Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 220 - Patapsco Valley State Park, Hollofield Area

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Memorial to a park ranger
The Union Dam trailhead
Usually, I just "wing it" when going to a location for a walk, hoping that I will find something I am happy with, both walking-wise and photo-wise.  However, I should have done a little research about Patapsco Valley State Park before I went.  Little did I know that there is so much more to it than just the one area I found today.

I set my GPS to take me to the park, and it brought me to the Hollofield location.  This area of the park overlooks the Patapsco River, as the majority of the park does, but from the heights, one can see the arched bridge over Rt. 40.  There was a campground (closed) and a few stone pavilions, some parking areas and a playground, but little else.

Rt. 40 Bridge
Patapsco River
I walked the parking areas and the road that led to the campground, and I even attempted the Union Dam trail, but it soon turned very steep and rocky.  A couple was making their way up the trail, and when we met, I asked them if it was worth the hike down and back up.  They said not particularly, just more rocks and trees, so I opted to turn around.  Basically, other than a picnic that some people were having in one of the shelters, I was the only person around, and I did not want to risk turning an ankle on a rocky trail with no one else in sight.

Boa Constrictor Tree?
The map I studied near the bathrooms showed a "Peaceful Pond" trail, but I could not find where it began.  There was no one to ask, so I drove around the various parking areas to find a marker, to no avail.

The next time I go, I will visit the portions of the park with the historic ruins, the swinging bridge, the railroad viaduct, and the numerous trails marked "easy" or "level."  There is so much more to Patapsco Valley State Park, and I hope to find the scenery that makes this park so popular.


Visit my photography show, "My Maryland," at the public library in Urbana, Maryland, on the lower level of the building.  It is there until the end of April.

Hurricane Sandy Relief: Donate to the Red Cross, and I will mail you a 5 x 7 print from any of the photos I have posted on my blog OR any photo on my website.

Forward to me via email a receipt for donating to the Red Cross. Tell me whether the photo is from the blog or the website, and Include its title along with a mailing address. The name on the receipt to the Red Cross must match the name of the mailing recipient. Send the receipt and the photo request to

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Follow me on Twitter: @camscamerashots

Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably; always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the Nikon Coolpix P7700)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

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