Patapsco Valley State Park RV & Campground Guide
Stretching 32 miles along the Patapsco River in Maryland, west of Baltimore, you’ll find Patapsco Valley State Park. Founded in 1907, Patapsco Valley State Park is Maryland’s first state park and home to some of the state’s earliest mills and factories, the country’s first freight railroad, and the world’s first submerged hydroelectric plant. Historical sites like these are interspersed throughout the park’s eight recreational areas, which feature verdant forests, babbling brooks, and cascading waterfalls. Visitors can admire the beautiful scenery by hiking, running, biking, and horseback riding through over 200 miles of trails that weave throughout the park. Visitors can also fish for trout and bass, paddle in a canoe, or go for a refreshing swim in the Patapsco River.
Every season brings new colors to the park, from the bright greens of spring to the brilliant reds and yellows of autumn, making Patapsco River State Park the perfect place to watch the season change — although be warned that the park often reaches maximum capacity during the summer. Whether you’re looking to escape the city, soak up the outdoors for a weekend, or spend an afternoon in nature, read on for more about what Patapsco Valley State Park has to offer.
RV Resorts & Campsites in Patapsco Valley State Park
State parks are your fast pass to the great outdoors and there’s no better way to experience them than by traveling in an RV. RVs are the perfect compromise to staying in a tent or hotel: you can immerse yourself in nature without sacrificing indoor plumbing or comfortable beds! RVshare makes it easy to rent an RV catered to your preferences in your area or travel destination. Near Patapsco Valley State Park, you can find RVs in Baltimore and Colombiaand stay in campgrounds nearby, including:
Hollofield Area Campgrounds
Centrally located within the park, the Hollofield Area has 73 camping sites available, some with electric hookup. These campgrounds boast stunning views of the Patapsco River Valley — especially in autumn — and easy access to hiking trails like the Ole Ranger Trail and Peaceful Pond Trail and fishing spots along the river. Rates are $25-$35 per night.
Water hookup: Yes
Electrical hookup: Yes
Sewer hookup: No
Pet friendly: Yes
Other amenities: Bathhouse, playground, hiking, fishing, canoeing, swimming, dumping station, firewood for sale
Ramblin’ Pines Campgrounds
These secluded campgrounds are nestled in the woodlands 20 minutes from the park. Along with 200+ RV sites — most with full hookups and cable — it offers plenty of amenities including mini-golf, horseshoes and a swimming pool. These campgrounds make an ideal base to explore Patapsco Valley State Park and the surrounding area. Rates are $65 per night (two night minimum).
Water hookup: Yes
Electrical hookup: Yes
Sewer hookup: Yes
Pet friendly: Yes
Other amenities: Bathhouse, laundromat, picnic table, fire pits, playgrounds, mini-golf course, swimming pool, game room, sports courts, dog park, exercise room, general store, trampoline, fishing
RV Rentals Near Patapsco Valley State Park
Nearby RV Rentals
What to Do at
Patapsco Valley State Park
Inside Patapsco Valley State Park
Covering over 16,000 acres, Patapsco Valley State Park is an expansive park with eight recreational areas and plentiful opportunities to go hiking, running, biking, or horseback riding through winding trails, babbling creeks, and dense woodlands. Visitors can glimpse a piece of Maryland history at different sites like the Old Gun Road Stone Arch Bridge and Orange Grove Flour Mill. Enjoy the flowing waters of the Patapsco River by fishing along the shore, tubing down the river, paddling along in a canoe, or jumping in for a swim. Educational programs abound at the Nature Center (Hilton area), while the Visitor Center (Avalon area) has exhibits on the park’s history, plus concessions.
Pro tip : Before visiting, check the park’s websitefor alerts, as inclement weather and renovations might affect access to some areas.
Here are popular activities in several of the recreational areas:
Avalon / Glen Artney / Orange Grove Areas - These three areas contain the bulk of the park’s hiking trails and historical sites. In Orange Grove, cross the 300-foot Swinging Bridge to see the ruins of the five-story Orange Grove Flour Mill or hike the 3-mile Cascade Falls Loop Trail to see the impressive Cascade Falls. In Avalon, check out the Thomas Viaduct, the world’s longest multi-arched railroad bridge or explore the Avalon Water Works, a water treatment plant from the early 1800s. If the water is high enough, go swimming, fishing, or paddling on the Patapsco River.
Daniels Area - This secluded area is ideal for fishers, paddlers, and hikers. Check out the Daniels Dam, fish for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass, or launch a canoe and paddle along the river. Hike on Old Alberton Road to see the ruins of Guilford, a former milltown.
Hilton Area - Kids will love playing on the 2-acre playground filled with recycled tires and learning more about the park’s flora and fauna through Junior Rangers and other kid-friendly programming. Short hiking trails wind through woodlands and glades.
McKeldin Area - A popular area with equestrians and bikers, this area features scenic views of cascading rapids on the Rapids Trail and other trails. Anglers will enjoy fishing for trout in the shallow pools and fast-moving waters. There is also a disc golf course and basketball courts.
How to Get to
Patapsco Valley State Park
Patapsco Valley State Park is located in Ellicott City and is accessible from Interstates 695 and 70.
From Interstate 695, take exit 15B to merge onto US-40 West / Baltimore National Pike toward Ellicott City. Follow US-40 West for 3 miles, then turn right into the park’s entrance.
From Interstate 70, take exit 87A to merge onto US-29 South. Drive about 2 miles on US-29, then take exit 24A to merge onto US-40 East / Baltimore National Pike toward Ellicott City. Follow US-40 East for 2 miles, then turn right into the park’s entrance.
Address : 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043
Entering Patapsco Valley State Park
On weekdays, admission is $4 per vehicle ($2 for Maryland residents). On weekends and holidays, admission is $5 per person ($3 for Maryland residents). The park is open every day from 9am until sunset.
Adventure is calling at Patapsco Valley State Park, so get out there and enjoy yourself! Your friends at RVshare would love to follow your travels, so send us your best stories and photos by tagging us on social media or emailing us at [email protected]. Happy (RV) camping!
Frequently Asked Questions About Patapsco Valley State Park
The best time to visit Patapsco Valley State Park is April through October. The park's location in Ellicott City, MD, provides the best seasonal weather during these months to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and trail running.
Patapsco Valley State Park experiences four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. In January, the average high is 41 degrees, and the average low 23 degrees. Its hottest month on average is July, which reaches up to 87 degrees.
The park is home to birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and dragonflies. Some of the most commonly sighted wildlife include Canada Goose, ducks, wild turkey, red-tailed hawk, white-tailed deer, red bat, northern river otter, and American beaver.
Patapsco Valley State Park does not have designated RV Camping spots. The Hollofield Area Campgrounds provides 73 camping spots with water and electrical hookups.. Ramblin' Pines Campground, located 20 minutes from the park, offers more than 200 designated RV sites.
Both Hollofield Area Campgrounds and Ramblin' Pines Campgrounds require reservations. Hollofield Area Campgrounds has rates ranging between $25 to $35 per night. Rambling Pines Campgrounds range between $52.50 to $70 each night.
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