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Cunningham Falls State Park

Maryland Myths busted!

An owl

Introduction To Quest

We goofed! The passport listing for Cunningham Falls State Park has a few errors! Please pay special attention to the first Park Quest bulletin board for corrections to your Cunningham Falls passport!.

Too many myths surround our plants and wildlife (flora and fauna). Itís time to set the story straight! From stories of hybrid venomous and non-venomous snakes to owls rotating their heads 360 degrees, the list goes on and on. This yearís quest will educate you and share interesting and true facts about our flora and fauna!

Quest Information

Start your quest at Cunningham Falls State Parkís Manor Area on Route 15 in Thurmont, MD between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 1.5 hours before sunset. The park closes at sunset.

This activity is entirely self-guided and will take 1.5 hours to complete. The starting location is the first bulletin board on the left after the entrance gate. Using a scavenger hunt, teams will hike throughout the Manor Area with their passport, recording the numbered letters from bulletin boards and letterboxes marked with the Park Quest symbol. At the last location, a stamp and pad will be secured. Teams will stamp their own passports.

The Manor Area experiences frequent timber rattlesnake and copperhead sightings. The iron bridge is slippery when wet. Leashed pets are permitted at the Manor but not inside the Aviary fence, where part of the Quest takes place. Pets cannot be left unattended. The quest is not stroller accessible.

Park Information

Cunningham Falls State Park consists of two separate locations- the William Houck Area and the Manor Area. The William Houck Area is located off of Rt. 77 on Catoctin Hollow Road and is the location of the Cunningham Falls. The area also includes a campground and day use area surrounding a 44-acre lake. The Manor Area, off Rt. 15 south contains a Visitors Center, Scales & Tales Aviary, picnic area, recycled tire playground, and campground. The 200 year old Catoctin Iron Furnace and Catoctin Manor ruins are located across Rt. 15 and are accessible by a short walk on the Catoctin Furnace Trail. Both areas offer hiking and fishing opportunities. The Cunningham Falls State Park is surrounded by Catoctin Mountain National Park and Wildlands that preserve essential large tracts of habitat for animals and plants. These public lands also ensure the health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by buffering Big and Little Hunting Creeks with clean, undeveloped land. Cunningham Falls doesnít just benefit park visitors and wildlife but also the millions and millions of living organisms, including people that live downstream from the park on into the treasured Chesapeake Bay.

Cunningham Falls State Park
14039 Catoctin Hollow Road
Thurmont MD 21788
301-271-7574

Directions to Cunningham Falls Manor Area:

  • From the Baltimore area: Follow I-70 West to Frederick, and then take U.S. Route 15 North towards Thurmont. After Angleberger Road, which is approximately 10 miles up Rt. 15 North, begin to look for brown signs for Cunningham Falls State Park/ Manor Area. Take a left hand turn across Rt. 15 South into the Manor Area. If you come to an exit for Thurmont you have gone past the Manor area. Proceed through the contact station and park by the first bulletin board on the left.
  • From the Washington DC area: Follow I-270 North to Frederick, then U.S. 15 North to Thurmont. Then follow the same directions as described above.
  • From the Gettysburg area: Follow U.S. 15 South to Thurmont. The Manor Area is three miles south of Thurmont. After passing Pryor Road, take the next right into the Manor Area. Proceed through the contact station and park by the first bulletin board on the left.
  • Make a reservation to stay at the park.

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