Switchback Trail - McKeldin Area - Patapsco State Park

EASY
#1 of 2 trails in McKeldin Recreation Area
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Switchback Trail - McKeldin Area - Patapsco State Park is a 3.8 mile loop trail located near Marriottsville, MD that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.8 miles 265 feet Loop
dogs on leash kid friendly birding hiking mountain biking trail running walking river
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Emma Linquist

2 Completed1 Reviews

Fantastic and beautiful trail

Noah Berman

1 Completed1 Reviews

J Brewster

1 Completed1 Reviews

Fun loop, good scenic overlook of the river Rapids.

Stephanie Violante

1 Completed1 Reviews

A good one - two hour hike, I'll be coming back for sure! A gentle warning that if you plan to hike with a dog, there is a gun range close by that makes a bit of noise (my dog gets skittish at the sound, but managed pretty well.)

Laura Schneider

5 Completed2 Reviews

Is a very beautiful, well kept trail. A little difficult to navigate - Started at Mckeldin area parking and took Switchback Trail - which I expected to be the complete loop. At some point, ended up jumping onto the Mckeldin Rapids Trail - as I couldn't find any more of the white blazes for Switchback. Had a little difficulty following the initial part of the rapids trail, but was able to stay close and reconnect eventually. The water was beautiful and the rapids are definitely a must see! The trail eventually came out to the parking lot, and followed that for a few minutes to find an entrance back onto switchback again, going back the way I came. Obviously, I recommend definitely checking out/bringing a map; but doing both trails was worth it as well.
Was a nice time, enjoyed sharing the trail with runners, people horseback, and occasional deer. :) Parking is $3 per person.

Hannah Clothier

1 Completed1 Reviews

Beautiful and well kept trails. My local favorite

nyynksfan 11

1 Completed1 Reviews

Robert Goldsmith

6 Completed2 Reviews

Fadra Nally

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great trail for a nature enthusiast and novice hiker. Lots of terrain and elevation and change in scenery. Trail is shared with horses and mountain bikes until the end. It was a little confusing but you finish on the "Foot Traffic Only" portion. Lots of shade and spots along the river. Can't wait to hike this in all four seasons!

Jennifer Williams

1 Completed1 Reviews

Absolutely loved this trail. There was a couple different trails to take. I loved how you could go down and walk down by the river and even walk across in some spots. There's one spot about halfway through where the hike gets very steep uphill. That part absolutely killed me but everything else made it worth it. A lot of birds and wildlife to see. I even saw a baby fawn on my hike. There were a lot of horseback riders on this trail as well as other hikers.