Put Your Hikes on Shuffle
When people talk about their favorite park, they tend to describe some of their favorite trails to hike. Everyone has favorite trails in their most frequented parks, and often for good reasons. We associate fond memories of first exploring a new park to the first trail hiked or relish the beautiful view we know we can count on seeing every time out on these trails. Favorite trails are great, and every park has its most popular destination and each hiker has a top choice for typical outings. The trouble is when these favorites become blinders and prevent us from experiencing all our parks have to offer.
This is all too easy to do here in the Patapsco Valley. Even after years of hiking throughout Patapsco Valley State Park, it is easy to assume you know the park well and had seen most of what the park has to offer. Sometimes it takes a random hike to show how much we do not see in the park around us. This little trail (highlighted in green on the map below) is a hidden gem that was sitting directly across the Patapsco from one of the more well known places in the park: Alberton. The Daniels Access trail runs from Hollofield Station along the ridge and over to the Daniels area.
Highlighted Trail: Daniels Access Trail
There is easy parking right at the trailhead (on weekdays, weekends can get much busier) and the trail begins where the small stream meets the train tracks across Old Frederick Road from the parking lot. Fair warning this trail involves a significant number of hills and is rather strenuous, but if you are up for the challenge the views are worth the effort. The tail follows the Patapsco along the ridge before cross several small streams and great views overlooking the Patapsco Valley.
Trail Elevation Profile: