Cascade Falls Loop

Elkridge, Maryland

based on 4 reviews



2.31 miles

Elevation Gain

381 ft

Route Type



Added by Lindsy Dugan

An easy hike in Patapsco Valley State Park to a number of waterfalls and opportunities to get in the water. This is a great hike for the whole family.

This hike is a great place to escape the city feel of Baltimore and disappear into the wilderness.

Enter through the Avalon Area entrance. There is a cash fee to enter the park. Once you pass the front gate continue past the initial picnic area. Continue through the park to the Orange Grove Area and park here. There is a bathroom near by and a map of the number of different of trailheads to choose from.

Cascade Falls Loop is a nice 2+ mile loop hike with minimal elevation gain, and makes for an excellent leg stretcher to get the day started. Maps of the trails in the area can be found on Maryland's Department of Natural Resources website. The trails are color coded and sporadically a small colored rectangle can be found on a tree to tell you what trail you are on.

There are miles of trails to explore, or just find a nice spot by the river and kick back.

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Family Friendly

Cascade Falls Loop Reviews

To see Cascade Falls, you need to do 4 things after entering Patapsco Park: 1) drive to the second parking lot of the Avalon Area. It is the smaller parking lot in an area where there are many picnic tables and a shelter near the stream. The road from park entrance to the Avalon Area deads end at this second lot. 2) Locate the Restroom. It is at the EXIT of the second parking lot. 3) Locate the entrance to the Cascade Falls trail. It is next to the right side of the restroom. 4) Walk uphill about 5-10 minutes and you will se the Cascade Falls. As another commenter wrote, it is hard to get on the right trail to go to the Cascade Falls. Fact is, if you take the wrong Cascade Trails head at the ENTRANCE of the second parking lot, you will walk uphill and downhill for miles before seeing the fall. Most folks just give up long before they get to the fall.

I did this hike in August and per the reviews expected waterfalls or water of some sort. However, I did not see any on this trail! Perhaps they were all dried up or I came at the wrong time. Other than that this trail is very nice, as are the surrounding trails in the Patapsco park. Lots of people on weekends.

I started my trek to Cascade Falls from the Avalon Parking Area. You can take the Ridge Trail (shorter) or the Morning Choice Trail (longer) and both trails will intersect with the Cascade Trail and take you to the waterfall. If you're looking for a longer trek (5+ miles) I'd highly recommend taking one of those trails up - there's diverse scenery and fascinating ruins along the way.

We were to meet as a scout troop here this morning and these directions which I pinpointed everyone to ended up a disaster. Everyone was lost or confused and it took us an extra hour to get started until we all decided to meet at the E. City Hollofield P. Park location......ugh!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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