Cunningham Falls State Park
|Type:||Day Hike - Out and Back|
|Distance (Total):||1.0 miles / 1.6 km|
|Hiking Season:||- All Year Long|
|Things To See:||- Waterfalls|
|Rating:||Trail has not been rated.|
|Nearby Town:||Thurmont, Maryland, United States|
Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the picturesque Catoctin Mountains. It is divided into two separate but unique areas. The William Houck Area located three miles west of Thurmont on Route 77 has the lake area, falls and camping area. The Manor Area off Route 15 three miles south of Thurmont has the Scales and Tales Aviary, camping and the historic Catoctin Iron Furnace.
Outdoor activity is everywhere at Cunningham Falls State Park. Leisure opportunities like swimming, hiking, fishing and canoeing are available. For those who wish to get away for either a night or longer there are campsites and camper cabins available for rental from April through October.
The staff and volunteers at Cunningham Falls State Park strive to make your visit a pleasant one. If you have any questions or concerns please let us know.
A trip to Cunningham Falls State Park would not be complete without a visit to the scenic 78-foot waterfall, for which the park is named. Cunningham Falls are the largest cascading waterfall in the state. The falls, locally known as McAfee Falls, can be accessed via a short trail from the lake area or a boardwalk from Route 77 for those visitors with mobility impairments.
Swimming is allowed in three designated areas of Hunting Creek Lake, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Swimming availability is not always guaranteed. It is your responsibility to call the Park office to check current swimming availability. Lifeguards are on duty during posted hours Memorial Day to Labor Day. For your safety and the protection of the natural resource swimming is not allowed at the Falls. Please remember to arrive early as the park often reaches capacity by mid to late morning on weekends and holidays.
The Cunningham Falls State Park trail system varies in terrain from short, flat hikes to steep and rocky ascents that will challenge even the experienced hiker. Trail distances vary from .5 mile to 7.5 miles. A trail guide is available for purchase.
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•Lower Trail--red blaze (one half mile) This easy to moderate trail is the shortest and easiest access to the Falls. Interpretive signs and benches along the way. Return to the lake by this trail or Cliff Trail.
•Cliff Trail--yellow blaze (3/4 mile) Rough terrain offers strenuous hiking past rock outcrops that lead to the Falls. Return to the lake by this trail or Lower Trail.
•Campground Trail--orange blaze (3/4 mile) This strenuous trail gives campers access to the Cliff Trail.
•Old Misery Trail--orange blaze (2 miles) This steep, strenuous trail with many switchbacks and scenic views connects with the Cat Rock Trail.
•Cat Rock/Bob's Hill--yellow blaze (7.5 miles) This strenuous trail crosses the mountain and passes two scenic rock outcrops with scenic views.
•Cat Rock Trail--yellow blaze (1.5 miles) This steep, strenuous trail leads to Cat Rock (elevation 1560') and scenic views.
•Bob's Hill Trail--yellow (1.5 miles) This steep, strenuous trail leads to Bob's Hill (elevation 1765') and two short spur trails with views north and south.
•Catoctin Furnace Trail--No blaze (1/4 mile) A self-guided trail which leads to Catoctin Furnace. Crosses U.S. 15 via elevated foot path (46 steps up the stairway).
•Catoctin Trail--blue blaze (27 miles) This strenuous trail leads from Gambrill State Park through Frederick City Watershed, Cunningham Falls and Catoctin Mountain Park. Nine miles of trail are in Cunningham Falls. Camping permitted only in designated campgrounds.