Bridget's Blog


Things to Do with Kids near Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City Maryland

This area is within the southern end of Patapsco Valley State Park. The primary entrance is located off of South Street in Baltimore County. Three distinct areas are featured in this section of the park. 

We love to explore here.  The trails are great for walking, running or bike riding.  The beauty of nature is every where from the water falls, to the birds, deer, fox and snakes.  You can swim in the river or just skip rocks.  Many days you will find Kayaks exploring the river and birders checking the trees.

Things to do with kids Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City

Avalon, once home of the Avalon Nail and Iron Works, has only a few remains of the bustling mill town that once dotted the shores of the Patapsco River. Today, this section of the park has large picnic shelters, playgrounds, and access to trails that travel through the river valley as well as up and out of the valley. The Avalon Visitor center is also found in this section of the park - open on weekends April - October this small visitor center is housed in one of the only remaining structures from the village that supported the Avalon Iron works. You travel through Avalon to reach the Orange Grove area.

Things to do with kids Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City

Orange Grove is one of the most scenic areas of Patapsco, once the home of the village of Orange Grove, a mill town that supported the flour mill on the Baltimore County side of the river. A swinging bridge similar to the one that spanned the river in the 1800's and early 1900's crosses the river today connecting guests to the popular Grist Mill Trail. This area provides access to picnic shelters and picnic sites, as well as access to several trails located in this section of the park. A short walk up the remains of River Rd. follows along the river to the site of Bloedes Dam. Bloedes Dam was an engineering feet of the 20th century. It is the first hydroelectric dam in the U.S. where the turbines were located inside the hollow core of the dam. Today, this dam no longer generates electricity. Its interior turbines have been removed. ( Due to the dangers in the area surrounding the dam, the dam is posted as a no trespassing area for 300 feet above and below the dam.)

Great places to climb and explore, you never know what you will find!

Things to do Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City

Beware, sometimes the locals are not as happy to see you are you are to see them!

Things to do with kids Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City

At the end of the day, just relax with friends!

Things to do with kids Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City

If you are looking for things to do with kids near Catonsville, Elkridge, Ellicott City, Maryland take a trip to the Avalon/Glen Artney/Orange Grove area of Patapsco State Park. 

*please note, all items in bold are from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.  For more information about the parks of Maryland, please visit their site.  You will find lots more to do!!

Warm Regards,

Bridget McGee  Maryland Mortgage Mama  NMLS# 196068  SWBC Mortgage.   410-960-2061 EHO or


If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure! 

If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest.  Please contact me at 410-960-2061.

Comment balloon 5 commentsBridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee • May 21 2011 06:50AM


Bridget, what a cute group of kids! And the park looks like too much fun to explore, great place to take the family or take yourself to get a bit of a new outlook on life for sure.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 9 years ago

Are you kidding me. I have never heard of this. Where is the entrance? Great post Bridget

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) about 9 years ago

I love Patapsco State Park, there are so many different areas and so many trails and things to do.  Don't forget the tire park!!

Posted by June Piper-Brandon, Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time (Houwzer LLC) about 9 years ago

Andrea, Thanks!! There are so many wonderful parks in Maryland, we are very blessed!

Ellie, It's right off 195 at Washington Blvd in Elkridge.  I bet Drew would love the swinging bridge, it spans the Patapsco.

June, My kid have all grown up at the tire park.  It's such a cool place.  I will dig out some pictures and write that one up too!

Posted by Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee, Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068 (SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061) about 9 years ago

Bridget- I had no idea there was that much to do in the park. Guess were we are going very soon?

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) about 9 years ago