Cunningham Falls State Park

Have you ever wanted to get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of nature? Cunningham Falls State Park is the right place. Located in Thurmont, Maryland, this 6,000-acre park has something for everyone – from hiking trails to camping spots to swimming holes. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or just a day trip, Cunningham Falls State Park promises an unforgettable experience.

With its rolling hills and lush forests, Cunningham Falls State Park truly is a sight to behold. The centerpiece of the park is the 78-foot waterfall that cascades down Catoctin Mountain – a stunning view that can’t be missed! Aside from the falls, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained throughout their stay. Hikers can explore miles of trails, while boaters can enjoy fishing and swimming in Hunting Creek Lake. And don’t forget about the picnic area located near the falls – it’s perfect for a family outing!

Whether you’re looking for a day of outdoor fun or an overnight retreat, Cunningham Falls State Park has something for everyone. From its picturesque scenery to its wide range of activities, this state park is sure to make your visit one you won’t soon forget! So come explore Cunningham Falls State Park and discover why it’s been such a popular destination since it opened in 1954.


Cunningham Falls State Park is a beautiful state park located in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. It’s been around since the mid-1940s, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy the great outdoors.

The area has a rich history that goes all the way back to 1732 when Lord Thomas Fairfax granted nearly 6,000 acres of land to James Bristow. This land was eventually divided into several farms and plantations, with several families living off the land for centuries until it became part of Cunningham Falls State Park in 1941.

In addition to its long human history, Cunningham Falls State Park is home to some amazing wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and over 160 species of birds. There’s also a variety of flora and fauna to explore as well as stunning views that can be enjoyed from many different points throughout the park.

Location And Size

Moving on from its history, Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. It covers an area of about 6,000 acres and includes a 77-foot cascading waterfall. The park is situated in central Maryland’s Frederick County, just west of Thurmont.

The park contains a portion of the Catoctin Mountain Ridge, which overlooks the Monocacy River Valley and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding area. This mountain range is part of the Appalachian Mountains and stretches through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

There are several recreational activities available at Cunningham Falls State Park such as hiking, camping, fishing and swimming. Visitors can also explore the ancient Catoctin Furnace which dates back to 1776 and is located within the park’s boundaries.

Those looking for something more relaxing can enjoy bird watching or take a leisurely stroll along one of the trails that meander through this scenic landscape. Wildlife enthusiasts may spot deer, foxes, rabbits and other animals while exploring the park’s natural areas. No matter what type of outdoor activity you choose to enjoy at Cunningham Falls State Park, there’s sure to be something for everyone to discover!


Cunningham Falls State Park is an ideal place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking for an exciting experience. The park offers plenty of activities for all ages. From camping and fishing to walking trails and swimming, there’s something here for everyone.

The centerpiece of the park is the 78-foot Cunningham Falls, one of Maryland’s largest waterfalls. Visitors can take in the scenic beauty while hiking along any of the four trails that loop around the falls. For those wanting to explore other areas of the park, there are miles of trails, many leading to historic sites like Catoctin Furnace or Wolf Rock Overlook.

Swimming is another popular activity at Cunningham Falls State Park. With its crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches, visitors can cool off or relax on a hot summer day. Picnic areas also make it easy for families to spend time together in nature’s beauty.


Besides the beauty of Cunningham Falls State Park, there are many activities that visitors can enjoy. From boating and fishing to golfing and picnicking, the possibilities are endless.

Boating is a popular pastime at Cunningham Falls State Park. Visitors can rent canoes or kayaks from the park’s concession stand, or bring their own boat to launch from the lake’s public boat ramp. Fishing is also permitted on Catoctin Lake for those looking for a relaxing afternoon. Fishing enthusiasts need to be aware of Maryland’s size and creel limits for bass, sunfish, and catfish before heading out to the lake.

Cunningham Falls State Park also offers plenty of outdoor fun away from the water. There’s an 18-hole disc golf course located in the park, ideal for beginners and veterans alike. Visitors can also enjoy a game of miniature golf or play volleyball on one of the various courts around the park. Picnic tables are available throughout Cunningham Falls State Park where visitors can take in views of Catoctin Lake while enjoying a meal with friends and family.

No matter what activity you choose to do at Cunningham Falls State Park, you’re sure to have an enjoyable time exploring all it has to offer!

Facilities And Amenities

Cunningham Falls State Park offers visitors a wide range of amenities and facilities for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. The park boasts camping facilities that are ideal for RV campers, as well as tent camping sites. All campsites are equipped with electricity, water, and picnic tables. Additionally, the park offers cabins that provide comfortable accommodations for up to six people.

The park also has plenty of recreational opportunities available to guests. Visitors can take advantage of the two hiking trails located on the property, or they can explore the lake by canoe or kayak. There is also a playground area for children, as well as a swimming pool where visitors can cool off in the summer months.

Finally, there is also a large picnic area with grills available for cookouts and other outdoor activities. Guests can also purchase firewood from the park if needed. Cunningham Falls State Park is full of amenities and experiences that appeal to all types of visitors!

Regulations And Guidelines

At Cunningham Falls State Park, visitors must adhere to certain regulations and guidelines for the safety of themselves and others. All visitors must abide by the rules and regulations of the park, including pets. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet and all pet waste must be disposed of properly. Additionally, overnight camping is only permitted in designated campgrounds, with a valid permit.

No fires are allowed outside of designated fire rings or grills. Alcohol is also prohibited throughout the entire park. Furthermore, swimming is only allowed in officially marked swimming areas, such as Lake Habeeb and Hunting Creek Lake. Fishing is subject to all applicable Maryland fishing regulations and should be done in designated areas only.

All visitors are asked to respect wildlife during their visit by not feeding or harassing animals; this includes birds and other small creatures living in the park. It’s also important to remember that collecting plants or artifacts from the park is strictly prohibited without permission from park officials. By following these regulations and guidelines, visitors can make sure that their experience at Cunningham Falls State Park is pleasant for everyone involved.

How To Access The Park

Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland and easily accessible from most points within the state. To get to the park, take US 15 north from Frederick, MD towards Thurmont. Then take Exit 14 onto MD 77 West and continue for three miles until you reach the entrance to Cunningham Falls State Park.

The park offers both day-use and camping areas with a variety of amenities. The day-use area includes parking lots, restrooms, pavilions, playgrounds, hiking trails, picnic tables, and a man-made lake for swimming. The camping area offers nearly 150 campsites with electric hookups and modern bathhouses. Additionally, there are numerous trails throughout the park for hiking or horseback riding as well as fishing spots at Owens Creek.

No matter what activity you’re looking for, Cunningham Falls State Park has something for everyone to enjoy. From picnicking to camping to swimming and fishing, this is one of Maryland’s premier outdoor destinations. With easy access by car and plenty of opportunities for adventure, it’s no wonder why so many people come back year after year.

Find other things to do in Thurmont, MD

Cunningham Falls State Park Location Map

Cunningham Falls State Park
14039 Catoctin Hollow Road
Thurmont, MD 21788

Hours: ​8 a.m. to Sunset, April-October
10 a.m. to Sunset, November-March

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