Patapsco Valley State Park


Water Contact Advisory - Posted 6/14/2018

Baltimore County has issued a water contact alert for the Patapsco River south of Ellicott City due to sanitary sewage overflows. Baltimore County advises:

  • Be observant for cloudy or discolored water in streams, rivers, or the bay, and of waters that are laden with debris. Water quality may have been negatively impacted.
  • Do not drink stream water.
  • Avoid contact with potentially contaminated water if you have open cuts or bandaged wounds. If accidental contact with contaminated water occurs, wash any damaged skin areas as soon as possible.
  • Minimize hand to mouth contact and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before eating.

Please visit the Baltimore County website for updated information on this advisory.

Music Permit

Music permits are issued for shelter groups only. To play any music you must obtain a music permit before the day of your event. If you are renting an A or B shelter, you must rent both A & B to obtain a music permit. Our music permits required the following since 2015:

  • Amplified sound must be kept at a reasonable level.
  • Sound must not be audible at other park facilities as determined by Duty Ranger (i.e., other shelters, roadways)
  • The Duty Ranger may cancel the permit at any time.
  • The person who is assigned the permit has the responsibility to insure compliance with the permit.
  • No P.A. systems allowed in this shelter/area

As of January 1, 2016 the policy has been updated to add the following:

  • No Microphones, P.A. Systems or D.J. equipment allowed in the shelter/area.

The policy only allows the use of a radio, i-pod, laptop and small computer speakers. Failure to comply with the conditions of the permit will result in cancellation of the permit by a ranger. The change in the music policy is due to numerous noise complaints from park neighbors and other park patrons. We are trying to insure the enjoyment of the park by all patrons. If you have any questions or need to obtain a music permit please call 410.461.5005. Thank you for your understanding.

Preventative Vegetation Management

Please be advised that Baltimore Gas and Electric will be performing preventative vegetation management through areas of Patapsco Valley State Park. For information on this type of trimming work, refer to the following webpage:

WARNING: Paddlers & Anglers

Recent storms have scoured out areas of the Patapsco River at the old Union Dam site leaving exposed concrete and rebar, creating hazardous conditions. Park staff has clearly marked the hazards and will work to remove them as soon as possible. The Patapsco River and river bank remain closed through this construction area until further notice.

Secure Your Valuables

Secure your vehicle before you hit the trails at Patapsco Valley State Park. Valuable items left in plain sight in your vehicle are an invitation for theft. Leave your valuables at home, secure them on your person, or in secure, non-visable areas of your vehicle, such as your trunk.

Special Events

Any groups requiring more than two facility rentals for one event (campsites, shelters, or any combination, thereof) must contact the park directly to make these arrangements. This will assure that park management will be able to assist you in making your event a success. Note: This service may be subject to a $25 Special Event Fee. Contact the Park Headquarters at 410-461-5005.

Inflatable Play Equipment Notice

Permits are only issued for the Pickall Area. Inflatable play equipment and trampolines are prohibited on site without a permit. This permit must be obtained 3 weeks in advance by the reservation holder of the event. To obtain a permit and the necessary paperwork required, contact the park office at 410-461-5005, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Due to the need for water conservation, any device requiring water (for instance portable swimming pools, dunk tanks, etc.) are NOT allowed in the park.​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​