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Hiking at Rocks State Park

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.

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White Trail at Rocks State Park

Location Rocks State Park, White Trail Circuit
Main area on Route 24 north of Bel Air, 410-557-7994
Trail Access Park in the rapids parking area on Route 24. Take the purple blazed trail from the parking lot to the white blazed loop trail.
Distance 2 miles
Time 1.5 hours
Trail Single-track; varied terrain
Skill Level Moderate to difficult, some rock scrambling
Suitable For Families? Yes, with children 10 and older
Hazards/Restrictions No motorized vehicles on trail. The King and Queen Seat (190′ drop) rock formation is accessible from the trail. Copperheads found in the rocks.
Potable Water Carry in your own water.
Natural Features Impressive 190′ high King and Queen Seat rock formation overlooks Deer Creek valley.
White-tailed deer and wild turkey habitat.
Historic/Cultural Features Historical carvings in the rock formation date from the mid 1800’s.
Trail passes former La Grange Iron Works and Rogers Furnace site and quarry site.
King and Queen Seat was a ceremonial site for Susquehannock and Mingo Indians.
Guiding None
Camping None
Other Points of Interest The rapids area on Deer Ceek is quite scenic and accessible from the same parking area. There are three picnic/day use areas nearby: Rock Ridge, Wilson’s and Hills Grove. Deer Creek offers tubing and put and take trout fishing.
Other Accommodations None
Service Charges or Permits $2 per person service charge on weekends and holidays at the picnic areas
Description Scenic woodland trail explores ridges and valleys surrounding Deer Creek. Trail provides access to nearby King and Queen Seat rock formation with impressive views of Deer Creek valley below. Deer Creek is a popular put and take trout fishing stream. The King and Queen Seat was a ceremonial site for Susquehannock and Mingo Indians.

 

Falling Branch Area to Kilgore Falls

Location Rocks State Park, 410-557-7994
Falling Branch Area (5 miles north of Rocks State Park)
Trail Access Take Route 24 north through Rocks State Park. Turn left onto St. Mary’s Road. Turn right on Falling Branch Road. Parking lot on right.
Distance .5 mile
Time Up to one hour
Trail Conditions Single track; varied terrain
Skill Level Easy
Suitable For Families? Yes
Hazards/Restrictions No motorized vehicles on trail; wet, slippery, sharp rocks near the falls.
Potable Water No restrooms or water
Natural Features Kilgore Fallls, 19 feet tall, is the second highest natural vertical waterfall in Maryland. The area is habitat for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, red fox and woodland birds.
Historic/Cultural Features On the west side of Falling Branch is an old stage coach route and mill site near the waterfall. On the east side is the foundation of a stage coach rest stop below the falls.
Guiding None
Camping None
Other Points of Interest Eden Mill Park and Nature Center (Harford County) are nearby with trails, canoeing and fishing.
Other Accommodations None
Service Charges or Permits None
Description A short hike suitable for all ages leads to the 19′ waterfall located on a scenic 45-acre parcel of woodland north of the main Rocks State Park area. A wooded trail visits the second highest vertical waterfall in Maryland.

 

Rock Climbing at the King and Queen Seat

Location Rocks State Park, Route 24 north of Bel Air, 410-557-7994
Trail Access Park at rapids parking lot on Route 24. One half mile steep trail (purple blazes) from Route 24 gets climbers to the top of the rock formation.
Distance One half mile to the formation
190′ drop to Deer Creek
Climbs range from 8′ to 115′
Time Vary, depending on skill
Skill Level Ranges from grade 4 to 5.12
Vary in height and difficulty
Suitable For Families? Yes, with previous experience and proper climbing equipment
Hazards/Restrictions Copperheads often found in rocks
Bee nests along some climbs
Some loose, falling rock
No fixed protection
Dangerous area if not properly equipped or trained
Groups are required to register at the park office
Potable Water Carry your own water. Bathrooms at Rock Ridge picnic area near the top of the climb
Natural Features This has been a popular tourism spot since the early 1800’s. Impressive view overlooks Deer Creek valley.
White-tailed deer and wild turkey habitat.
Historic/Cultural Features A railroad stop for the Ma and Pa Railroad was located across Deer Creek. Historical carvings in the rock formation date from the mid 1800’s.
Trail passes former LaGrange Iron Works and Rogers Furnace site and quarry site.
King and Queen Seat was a ceremonial site for Susquehannock and Mingo Indians.
Guiding Earth Treks Climbing, 410-872-0060
Camping None
Other Points of Interest Rapids area on Deer Ceek is quite scenic and accessible from the same parking area. There are three picnic/day use areas nearby: Rock Ridge, Wilson’s and Hills Grove. Deer Creek offers tubing, canoeing/kayaking and put and take trout fishing.
Other Accommodations None
Service Charges or Permits Groups are required to register at the park office
Description The rocks are of Wissahickon schist formation, characterized by cracks, flakes and quartz crystals. This is a popular climbing area due to ease of access. It provides climbs of varying difficulty.

Hiking at Eden Mill Nature Center

Eden Mill has over 5 miles of trails leading to a beautiful overlook of the creek. Each is always maintained for easy hiking.

· POLLIPOT TRAIL: Starts at Mill and follows wetlands along Big Branch Creek to main trailhead. Parts are elevated on boardwalk. Length: approx. 0.3 miles

· BEAVER RUN TRAIL: Follows Deer Creek with plenty to see - beavers, birds, turtles, plants. Length: approx. 0.29 miles

· BLUEBIRD TRAIL: Succession Area, foxes, rabbits, deer, blue birds, easy hiking. Length: approx. 0.17 miles

· MINGO TRAIL: Follows the upper meadow, best birding trail in the park. Length: approx. 0.19 miles

· CEDAR RUN TRAIL: Cedar Run Trail follows the edge of the forest along one side, and a meadow along the other side. This trail joins up with Laurel Ridge Trail at Switchbacks. Length: approx. 0.19 miles

· HIGH MEADOW TRAIL: Starts at main trailhead. Follows the edge of the High Meadow and forest. Steep climb at beginning of trail. Length: approx. 0.3 miles

· LAUREL RIDGE TRAIL: A forest Trail overlooking Deer Creek. At the end is 400 feet of switchbacks that join up with Beaver Run Trail. Length: approx. 0.18 miles

· BIRDS NEST TRAIL: Wooded, good birding. Length: approx. 0.06 miles

· FOX RUN TRAIL: New growth, plenty of deer signs, rabbits, and birds. Length: approx. 0.14 miles

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