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Occupying more than 16,000 acres, Patapsco Valley State Park immerses you in the natural beauty of the Old Line State. The park stretches for 32 miles along the banks of the Patapsco River and features eight maintained recreational areas and two family-friendly campgrounds. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the Maryland sunshine, whether you're hiking woodland trails, paddling on the river or enjoying a woodland picnic.
The park also cradles centuries of history, with sites like the Thomas Viaduct and Swinging Bridge offering a glimpse of a bygone era. At just 20 minutes from Baltimore and one hour from Washington DC, Patapsco Valley is eternally popular with weekend warriors. Whether you're planning a whirlwind getaway or a long-distance road trip, Outdoorsy makes it easy to rent an RV in Howard County.
Stretch your legs on more than 200 miles of trails, some designated for hikers and others welcoming horseback riders and mountain bikers. As you explore the network, you'll discover cascading waterfalls, crystalline brooks and scenic lookouts. In the summer, there's no better way to cool off than a dip in the Patapsco River. Featuring an enormous dam, the Daniels Area is also popular with swimmers. Launching a kayak or canoe is also a great way to enjoy the river.
One of Maryland's most iconic sights, the historic Thomas Viaduct traces its history to 1835. It continues to reign as the longest multiple-arched stone railroad bridge in the world and spans more than 600 feet across the Patapsco River in the Avalon Area of the park. Also of historical interest is the 300-foot Swinging Bridge in the Orange Grove Area. Cross the bridge to explore the ruins of an old flour mill.
Thanks to its riverside setting Patapsco Valley State Park is a top destination for anglers. Most of the park is open to fishing, with the chance to reel in sunfish, smallmouth, bass and more – perfect for a fish fry back at your RV rental site. In the spring, fast flowing rapids and shallow pools in the McKeldin Area make for excellent trout fishing. McKeldin is also home to a popular 18-hole disc golf course that takes you through forested fairways and grassy fields.
RV camping at Patapsco Valley State Park offers a unique chance to wake up in a sun-dappled forest and roast marshmallows around a crackling fire. The park maintains two campgrounds, one in the Hilton Area reserved for tents only and another in the Hollofield Area, which welcomes RVs. Take your pick of more than 70 sites, some with electrical hookups of up to 50 amp. You'll also enjoy all the creature comforts you'd expect when state park RV camping, including hot showers and flush toilets near each loop.
Sites are on the smaller size, with a maximum RV length of 25 feet. All feature picnic tables and fire rings to maximize your time outdoors. Planning to bring along Fido? Patapsco Valley State Park campground offers a handful of pet-friendly loops. Be sure to read the Maryland Park Service Pet Policy and reserve a designated site. Camp hosts are on-hand to welcome you to the park and answer any questions.
At just 10 miles from Downtown Baltimore, Patapsco Valley State Park is a great base for exploring Charm City. Admire masterpieces at the Walters Art Museum, stroll around the bustling Inner Harbor and work your way through a bounty of farm-to-table restaurants. History buffs shouldn't miss the Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine, where 'The Star-Spangled Banner' anthem was penned during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814. For a change of scene from camp food check out Cross Street Market, where you'll find organic produce, craft beer and gourmet picnic supplies.
If museums and monuments make you tick spend the day in Washington DC. Work your way through iconic sights like the Lincoln Memorial, United States Capitol and The White House. Closer to the park, Elliot City is a great place to stock up on supplies. There are gas stations and grocery stores, as well as cafes, restaurants and even a craft brewery.
If you're motorhome camping with kids, Clark's Elioak Farm is guaranteed to please. The working farm features a petting zoo, pony rides and seasonal pumpkin patch. There are also plenty of play and picnic areas to explore, plus special activities on summer weekends. Golfers will jump at the chance to tee off at Hobbit’s Glen, a par-72 course that's hosted a handful of Champions Tour events.