trails.

Biking Camping Fishing Hiking Picnicking Canoeing / Kayaking

Operating Hours: Open daily during daylight hours, year-round.
Fees: $2 per person
Size: 14,000 acres
Accessibility: All developed areas of the park have facilities that are accessible to the disabled. Most picnic pavilions and all restrooms are accessible. A one acre pond in the Avalon Area is restricted to fishing by those people under 16, over 61, or disabled with an Access Maryland Pass, and is accessible by wheelchair. Also in the Avalon Area is the scenic Grist Mill Trail, a 1.5 mile paved multi-purpose trail along the Patapsco River. The trail is wheelchair accessible. A wheelchair accessible platform for fly fishing is available to anglers at Morgan Run Natural Environment Area off Klee Mill Road.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY