Baltimore: Cascade Falls

Hike, bike, or snowshoe this 3.1-mile loop to pioneer ruins and a relaxing waterfall in Patapsco State Park, a short drive from downtown.
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Hike, bike, or snowshoe this 3.1-mile loop to pioneer ruins and a relaxing waterfall in Patapsco State Park, a short drive from downtown.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 3.9

Waypoints

SFL001

Location: -83.7700958251953, 35.6050109863281

Head SE on Anthony Creek Trail

SFL002

Location: -83.7669219970703, 35.603199005127

Stay straight @ 3-way with Crib Gap Trail

SFL003

Location: -83.7564468383789, 35.5880355834961

Bear L @ Y, staying near Anthony Creek

SFL004

Location: -83.7412414550781, 35.5786933898926

Anthony Creek campsite

SFL005

Location: -83.7347412109375, 35.5816078186035

Turn R @ Tonto Bote Mountain Trail

SFL006

Location: -83.7306365966797, 35.5642700195312

Turn right onto AT after quick sidetrip to L for great views on Spence Field Bald

SFL007

Location: -83.7315826416016, 35.5638694763184

Stay on AT; head to branch of Gunna Greek. Option: Turn L, overnight at shelter

SFL008

Location: -83.7327041625976, 35.5619087219238

Spence Field Shelter (backcountry permit required); return to Waypoint 7 then head W

SFL010

Location: -83.7664413452148, 35.561767578125

Take R onto Russell Field Trail

SFL011

Location: -83.7603759765625, 35.5776977539062

Ledbetter Ridge backcountry campsite; reliable water

SFL009

Location: -83.7551651000976, 35.5642356872559

Trail descends into Maple Sugar Gap, then loops N to McCambell Gap

SFL012

Location: -83.7564697265625, 35.587963104248

Close loop; turn L and return 1.7 miles back to trailhead

SYC001

Location: -86.3212203979492, 39.0347709655762

Head N past metal gate on Terril Ridge Trail

SYC003

Location: -86.3209838867188, 39.0411186218262

Stay on main trail, bearing NE between hills

SYC004

Location: -86.3139495849609, 39.0502281188965

Turn R onto Sycamore Trail

SYC005

Location: -86.3043365478516, 39.0533790588379

Pass Wildlife Pond Campsite

SYC006

Location: -86.2959671020508, 39.0425491333008

Enter white pine forest; view to L of Browning Mtn.

SYC007

Location: -86.2910842895508, 39.0404815673828

Primitive campsites scattered along Sycamore Branch Creek

SYC009

Location: -86.3017807006836, 39.0391426086426

More campsites; streamlet enters on R

SYC002

Location: -86.3210525512695, 39.038215637207

Go straight @ Sycamore Trail (no.216)

SYC008

Location: -86.2989349365234, 39.0387687683106

Stream crossing, first of many if stream is flowing

SYC010

Location: -86.3152694702148, 39.0386657714844

Switchback to higher elevation

SYC011

Location: -86.3210525512695, 39.038215637207

Turn L onto Terril Ridge Trail; head S .2 mile to parking area

CSC001

Location: -82.7486343383789, 30.3260173797607

Curve to the R behind Riverside Cemetery to trailhead kiosk, then head SW

CSC002

Location: -82.750846862793, 30.3236999511719

Trail winds through loblolly pines and lush fern understory; turn R @ the Y to begin loop

CSC003

Location: -82.7486801147461, 30.3219833374023

Oak hammock thickens around the trail; huge blueberry bushes

CSC004

Location: -82.7483825683594, 30.3217334747314

Fence marks shortcut to the river; stay L

CSC005

Location: -82.7419204711914, 30.3204174041748

Loop leads to Suwanne River; cypress trees dot river's edge

CSC006

Location: -82.7441177368164, 30.3205337524414

Rolling trail with bluffs and ravines; look across river for observation tower and campground

CSC007

Location: -82.7447662353516, 30.318000793457

Trail merges with forest road

CSC008

Location: -82.7487030029297, 30.3192825317383

Confusing intersection: Keep L, bearing NW on loop trail

CSC010

Location: -82.7604064941406, 30.3258953094482

Turn R, return E to trailhead

CSC009

Location: -82.7579879760742, 30.3234729766846

Keep straight

MBT001

Location: -117.931747436523, 34.1532440185547

Swing NW up the entrance road past horse stables

MBT002

Location: -117.935577392578, 34.156135559082

Trail begins; turn L @ 3-way across Van Tassel Canyon Creek

MBT009

Location: -117.952430725098, 34.183177947998

Turn R @ 3-way, bearing SW

MBT010

Location: -117.953552246094, 34.1828308105469

Veer L @ 3-way onto faint access trail; follow NE under electrical towers

MBT011

Location: -117.951019287109, 34.1845092773438

Metal stake marks Mt. Bliss summit (3,720 ft.); fantastic views of San Gabriel, Santa Ana, and Santa Monica Mnts.; look for Catalina Island on clear days; return to car via same route

MBT003

Location: -117.941337585449, 34.1563339233398

Old roadbed steeply switchbacks through thickets of waxy chaparral

MBT004

Location: -117.945022583008, 34.1596221923828

Rest spot; enjoy the views starting to open up to the S

MBT005

Location: -117.947120666504, 34.1649436950684

After a short stint under power lines, head NW; several steep and narrow canyons sit S of the trail

MBT006

Location: -117.956451416016, 34.1688766479492

Next half-mile gains more than 500 feet on rock-riddled trail

MBT007

Location: -117.957000732422, 34.1754035949707

Trail flattens slightly on tiny plateau before your last push to Mt. Bliss

MBT008

Location: -117.954872131348, 34.1789894104004

Continue straight up merciless steeps

TRT002

Location: -85.1915664672852, 34.6867866516113

Turn R onto Taylor Ridge Trail, climbing a green-capped ridgeline rising amid fertile farmland

TRT004

Location: -85.1973266601562, 34.6837539672852

House sits above trail on R

TRT005

Location: -85.1980819702148, 34.6830253601074

Crops stretch across broad valley below; keep straight

TRT006

Location: -85.2019500732422, 34.6795387268066

Trail climbs to high spot with big valley views to SE and NW

TRT007

Location: -85.2082824707031, 34.6718139648438

More fine views @ small outcrop

TRT008

Location: -85.2113189697266, 34.6643486022949

Gravel road parallels trail; stay on dirt footpath

TRT010

Location: -85.2125244140625, 34.6605606079102

Trail ends @ gravel FR 635-A; retrace steps back to car

TRT009

Location: -85.2123184204102, 34.6618041992188

Challenge: Try to pinpoint the Tennessee state line from N overlook

TRT003

Location: -85.1954956054688, 34.6836547851562

Sharp R up a small plateau

LMK001

Location: -77.9666366577148, 38.9921836853027

Head W from trailhead; turn L @ gate

LMK002

Location: -77.9683303833008, 38.9920501708984

Turn R up stairs; follow red blazes of Piedmont Overlook Trail

LMK003

Location: -77.9698638916016, 38.994800567627

Overlook: Enjoy the fresh air and super views

LMK004

Location: -77.9746856689453, 38.9956512451172

R @ T onto North Ridge Trail

LMK005

Location: -77.9777984619141, 38.9957504272461

Veer R; continue over small brook

LMK006

Location: -77.9850311279297, 38.9956169128418

Near bench, turn L onto South Ridge Trail.
Option: Turn R, go .4 mile to Appalachian Trail and weekend camping possibilities

LMK007

Location: -77.9768142700195, 38.9844818115234

Pass through gate

LMK008

Location: -77.9758834838867, 38.9847679138184

Forest thins to scenic vista

LMK009

Location: -77.9734649658203, 38.9863166809082

Remains of Snowden Manor, an old colonist home

LMK010

Location: -77.9706497192383, 38.9883003234863

Turn R @ T

LMK011

Location: -77.9701690673828, 38.9881172180176

R @ T over steps onto Snowden Interpretive Trail

LMK012

Location: -77.9702529907226, 38.9878005981445

Turn R back onto main trail; turn R in .3 mile to return to trailhead

HHF003

Location: -93.3174743652344, 36.0428619384766

Hemmed-in-Hollow landing; wadeable lagoon with nice beach
Note: Scant chance to land boat if overshot

HHF006

Location: -93.3087387084961, 36.0699615478516

Two small waterfalls rush down the hollow

HHF007

Location: -93.3072052001953, 36.0731353759766

Rock walls cup the creek; continue upstream to the 177-foot Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls, the largest waterfall between the Appalachian Mountains and the Rockies; return to boat

HHF001

Location: -93.3359451293945, 36.0390090942383

Steel Creek put-in; launch on R side, paddle hard to midstream to avoid water ledge

HHF002

Location: -93.3222351074219, 36.0506477355957

River bends S near Big Bluff; a mix of Class II&III rapids ahead

HHF005

Location: -93.3071899414062, 36.0638885498047

Hemmed-In-Hollow Falls trailhead: Beach boat, cross small creek and hike N into steep gorge

HHF009

Location: -93.2879180908203, 36.0464820861816

Buffalo River sweeps N, passing an island; prepare for the rapids near Gray Rock, a diagonal rock that slants into the river

HHF011

Location: -93.2797164916992, 36.0569496154785

End paddle @ Kyles Landing, where you parked 2nd car

HHF004

Location: -93.3144378662109, 36.0544815063477

River jets R of small point; limestone bluffs above

HHF010

Location: -93.2833023071289, 36.0552444458008

Eddies swirl; paddle strong watching for landing on R

HHF008

Location: -93.2993011474609, 36.0565414428711

Drift past Lick Ford and Bear Cave Hollow

ATT001

Location: -105.912010192871, 35.6684684753418

At the trailhead, follow signs towards the Atalaya Trail

ATT002

Location: -105.911270141602, 35.6683769226074

R @ 3-way

ATT003

Location: -105.909156799316, 35.6671943664551

Cross the arroyo and bear R past sign (Trail 174)

ATT004

Location: -105.902053833008, 35.6671485900879

R @ 3-way, up steep pitch

ATT005

Location: -105.90079498291, 35.6675796508789

Cross private road; look back for a view of St. John's and photo-perfect saddle

ATT006

Location: -105.895248413086, 35.6677017211914

Straight through gate on R

ATT008

Location: -105.888122558594, 35.6687927246094

Hammer time: Keep R and climb very steep trail

ATT010

Location: -105.879447937012, 35.6657562255859

Last bit of steeps; summit is near

ATT012

Location: -105.876472473145, 35.6678428649902

Atalaya Mnt. (9,096ft); much-deserved rest and picnic spot with extraordinary views; return to trailhead

ATT011

Location: -105.879119873047, 35.6654319763184

Continue straight, following blue arrows on trees

ATT009

Location: -105.885246276855, 35.6675262451172

Trail dips S then continues E; slippery in winter

ATT007

Location: -105.89217376709, 35.6703758239746

Veer R @ 3-way

CMT001

Location: -82.896824, 35.391464

From the trailhead, start climbing east, then northeast.

CMT002

Location: -82.891524, 35.392548

This campsite sits just inside boundary of Shining Rock Wilderness.

CMT003

Location: -82.88076, 35.388794

Small campsite near gushing creek; loaded with Crayola-colored wildflowers in season.

CMT004

Location: -82.870888, 35.391823

Trail snakes along hillside, staying north of the rugged Narrows.

CMT005

Location: -82.868362, 35.396625

Hard climb the rock-strewn notch of Deep Gap.

CMT006

Location: -82.863998, 35.400311

Turn left, climbing the richly wooded spine of Cold Mountain.

CMT007

Location: -82.861333, 35.406349

Wrap into valley, crossing Sorrel Creek toward the mountain's distinctively pointy summit.

CMT008

Location: -82.862771, 35.409864

Head east for the final slog up the peak.

CMT009

Location: -82.856762, 35.409969

Reach summit of Cold Mountain (6,030 ft.). Fine rest and lunch spots on flat rocks. Bask in the sun and terrific 180-degree views of surrounding forest and countryside.

CBT001

Location: -83.9260406494141, 34.7640762329102

Go W on trail marked Bear Hair Gap and Coosa Backcountry Trail

CBT002

Location: -83.9331665039062, 34.763256072998

Turn R, then L, following trail S to Blood Mountain

CBT003

Location: -83.9374084472656, 34.7514381408691

Turn L onto trail to Coosa Backcountry Trail; top off your water bottles in Wolf Creek

CBT004

Location: -83.9440765380859, 34.7473373413086

Pass over Slaughter Gap; path then swings N over tricky rock ledges and boulder fields to Slaughter Mountain (4338 ft.)

CBT005

Location: -83.9524002075195, 34.7641716003418

Cross paved road @ Wolfpen Gap; keep N

CBT006

Location: -83.9585189819336, 34.7720527648926

Trail climbs over Wildcat Knob; strenuous uphill ahead

CBT007

Location: -83.9598007202148, 34.777645111084

Leave trail to reach Coosa Bald on L; best views are in winter and spring

CBT011

Location: -83.9398345947266, 34.7681541442871

Cross dirt road; hike.6 miles to close loop; turn L to return to trailhead

CBT010

Location: -83.9248504638672, 34.7860984802246

Footbridge crosses over mountain creek

CBT009

Location: -83.9448165893555, 34.7901802062988

Cross Locust Stake Gap; continue straight

CBT008

Location: -83.9534301757812, 34.7858238220215

Cross dirt road; it's rollercoaster of ups and downs ahead

DCT009

Location: -79.9908828735352, 35.3808326721191

Cross Watery Branch; follow trail downstream

DCT010

Location: -79.9893035888672, 35.3861351013184

Old volcanic foothill on L; geologists claim these peaks once towered more than 20,000 ft. above sea level

DCT008

Location: -79.9937362670898, 35.3680992126465

Cross Dusty Level Rd.

DCT011

Location: -79.9814682006836, 35.398868560791

Hike ends @ NC 109; arrange car shuttle or retrace steps to trailhead

DCT001

Location: -80.0434188842774, 35.310733795166

Wood Run Trailhead; hike N

DCT002

Location: -80.0204696655274, 35.3125495910644

Trail levels out on weathered, unnamed mountain

DCT004

Location: -80.0246963500976, 35.3434181213379

Cross Big Island Creek. Side trail leads to secluded, primitive campsite near creek

DCT006

Location: -80.011962890625, 35.369083404541

Path follows Dutchmans Creek SE; watch for ruins of old gold mine

DCT007

Location: -80.0005798339844, 35.3636016845703

Turn L onto Uwharrie Trail

DCT003

Location: -80.0247421264648, 35.3350257873535

Trail passes under power lines and climbs small wooded knoll

DCT005

Location: -80.0197830200195, 35.3701515197754

Reach summt of Lick Mountain; descend steeply

UST003

Location: -80.0299530029297, 35.3525657653809

Big Island Creek campsite; trail leaves creekside, crosses FR 517, then ascends ridgeline between watersheds

UST010

Location: -79.9586868286133, 35.4614334106445

Optional second-night campsite

UST001

Location: -80.0434188842774, 35.310733795166

Head N; you'll soon hear the whispering cascades of Wood Run

UST004

Location: -80.0036163330078, 35.3467483520508

Wade Dutchmans Creek; veer N into mixed deciduous forest

UST005

Location: -79.9937362670898, 35.3680992126465

Cross Dusty Level Rd. (dirt FR 1146); continue N

UST007

Location: -79.9814682006836, 35.398868560791

Cross NC 109; gentle climb N to Cattail Creek

UST008

Location: -79.9845809936524, 35.4244651794434

Switchback up worn volcanic rock to oddly shaped Morris Mnt.

UST012

Location: -79.9514007568359, 35.4798316955566

Trails ends @ Jumping Off Rock trailhead; car shuttle back

UST002

Location: -80.0373916625976, 35.3473472595215

Hug deep ravine in Upper Wood Run, then clamber up Dennis Mnt.

UST006

Location: -79.9908905029297, 35.3808326721191

Serene campsites dot creekside

UST011

Location: -79.9602127075195, 35.4684638977051

Ridgeline on Dark Mtn..; trail passes col between two peaks

UST009

Location: -79.9736175537109, 35.4511260986328

Cross Panther Branch; hike up saddle between double peaks of Horse Mnt.

FLT001

Location: -105.630501, 40.354515

Fern Lake trailhead; head W along Big Thompson River

FLT002

Location: -105.641174, 40.352798

Raptors perch on the dead trees and cliffs above

FLT003

Location: -105.65197, 40.350552

Trail squeezes between Arch Rocks; white chalk marks highlight technical bouldering routes

FLT004

Location: -105.653084, 40.350132

Primitive campsites on R (backcountry permit required)

FLT005

Location: -105.659615, 40.349316

Cross bridge over small pool; veer R, climbing away from the riverbed

FLT006

Location: -105.663536, 40.349251

Log bridge crosses river braid

FLT007

Location: -105.66967, 40.347698

Fern Falls below; trail continues up shaded switchbacks

FLT008

Location: -105.674065, 40.342934

Path passes by huge rock; Marguerite Falls softly grumbles in the woods ahead

FLT009

Location: -105.676147, 40.337883

Gorgeous views of the Little Matterhorn on the banks of Fern Lake; bear NW on trail

FLT010

Location: -105.686295, 40.34251

Spruce Lake; retrace route back to trailhead

DLT001

Location: -83.9767379760742, 34.6730728149414

From NE end of parking lot, hop on Dockery Lake Trail

DLT002

Location: -83.9764099121094, 34.6739196777344

Cross wood bridge, traveling N along lakeside

DLT003

Location: -83.9745788574219, 34.6775321960449

Views of distant ridges to the E

DLT004

Location: -83.9806137084961, 34.6792068481445

Cross stream

DLT005

Location: -83.977424621582, 34.6815299987793

Fill water bottle near cascading stream

DLT006

Location: -83.9774856567383, 34.6842231750488

Creek runs wide and swift; good primitive campsites in flats

DLT007

Location: -83.9784545898438, 34.6856155395508

Climb along Pigeon Roost Creek as the Tennessee Valley Divide springs up on the L

DLT008

Location: -83.9796981811524, 34.6983451843262

Wooded col; views only in autumn and winter when the leaves have fallen from the mature oaks and maples

DLT009

Location: -83.9847717285156, 34.7040824890137

Dockery Lake Trail comes to a T with Appalachian Trail. Eat a quiet lunch with distant mountains views, then return to your car the way you came.

Optional add-on: To make this hike a loop, turn S onto the AT and follow to Windy Gap, then turn E on GA 60 back to Dockery Lake Campground. Adds 2.2 miles to total mileage.

JPT001

Location: -93.7878799438476, 41.7849235534668

Trail threads NW toward lake from small parking area

JPT002

Location: -93.7903213500976, 41.7873573303223

Rest on bench after a quick climb

JPT003

Location: -93.7900466918945, 41.7895584106445

Cross small bridge

JPT004

Location: -93.790283203125, 41.7921028137207

Tintersection; bear left

JPT005

Location: -93.7928237915039, 41.7942123413086

Bear L, following roadway for about .25 mile

JPT006

Location: -93.7940139770508, 41.7943649291992

Turn R when gravel road meets 270th St.; trail is easy to spot

JPT007

Location: -93.7943801879883, 41.7959327697754

Turn L through the woods and amid native grass

JPT008

Location: -93.7986907958984, 41.7970352172852

Bridge over brook

JPT009

Location: -93.8021850585938, 41.7989196777344

Dip into small valley with peaceful stream

JPT010

Location: -93.8122100830078, 41.8018493652344

Ascend to overlook above lake; head N to water

JPT011

Location: -93.8115844726562, 41.8024940490723

Swing R and follow shoreline

JPT012

Location: -93.8022537231445, 41.7989387512207

Close loop; backtrack 1.7 miles along Saylorville Lake

CFL001

Location: -76.7498626708984, 39.2408714294434

Trailhead: Climb switchbacks to SW

CFL002

Location: -76.7505645751953, 39.2405090332031

Dilapidated cinderblock building

CFL004

Location: -76.7554550170898, 39.2400054931641

Veer R

CFL005

Location: -76.7569427490234, 39.2377738952637

Pioneer ruins; old chimney

CFL006

Location: -76.7581787109375, 39.2358169555664

Trail skirts along narrow stream into valley

CFL007

Location: -76.7549591064453, 39.2343101501465

Turn R; cross bridge, following red blazes

CFL008

Location: -76.7600402832031, 39.2305297851562

Turn SSE away from road and houses

CFL009

Location: -76.757568359375, 39.2317733764648

Veer NE, closing small loop

CFL010

Location: -76.7531280517578, 39.2375869750977

Rockhop across swift stream

CFL011

Location: -76.7532501220703, 39.2378311157227

Veer R to Cascade Falls

CFL012

Location: -76.7516555786133, 39.2394485473633

Ridge Trail: Old outhouse sits across valley on L; trek down road back to trailhead

CFL003

Location: -76.7522583007812, 39.2404136657715

Bear L