Visit Cascade Falls at Patapsco Valley State Park for falls, pools of water and a trickling stream that’s perfect for kids of all ages.
A short hike from the parking lot at the Orange Grove area takes you up the Cascade Trail to the first in a series of waterfalls where the kids could spend the whole day splashing. The trail continues for 2.1 miles along a trickling stream that will lead you to the following falls.
The slightly hilly terrain is easy for little ones, and kids will love scrambling over the rocks to wade in the pools below. The three different waterfalls offer a shallow splashing area for kids to gather rocks and get close to the falls.
Here is a map of the Orange Grove and Avalon trails in the Park. In addition to Cascade Falls, you can visit the swinging bridge and Grist Mill Walking bridge from the same access points to the park
After your hike back, cool off with a refreshing swim in the Patapsco River, which runs just beside the parking lot. The park is open 9 a.m.–sunset.
It’s best to go early, especially on weekends, when the park can fill up quickly. Trails can also be narrow, making it tough to stay distant if you meet other hikers.
Cost to enter Patapsco Valley State Park is $2 per in-state vehicle on weekdays and $3 per person on weekends. Kids in carseats are free. Visit the Patapsco Valley State Park website for details.
For more information on entrances to the park and parking, click here.
For more Maryland waterfalls, check out our list of five cool hikes to Maryland waterfalls.