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.
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.
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!
Beware, sometimes the locals are not as happy to see you are you are to see them!
At the end of the day, just relax with friends!
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!!
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