​Howard County

Patapsco Valley State Park
8020 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043


Driving Directions:

From the Beltway (I-695) take Rt. 40 West ( Exit 15). Follow Rt. 40 West 2 miles to the park entrance on the right.
From I-70/Rt. 29 take Rt. 29 South ( Exit 87) to Rt. 40 East 2 miles to the park entrance on the right.

Hours of Operation:

9 a.m. to Sunset

Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.

Pet Policy:

  • Pets are allowed in the Avalon, Orange Grove, Glen Artney and McKeldin Areas of Patapsco Valley State Park.
  • Pets are allowed in the day-use area of the Hilton Area. Pets are prohibited in the campground of the Hilton Area of Patapsco Valley State Park.
  • Pets are allowed in the day-use and campground areas of the Hollofield Area of Patapsco Valley State Park.
  • Pets are prohibited in the Pickall area of Patapsco Valley State Park.

Hunting Policy:

  • Archery-only hunting for deer permittted on 3,895 acres of designated hunting areas with daily sign-in required - Managed Hunt Permit required
  • Hunt from Vehicle provisions for disabled hunters

Patapsco Valley State Park

children playing near a stream at PatapscoPatapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, encompassing 16,043 acres and eight developed recreational areas. Recreational opportunities include hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park’s many popular pavilions.

The park is nationally known for its trail opportunities and scenery. We have 170 miles of trails, with 70 of those miles identified as maintained trails. There are hiker only trails and multi-use trails accessible from many areas of Patapsco.


2015-2016 Patapsco Valley State Park and Morgan Run NEA Hunting Program - The 2015-2016 hunting information for Patapsco Valley State Park/Morgan Run NEA is in the links below. Permits maybe picked up at Park Headquarters (8020 Baltimore National Pike Ellicott City MD 21043) from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except state holidays STARTING August 31. Please bring the following when getting your permit:


 Patapsco News


In one of Maryland’s first state parks (1907), the valley and its natural resources have been enjoyed by the Native Americans, explorers, settlers and present-day citizens. With its source in Frederick and Carroll counties, the Patapsco serves the Port of Baltimore, and empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

The Avalon Visitor Center houses exhibits spanning over 300 years of history along the Patapsco River. Housed in a 19th century stone dwelling in the Avalon Area, the center includes a re-creation of a 1930’s forest warden’s office.

Maryland Green Travel Partner

MGT.JPGMany Maryland State Parks have been approved as partners of Maryland Green Travel, a free and voluntary self-certification program that promotes and recognizes sustainable environmental practices by businesses in the tourism industry. These practices include energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and water conservation methods.

Click on this link to view the green profile and the list of sustainable practices for Patapsco Valley State Park.

Patapsco Valley State Park Trail Maps

New maps of the trails at Patapsco Valley State Park can be downloaded for free from this website. Please make sure to read the printing instructions and information for how to download the file to cell phones. The map is in a PDF format that requires Adobe Reader. To get the free Adobe Reader go to Adobe.com.

Bloede Dam Project and AnalysisBloede Dam

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is currently conducting a feasibility study to evaluate Bloede Dam's negative impact on the ecology of the Patapsco River and issues related to public safety.

The dam, located on the property of Patapsco Valley State Park, is an obstacle for fish passage, and it fragments aquatic habitat.

Bloede Dam is owned by the DNR. The Department is currently taking public comment on a report of the alternatives to address the problem.

View the details and goals about the Bloede Dam project, as well as DNR's response to public comments and next steps.

If you would like to submit written comment, please email: bloededam@dnr.state.md.us.


It's never too late to discover the joys of sitting around a roaring campfire, roasting marshmallows or sleeping under the stars!

With the new OPERATION: CAMPOUT! Program, we can lend you gear free of charge (includes a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and more). This program is designed for military individuals and military families new to camping or experienced campers stationed or recovering in this area.OPERATION: CAMPOUT! is an opportunity for families to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors in a comfortable, safe and relaxing setting.

Campsites have picnic tables and fire pits. Some sites have electric hook-ups. Restrooms and shower facilities are nearby.

Contact the park office directly by phone to make your reservation. Be sure to let us know you are reserving through OPERATION: CAMPOUT!

Patapsco Activities E-mail Alerts

Would you like to receive monthly e-mail updates on what is happening in Patapsco Valley State Park, Soldiers Delight and Morgan Run? Sign up to receive the Patapsco Valley News. Park staff send e-mails no more than twice a week highlighting special activities occurring throughout the park. Send your e-mail address to DNR and enter contact information to be added to our mailing list.

    Online Services

    Contact the Park Service

    • To Report Violations of Park Rules: 1-800-825-7275 (Park Watch) or 1-410-260-8888 (Communications Center)
    • General Information: 1-800-830-3974 (Annapolis Office)
    • Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
    • Email Us

    Plan Ahead for "Filled To Capacity" Park Closures

    Patapsco Valley State Park is one of Maryland’s most popular parks and serves a very high volume of visitors during summer weekends and holidays. To ensure the safety of our visitors and protection of the park’s natural resources and facilities, the park has a limited capacity.

    During periods of high visitation, when the park’s capacity is reached, the park will be closed and traffic will be turned away from the park entrance. When that occurs, no additional vehicles / visitors will be allowed to enter the park, including those with members of their party who may already be in the park. If you are not traveling in the same vehicle with others in your party, we suggest that you all arrive at the same time.

    When the park is closed due to being full to capacity, individuals and groups with shelter and/or camping reservations will be admitted, as parking is reserved for those purposes.

    Based on recent experience and visitation trends, and depending on good weather, Patapsco Valley State Park will likely fill to capacity and close on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends, and other weekends during the course of the summer. Please take this into consideration when planning your trip.