Switchback Trail - McKeldin Area - Patapsco State Park

#1 of 2 trails in McKeldin Recreation Area
Switchback Trail - McKeldin Area - Patapsco State Park is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked 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 239 feet Loop
dogs on leash kid friendly birding hiking mountain biking trail running walking river
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Meg Kelly
14 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

This was a nice flat trail. We brought our two dogs and had a great time. We did run into one snake so just watch where you are walking!

Lorie Lorie
15 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Good trail for the family. The kids enjoyed it a lot. We walked this one but it would have been fine for our all terrain stroller.

Joshua Waller
27 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Daniel Tayag
29 days ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

Great hike and challenging enough for someone like me who is just starting out. Some nice scenery and mostly easy terrain.

Ken B.
1 month ago

Great scenery. Much of the time near the river. Would go back again!!!

Rachel Perez
2 months ago

11 Completed3 Reviews

Really enjoyed:)

Dan S. Pogonowski
2 months ago

54 Completed9 Reviews

Just a great walk or hike for any ability level. Paths are easy to follow.

Emma Linquist
4 months ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Fantastic and beautiful trail

Noah Berman
4 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

J Brewster
5 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Fun loop, good scenic overlook of the river Rapids.

Stephanie Violante
7 months ago

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
8 months ago

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
8 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Beautiful and well kept trails. My local favorite

nyynksfan 11
8 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Robert Goldsmith
10 months ago

6 Completed2 Reviews

Fadra Nally
10 months ago

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
11 months ago

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.

Tracy Thompson
11 months ago

12 Completed5 Reviews

Along the water for the most of the 2nd half. $3 per person to enter the park. Easy for kids and dogs! Loved seeing the horseback riders!

Mike Seabron
1 year ago

4 Completed4 Reviews

Trail had nice scenery and was moderate for biking. You have to watch out for the horse riders since there are some narrow areas. A re-do for sure!

Florence Sarcon
1 year ago

7 Completed7 Reviews

The trail is easy to get to, with very few tough spots especially if the ground is wet. The waterfall area is very nice and you can walk along the stream as well.