Patapsco Valley State Park - Daniels Area

This largely undeveloped area of Patapsco is enjoyed by paddlers, anglers and hikers. Once a bustling mill town, hikers will find little treasures of the past as they walk along trails on either side of the river. The Daniels Area can be accessed off of Daniels Avenue, and also from Alberton Road (trail access only in this area). This area has the Daniels Dam with a display on fish spawning activity in the river and how the fish ladder works. Anglers will enjoy fishing above and below the dam for small mouth bass year round, and in the spring for Rainbow and Brown Trout which are stocked in this put and take fishing area along the Patapsco.

Paddlers can enjoy this sectionDaniels Area of Patapsco of the Patapsco year-round. Water is backed up behind the dam to provide about 2 miles of flat water even during low water conditions and when the river is running high paddlers can travel from Woodstock Road (Rt. 125) to the Daniels area, approximately 4.7 river miles. The Daniels area has a canoe put-in/take-out just above the Dam. This is the perfect section of the park for a quiet afternoon walk or a morning paddle as the mist floats just above the river’s glassy surface. Anglers can step from their vehicle and cast their line in the swift waters below the dam in minutes or paddle upstream and float down river doing some laid back fishing along the way.

Grill Policy Change - (posted 6/22/2017) to address serious problems with loss of vegetation, soil erosion, threats to wildlife and trash -- as well as injuries from stepping on hot coals -- grills may only be used at designated picnic areas. The closest designated picnic area near Daniels is located in the Hollofield Area in Ellicott City: 8020 Baltimore National Pike.

Daniels Area Trail Map

A new map of the trails at Patapsco Valley State Park's Daniels area can be downloaded for free from this website. Please make sure to read the printing instructions and information for how to download the file to cell phones. The map is in a PDF format that requires Adobe Reader. To get the free Adobe Reader go to

Daniels Area Amenities

There is a single trail in the Daniels area that follows the river upstream.

There are two miles of flatwater that is backed up behind the Daniels Dam. You can paddle upstream year around in this area. Paddle your canoe or kayak and enjoy your lunch on rocks at the headwaters of the Patapsco. View abundant Great Blue Heron, kingfishers, and beaver activity, or bring along your fishing rod. A soft launch is available.

The Daniels Dam has a fish passage and accompanying exhibit. Fishing is open in the area above and below the dam. Like all other dams on the Patapsco activity is prohibited within 300 feet of the dam.

Unguarded swimming is open on all areas of the river unless posted otherwise. The area within 300 feet above and 300 feet below the dam is not open for swimming. Swimming is at your own risk, and as with all areas of the river, swimmers should be cautious of swift currents, and sharp stones along the river bottom.

*Remember to bring your own equipment.*


Pets are permitted throughout the Daniels Area. Pets must be on a leash at all times. Please clean up after your pet.

Directions from Hollofield to the Daniels Area:

Patapsco Valley State Park - Daniels Area
2090 Daniels Road
Ellicott City MD 21043
GPS 39313665 76.81557
Link to Google Maps

Take Route 40 West to the second light which is Rogers Avenue. Turn Right. Follow Rogers Avenue to Old Frederick Road. Turn right. Then turn left onto Daniels Road.​