45 Bikes & Hikes: Gunpowder Falls State Park

Kingsville, Md
To Take a Swim
Gunpowder Falls State Park

Distance: 20 miles of pathways

Photograph by Chris McClellan.

This park has more than 120 miles of hiking trails. We suggest heading to the Sweathouse Branch Wildlands Area and following the blue-blazed Stocksdale Trail to the clear waters of Big Gunpowder Falls River. The well-maintained path parallels a shallow creek that you can dip in if you need to cool off. But the best swimming hole is a mile in, after you merge onto the yellow-blazed Sweathouse Trail. All told, it’s a two-mile round-trip. To make an easy five-mile loop, continue on Sweathouse to rejoin the Stocksdale Trail, turning left, then pick up the pink-blazed Wildlands Trail. For more, see

Get Washingtonian’s Daily DC Updates (Not Just Another Political News Roundup)