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 meadow areas.
  • 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 entire day.
  • 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 weekends.
  • 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 interest.
Avalon/Orange Grove thumbnail
Compilers: Scott Berglund and Steve Schwemmer

© 2008