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Gunpowder Falls State Park

Central Region

Historic

Directions & Trail Description

Location: Kingsville, MD. Harford and Baltimore County

Length & Configuration: 15 miles of trails. Design your own ride using interconnecting loops.

Terrain & Surface: Singletrack and double-track dirt surface on varied terrain. Involves stream crossings and traversing stone steps. Moderately hilly.

Technical Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

Elevation change: No appreciable gain. Numerous hill climbs, steeper as you approach Little Gunpowder Falls.

Trail Use: mountain biking, hiking, cross country skiing, horseback riding

Caution: Trails can be muddy in spring. Be careful at stream crossings.

 

 

 

 

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Gun Powder Falls State Park Map

Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.

Directions:

Sweet Air Area: Take Mountain Road (152 north) to Route 165. Turn left heading south on 165 (Baldwin Mill Road). Turn right onto Greene Road, right onto Moores Road, and left onto Dalton Bevard Road. Parking is at the end of Dalton-Bevard Road within the park.  Numerous trails leave from this parking area, making return loops.

Lost Pond Trail: Parking area and trailhead are where Route 1 (Bel Air Road) crosses the Big Gunpowder Falls, about 5.4 miles north of I-695 (the Beltway). Follow the blue blazed trail heading southeast from the parking lot.

 

General Description:

18,000 acre Gunpowder Falls State Park, the largest State Park in Maryland, was established to protect the stream valleys of the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls and Gunpowder River. This long, narrow park is divided into several distinct areas. These areas, spread out along the River are separated by several miles and offer an incredible variety of terrain, scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities. Habitats range from tidal marshes and wetlands near the Chesapeake Bay to the steep, rugged slopes found in the northern section of the park towards the Maryland-Pennsylvania line. There are around 100 miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding, including the 21 mile multi-use Northern Central Rail Trail.

 

Hereford Area: This 3,620 acre northern-most section features a gorge-like wilderness setting. There are over 20 miles of trails for rugged hiking and horseback riding. Mountain bikes are prohibited on all trails in this area. The Big Gunpowder Falls attracts canoeing, kayaking and tubing enthusiasts (see our Bikes & Beaches feature). The hardwood forest here supports a variety of plant and animal life, including some rare species. Animals making this area home are opossums, raccoons, woodchuck, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, beaver, whitetail deer, woodpeckers, kingfishers, red-shouldered hawks and blue herons.

Northern Central Railroad (NCR) Trail: This multi-use recreational trail was officially renamed the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail. A section of the rail trail travels through Gunpowder Falls State Park on its way north into Pennsylvania. See brief description below.

Central Area: This section follows the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls through undeveloped areas. It includes the 1,250 acre Sweet Air Area, popular with mountain bikers and equestrians. The Sweathouse Branch Wildlands Area (bikes prohibited), features hardwood forest along the banks of the Big Gunpowder with opportunities for bird and wildlife viewing. Jerusalem Village, located on the banks of Little Gunpowder Falls is a quaint historic village with a mill, museum, park headquarters, covered bridge and other restored structures.

Hammerman and Dundee Creek: Hammerman offers 1,500 feet of beach and a swimming area on the banks of the Gunpowder River. There is also a windsurfing beach with windsurfers, kayaks and catamaran rentals available. The Dundee Creek Marina, at the mouth of the Gunpowder River, offers services to the boating public.

 

The Trails:

Sweet Air Area: The Little Gunpowder Falls flows through the area, following the border between Harford and Baltimore Counties before reaching the Chesapeake Bay. The Sweet Air Area is popular with equestrians and mountain bikers and offers 18 miles of great intermediate level trails which include 4 major loop trails with some shorter loop ride options available. They are the Pine Loop Trail (1.5 miles), Boundary Trail (4.9 miles), Barley Pond Trail (1.3 miles) and Little Gunpowder Trail (3.8 miles). These are well-marked and maintained, moderately hilly and sometimes rocky. The mix of single and doubletrack trails are also suitable for families with experienced older children. The trails take you through open fields, woodlands, pine plantations, over riverbank slopes and to old farm ponds. The trails tend to get steeper when approaching the Little Gunpowder Falls.

Lost Pond Trail: This is a 3.1 mile dirt surface, singletrack trail that traverses a variety of terrain in the Central Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park. The blue-blazed trail starts out level, following the floodplain, and then climbs some hills to reach the Lost Pond before looping back to the trailhead. Stream crossings and traversing stone steps will be required. Skill level is intermediate and is suitable for families with experienced older children. The trail takes you through beech hardwood forest, through the Piedmont river valley gorge along the Big Gunpowder Falls and crosses  Broad Run, a large, scenic tributary. Look for the rapids area called "pot rocks" where pot holes were created in the bedrock from water action. You will also pass an old mill site and Long Calm, where Lafayette and his troops camped during the American Revolution.

Northern Central Railroad (NCR) Trail: This 21 mile former railbed is now a multi-use rail trail for hikers, horseback riders and bikers. This scenic trail also offers many points of historic interest and the Sparks Bank Nature Center (weekends).

For more details see Northern Central Rail Trail

 

Historical Note:

Jerusalem Mill Village
Located in Hartford County along the banks of the Little Gunpowder Falls (Central Area of the Park). The historic 228-year old Jerusalem Mill houses the Park Headquarters and a small museum. It was once the centerpiece of this thriving Quaker settlement. The water powered flour mill and village are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The village was also the site of a Gun Factory, Blacksmith Shop, Wheel-wright, Sawmill, General Store and Post Office. Today the restored Gun Factory and Blacksmith Shop are used for demonstrations of the activities that were once part of daily life for the tidewater residents and long hunters (fur traders).

Jericho Covered Bridge
Located within Jerusalem Village and also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only covered bridge left in Baltimore and Harford Counties. Built in 1865 and rennovated in 1981.

The Villages of Corbett and Monkton
These villages along the Northern Central Railroad Trail, are also on the National Register of Historic Places. The restored Monkton Station houses a visitor center with concessions and bike rental. Many historic railroad structures and pre-Civil War buildings can be seen along the trail. Abraham Lincoln traveled on the Northern Central to deliver his Gettysburg Address in 1863. After his assassination Lincoln’s body was transported back to Illinois along these same rails.

 

 

For more information:

Gunpowder Falls State Park
PO Box 480
2813 Jerusalem Road
Kingsville, MD 21087

Phone: (410) 592-2897
TTY: call via the Maryland Relay at 800-735-2258 or 711 (AT&T National Relay Service)
Website: Gunpowder Falls State Park

 

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