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Avalon Super Loop - Patapsco State Park

lots of ruins, waterfalls, trains, and river views
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 12.7 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Do the entire Avalon Patapsco state park in 1 day!

This loop covers the majority of the Avalon area, with multiple ruins, waterfalls ... more »


  • 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
  • park entrance fee $4

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Points of Interest

1. parking lot

good place to park, you have to hike up the road a little bit to the ridge trailhead sign (about a 1/4 mile)

2. ridge trailhead

this is the ridge trail sign.

the hike goes along several loops and different trails, best to bring a GPS wish fresh batteries.

you can skip sections of the loop as necessary.

also buy a map at the ranger station for $6 dollars.

3. ridge trail view

this is a view of the ridge trail

there ARE deer here!

seen one today that wasnt that scared and walked away slowly.

4. maintenance area

this is a sidetrail to the maintenance area.

there is an old tractor here that looks quite dated!!

some old artifacts too.

can skip this if you dont want to see it.

5. common deer area

deer are common to this area

heres a pic of one looking at me

6. sidetrail with a stream

this is a short sidetrail with a stream.

can skip if you want to save time.

there are some artifacts here, namely stone steps from long ago, and some wrought iron fences.

7. wrought iron fences

here are the wrought iron fences, a few of them.

also the stream that runs along this small sidetrail.

the areas on either side are private property.

8. sidetrail with some drainage structures

this sidetrail has some drainage structures and is very popular with offroad bikers.

9. drainage structures

some old drainage boxes, of unknown date.

pipe artifacts.

10. old blocks and assorted pans

old cement blocks and assorted pans aligned on trees.

"the pan forest"

11. road to next return trail entry

road to return trail entry, be careful of cars here

small road.

12. flat trail easy going, rock formations

flat trail, very easy going, some small rock formations for a chance to take a breather

13. walk along the field

walk along the open field here, with some private houses off in the distance

14. old house ruins - unstable

unstable old house ruins, do not enter it.

lots of artifacts (do not take them)

old dated shoes etc.

15. old house ruins - unstable

old house ruins, unstable so beware!

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.

16. 2 building ruins

hmmm this looks like very old (NPS like) buildings in this state park....

2 outhouse buildings?

good guess.

the entry ways have the open entry as was the usual building method.

17. road

hike down the road a little bit to the next entry point

18. old piping and machinery

old piping mounts and machinery, barrel.

19. old building

a not too old building, very small.

20. cascade falls in a valley

a must see!

2 great falls here, the upper cascade falls and the lower one is smaller.

in a valley, very secluded setting.

21. swinging bridge over the Patapsco river

this is the swinging bridge we take for our return hike across the Patapsco river.

22. building ruins, superlative

"old superlative" company building ruins right next to the train tracks

23. artifacts on the side of the trail

some artifacts on the side of the trail, metal artifacts (not river side)

24. well crafted auquaduct

they dont make them like this anymore :-)

25. benches for lunch, river view

great spot for lunch and river views

some benches

26. small train bridge

small train bridge, nice picture spot

yep thats an active train running over it!

27. optional trail entry through tunnel

optional trail entry through tunnel if you need to add more length to this GPS track.

this trail is a loop and adds another 2 miles or so.

check the trail map that you bought at the ranger station.

28. building ruins

unknown building ruins

29. well crafted auqaducts

well crafted auqaducts!

30. cross over bridge to return to parking lot

cross over the bridge to get back to the parking lot

great fishing spot here also