3/14/2020 BDTITP trail – Old Ranger trail (blue) – No name trail – Old Ranger trail (blue) – No name trail – Old Ranger trail (blue) – Peaceful Pond trail (orange) – Old Ranger trail (blue) – No name trail – BDTITP – off trail next to Patapsco River
Elevation gain: 492 ft
Location: Old Frederick rd. at Johnnycake rd. – parking between the railroad tracks and the river – at green metal bridge.
Not that I was particularly looking for the trailhead but it definitely wasn’t visible from where we have parked even though it’s right there. No sign pointing it out though. So we ended up following the tracks and looking at AllTrails simultaneously. In about a quarter of a mile (maybe less) where there are two white signs/notices sticking out from the ballast we crossed the tracks and hooked up with the trail on our right after cutting through the vegetation.
Countless times I was wondering about – actually every time we cross on these bridges on I70 – what is down in that valley? While sitting in a car, even a truck, there is nothing I can see beyond the cement barrier except the top of the tree-line and houses on the hill. After 19 years living here I got my answer!
Below the amazingly high twin bridges there is Patapsco River and CXS railroad. And Mag and me now posing on a great little (impossible) wooden bridge!
The trail supposedly go under the towering bridges but first it winds away lazily from them to cross a small noname creek without enduring too much of an elevation change.
After the gorge we hike up on the trail to the left, up on the hill towards I70. Follow the airbrake sounds….
It is so cool to be under these structures! I took so many pictures of them that Mag was pulling me away…. Ok, ok. Right after we came across this pretty little creek which joins Patapsco River down below us.
Shortly after we cut through this clearing to join Patapsco South keeping to the left.
The path here becomes very rocky and running on the edge following the band of the river way down below.
We had encounter our first couple of people on this stretch just before we reached the information bulletin. We are officially on Ole Ranger trail. This is also a spot for one of the paying entrances to Patapsco. We are now also on North Patapsco which is hard to understand since we have just left South….
On AllTrails the name of this trail is – I guess – misspelled to Old Ranger trail.
However we headed up on the small hill, towards the Patapsco State Park offices. At the next “big” intersection to stay true to our slogan we take left towards the mysterious tower. Now that I am writing this and looking at this sign….it’s kind of confusing….it seems like we took the shorter route. That’s actually not true.
We yet again come in contact with the clearing and turn left to follow the now spacious trail until the red gate.
This is another dead end parking area close to Peaceful Pond. Keep to the right we jump on the trail mirroring the pond’s name.
It is indeed a beautiful and yes! peaceful small lake with a pair of Canadian Geese floating on its surface. We sat on the bench for a few, purposefully installed to enjoy this idyllic setting.
Even though we managed to get off the trail again between the lake and the tower we also found our way back. There was a small area that was burned, covering up the path. The tower is the starting point of the paved portion of the Ole Ranger trail which goes arrow straight for a bit.
We however – as usual – took the first left off trail to cut through the woods and hook back up to where we trailed off originally to the west to follow the river.
As soon as we are back at the clearing, instead of following the trail we descend down to the water, surfacing under the twin bridges onto the tracks.
Patapsco here takes a huge east bend Pickall trail visible on the other side. We both love rivers and drawn to them every time possible.
Taking the ballast trail to the north until we can yet again scoot down to the liquid we follow the bend to this sandy beach. This is our last stop at the river since the unofficial trail ends and we head back next to the railroad to find our way back to our trusty car waiting for us in the lot.
Here is our hiking map. I’ve stopped using ResQWalk to save as much battery power as possible until I get an external battery.
It felt more than 4.5 miles but maybe so because we had so much fun!
Get out there and enjoy nature! And don’t forget!
Better yet don’t take anything with you that’s plastic and so forth. And please use biodegradable poopy bags!
Thank you for stopping by. I hope our blog helps you in your ventures in these wonderful parks.