Discover Maryland's largest state park

Discover Maryland's largest state park
Posted at 7:56 AM, Aug 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-06 07:56:56-04

Founded in 1959, Gunpowder Falls State Park is Maryland's largest state park, encompassing over 18,000 acres in Harford and Baltimore counties. 

The park is divided into five main areas: Hereford, Sweet Air, Central, Hammerman and Dundee Creek. The park also operates North Point and Hart-Miller Island state parks, North Point State Battlefield and the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail.

Park Service Associate Andrea Townsley-Sapp says one of the biggest misconceptions about Gunpowder Falls State Park is that it's just one little area. In fact, Gunpowder features more than 120 miles of trails, protected wildlands, historic sites, fishing opportunities, streams, a swimming beach and a marina. 

Fast Facts:

  • Largest state park in Maryland
  • For 40 years, North Point was the site of the Bay Shore Amusement Park
  • Hart-Miller Island is only accessible by boat
  • There are no waterfalls at Gunpowder Falls State Park
  • President Lincoln rode on the Northern Central Railway to give the Gettysburg address

Townsley-Sapp said the waterfront access at the North Point State Park and Hammerman area as well as streams in the central area are big draws in the summer time. In addition, history buffs can enjoy War of 1812 reenactments at the North Point State Battlefield.

She said the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail and the Hammerman area are two of the most populated areas of the park. The TCB Rail Trail was named for the third secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It follows 19.7 miles of the former Northern Central Railway in northern Baltimore County. 

In November, the TCB Rail Trail was inducted into the Rails-to-Trails Hall of Fame. There are more than 1,900 trails in the rail trail network nationwide, but only 29 hold the title.

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Upcoming Events:

  • Tubing on the Gunpowder: August 6 & 27 - Take a leisurely tubing trip down the Big Gunpowder Falls River. Tubes and PFD's are provided. Meet at Monkton Station at 1 p.m. The cost is $5/person. Call 410-592-2897 to pre-register.
  • Sunset Canoe at Days Cove: August 20 - Explore Days Cove by canoe and see the marshlands and wildlife at dusk. The 2.4 mile paddle begins at 6 p.m. Call 410-592-2897 to register.
  • Take Me Fishing!: Fourth Wednesday of the month through September - Fishing instruction for kids under 16 at the Dundee Creek Marina. All equipment will be provided. The event begins at 10 a.m. No registration necessary.
  • Night Hike and Owl Prowl: August 27 - Hike in the woods and listen for calls from hunters of the night. Meet at the amphitheater outside Sparks Bank Nature Center at 8 p.m. Registration is required and the cost is $3/person. Call 410-592-2897 to register.
  • Terrapin Tuesday - Tuesdays Memorial Day - Labor Day: See and learn about the official Maryland state reptile, the Diamondback Turtle. No registration necessary, meet at the beach in the Hammerman area at 11 a.m. The park entrance fee is in effect.
  • See more park events

Click here for more Baltimore area events.