Self-Guided Opportunities
Day Hike
Location Gunpowder Falls State Park, 410-592-2897
Sweathouse Branch Wildland
Stocksdale Trail and Sweathouse Trail
Trail Access Parking area and trailhead is where Route 1 (Bel Air Road) crosses the Big Gunpowder Falls, about 5.4 miles north of I-695 (the Beltway).
Distance 3.7 miles on Stocksdale Trail with option to add a 1.7 mile spur on Sweathouse Trail
Time 2 to 3 hours
Trail Conditions Trail begins as a gravel and dirt path, and then climbs the side of the river valley on single-track trail; moderate hills; varied terrain
Skill Level Moderately difficult
Suitable For Families? Yes (older children)
Hazards/Restrictions No bicycles or motorized vehicles in wildlands
Potable Water Carry in your own water
Natural Features Piedmont river valley gorge
beech hardwood forest
trail crosses several scenic tributaries
Sweathouse Trail visits a pool on Long Green Run
Historic/Cultural Features Mill race and Stocksdale homestead site
Guiding Call park headquarters for a calendar of naturalist-led walks and activities (410-592-2897).
Camping Organized youth group camping nearby at Camp Cone
Other Points of Interest None
Other Accommodations Bed and breakfast in Upper Falls
Hotels available in White Marsh off Route 43
Fees or Permits Youth group camping permit fees only
Description This popular hike visits a state-designated wildland. Follow the blue blazes. The hike begins on an old gravel and dirt homestead road that parallels the gorge of the Big Gunpowder Falls, providing views of great blue heron and beaver habitat. Look for signs of an old millrace. The trail then climbs the valley walls through the old homestead site and visits a pine plantation before returning to the river. A spur on the yellow-blazed Sweathouse Trail visits relatively untrammeled hardwood forest and two scenic streams. Long Green Run has an idyllic pool and rock formation, a great lunch stop.

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