This hike is in 2 locations approximately 40 minutes apart northwest of Baltimore, Maryland.
Just off the beltway, you'll find the Avalon area of Patapsco park and the first leg of our 2 day hiking journey. This one is approximately 15 miles and takes a full day of hiking.
The Avalon hike covers all the good areas with ruins, river views, and artifacts (even aqua-ducts!). This is the easier of the two hikes. You'll find yourself visiting approximately 6 ruins, Cascade falls (great secluded lunch spot) and walking along the Patapsco river back to the parking lot on the return (as a train passes by).
Lick your wounds for day two!
Hike day two needs preparation, you need to pack extra bottles of water (5-6 is recommended) as this is a 17 mile hike to deep within the far reaches of the Mckeldin area (down SR-32 about 40 minutes away). Pack a lunch and bring a hiking backpack with all your supplies, water, lunch, salt, a hat, rain gear, and TP! This is a very remote trail normally a horse trail. It starts out along the river and makes many portages to avoid the muddy areas up into the hills. There are numerous markers in this guide and in the Patapsco trail map (get it!) to use to gauge your speed. You should start out early, 8 am or less. Plan for 7-8 hours of hiking at a faster pace (good trail running here too) and 1-2 hours of ruins exploring and lunchtime. The ruins here are simply AMAZING! The two church ruins will leave you speechless. The past will talk to you. Period. The old cemetery will have you saying a prayer. At the end of day two, you will rest your feet in the cold river water and just look around silently.... enjoying the sounds and resting....
These two hikes cover most of the ruins and spots in Patapsco state park, there are two more cabin ruins west of the Mckeldin area that is not covered.
Alot of the artifacts and places here are not covered on the maps.
backpack for avalon and mckeldin
extra water for mckeldin, it is NOT flat! lots of hills
gauge your progress on mckeldin, watch the daylight and calculate your return time using the halfway markers
do not take any artifacts! this is state property
do not damage the cemetery, no grafitti needed.
pack lunch for both trips. salt diet recommended for mckeldin.
mckeldin can be a horse trail trip
buy the $6 dollar everything trail map, as a backup to your GPS routes.
cell phones work, have someones number handy in case you get in trouble or get cramps etc. stay safe!