Marking the Trail System

Over 200 miles of natural surface trail!

Friends have been working with the Maryland Park Service and a team of dedicated volunteers to produce current maps of the extensive natural surface trail system at PVSP. As part of this effort, we have made a deep dive into trail alignments, resolving private property questions, and standardized trail names and geographic areas of the park.

This effort is timely, as we now ready to add names and location identifiers to the trail marking posts throughout the trail system. Not only will this help with on-trail navigation, but additionally if you have an issue, observe a condition, or have a comment or suggestion – you will be able to identify your location to park staff or the appropriate county agency. PVSP trail users will see installation of these identifiers over the next couple of months!

The PVSP trail system is one of the largest suburban trail systems in the country. Management of the trail system requires planning and coordination with the the Maryland Park Service, user groups and PVSP’s private property neighbors.
Thanks to volunteer GIS professionals, we have updated the root maps via OpenStreetMap. (OSM informs many other mapping tools such as trailforks, strava, etc.) Please note: these are not “official” maps of the park, only the most up-to-date versions, use of these maps is the sole responsibility of the user.

Click here to check out the most current map of Patapsco Valley State Park.

How you can help:

  • Use the adopted naming of trails and park areas. Our trail system is too large and oversubscribed to use a variety of informal names to identify trails, as we get on the same page with naming, it will be much easier to manage our trail system.
  • Do not use trails that are on private property. Our park has hundreds of private property neighbors, and endless amounts of social trails – when in doubt, turn back onto the official trail!
  • Do not park illegally. Parking is limited at PVSP, plan ahead, carpool, arrange a shuttle or drop off, etc. Most of the roads that travel through the park are NOT park property – ticketing and/or towing is a regular occurrence is not under the jurisdiction of the park. Illegal parking impacts our neighbors and dominates the bandwidth of park staff and volunteers – please don’t park illegally.
  • Never construct trails in Patapsco Valley State Park. Building trails or trail features in the park jeopardizes trail access for every user – when unauthorized trails are built, it consumes the time energy of volunteers who are working to provide great trails for every user. Please don’t do it, rogue trail work hurts the greater good – if you have questions about this or the trail system in general please contact us!
  • Trail Etiquette! – It’s busy out there – slow down, say hello to fellow users and always yield! Managing user conflict and cooperation is YOUR responsibility – please practice the excellent trail etiquette that PVSP is known for. PVSP’s trail system is built and maintained by volunteers. Are you wondering if it is too wet to be on the trails? – then the answer is probably yes! Please do not damage our shared trail system.
  • We need your support! Most of this work is being performed by volunteers and all of the funding is provided through grants and direct giving. You can donate directly on this page! If you have questions about ongoing support or how to be involved you can click here.
New kiosks, bike fixit stations and trail markers are funded by the Recreational Trail Program!

Friends, working in collaboration with the Maryland Park Service, is underway with a comprehensive trail marking project at PVSP. In 2020 we have added 12 new trailhead kiosks and almost 500 trail markers (carsonite posts) to help guide park visitors through PVSP’s extensive trail system. This project is funded through a Recreational Trail Program grant, donations from individuals and businesses and is being installed by dedicated volunteers. (This project is not funded through the capital or operational budgets of the Maryland Park Service). This is an ongoing project, we welcome your support!

500 carsonite trail markers are being installed throughout the trail system. These posts will have trail names and distances, and numbering system to help identify locations on the trails.
New kiosks are being constructed to the current Maryland Park Service specifications and serve not only as place to get information about the park, but as “landmarks” in our vast trail system. Trailhead kiosks do not indicate areas to park your automobile.

The new kiosks are much more substantial than previous signs, it’s hard work getting these installed out on the trails!

“New kiosks with bilingual maps and current park regulations are an amenity for every park user, and the trail markers make our world-class trail system easier to navigate.  We have received tremendous support for this project and look forward to continued community investment.”

Dave Ferraro, Executive Director, FPVSP

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