PVSP Avalon/Orange Grove
Size: This section of Patapsco Valley
State Park (PVSP) south of Ellicott City extends
downstream from the pedestrian bridge crossing at
Ilchester Rd almost four miles to the Patapsco
River at US 1, on both sides of the river in Howard
and Baltimore counties.
Habitat: Floodplain and upland
deciduous woods, forested stream valleys, mowed and
Best Months: Spring, summer, and
fall. Because some Neotropical species breed here,
late spring and early summer can be productive. It
is best birded early in the morning as this is a
very popular park in warmer months.
Coverage Time: From a few hours to an
Trails/Paths: More than eight miles
of trails along the river and in upland forest in
the Avalon and Orange Grove areas in Howard County
west of the river. Another nine miles of trails in
Baltimore County on the east side in the Hilton and
Glen Artney areas.
Notable Birds: Red-breasted
Merganser, Least Bittern, Black-crowned
Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, White
Ibis, Northern Goshawk, Golden Eagle, Virginia
Rail, Least Flycatcher, Gray-cheeked Thrush,
Prothonotary Warbler, Vesper Sparrow.
Amenities: Visitor center, restrooms,
picnic shelters, playgrounds.
Handicapped Access: Paved parking
lots and accessible restrooms. Several miles of
level paved trails along the river; other trails
are dirt with moderate to steep slopes.
Operation and Hours: State park hours
are 9:00 a.m. till sunset (time posted at the
entrance). This is a fee area. The Avalon Visitors
Center is open 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on
Special Attractions: Wide variety of
warblers in spring, summer, and fall. Waterfalls
and rock outcroppings, two pedestrian bridges
across the river, historic structures and railroad
artifacts including the Thomas Viaduct, and
numerous historical informational signs all add
Compilers: Scott Berglund and Steve