Frederick County

Gambrill State Park
8602 Gambrill Park Road
Frederick MD 21702

Rock Run Campground Address: 8002 Gambrill Park Road
Campground Bathhouse Address: 8170 Gambrill Park Road
Tea Room Address: 8346 High Knob Road
Nature Center Address: 8448 High Knob Road


​301-271-7574 or 301-293-4170​
E-mail Gambrill State Park


Driving Directions:

​Gambrill State Park is located approximately 51 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., and 53 miles west of Baltimore on Catoctin Mountain. From U.S. 70, exit onto U.S. Route 40 at Frederick. Travel approximately six miles. Turn right onto Gambrill Park Road and follow it approximately one mile to the park entrance.

Hours of Operation:

​8 a.m. to Sunset, April-October

10 a.m. to Sunset, November-March

Limited parking available at High Knob and Trailhead Areas. North Frederick Overlook and Rock Run Areas closed to vehicular traffic December-March and during periods of inclement weather. All areas are open to foot traffic.

Pet Policy:

​Pets are allowed in Gambrill State Park in the following areas:

  • Pets are allowed in campground
  • Pets are allowed on all trails
  • Pets are allowed in day-use area

Hunting Policy:

  • No Hunting

Gambrill State Park

Gambrill State Park is a beautiful mountain park, located on the ridge of the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County. Its most popular feature is the 16 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park is separated into two areas, the Rock Run area and the High Knob area. From the 1600-foot High Knob, three stone overlooks offer breathtaking views of the Frederick and Middletown Valleys then continue to the northern reaches of the Shenandoah Mountains. The High Knob area also offers wooded picnic areas, three picnic shelters, and a large stone lodge, called the Tea Room. The picnic shelters and the Tea Room are available for reservation. The Rock Run area offers a cozy family-style campground, a picnic area, and a small pond for fishing.


Camp Host Opportunities

Camp Host opportunities are here for the 2017-2018 camping season. Camp Host Opportunities are available at Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks.

History of Gambrill State Park

Gambrill State Park was named in honor of the late James H. Gambrill, Jr., a well-known citizen of Frederick. Mr. Gambrill was a conservationist who first brought attention to the beauty of the area in the early 1900’s. He believed that it was in the public’s best interest to develop the area into a park. Following his lead, a group of local citizens joined together to purchase the land. The group then donated the land to the City of Frederick to be used for a park. The City of Frederick soon-after gave the land to the State of Maryland for the development of Gambrill State Park.

The Civilian Conservation Corps

Most of the buildings and facilities within the park were The new CCC statue at Gambrill State Parkbuilt by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The CCC was a Federal program that was created during the Great Depression. The goal of the program was to create jobs for young men and to help restore the nation’s struggling natural resources.


Gambrill has over 16 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. All trails begin at the Trailhead Parking Lot on Gambrill Park Road, between the Rock Run area and the High Knob area. Many of the trails feature great views. Due to the rocky terrain and steep hills, most of the trails are rated moderate to difficult. However, the White Oak Trail is an easy one-mile loop trail, which makes it a good choice for families with small children. All trails close at sunset. Pets are allowed on the trails, but must be kept on a leash at all times.

All trails are open to horseback riding with the exception of the White Oak Trail, which is restricted to hiking. Parking for horse trailers is limited. The Maryland Park Service does not rent horses, and only provides the trails as a means of recreation.

To purchase copies of the Gambrill State Park Trail Guide with a credit card, please click on this link to place your order online.

To purchase copies of the Gambrill State Park Trail Guide with a check, please click on this link to download an order form.


Maryland is home to a large diversity of wildlife including many species of snakes. Snakes are rarely aggressive towards humans. If you encounter a snake simply maintain a safe distance and move away from it. Only two kinds of snakes inhabiting Maryland are venomous: the copperhead and the timber rattlesnake. Both species have been documented in the park.

