Self-Guided Opportunities
Location Cunningham Falls State Park, 301-271-7574
Parking available along MD Route 77, Catoctin Hollow Road, the Manor Area and William Houck Area. Restrooms available in the William Houck and Manor Areas of Cunningham Falls State Park.
Distance Trail distances vary from .5 mile to 7.5 miles.
Time Times vary from less than one hour to several hours.
Trail Trails vary from moderately easy to strenuous. Many trails have an elevation change of several hundred feet and are very rocky with uneven footing.
Skill Level Moderate
Suitable For Families? Yes
Potable Water Available in the William Houck and Manor campgrounds and day use areas.
Natural Features 78 foot high Cunningham Falls
44 acre Cunningham Falls Lake
Catoctin Iron Furnace
Cat Rock
Bob's Hill
Numerous rocky outcrops, hardwood forest
Wildlife includes: white-tailed deer, wild turkey, red-tailed hawks. Evidence of charcoal beds, where the fuel was made to fire Catoctin Furnace, can be seen in the forest.
Camping Camping is available at Cunningham Falls State Park, 301-271-7574 or 1-888-432-2267
Fees or Permits Camping service charge and applicable day use entrance fees
Trail Descriptions Lower Trail -- red blaze (.5 mile) This easy to moderate trail is the shortest and easiest access to the Falls. Interpretive signs and benches along the way. Return to the lake by this trail or Cliff Trail.

Cliff Trail -- yellow blaze (.75 mile) Rough terrain offers strenuous hiking past rock outcrops that lead to the Falls. Return to the lake by this trail or Lower Trail.

Campground Trail -- orange blaze (.75 mile) This strenuous trail gives campers access to the Cliff Trail.

Old Misery Trail -- orange blaze (2 miles) This steep, strenuous trail with many switchbacks and scenic views connects with the Cat Rock Trail.

Cat Rock/Bob's Hill -- yellow blazes (7.5 miles) This strenuous trail crosses the mountain and passes two scenic rock outcrops with scenic views.

Cat Rock Trail -- yellow blaze (1.5 miles) This steep, strenuous trail leads to Cat Rock (elevation 1560') and scenic views.

Bob's Hill Trail -- yellow (1.5 miles) This steep, strenuous trail leads to Bob's Hill (elevation 1765') and two short spur trails with views north and south.

Catoctin Furnace -- No blaze (.25 mile) A self-guided trail which leads to Catoctin Furnace. Crosses U.S. 15 via elevated foot path (46 steps up the stairway).

Catoctin Trail -- blue blaze (27 miles) This strenuous trail leads from Gambrill State Park through Frederick City Watershed, Cunningham Falls and Catoctin Mountain Park. Nine miles of trail are in Cunningham Falls. Camping permitted only in designated campgrounds.

  • Cunningham Falls State Park brochure, available at Contact Station, Camper Registration Office, Administrative Office, Camp Store, Lakeside Store, Lakeside Grill and the Manor Visitor Center
  • Cunningham Falls State Park homepage
Recommended Gear and Safety Tips
  • Leave a trip plan with a family member.
  • Hikers should always be prepared for an emergency. Carry sunscreen, a small first aid kit, water and a snack, insect repellent, a compass, a map of the area and foul weather gear. Adequate footwear should be worn.
  • Follow Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
  • Be aware of hunting seasons. Portions of Cunningham Falls State Park are open for hunting, and the Cat Rock/Bob's Hill Trail and Old Misery Trail pass through the hunting areas. Bright colors should be worn during hunting season.
  • Both of Maryland's venomous snakes, the timber rattlesnake and copperhead, are found within the park. Never put your hands or feet into rock crevasses or behind logs without checking for snakes. Watch all snakes from a distance. Learn to identify venomous snakes.