Do the entire Avalon Patapsco state park in 1 day!
This loop covers the majority of the Avalon area, with multiple ruins, waterfalls and other artifacts to find along the way.
Starting at the parking lot, you hike up the road a ways to the Ridge trail sign.
The next leg is the maintenace loop which has an old old tractor to look at and some other artifacts.
After that we head into a good wildlife viewing area where deer is commonly spotted.
Next is a popular offroad biking spot with some water aquaducts to view that are rather dated.
Returning, and going through a nice open field brings us to some rock formations, then settler homes (two of them) one with a dated gas pump 1930-140's era.
Before going through some small switchbacks on the next leg, we see two old possible outhouses that are probably state park buildings (old ones).
Then we continue through the switchbacks, taking us along the Cascade falls area to view some of the best falls in the state! The falls are in a valley area and very secluded. A side hike loop is added for length, and adds some more ruins for some old piping fixtures and a barrel.
Going over the swinging bridge we find the ruins of the "superlative" company along the railroad tracks. More artifacts along the side of the road, as we head back.
Plenty of railroad bridges, tunnels, and aquaducts dot the trip back, and 1 more set of building ruins make for a ruins filled trip.
Have lunch along the benches on the Patapsco river as you head back or have a bbq picnic in the parking lot area with ample facilities.
bring a hiking pole for steep areas
bring plenty of water and food, backpack
lunch along the river by the benches on the way back
picnic area for bbq in parking lot
get trail map from ranger station $6 to add more distance
a great old gas pump too, circa 1930-1940's.... there is a tank but i think its too small for this gas pump... possibly the gas pump is from a house that is further by the fields.... the tank is very small.
Great hike. Lots of sights and wonderful artifacts. Didnt see any animals but the natural scenery is enough. The maintenance leg was a kind of a waste of time but there were some interesting things out there. I think the second leg was a little long too. If you make it past the river crossing there isnt too much left to see. If you are pressed for time or not very seasoned head straight towards the trail to the waterfall. Beautiful hike with a lot of great ruins, definitely the highlight of the trip. Finishes with a nice paved path back to the car which was quite nice after the long hike I endured. Visited on Mar 30, 2013
There is some really nice variety on this hike, both in terms of physical challenge and scenery. I recommend bypassing the first park of the hike, "the maintenance area", as the trail's poster suggests you can. Starting off surrounded by discarded appliances and other trash does not seem like much of a getaway to me, but the rest was great. Thanks for much submitting it to EveryTrail! Visited on Oct 05, 2011