McKeldin Area, Patapsco State Park

McKeldin Falls
I used to live in the Baltimore area, and the McKeldin area of Patapsco Valley State Park was pretty much on my way to work.  So I would frequently stop by there, either on Saturdays or on my way home from work.  The park has many attractions, including playgrounds, group camping, picnicking, pavilions and a frisbee golf course, but I usually went there to walk the trail along the Patapsco River.  There's a relatively large falls in the park.  You can drive pretty close to the falls.  Drive all the way to the end of the entrance road.  To your left, you'll see a smaller road that will take you to another parking lot with a trail that will take you down to the falls.  This works well on cloudy days.

Rapids at McKeldin Area
McKeldin has a beautiful waterfall, but unless its an overcast day, if you want to take pictures of it, you'll want to get there before the park opens.  The main parking lot doesn't open until after sunrise (I believe it's 9am), but there's another little parking lot on Marriottsville Rd that you can use. Go to where the south branch of the Patapsco River crosses Marriottsville Rd.  Just to the south of the river and west of the road, you'll see a place to park.  Then you can cross the road and find a trail that will take you to the falls.  This is the best way to get good pictures of the falls.  There are rapids along the way, but to me the most interesting part of the park comes from the falls and further downstream, so I usually walk past most of what I see on the trail until I make it to the fall.


At the same time, as you're walking the trail, don't lose sight of what's around you.  There's some very interesting plantlife along the trails.  Patapsco Valley may not have all the overt beauty of Swallow Falls and some other parks in Western MD, but there's an awful lot here to keep your interest if you're patient and observant.


  1. love your photos! and thanks for the parking tip!


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