Located in northern Baltimore County, the Hereford Area’s 3,620 acres feature a scenic wilderness setting preserved under State Wildlands Status for nature appreciation and outdoor adventures. Anglers can enjoy a nationally renowned special trout management area located downstream from Prettyboy Reservoir and hikers and horseback riders can explore more than 20 miles of wooded trails. The Big Gunpowder Falls also attracts canoeing, kayaking and tubing enthusiasts throughout the year.
The Big Gunpowder River has become popular with a wide variety of users. Please be respectful to others and take your trash with you. Alcohol is not permitted in the park.
Hikers and horseback riders are welcome on the Hereford Area’s 20-miles of trails. This is a state designated Wildlands Area: bicycles are strictly prohibited. Be sure to purchase a park map by either visiting park headquarters, or at the DNR online store.
Please stay on designated trails. The trails in this area are steep and rocky and potentially slippery. Please take precautions by planning ahead and wearing appropriate footwear.
- Hiking, Panther Branch Trail (4.2 mi.)
- Hiking, Mingo Forks Trail (3.6 mi.)
- Hiking, Lefty Kreh Trail (formerly Gunpowder South Trail) (5.3 mi.)
- Hiking, Lefty Kreh Trail (formerly Gunpowder South Trail) (5.1 mi.)
- Horseback riding, Bunker Hill Road to Falls Road (5.3 mi.)
- Horseback riding, Hereford Area (11.5 to 21 mi.)
A nationally renowned blue-ribbon trout stream, the Big Gunpowder Falls is managed by Maryland DNR from Prettyboy Dam to Blue Mount Road as a special trout management area for catch and release with artificial lures only.
A Maryland Non-Tidal Fishing License and a trout stamp is required for anyone 16 years-of-age or older. For more information, visit the Maryland DNR Fisheries website.
- Put and take trout fishing on Little Falls and Beetree Run
- Put and take trout fishing on Upper Big Gunpowder Falls River
- Catch and release trout fishing on Upper Big Gunpowder Falls River
The Gunpowder River in this section offers opportunities for both novice and advanced paddlers. The range of difficulty ranges from Class I to Class III. The more difficult section of the river lies between Falls Road and York Road. The section downriver from York Road is considered easier.
The river flows into private property downriver of Big Falls Road. Please respect the rights of private property owners.
Personal flotation devices are required for all persons canoeing or kayaking on the river. Helmets are required for canoeists and kayakers using the river between Prettyboy Dam and York Road. Because the water in this section of the river is released from the bottom of Prettyboy Reservoir, the water temperature ranges from 45 to 50 degrees year-round.
Self-Guided Water Trails
- Canoeing/Kayaking Big Gunpowder Falls, Falls Road to Big Falls Road (4.1 mi.)
- Canoeing/Kayaking Big Gunpowder Falls, York Road to Sparks Road (11 mi.)
- Tubing, Hereford Area (.9 mi.)
Organized youth group camping with a permit is available at Camp Wood. The camp includes tent sites under a mature hemlock forest, fire rings, grills, and a comfort station. An amphitheatre is also available for programs.
Hereford’s Millpond Cottage provides overnight accommodations for up to eight people in a beautiful historic and natural setting.
- Central Area
- Dundee Creek Marina
- Hammerman Area (beach)
- Hereford Area
- Jerusalem Mill
- The Mill Pond Cottage
- Sweet Air Area
- Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail
Central Area (Belair Road) – From the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), take U. S. 1 (Belair Road) north seven miles until you cross over the Big Gunpowder Falls. The parking lot will be on your right immediately following the bridge across the falls.
Dundee Creek Marina - From I-95 take exit 67A for Route 43 east (White Marsh Boulevard). Follow 43 to Route 40 east. Turn right at the first light onto Ebenezer Road and follow it for 4.5 miles. Go past the Hammerman entrance, and enter the marina on the right. The physical address is 7400 Graces Quarters, Chase, MD 21027. To visit the fishing area, continue straight and veer to the right and follow the road until it deadends.
Hammerman Area (beach) - From I-95 take exit 67A for Route 43 east (White Marsh Boulevard). Follow 43 to Route 40 east. Turn right at the first light onto Ebenezer Road and follow it for 4.5 miles. The park entrance will be on your left. The physical address is 7200 Graces Quarters, Chase, MD 21027
Hereford Area - From I-83 N, take exit 27 and turn right on Mt. Carmel Road. At traffic light, turn left onto York Road. Pass Hereford High School and turn left onto Bunker Hill Road. Continue on Bunker Hill Road to parking lot, located above the river.
Jerusalem Mill (Park Headquarters) - From I-95 take exit 74 for Route 152 West (Mountain Road). Follow Mountain Road toward Fallston and turn left onto Jerusalem Road. Jerusalem Mill will be on your left after 1.1 miles. Parking is in the lot on the right, just before the mill. The physical address is 2813 Jerusalem Road, Kingsville, MD 21087.
Monkton Station - From I-83 N, take exit 27 and turn right on Mt. Carmel Road. Turn right on York Road and make a quick left onto Monkton Road. Follow it until it crosses the Torrey C. Brown (formerly NCR) Rail Trail. Monkton Station will be on your left. Limited parking. The physical address is 1820 Monkton Road, Monkton, MD 21111
Sweet Air Area – Take I-95 north. Take exit 74 onto Route 152 toward Fallston. Follow it for 10 miles. Turn left onto Route 165 south. Take first right onto Greene Road, right onto Moores Road and left onto Dalton Bevard Road. The parking lot is at the top of the hill. The physical address is 2840 Dalton Bevard Road, Baldwin, MD 21013.
Sparks Bank Nature Center - From I-83N take exit 24 (Belfast Road). Turn right onto Belfast Road. Turn right onto York Road (Route 45). Take your second left onto Sparks Road. Follow it until it crosses the Torrey C. Brown (formerly NCR) Rail Trail. Sparks Bank Nature Center will be on your right. Limited parking. The physical address is 1207 Sparks Road, Sparks, MD 21152.
Gunpowder Falls State Park
PO Box 480
2813 Jerusalem Road
Kingsville, MD 21087
Phone: (410) 592-2897
Hours of Operation
Sunrise to Sunset
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us