Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the picturesque Catoctin Mountains. It is divided into two separate but unique areas. The William Houck Area located three miles west of Thurmont on Route 77 has the lake area, falls and camping area. The Manor Area off Route 15 three miles south of Thurmont has the Scales and Tales Aviary, camping and the historic Catoctin Iron Furnace. Outdoor activity is everywhere at Cunningham Falls State Park. Leisure opportunities like swimming, hiking, fishing and canoeing are available. For those who wish to get away for either a night or longer there are campsites and camper cabins available for rental from April through October. The staff and volunteers at Cunningham Falls State Park strive to make your visit a pleasant one. If you have any questions or concerns please let us know.
The initial incline from the parking lot to Cat Rock is no joke. Its pretty much uphill the entire way, but short enough to make it doable. Definitely add the the trip to Bob's Hill overlook for a total hike of 8 miles. Remember that you need to turn left when you reach the Blue trail. For some reason Bob's Hill isnt on that trailhead marker. The trails are quite rocky so have good hiking shoes. Overall, a great day hike as are all the trails at Catoctin.
Very nice day hike. Enough elevation to get a decent work-out but won't wipe you out either. Hot day in late May, but the shade kept the trail comfortable. Definitely worth a look right now if you want an easy get-away from the city and not much of a crowd.
The trail begins across from the Cocotin National Park Headquarters. The hike up to Cat Rock is about a mile, mostly uphill, but not too bad. The trail is marked with a yellow blaze. I suggest you continue on to Bob's Hill for a nice overlook of the valley. To do this continue down the yellow trail until you get to the Cocotin Trail (marked with blue blazes) and turn left. This will make for about an 8 mile out and back hike. If you want to get at least 10 miles in, continue on Cocotin Trail down to the Manor Visitor Center. Mostly downhill so you will get a good workout on the way back.
The trail was a good level for us and our 11 and 13 year old children. As a kid, I remember wading in the water and climbing all over the rocks when we got to the falls. Now, they have signs up everywhere that you are not permitted to leave the trail or touch the water in any way. They even have constructed wood trails and "viewing areas" with guard rails to discourage you from going anywhere near the falls themselves. Kind of disappointing for my children...
Hiked this trail today, decent workout on the way up. if you are in it just for exercise outdoors, its fine. If you are in it for the view, its nothing spectacular. Walked to the top of the rock pile at the end, view was ok but again, not breathtaking. Time for completion, 1 hr and 45 min. Would have finished sooner but legs were cramping on the way down.
Cat Rock is a short hike, and is easily accessible with parking right off of Maryland Rt. 77. The trail is fairly heavily wooded but easy to follow. However, I did not find it to be all that interesting. At the end of the trail is Cat Rock, which is a fairly good size rock pile with a decent view of the surrounding forest. If it's a nice day and you've never done it before, then it might be worth checking out. However I would recommend Chimney Rock & Wolf Rock before this one (both of which can be reached by the trail right across the road).
Except for a rather frightening encounter with a rattlesnake (mostly just because it was there), my friend and I really enjoyed this trail. Took us a bit more than 4 hours because we started down one of the side trails instead of heading back down the steep one we had taken up as we descended from Cat Rock, but we appreciated the challenge! Also - there were wild blueberries on the ridge leading up to Bob's Rock! FYI - wasn't entirely clear where the best trailhead was, but we ended up going up Old Misery trail to pick up the yellow/blue markers for Bob's/Cat.
First time I did Bob's Hill was last year in 105 weather. Exhausting but worth it! Made the hike again yesterday in 85...much better. Very steep, going from 600' to 1700' in less than 1.5 miles. Met up with a Copperhead who was kind enough to leave me alone as I left him alone. The other views were lovely. Ready to do this in 65 next.