Hike to Cascade Falls, Patapsco Valley State Park

2.1 miles 428 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by The Outbound Collective

An easy hike in Patapsco Valley State Park to a number of waterfalls and opportunities to get in the water. This is a great hike for the whole family.

This family-friendly hike in Patapsco Valley State Park takes you to your first waterfall sighting within only the first 1000 ft of the trail.

As you continue on, you can do some creek walking and wading in the shallow pools of water. When you reach a rock staircase, you can either turn back or continue on for a 2.1 mile hike through the woods.

Back at the parking lot, top off with a swim in the adjacent Patapsco River.

Read More

Tags

Swimming
Hiking
Family Friendly
River
Waterfall

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Hot to get to Cascade Falls

To see Cascade Falls, you need to do 4 things after entering Patapsco Park: 1) drive to the second parking lot of the Avalon Area. It is the smaller parking lot in an area where there are many picnic tables and a shelter near the stream. The road from park entrance to the Avalon Area deads end at this second lot. 2) Locate the Restroom. It is at the EXIT of the second parking lot. 3) Locate the entrance to the Cascade Falls trail. It is next to the right side of the restroom. 4) Walk uphill about 5-10 minutes and you will se the Cascade Falls. As another commenter wrote, it is hard to get on the right trail to go to the Cascade Falls. Fact is, if you take the wrong Cascade Trails head at the ENTRANCE of the second parking lot, you will walk uphill and downhill for miles before seeing the fall. Most folks just give up long before they get to the fall.

No waterfalls? :(

I did this hike in August and per the reviews expected waterfalls or water of some sort. However, I did not see any on this trail! Perhaps they were all dried up or I came at the wrong time. Other than that this trail is very nice, as are the surrounding trails in the Patapsco park. Lots of people on weekends.

Cascade Falls from Avalon Loop Area

I started my trek to Cascade Falls from the Avalon Parking Area. You can take the Ridge Trail (shorter) or the Morning Choice Trail (longer) and both trails will intersect with the Cascade Trail and take you to the waterfall. If you're looking for a longer trek (5+ miles) I'd highly recommend taking one of those trails up - there's diverse scenery and fascinating ruins along the way.

Driving Directions point you to the middle of nowhere in a wooded residential NO PARKING ALLOWED development:(

We were to meet as a scout troop here this morning and these directions which I pinpointed everyone to ended up a disaster. Everyone was lost or confused and it took us an extra hour to get started until we all decided to meet at the E. City Hollofield P. Park location......ugh!

Amazing

Beautiful hike Amazing for kids and dogs great workout ❤️

Stay Nearby

Millersville, Maryland

Washington DC / Capitol KOA

Greenbelt, Maryland

Greenbelt Park Picnic Areas

Overview PICNIC AREAS CLOSED UNTIL 2020Greenbelt Park is an urban oasis just 12 miles from Washington, D.C. This beautiful, wooded park is known for its peaceful surroundings and National Park Serv...

Greenbelt, Maryland

Greenbelt Campground

Overview Campground closed until Spring 2020. Greenbelt Campground is an urban oasis just 12 miles from Washington, D.C. This beautiful, wooded park is known for its safety, affordability, peacefu...

Washington, District of Columbia

Rock Creek Park Group Picnic Areas

Overview Eight group picnic areas in Rock Creek Park are available for advance reservation from May through October. These picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis from Novemb...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Cascade Falls and Rootball Loop Trail

    Park on the shoulder of Landing Drive (see map) to access the trailhead. This trail is open April-September. Dogs allowed on leash. 

    2.4 miles 285 ft gain

  • Hike the Potapsco Valley Hilltop Area Trail

    Park on S. Hilltop Road to access the trailhead. Some sections of the trail can be sleep and slippery so be sure to bring adequate footwear. 

    2.07 miles 255 ft gain

  • Hike the Avalon Loop Trail

    Park in the lot off of River Road to access the Avalon Loop Trail. Trail is open from June-November and is dog friendly. The whole loop is about 20 miles but you can make it an out-and-back if you're looking for a shorter hike.  

    20.4 miles 1791 ft gain

  • Hike Old Ranger Trail to Hollofield Access Trail

    Park in the designated area on the road off of Baltimore National Pike to access the trailhead. This trail is accessible year-round. Dogs allowed on leash. 

    3.58 miles 360 ft gain