Avalon Area, Patapsco State Park

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Cascade Falls, Avalon Area Patapsco Valley State Park
Patapso Valley State Park has many locations around Baltimore.  The McKeldin Area is closest to where I used to live, but over time, the Avalon Area [gallery] became my favorite place to go.  There's a nice, wide biking trail there, and several great places to visit along the way to the falls you see above.

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Railroad Tracks crossing the Patapsco River
Because it's best to get there before the park opens, I never went to the main entrance.  I found a place on Ilchester Rd to enter the park [map].  There's a place to park under the railroad tracks on Ilchester.  You can explore some nice scenery right here.  In particular, you can walk up to the tracks and photograph the train tunnel and bridge.  You can also access the bike trail from here, and it's easy to find--just look for the little bridge crossing the river.  Walk down this path, and after about a half mile, you'll see a stream that is headed toward the Patapsco River. The railroad will be on your left, and you'll see that there's a place for the river to flow under the tracks.  There is a trail you can follow there for some nice pictures.  I believe it will take you back to the bike path closer to where you parked your car.

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Stream flowing under the Railroad Tracks.
From this stream, if you keep walking down the bike path, you'll see another walking bridge that crosses the Patapsco.  Across the bridge, you'll find restrooms and another trail that will take you to Cascade Falls. You'll want to spend a lot of time between the falls and the rest area.  There are several cascades along the stream that will be asking you to take their picture.

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Cascade down stream from Cascade Falls
From your car to the falls, this path is about a mile, if I remember correctly.  So in the course of a morning, you can get a 2 mile walk and some great pictures--all for free.

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Cascade Falls


  1. This blog is great with lots of beautiful images and having
    useful information. This blog has remind me about my last visit of Patapsco
    State Park where I visited before canadian tour. This
    is great for bikes, strollers, walkers, runners and hikers! The main path at
    Avalon area is well sized and starts out paved for at least 2 miles. We found
    visiting the historical markers in the park to be worthwhile. They were


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