The MORE Fun Trail:
Connectivity and Community Take Center Stage at PVSP
When many people think of the trail system at “Patapsco” – they may be generically referring to the Avalon Area of the park. This area is bounded on the south by I-95, and the north by Ellicott City, for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year – this is Patapsco. With easy access to the river, historic sites, pavilions, playgrounds, and 40+ miles of really great trails – why not? And yes, the Avalon area gets busy…
Fortunately, there are hundreds of miles outside of the Avalon area and folks have long been socially connecting the trails along the 32 miles of the Patapsco River. In 2015 things got real with a new connection planned for the Baltimore County side of the river between Old Court Road in the north, linking through to the Daniels Area/Alberton Road to the south. This connection would take thousands of volunteer hours and give birth to the volunteer effort we now call the “Patapsco FUN Series”!
Our volunteer numbers exploded – suddenly it wasn’t unusual to have 50, 75, 100 folks show up for trail work. The swanky free t-shirts and sponsorships from our local bike shops and craft brewers didn’t hurt – but we knew we were on to something when hikers, runners, boy scouts, families, equestrians, etc. were quickly eclipsing what was once a group of scraggly, middle-aged mountain bikers….
The MORE FUN trail, or upper thru trail, opened the lower Woodstock area up to trail users. Amy Lutsko took the lead designing the trail with MORE’s volunteers and they really did a great job making a nice flowing single-track trail that kept everyone’s feet dry. As I remember it, this trail project saw some huge trail days and really marked the turn of the tides – it made the normal (yet awesome trail days) into TRAIL FUN DAYS with some really big numbers of volunteers from all different user groups. Since the MORE Fun Trail workdays, Patapsco has seen so much love from the volunteers – it gives me a good feeling every time I get out on this fun trail.Joe Vogelpohl, Assistant Park Manager, Patapsco Valley State Park
Not only were we building incredible trail, but we were building a very strong community of park stewardship. The MORE Fun Trail put Woodstock “on the map” – this connectivity led to the Patapsco 100 held by our partners at Adventures for the Cure, the Patapsco Epic from MORE, and the 6 Hours of Woodstock from our pals at Joe’s Bike Shop. Not to mention a fantastic new partnership with the Woodstock Inn – yes, it wasn’t long until we saw the “Woodstock Takeovers” from Race Pace and Princeton Sports and tons of meetup rides out of the Inn. What could be better than great food and a cold one post-ride?