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Cunningham Falls State Park

15, Thurmont, Maryland 21788 USA

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  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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Permanently Closed

This location is permanently closed.

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“In the heart of the picturesque Catoctin Mountains”

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. This trail terminates at the falls from either access point and is not a through trail.

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 daily between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day. Lifeguard coverage may be adjusted during periods of inclement weather. 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. If the park reaches capacity, visitors will be turned away.

Cunningham Falls Campgrounds: Pets are allowed in Addison Run, Bear Branch, and the Manor Area camping loops. Pets must be attended and on leashes at all times. Houck Area: Pets are not allowed on the Lower Falls Trail, from Memorial Day Weekend until Labor Day. Pets are not allowed in the lake area, from Memorial Day Weekend until Labor Day. Pets are not permitted on the sandy portions of the swimming beaches. Pets are allowed year round on all trails except the Lower Falls Trail. Pets are allowed in the lake area from the day after Labor Day until the day before Memorial Day Weekend. Pets must be attended and on leashes at all times. Manor Area: Pets are not allowed at the Visitor Center or Aviary. Pets are allowed in the day-use area and trails. Pets must be attended and on leashes at all times. 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.

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Reviewed by

  • 9 Reviews
  • 9 Helpful
June 11, 2015
Rated 3.0

The park had a few different kinds of trails based on difficulty. There were also boards with tidbits of interesting information on them. Personally we spent about an hour here.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 36 Reviews
  • 26 Helpful
December 22, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful hiking and freeeeeee

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
April 06, 2016

is this free?

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Reviewed by

  • 39 Reviews
  • 31 Helpful
March 24, 2016
Rated 4.0

This is a nice location for a picnic or partial day outing. There are a number of different trails and areas to visit around the location. The falls and the lake area are probably the most popular. There are a few trails you can take to get to the falls, you can also use the road to access the area near the top of the falls. During the warmer season, you can rent boats and paddle about the lake. There are also grilling spots around the park, picnic tables, a small beach, and a playground area.

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Cunningham Falls State Park

Thurmont, Maryland
21788 USA

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