Self-Guided Opportunities
Location Gunpowder Falls State Park, Lost Pond Trail
Central Area, 410-592-2897
Trail Access Parking area and trailhead are where Route 1 (Bel Air Road) crosses the Big Gunpowder Falls, about 5.4 miles north of I-695 (the Beltway). Follow the blue blazed trail heading southeast from the parking lot.
Distance 3.1 miles
Time 2-3 hours
Trail Trail is single-track dirt surface; varied terrain. It follows the floodplain (level) then climbs some hills to loop back for its return. Involves stream crossings and traversing stone steps.
Skill Level Moderately difficult
Suitable For Families? Yes (families with older children)
Hazards/Restrictions No motorized vehicles. Check the crossing over Broad Run before attempting. Water levels vary. Trail can be muddy, especially in spring.
Potable Water Carry in your own water.
Natural Features Piedmont river valley gorge along the Big Gunpowder Falls, beech hardwood forest, trail crosses the Broad Run, a large scenic tributary. A rapids section along the river is nicknamed "Pot Rocks," due to deep potholes created in the river bedrock from water action/erosion.
Historic/Cultural Features A nearby trail passes the site of the Carroll Sawmill ruins and mill race c. 1833. The Lost Pond Trail visits an abandoned mill pond. The trail passes Long Calm, a fort on the Big Gunpowder Falls used before 1692. In 1754 a ferry was used to cross the river at this spot. Lafayette with his troops camped at Long Calm while passing through during the American Revolution.
Guiding None
Camping Organized youth group primitive camping nearby at Camp Cone. Call the park office to reserve, 410-592-2897.
Other Points of Interest None
Other Accommodations Hotels and motels located in the White Marsh area off Route 43.
Service Charges or Permits Youth group camping permit fees only.
Description The hike begins from the south end of the parking lot. The blue blazed trail follows the floodplain for approximately two miles, then climbs some hills to upland forest to reach the Lost Pond. The trail returns via a loop to the main trail. The dirt single-track trail parallels the gorge of the Big Gunpowder Falls, providing views of great blue heron and beaver habitat. Look for the rapids area called "pot rocks" where potholes were created in the bedrock from water action. On the return trip an optional spur on the yellow-blazed Sawmill Trail (0.4 mile) provides scenic views of Broad Run.

Resources Recommended Gear and Safety Tips
  • Small first aid kit
  • Water and a snack
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Adequate footwear
  • Compass
  • Rainwear
  • Check for ticks upon returning