The first land purchases for what is now Rocks State Park began in 1951. Originally slated to be Deer Creek State Park, these were the first land purchases made by the State of Maryland for the express purpose of creating a park.
Rocks has 855 acres of dense forests and massive boulders rising above Deer Creek. The King and Queen Seat, once a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians, is a natural 190 foot rock outcrop. This cliff, reached by scenic trails, affords a view of the rolling hills and farmland of Harford County. Also preserved on park property are many structural remains from the days when the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad wound its way through Rocks, helping the farms and quarries of Northern Harford County to prosper. See the park map for more information.
Deer Creek is popular for fishing and tubing. Secluded glens along its shores offer ideal spots for relaxation.
Nature Exploration Area
Looking for something to connect children in the natural world? Come stop by our Nature Exploration area located in the Rock Ridge picnic area of Rocks State Park, near the "King and Queen Seat," a rock outcrop believed to be a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians. At this exploration area you will find a miniature rock climbing area, which allows for rock climbing and jumping on a more kid friendly size scale. You will also find a digging area called, "Deer Creek Beach," which represents the riverís edge. Other fun features include, an oversized birdís nest, stump jumps, balancing logs and hollowed out logs for climbing through.
Please visit our website at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/cin/nps/ to learn more and see other areas within the state you can visit!
- Pets are allowed in Rocks State Park.
Self-Guided Recreational Activities:
- Canoeing/Kayaking Deer Creek (4.6 mi.)
- Canoeing/Kayaking Deer Creek (15.5 mi.)
- Canoeing/Kayaking Deer Creek (8.9 mi)
- Fishing, Deer Creek
- Hiking, White Trail (2 mi.)
- Hiking, Falling Branch Area (.5 mi.)
- Rock climbing
- Tubing, Deer Creek (.75 mi.)
The facility features opportunities for fishing, hiking, picnicking, canoeing and tubing, as well as bow hunting, rock climbing and repelling. Playgrounds, shelters, and comfort stations are available at each of the three picnic areas.
- Day Use Picnic Areas - Hills Grove, Wilson's and Rock Ridge areas are available for many recreational activities. Tables, grills, restroom facilities and playground equipment are located in each area. The Hills Grove and Wilson's Areas are handicapped accessible. Pets are permitted in any of the picnic areas. There is a service charge ($3/Maryland resident, $5 out-of-state weekends; $2/vehicle, $4/vehicle weekdays) to enter the picnic areas. Seniors with a Golden Age Pass and children in car seats are free.
- Pavilions - Each picnic area has a pavilion with lights (except Wilsons), electric outlets, a large barbecue pit and picnic tables. Pavilions may be used by permit only for various activities such as weddings, reunions and company picnics. Each pavilion will accommodate approximately 120 to 150 people. Click here for season beginning and ending dates, and shelter service charges.
- Hiking trails - 3.5 miles of scenic hiking trails offer steep to moderate changes in elevation. Trails connect various points of interest and picnic areas within the park. Pets on a leash are permitted on the hiking trails.
- Deer Creek - Popular for tubing and wading at your own risk. There are no life guards. Deer Creek is designated as a Put and Take Trout Fishing area, so taking and moving rocks and downed trees is prohibited.
- King and Queen Seat - Soaring natural rock outcrops provide breathtaking views, as well as a challenge to the skilled climber. Once believed to be a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians, the King and Queen Seat soars above Deer Creek at a height of 190 feet. There are many vertical rock faces on the outcrop some of which are as high as 94 feet. Use caution in this area.
- Hidden Valley Natural Area - This tract of land, administered by Rocks State Park, is located five miles north of Rocks at the intersection of Madonna, Telegraph and Carea Roads. A non-developed area, it offers a beautiful hiking trail and fishing along Deer Creek. Pets on a leash are permitted. Parking is provided for 8 to 10 cars. There is no parking along roadways. There are no picnic tables, grills or restroom facilities.
- Falling Branch - The Falling Branch Area of Rocks State Park is a 67 acre parcel of land which is home to Kilgore Falls, a scenic and tranquil section of Falling Branch, a tributary of Deer Creek, which is tucked back into the ravines of Northern Harford County, creating Maryland's second highest vertical drop waterfall. This non-developed, environmentally sensitive area has a serene hiking trail leading back to the waterfall. Pets are allowed but must be on leashes at all times. Falling Branch is located five miles north of Rocks. Continue north on Route 24, turn left on St. Mary's Road then right onto Falling Branch Road and proceed to parking area on the right. There is no parking on the grass or along the road. There are no picnic tables, grills or restrooms in the area.
- Hunting - The park offers deer bow hunting only. Be sure to consult your Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping for season dates and bag limits.
Hunting at Rocks State Park is permitted Monday through Saturday only. Hunters may enter the hunting area one half hour before legal shooting time (legal shooting time is one half hour before sunrise). All hunters must enter and leave from the hunter parking areas and sign in and out on the hunter bulletin board. Hunters must be out of the hunting area one hour after legal shooting time. Legal shooting time ends one half hour after sunset.
Rocks State Park offers accessible picnic sites at Hills Grove and Rock Ridge. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
Rocks State Park
3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084
Call 1-888-432-CAMP(2267) for pavilion reservations
Click here to make reservations on-line for Rocks State Park.
The park is located in northern Harford County about 30 miles north of Baltimore and 8 miles northwest of Bel Air on Route 24. From Baltimore, take I-95 north to Route 24 north exit. Continue north on Route 24 through Bel Air, Rock Spring, and Forest Hill. The Park is located approximately 5 miles north of Forest Hill.
Rocks State Park
3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084
Phone: (410) 557-7994
Hours of Operation
9 a.m. to Sunset, March-October
10 a.m. to Sunset, November-February
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