Patapsco Valley State Park: February Events and Updates

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Trail and Area Closure Updates

See our website for trail maps!

  • Grist Mill Trail is closed:
    The trail will be closed for several months while the footbridges are being repaired. The Grist Mill Trail, from the Patterson Viaduct footbridge off Ilchester Road, will remain open to the Buzzards Rock trail connection. Please park only in legal parking areas. Please respect the closure, as it will be unsafe to walk, bike, or ride a horse in the construction area due to heavy equipment operations and inaccessible stream crossings. The Swinging Bridge will be open for foot traffic but not for access to the Grist Mill Trail. Plan ahead: read more about the trail's status on our website.
  • Hilton Area will be closed in April 2023. 

Celebrate the New Year with Patapsco Programs

Sign up for all programs online.

Exciting February Happenings! (click on the calendar to register)


Interested in scheduling a private program or outing for your group?
Click here to see what we have to offer. 

February 5: Hidden Corners Hike
2-5 p.m. at Soldiers Delight NEA

Join Volunteer Ranger and mining historian, Johnny Johnsson, on a Hidden Corners Hike. We plan to hike several miles to rediscover little-known historic features of Soldiers Delight, such as mill foundations and dam ruins, chrome mining pits, and quartz quarries. This program is appropriate for ages 12 and up, who are able to hike this distance and variable terrain.

Hiking footwear, gloves, hat, and appropriate warm clothing layers will be needed for winter weather, with possible snow on the ground. Be prepared to navigate some briars, thorns, and wet crossings. Hiking sticks helpful. No pets please. Meet at Soldiers Delight Visitor Center, and we will carpool to a designated parking area. Advance signup is required


February 12: BIPOC Hike
10 a.m. - noon at McKeldin Area, Switchback Trailhead by Contact Station

Help us celebrate Black History month with a hike on the Switchback Trail led by Tempestt Little, owner of Outside While Melanated! Little says, “When Melanated people go out in nature it’s very powerful. There is healing, peace, medicine, food, vitamins, minerals, adventure, and so much more. I’ve had the pleasure to share my happy place of adventure with others by hosting group events and joining others in their adventures and meeting outdoor lovers in other states.”

All are welcome. Precipitation/bad weather cancels program. Limited binoculars and field guides will be available to borrow.

Advance registration is encouraged. Groups larger than 5 must sign up in advance.


February 18: Backyard Bird Count
9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., or 10:30 a.m. at McKeldin 600

Join birders around the world in a global bird count! Learn the basics of birding, and join us as we contribute to important scientific research. Each session will be approximately 30 minutes. Beginners welcome! Open for the whole family. Precipitation or subfreezing temperatures cancel program. Advance registration is encouraged. Groups larger than 5 must sign up in advance. Limited binoculars and field guides available to borrow. 

meet a herp

February 19: Meet a Herp, Paint a Herp

2-/4 p.m. at Soldiers Delight NEA Visitor Center

Join park staff at Soldiers Delight for a hands-on, step-by-step paint night. We’ll start the night by getting an up-close look at the subject of the painting, one of the Scales & Tales turtles! All materials provided. Beginners encouraged! $10. Advance registration is encouraged. Groups larger than 5 must sign up in advance to ensure enough materials for all participants. Recommended for ages 10 and up! 

stem like a girl

Park News: Patapsco Family Expansion

Ranger Rachel Bukoski welcomed baby Aurora to the park family this month! 

From Our Friends:

The Friends of Patapsco Valley State Park need your input! 

Plans are coming together for Patapsco Trail Fest 2023. Please take two minutes and fill out this event survey to help with planning!

Volunteer orientation

Become a Park Volunteer!

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer or would you like to learn about volunteering at Patapsco Valley State Park? Our next New Volunteer Orientation will be February 25 at 10 a.m. at McKeldin shelter 576

You can also contact us at


Favorite Photos from Last Month

jan 2023 collage

To be featured in next month's favorite photos please send your photos to

Unless otherwise noted, events are held rain or shine, free and fun for all ages; donations are always welcome. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Dress for the weather/activity, wear sunscreen and insect repellent, bring plenty of water and snacks, and remember to check for ticks.

Please call 410-461-5005 for additional information or to register.

Patapsco Valley staff also manages Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area.


YOU are what make Patapsco Valley Special!

Want to share your stories, photos, and hopes for 2023?

Email us at!

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