Top 10 Waterfall Hikes In Maryland, USA

waterfall hikes in maryland

Maryland is a beautiful and charming place to visit. It is famous for its waterways and fishing opportunities. It has excellent seafood options available to you as well. If you find yourself in Maryland and are in the mood for some adventure, you must check out the numerous waterfall hikes possible here. The different trails have something different for everybody, and they can enhance your experience to a significant extent. These hiking trails have different levels of difficulty, and you can pick the right one for you. Check out our list of the top waterfall hikes in Maryland, USA, that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.

Travel Advisory

Trip101 recommends assessing the risks before hitting the hiking and trekking trails. Please be especially aware of the difficulty levels, the locations’ ground conditions, as well as the seasonal risks.

1. Falling Branch Falls

Waterfall Nature Rock
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Located in the North part of Harford County, this waterfall is the second-highest vertical drop waterfall in Maryland. It is inside the Rocks State Park. This area was privately owned for a long time but it is now open to the public. The trail is not very long and stands at about half a mile from the parking lot. Entry to this part of the park is free of charge. Swimming in the water is permitted as well. It must be borne in mind that the trail is not handicap accessible. The park is open every day from when the sun rises to when it sets. If you have pets (dogs and horses), you can also take them along with you to climb the mountain.

Falling Branch Falls

Address: 1026 Falling Branch Rd, Pylesville, MD 21132, United States

Website: Falling Branch Falls

2. Cascade Falls

Cascade Falls Trail
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ben Myers used under CC BY 2.5

This beautiful waterfall is in the Patapsco Valley State Park. This is a simple trek and is a great one for those who are new to hiking or for people who want something easy going. The Avalon part of the park is the fastest path to get to the Falls. The trail is not very long, but it is a little rocky, so having good sports shoes is a good idea. This waterfall freezes over in the winter months and it is a sight to behold.

Cascade Falls

Address: Elkridge, MD 21075, United States

Website: Cascade Falls

3. Cunningham Falls

Cunningham Falls (SP) P2060024
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris Light used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This superb option is the highest cascade waterfall in all of Maryland and it is open from eight in the morning till sunset. It is located in the breathtakingly beautiful Catoctin Mountains. The falls lie in the William Houck area, which is one of the two regions that this part is divided into. There are a bunch of other things to do when here, such as check out the Manor Area, camping, and so on. This historic place is also surrounded by the Frederick Municipal Forest, allowing you to explore the beauty of the forest too.

Cunningham Falls

Address: 14039 Catoctin Hollow Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788, United States

Website: Cunningham Falls

Opening hours: 8am - 7:30pm (daily)

4. Raven Rock Falls - MD

Raven Rock Falls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Skaterwithaboard used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Raven Rock Falls is a cascade type waterfall and it lies inside the Gunpowder Falls State Park. What makes it interesting is the fact that it does not have a significant vertical drop, but instead flows at a gradient, thus making it feasible to walk or climb up alongside the waterfall. The waterfall also creates some pools of water, which are an excellent idea for a dip on a warm day.

Raven Rock Falls - MD

Address: Baltimore County, Maryland

5. Gunpowder Falls

Gunpowder Falls
Source: Photo by user Gavin St. Ours used under CC BY 2.0

Located in the Gunpowder Falls State Park, this fantastic waterfall is a big draw. The park is enormous, spread out over an area of 18,000 acres (7300 ha). The park opens in the morning at eight and is open till four pm. It is closed on weekends. It has several multi-use trails that you can pick from. For example, the Wildlands Loops trail goes along the Gunpowder River and even leads to a waterfall that makes its way downstream. The hike is not very difficult, and could be safely categorized as easy to moderate and is about 5.5. miles (9 km) in length.

Gunpowder Falls

Address: 7200 Graces Quarters Rd, Middle River, MD 21220, United States

Website: Gunpowder Falls

6. Amos Falls

Source: Pixabay

This waterfall lies in Cecil County and is part of the Susquehanna River. This is said to be a sight to behold and is considered by many to be more of a rapid, than a traditional waterfall. It is called an overfall — a great option to check out if rapids catch your fancy. Considered to be a difficult trail, make sure that you take enough safety precautions before visiting this place.

Amos Falls

Address: Cecil County, Maryland, United States

Website: Amos Falls

7. Muddy Creek Falls

Muddy Creek Falls 19
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bohemian Baltimore used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Muddy Creek falls are located in Garrett County. They are the highest free-falling waterfall in all of Maryland. Its height is roughly 60 feet (18 meters). The park that houses it also has many camping sites, which makes spending the night here a good option. This is an easy trail and it is a good option for those who do not want a strenuous hike and would like to camp as well: an excellent getaway for the weekend.

Muddy Creek Falls

Address: 2470 Maple Glade Rd, Oakland, MD 21550, United States

Website: Swallow Falls State Park

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

8. Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls State Park - Maryland
Source: Photo by user Doug Kerr used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in the Swallow Falls State Park, this magnificent waterfall was named after the swallow birds that build their nests in the area. This park is open throughout the year, and visiting it in the summer and winter are very different experiences. Apart from the hike, one can engage in a little swimming or even consider boating. This is a short hike and it is not difficult. The paths can be a bit slippery because of the ice if you are going during winter, so do bear that in mind and wear proper gear. You can also check out Tolliver Falls inside Swallow Falls State Park.

Swallow Falls

Address: 14, West Oakland, MD 21550, USA

Website: Swallow Falls

9. Great Falls of the Potomac - Montgomery County

Potomac River - Great Falls 24
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bohemian Baltimore used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Great Falls of the Potomac is a sight to behold. They are often considered to be among the most spectacular natural landmarks in the area. The falls have many rapids and several waterfalls, which are about 20 feet (6 meters) or more in height. It is an easy hike, and the rewards are numerous. This place does tend to get pretty crowded because of the beautiful views, so one should consider going on a weekday to avoid the rush.

Great Falls of the Potomac

Address: Montgomery County, Maryland

Website: Great Falls of the Potomac

Have a great time in Maryland

Now you’re all caught up on the many beautiful waterfall hikes that Maryland has to offer. All of them have their unique features and characteristics. Hiking can also be combined with other activities such as camping, swimming, and even boating. Now you can plan your next waterfall hike in Maryland easily.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hi, I am Anurag Paul Gummadi, residing in Bangalore, India.

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