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Mckeldin Area - Patapsco State Park

tons of ruins and artifacts along the Patapsco river
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 16.7 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  A strenuous distance hike to St. Stanislaus Kotska Catholic Church and cemetery ruins located in Patapsco state park in Maryland.

A... more »


  • this is a strenuous hike! need a pack with at least 5-6 bottles of water, and food, salt is recommended
  • the trail looks flat, but has portage sections that can be steep. crosses hilly areas
  • beware the active railroad tracks
  • start early! took me about 7 hours to complete
  • gauge your progress! the pipeline and power lines are approximately half way there (and thus a quarter of the total trip time...) should take you about 2 hours to this point. got enough daylight left?
  • 1 immersion stream crossing. take off shoes and bring extra socks! the river is not deep at the moment but it may change.
  • buy the trail map at the ranger station for $6, there are side loops possible to make this trail longer.
  • this is a horse trail too.

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Points of Interest

1. parking lot area

parking lot area with picnic tables and shelters.

restroom nearby.

the trail is a paved one to start out.

2. rapids and river overlook

this is the rapids and river overlook trail

3. Patapsco river view

a nice view of the river, no boats here.

no swimming too!

4. optional rock scramble

you can go here for an overlook, but its a rock scramble!

better follow the gps route and take the white trail

5. cross the river!

no bridge, water is very low, less than knee deep.

look for the horse crossing a deep gouge here, and cross over a little farther with an easier crossing.

then find the trail again on the other side.

6. trail view after crossing

trail view after the crossing, a well defined trail

7. river trail

view on the trail by the river

there are washed out portions that you have to portage along the trail (detour trails)

some of them go over hills etc.

8. grafiti bridge cross under

grafiti bridge, cross under it.

9. pipeline marker

this is the pipeline fence and marker

somewhere between the pipeline and the power lines is the halfway point to the cemetery for this hike

(well thats a 1/4 of the total time)

so gauge your progress. and plan accordingly for daylight.

it should be 2 hour legs to the power lines for a total trip out and back of less than 8 hours.

10. power lines through field

power lines running through a field

another marker to gauge your progress

11. stump stream crossing

stump stream crossing, can get muddy!

12. small train bridge

small train bridge,

some kayaks usually park here on the tributary.

13. side trail, fishing spot

this is a fishing spot, and side trail.

14. cross tracks to other side and pickup trail entry

cross tracks here at bridge and find trail on other side.

15. old car junkyard

some really old cars here, now u may call it a junkyard :-)

16. dam

this is a small dam.

lookout point for a good view on the river

17. rail bridge

rail bridge,

daniels still has some manufacturing companies on the end of this, and also this is the alternate point of entry for this hike.

this is an active rail.

18. church ruins

old church ruins

19. old church ruins and cemetery

this is an old church ruins and cemetery.

the cemetery stones date to the 1920-1930's.

the ruins are accessed on a side trail starting at the netted rock pile on the right hand side.

please do not disturb anything, especially the cemetery stones. they are graffiti free. it is illegal to do so as this is part of the Patapsco state park.

do not... More

20. assorted artifacts

assorted metal artifacts along the trail here.

good turnaround point.

trail continues past power lines and a fire circle at end