Best Place to Hike
Patapsco Valley State Park
Published: September 21, 2011
8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, (410) 461-5005, dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/patapsco.
Patapsco Valley State Park isn’t a “secret” per se, but sometimes it feels like the full breadth of it is. If the park you have in your head is maybe just that one spot where you go swimming at night or a particular picnic pavilion or Cascade Falls, please consider that the park stretches all the way from damn near Sykesville at the base of Liberty Reservoir nearly all the way to the harbor. Which makes one of Baltimore’s most prominent natural features also protected from development—but not so much from trash and city pollution, alas—which is a rare thing for a large city. The net result is a pretty great place for exploring, especially further west past Ellicott City, and finding your own secret spots.