Patapsco Valley State Park
River Road, Sykesville Maryland 21784
- Size: The Sykesville/River Road
section of the 14,000-acre Patapsco Valley State Park (PVSP) gives
access to two areas: a mile long section of River Road along the
Patapsco River and a several hundred acre upland scrub
- Habitat: Floodplain and mature
deciduous forest adjacent to the Patapsco River. Farther up River Road
former farmland is now overgrown with shrubs and grasses creating a
successional scrubland habitat.
- Best Months: April and May;
September and early October. Because some Neotropical species breed
here, it can also be worth a late spring or early summer visit. The
river section is very popular on warm weekends. Check with the
Department of Natural Resources at http://www.dnr.state.md.us for
seasonal hunting dates along the river south of River Road and in the
- Coverage Time: Several hours to a
- Trails/Paths: The section adjacent
to the river is mostly roadside birding with a short trail up a stream
valley. The scrubland habitat higher on the slope has a network of
several miles of trails.
- Notable Birds: Wild Turkey, American
Woodcock, nesting Cliff Swallows, Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged-warbler,
Yellow Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Ovenbird, Kentucky Warbler,
Hooded Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lincoln's Sparrow.
- Amenities: None. Sykesville, across
the river, has a visitor center with facilities, as well as several
- Handicapped Access: There is
roadside birding at the river from the small parking lot at the stream
0. 6 miles south of the MD 32 bridge and several shoulder pullouts. A
generally level dirt trail leads up a stream valley. The scrubland
grassy trails are generally level to moderate slopes with occasional
- Operation and Hours: State park
hours are 8:00 a.m. till dusk or as posted. No fee area.
- Special Attractions: Easy access to
the Patapsco River, plus a Cliff Swallow colony under the MD 32 bridge.
Scrubland habitat with species unusual for the PVSP.
- Bow Hunting: See deer
Compilers: Scott Berglund and Felicia