Patapsco Valley State Park
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|Patapsco Valley State Park|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
The Thomas Viaduct, a signature monument of Patapsco Valley State Park.
|Location||Anne Arundel / Baltimore / Carroll / Howard counties, Maryland, USA|
|Nearest city||Ellicott City (admin HQ)|
|Area||16,043 acres (65 km2)|
|Established||October 6, 1907|
|Governing body||Maryland DNR|
Patapsco Valley State Park is located in Maryland, USA and extends along 32 miles (51 km) of the Patapsco River, encompassing 16,043 acres (65 km2) and five developed recreational areas. Recreational opportunities include hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback riding and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park's many popular pavilions. 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.
Patapsco Valley State Park is operated and maintained by the Maryland Park Service under the authority of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which sets a high priority on environment conservation and protection. It was Maryland's first state park. Efforts to set aside the Patapsco Valley and to protect it from development stretch back into the early 20th century. Patapsco Valley State Park (originally Patapsco State Forest Reserve) was established in 1907 to protect valley's forest and water resources. During its early years, the river was a source for both hydro-electricity and drinking water. Since then, the Patapsco River has become a vital resource for fish that swim its waters and the wildlife that lives on its shores. The first land parcel to be saved was located in the present day Hilton Area, which was donated to the State of Maryland by philanthropist John Mark Glenn. Keeping the shores and hillsides vegetated minimized erosion, thus minimizing the amount of silt that could clog the turbines of Bloede's Dam which generated electricity for many of the surrounding communities. Other sections along the river were soon added making the Patapsco Valley State Park is one of the largest parks in the state of Maryland.
- Hollofield Area
- Daniels Area
- Pickall Area
- Hilton Area
- Avalon-Glen Artney-Orange Grove ("Avalon Area")
- McKeldin Area
Sights to see
There are two swinging bridges that cross the Patapsco River. The first spans the Patapsco at Orange Grove, 1.6 miles (2.6 km) northwest of Avalon following the Park Road in Howard County beyond shelters 104 and 105. Prior suspension foot bridges at this location enabled residents of the Orange Grove mill community to cross the river to Baltimore County to work in the five stories high Orange Grove Flour Mill of the C.A. Gambrill Manufacturing Company. This mill burned May 1, 1905. Visitors can cross the bridge to discover ruins of this large mill site that extended from the railroad tracks to the Swinging Bridge abutment.
The newest and second swinging bridge opened November 4, 2006. It is located at the end of the Grist Mill Trail and crosses the Patapsco River to connect with Ilchester Road. This new bridge allows easy entry for residents living in Ellicott City and Catonsville for the first time since Hurricane Agnes struck in 1972.
This waterfall gently cascades down a 10–15 feet (3.0–4.6 m) foot face. It is located in the Orange Grove area of the park, and can be hiked to from a marked trail at the last parking lot in the Orange Grove area.
- Thomas Viaduct
- Bloede's Dam
- List of Maryland state parks
- Henryton State Hospital
- Orange Grove Flour Mill
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Patapsco Valley State Park
- "Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Maryland Park Service". Dnr.state.md.us. 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
- Catonsville Times. "Celebrating a century of service".
- Detroit Examiner. "State park celebrates 100 years".
- MD DNR. "MD DNR Centennial Page".
- "Cascade Falls".
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Patapsco Valley State Park
- City Paper boasts 'The best place to hike'
- Maryland Parks at a glance