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The Grist Mill Trail at Patapsco Valley State Park course for 2.5 miles through the heavily wooded park between Ilchester Road and Lost Lake. The trail is gentle and wheelchair accessible. It passes by the Swinging Bridge and the site of the former Bloede's Dam. The bridge crosses the Patapsco at Orange Grove and allowed locals to cross the river to work in the Orange Grove Flour Mill. The mill burned in 1905, but you can cross the bridge to view the ruins. Bloede's Dam, on the National Register of Historic Places, was said to be the world's first submerged electrical generating plant, which was housed under water inside the dam. No longer generating electricity since the 1930s, the dam was removed in September 2017 to restore river habitat upstream.
Patapsco Valley State Park was created in 1907 and is one of Maryland's oldest state parks. As a consequence, the area has many historic sites and also preserves a valuable greenway in this urban area. Railroad remnants can also be seen, like that of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad, which ran between Baltimore and Ellicott City.
To get to the Avalon Area of Patapsco Valley State Park from the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), take Route 1 (Exit 12A) south toward Arbutus. Follow Route 1 for approximately 3 miles to South Street. Turn right. The park entrance is on the left.
To get to the park from I-95 east, head toward BWI Airport. Take Route 1 (Exit 3) south toward Elkridge. Turn right onto South Street. The park entrance is on the left.
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