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Thread: Cunningham Falls

  1. #1
    Level ∞ User don corleyone's Avatar
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    Default Cunningham Falls

    one of my favorites. there's a great campground nearby and you can hike around and lounge in the water on the falls. the water has made deep holes in the rock, so it's kinda like a spa with little pools and tubs. just be careful not to go too far up the mountain - the marines that guard camp david don't mess around, and will ruin your day if you get too near the gate


    not my write up:
    Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the scenic Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, adjacent to the Catoctin Mountain National Park. Cunningham Falls was named for a local photographer who made the area popular with his postcard photography. There are several easy to moderate trails for family walks, but for serious hikers, the 27-mile Catoctin Trail winds throughout the region. The main family attraction at the park is the Hunting Creek Lake in the Houck Area, which has protected swimming with complete bathhouse, boat rentals, refreshments, and tables for picnicking. Like most Maryland state parks, there is a day fee for entrance to the facilities. On summer weekends, expect to spend some time backed up in your vehicle at the entrance to the Houck Area. It took us about fifteen minutes to get through the gate on a Saturday in August.

    The trails to the falls begin at the top of the hill above the main picnic area at the lake. There is a separate parking lot at the trailhead, but it fills up quickly on busy weekends. The walk up the hill from the lake to the trailhead is probably more strenuous than the actual "hike" to the falls. From there, you choose between two trails. The Lower Trail (red blaze) is the easiest and quickest way to the falls. Only a half-mile long, the trail is maintained with crushed stone for good footing. We've been to the park several times, and we usually take this leisurely walk. There are a few ups and down, but it is quite suitable for young children. However, I would still recommend that all walkers wear sneakers, rather than sandals or flip-flops. The Cliff Trail (yellow blaze) is just a bit longer, about three-fourths of a mile, and it is more suitable for hikers, or for those who want a brief experience of real hiking. The trail climbs up above the Lower Trail, through some rock outcroppings, and then comes back down to rejoin the Lower Trail at the base of the falls. We saw several deer along the ridge. While children can certainly take the Cliff Trail when accompanied by an adult, I wouldn't recommend it in beach footwear.


    Directions:

    From Washington DC take the George Washington Memorial Parkway north to I495 beltway to I270 north 27 miles to Frederick, MD. Take Route 15 17 miles north to Thurmont, MD. Take Route 77 West, the exit sign is marked Catoctin Mountain Park. Travel approximately 3 miles west on 77 and turn right onto Park Central Road. The Visitor Center is on the right.

    From Baltimore, MD. Take I695 beltway to I70 West to Frederick, MD. Take Route 15 North to Thurmont, MD. Take Route 77 West (the exit sign says Catoctin Mountain Park. Travel approximately 3 miles west on 77 and turn right onto Park Central Road. The Visitor Center is on the right.

    From Hagerstown, MD, I70 east to Route 66 north for seven miles to right on Route 64 for 1 mile to right onto Route 77 East at a traffic light. Continue on Route 77 East for approximately 7 miles. Turn left onto Park Central Road and the Visitor Center is on the right.

    From Gettysburg, PA: Route 15 south. In Thurmont, MD, exit onto Route 77 West(the exit sign says Catoctin Mountain Park, go approximately 3 miles, turn right onto Park Central Road and the Visitor Center is on the right. Public Transportation There is no public transportation to or in Catoctin Mountain Park.







    MD DNR website

    http://brokenclaw.com/hiking/cfalls.html
    leave the gun, take the canoli.

  2. #2
    Level 3 User schmooo's Avatar
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    Corley, you're doing an amazing job with writing up locations to visit! I have been wanting to check this place out but I'm reasonably annoyed that it looks as though I can't go hiking there with my dog. I think. The official website is a bit confusing.

    Poo. Well, at least that's what they're trying to avoid, literally.

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  3. #3
    Level ∞ User don corleyone's Avatar
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    LOL.... you have a way with words my friend.

    and thanks!
    leave the gun, take the canoli.

  4. #4
    Level 3 User Jeff's Avatar
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    It's a beautiful place schmooo. But don't go in the summer on a long holiday weekend. There were more people there than trees!

  5. #5

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    Camp Misty Mount is not far from this place you can rent cabins(sleeps 4 or so) or lodges.....fairly cheap prices...... at night if you bring some xtra food, the animals will come right up to you to eat(of course we were chased in the cabin by like 12 raccoons)
    - has never been arrested for "Moapery"... just for the record.


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  6. #6
    Level 2 User Skeeter's Avatar
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    I know it is a dead thread but if you are planning to visit this place you may find the following of interest.

    Your final picture is the Catoctin Furnace which should be noted is separate from cunningham falls and is not on the mountain it is off MD 806 and all that remains are the shells of buildings and not much to explore at all.

    Cunningham falls is very much an overpopulated place during peak season. The best times to visit are during late fall and late winter where you might be lucky enough to walk around without seeing anyone if you get there early enough. The entire lake freezes over also and during the end of winter you can hear the surface moan and crack which is very deep and unique when you are the only one in the park. Also during these times there is no admission fee which is quite exorbitant during peak season.

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