Experience the Trolley Trail

Looking for a great walking spot?  The old Trolley Trail is a great 1.5 mile escape just on the immediate outskirts of Old Ellicott City.

The #9  trolley line arrived in Ellicott City in 1899 and served the community for the next 55 years. This route was known for its scenic woodland views as the line dropped into the Patapsco River Valley.  In 1991, a century after it’s construction, Boy Scout Troop 456, organized the effort to clear and pave the #9 Trolley Line for a bike/hike trail as part of a very successful Eagle Scout project. Today, the path is paved and features a section of boardwalk next to walls of rock that were hand-cut by the original builders.

trolley old


Highlights Of The Trail
  • Boardwalk – The trail features a boardwalk that curves between the canyons trolley boardwalkof granite that was hand-cut in the 1890s when the electric streetcar rails were built from Ellicott City to Catonsville. These 100-foot walls are a striking gateway to the trail from historic Ellicott City just across the Patapsco River from Oella.
  • A stream feeding into the Patapsco River follows along a portion of the trail providing a peaceful soundtrack to your journey.
  • Wildlife  A variety of wild life can be encountered on the path from a rare black squirrel to owls soaring silently overhead.
  • Benches dot the trail and offer a great opportunity to rest and enjoy the scenery.
Trolley woods
 What’s Nearby
  • Near the 1-mile mark, a short detour off the trail will take you to Banneker Historical Park & Museum, which has nature trails, archaeological sites, and living history areas re-creating the colonial farm and life of Benjamin Banneker, an African-American astronomer and farmer.
  • The Baltimore & Ohio Train Museum – Ellicott City Station highlights the rich history of the nation’s first railroad.
  • Along Oella Ave is The Breadery where you can get water and snacks, and Trueth’s  Meats, a butcher shop with freshly cut meats.  The Trolley Stop Restaurant  is located at the Ellicott City end of the trail.


The #9 Trolley Trail is ADA accessible and pet friendly!

trolley dogs

Parking – Lot A, located on the Baltimore County side of the Patapsco River, is the closest parking lot.  Once parked, look for a set of stairs. The trail is to your left at the top of those stairs.    ADA spaces are available at the start of the trail head on Westchester Ave.

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

From going alfresco on the moonlit decks at Cacao Lane, to sharing pitchers of sangrias in the festive LaPalapa’s patio area, Old Ellicott City has a variety of outdoor dining options for every occasion!


Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

8066 Main Street
(410) 461 – 1378                                                    

Located in lower Main St, Cacao Lane has a beautiful outdoor 3 tier seating area with a terrific view of the Ellicott City skyline.  Join them on the top level for their full equiped bar or enjoy something from the full dining menu at a table located on one of the lower levels.  The deck is open seasonally and weather dependent.  Menu & info.

8167 Main Street
(410) 461 – 8210

Located in the heart of Historic Ellicott City, Johnny's Bistro .  The outdoor seating is reminiscent of a European Bistro.  Enjoy your intimate gourmet meal for two while taking in the scenery of Historic Main Street. Hours may vary so it's best to call ahead. Menu & info

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

8307 Main Street
(410) 465 – 0070

The only Mexican Restaurant in Old Ellicott City, La Palapa's boasts plenty of outdoor seating and is the perfect spot for large groups or dinner with the family. Stop in to enjoy an amazing Mexican meal and a refreshing Margarita on a hot summer day!   Menu & Info

3731 Hamilton Street
(410) 465 – 5995

Located on the grassy courtyards of Tonge Row, stop in for gourmet coffees, teas and custom sandwiches. Open for breakfast and lunch, vegan friendly.    Menu & info

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

8085 Main Street
(410) 720 – 2330

Whether you’re looking for traditional Italian style dishes such as Beef Carpaccio, Lasagna Bolognese, or Spaghetti & Meatballs, or unique preparations like Braised Beef Penne or Veal Short Ribs smothered in a wild mushroom marsala sauce, Portalli’s is the place for you. The Italian-inspired wine list is diverse but approachable for the casual wine drinker.  Enjoy a fantastic meal with a hand crafted cocktail on their rooftop deck!  Happy hour 3-6pm Menu & info

8210 Main Street
(410) 480– 5037

Their stone patio overlooking Main Street is truly the best outdoor dining view in town. Enjoy a farm fresh menu of snack plates, tapas, light meals, full Mediterranean-style dining, or even just an intimate dessert.  Sip your glass of wine with friends as you watch Ellicott City roll by. Pure Wine has enjoyed the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 5 years running.   Menu & info

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City

3752 Hamilton Street
(410) 206-3658

The River House Pizza Company brings wood-fired artisan pizza to life!  It is the best pizza you will ever taste.  Located on the scenic courtyards on Tonge Row there's plenty of table seating and room for the kids to play.  Don't forget ScoopAHHdeedoo ice cream for dessert.   Don't want to wait?  They offer an online ordering option too! Wednesday - Sunday  Menu & info

8081 Main Street
(410) 480 – 8000

Experience an authentic English style Tea overlooking the Tiber River.  Tea on the Tiber offers a wide selection of teas accompanied by cheese, fruit, and pastries.  Reservations are requested for afternoon tea.  Menu & Info

Outdoor Dining in Old Ellicott City