Soapstone Trail Hike Review
Park: Patapsco Valley State Park - Baltimore, MD - off of Rolling Rd.
Difficulty level: easy to moderate; relatively flat (not rocky)
Parking: free street parking
Trail Type: Loop
Soapstone Trail is a great hike if you are looking for a nice beginner trail. Nestled right outside of Baltimore, MD in Patapsco Valley State Park, Soapstone Trail is a 3 mile looped trail that is free to the public and has a variety of flowers, wild berries, and beautiful canopy trees. Although Soapstone trail is apart of Patapsco Valley State Park, you do not need to enter the main park to find this trail.
At the trailhead, there is a street side lot that offers free parking. We hiked this trail during two different times; Thursday at 11AM and Saturday at 11AM. During the week, the parking lot remains relatively empty throughout the day but during the weekends, the lot fills up pretty quickly.
If/when the trailhead parking lot is full, there is a park and ride across the street that also offers ample free parking.
The trail took us a total of 1 hr and 30 mins to complete with a total elevation gain of 394ft. An easy hike typically sees around 0 - 300 change in elevation; which is why we rate this trial easy to moderate. Needless to say, you will get a workout in! We burned a total of 475 total calorie on this trail. Hiking clockwise, the 2nd mile is the hardest with the steepest incline.
The trail itself is relatively flat and well maintained with a few inclines spread out. On a hot day, you will be shaded under the plentiful trees and gifted with delicious mud berries that could provide a quick hydration snack.
Soapstone trail follows a purple trail marking. There is a bathroom about 2 miles into the loop and a small stream crossing.
Although the main trail is marked with the purple trail markings, it is important to download the trail map ahead of time to serve as backup navigation. There are many smaller trails that branches off the main trail and if you aren't paying attention, you can find yourself on a trail you aren't supposed to be on. Usually, we either download the trail map from google, the parks site, or use paper maps that can be picked up at the main park office.
Recommended Items to Pack:
Containers (if you want to collect raspberries , in season)
Hiking poles for elevationLong pants/ leggings OR tall socks for bushes