Elkridge in Howard County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Back to Nature in the Patapsco Valley
While the Patapsco Valley had proved well-suited for industrial development in the 18th and 19th centuries, it has proved ideal for recreational use in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Patapsco Valley's transformation into a public park began in 1907 when Catonsville resident John M. Glenn donated 43 acres of his Hilton Estate to the Maryland State Board of Forestry.
State Forester Fred W. Besley recognized the valley's potential as a public park. By promoting the Patapsco as a park, he hoped to lure Baltimore residents out of their hot row homes into the cooler, tree-covered river valley. He hoped to show them firsthand the benefits of forest conservation,
By 1913, families were riding the railroad or driving on backcountry roads to picnic and camp near the river. Some visited for an afternoon, others roughed it for six months. Anyone could camp in the park for free, provided they observed the strict fire regulations and registered with the State Forester's Office, or the B&O railroad.
From these humble origins sprang Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland's first state park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Entertainment • Environment • Sports.
Location. 39° 14.458′ N, 76° 45.007′ W. Marker is in Elkridge, Maryland, in Howard County. Marker is on Ridge Road, on the right when traveling east. In the Orange Grove Area of Patapsco Valley State Park, at the head of the Cascade Falls Trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Elkridge MD 21075, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Orange Grove: A Small Neighborly Community (here, next to this marker); Besley Demonstration Campsite (here, next to this marker); Patapsco Superlative: (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Building America's First Railroad The Destructive Power of the Patapsco (approx. 0.6 miles away); The River Makes Electricity (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Changing River Valley (approx. one mile away); Bringing Trade to Baltimore (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Elkridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 375 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on May 11, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on April 27, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.