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. Leisure opportunities include swimming, hiking, fishing and canoeing. Campsites and camper cabins are available from April through October.
The Cunningham Falls State Park trail system varies in terrain from short, flat hikes to steep and rocky ascents that will challenge even the experienced hiker. Trail distances vary from .5 mile to 7.5 miles.
Picnicking at the William Houck Area
Picnic tables and grills are available near the lake area on a first come, first served basis. There are no covered pavilions or shelters in this area. Please remember to arrive early as the park often reaches capacity by mid to late morning on weekends, holidays and even some weekdays during the summer swim season.
Picnicking in the Manor Area
Picnic tables and grills are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Manor Area picnic shelter is available by reservation only. The shelter holds 150 people. The shelter was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) out of native stone many years prior to the installation of Route 15. It is recommended that you visit the shelter prior to making your reservation due to its proximity to the highway.
Swimming is allowed in three designated areas of Hunting Creek Lake, between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Lifeguards are on duty Tuesday through Sunday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day.
For your safety and the protection of the natural resource swimming is not allowed at the Falls.
Please remember to arrive early as the park often reaches capacity by mid to late morning on weekends and holidays. If the park reaches capacity, visitors will be turned away.
Cunningham Falls State Park has campsites in both the William Houck Area and the Manor Area.
The William Houck Area Campground has 106 basic sites, 33 sites with electric hook-up. The William Houck Area campground is open April through October. Pets are permitted in Addison Run and Bear Branch Loops
The Manor Area Campground has 21 basic sites and 10 sites with electric hook-up. Camping is available year round; however services are limited from November 1 through March 31. All campground amenities are open April 1 - October 31. Pets are permitted in the Manor Area Campground.
A boat ramp for launching private watercraft onto Hunting Creek Lake is available for a small service charge.
Only electric motors are permitted. No gasoline motors
A boat concession on Hunting Creek Lake rents boats during the summer season.
Cunningham Falls State Park has several opportunities for fishing. A Maryland Freshwater Sport Fishing License is required for all fishermen over 15 years old. Be sure to consult the Maryland Freshwater Sportfishing Guide for creel and size limits prior to your fishing trip.
Hunting Creek Lake is a put and take trout area. An accessible fishing pier is located off of Catoctin Hollow Road next to the boat ramp. Fishermen can also fish for bass, bluegills, sunfish, crappie and catfish.
Big Hunting Creek along MD Route 77, as well as its tributaries within Cunningham Falls State Park, is a catch and release trout stream limited to artificial fly fishing only. Use of conventional fly fishing tackle and artificial flies must be used.
Little Hunting Creek in the Manor Area is a catch and release trout stream limited to the use of artificial lures and flies only. Spinning gear may be used.
Hunting is permitted on 4,400 acres of wildlands in accordance with statewide hunting regulations. The hunting area consists of forested terrain with steep access routes.
A "reservations only" deer hunting area is available for hunters with a Universal Disability Permit.
Reservations can be made for Deer Firearm Season and the first week of Muzzleloader Season.
Reservations are required.
Reservations are taken starting the day after Labor Day at 8:00 am.
Reservations can be made either in person at the Park Administration Office or by calling 301-271-7574.