The Old Ellicott City Connector! A Better Way To OEC.
Please note: we are now building only the machine built section of the OEC Connector. All volunteer work at PVSP is on pause due to the COVID19 Pandemic, we hope to resume our volunteer trail building soon – in the meantime, we are thankful to have our contracted builders working to build new sustainable trails!
Ellicott City has long been the gap in the connectivity of the PVSP trail system. It takes a bit of know-how and a bunch of on-road travel on Church St. and Park Rd. to connect to the Hollofield area of the park. As the trails in the Hollofield area have been realigned and made more sustainable, this area has become a destination for park visitors. Ole Ranger Trail, the reconfigured Peaceful Pond trail, and the trail connectivity under Rt. 70 to the Daniels area have made a trail connection to OEC a highly desired project.
How cool would it be to be able to camp in the Hollofield Campground and hike into Ellicott City for dinner? Or make a big loop with a stop at a local bike shop, a yoga studio, or a cold refreshment at Ellicott City’s fine watering holes?
The trail alignment has several tough sections, most notably a very technical, high exposure area that would need to be built above the Union Dam Tunnel. This section of the trail would eliminate the crossing of the active CSX railroad line – for the first time at PVSP we would engage a professional trail builder and use a mini excavator to build this challenging section of trail.
FPVSP and their partners (MORE, Mountain Club of Maryland, PHG and many others) continue to knock it out of the park providing connections between different areas of the park and neighboring communities. This OEC Connector will provide an opportunity for park guests (campers, bikers, and thru hikers) to access historic Ellicott City on a natural surface trail, and opens up new connection to the park for Ellicott City residents and visitors.
Mike Morrone, MORE Trail Liaison, Patapsco Valley State Park