Features of the Tea Room

The Tea Room has been a popular feature of Gambrill The Team Room features a stone fireplaceState Park for over 70 years. The Tea Room is a native-stone building, built by the CCC in the 1930’s. It was originally designed for community events and gatherings. Today, the building remains a popular location for weddings, family reunions, business meetings, and other special events.

The Tea Room has a kitchen, a dining room, and two restrooms. The kitchen is designed for cooking and serving food, with a refrigerator, sink, and conventional oven. Tables, chairs, and firewood are also provided. The building is available for rent from April through October, and can accommodate up to 55 people. Pets are not allowed in the Tea Room.

Picnicking and Picnic Shelters

Picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and playground facilities are available at Gambrill State Park. The High Knob area also offers three rustic log picnic shelters, available for rent from April through October. Pets are allowed in the day-use area


The Rock Run area campground has 13 basic sites, 9 tent only sites, and 8 sites with electrical hookup. Each campsite has a picnic table, fire ring, and latern post. A dump station is available for sewage and potable water. A bathhouse is located at the center of the campground, with hot showers and flush-toilets. Pets are allowed in the campground, but must be kept on a leash and attended at all times. 

A Gambrill campsite

Rock Run Campground Address: 8002 Gambrill Park Road
Rock Run Bathhouse Address: 8170 Gambrill Park Road

Seasonal Group Camping
Gambrill also offers two group sites. The sites are available by reservation through the park office from April to the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend and the day after Labor Day through October. Each site has a capacity of 20 people. For more information please contact the park office at 301-293-4170.

Camper Cabins

Four camper cabins with electricity are in the Rock Run Campground. Each cabin has a double bed and a set of bunk beds and sleeps 4 people. Camper cabins have a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. All cooking must be done outside the cabin. The cabins have no heat. Campers may bring an electric heater or fan. Heat sources should not be left on while the cabin is unattended. No propane heaters are allowed. Campers must provide their own linens. Pets are permitted in Cabin 18.

Reservations are recommended since the camper cabins often fill weeks or months in advance.

Tips for camping in black bear country: Bears do visit our campgrounds. Here are a few simple reminders to help keep you and the bears safe and ensure that you have an enjoyable stay.

  • Never keep food in your tent.
  • Store food and garbage out of a bear's reach by storing food securely in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Remove your trash from your site daily and place in the campground dumpsters.
  • Remember to secure your pet’s food also.
  • If a bear comes into camp, don't feed it! Scare it away by making noise.
  • See a park employee to get more detailed information on how to camp in black bear country or visit: Living With Black Bears.



A small pond is located in the Rock Run area, just a short walk from the campground. The pond has a healthy population of large mouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish.  Additional fishing information can be found in the Maryland Freshwater Sportfishing Guide. The pond is a Free Fishing Pond - no license required. Swimming or wading is not allowed in the pond. Pets also are not allowed in the pond. 


The High Knob area of Gambrill State Park is known for its breathtaking views of the Frederick and Middletown Valleys. The park has three native-stone overlooks, which were all built by the CCC in the 1930’s. The Frederick Overlook is popular for weddings due to its massive stone staircase and platform. Impressive views of the western sky can be seen from the Middletown Overlook, also within High Knob. Gambrill's North Frederick Overlook offers expansive views to the east of Catoctin Mountain and is situated directly along Gambrill Park Road north of the High Knob entrance.

Please call the park at 301-293-4170 to request information about booking an overlook for your event. All overlooks close at sunset.

Nature Center

The High Knob Nature Center features information on the CCC, as well as information on native wildlife. The Nature Center also has activity packets available for family activities such as scavenger hunts and self-guided hikes. The Nature Center is open by appointment when staffing levels permit. Please contact the Park Office to schedule access. 


Gambrill State Park offers an accessible comfort station and campground building. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.

Online Services

Contact the Park Service

  • To Report Violations of Park Rules: 1-800-825-7275 (Park Watch) or 1-410-260-8888 (Communications Center)
  • General Information: 1-800-830-3974 (Annapolis Office)
  • Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
  • Email Us
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