A couple of weekends ago we decided to take the kids on a hike to Cunningham falls. Cunningham Falls State Park is located in Frederick county, Maryland. The state park has 9 hiking trails totaling over 30 miles of trail, as well as a lake.
When I was looking for information about going to the state park. I couldn’t find any admission information. So, after visiting the park I can say admission for Cunningham falls state park is $3 for Maryland residents and $5 for non-residents. The fee is per person. There is no fee for children in car seats or boosters. For our family to go hike the falls or spend the day at the lake it costs $6. Not bad for a few hours entertainment.
When you get to the park it can be a little confusing as where to go. Continue straight on the road after entering the park if your headed to Cunningham falls. The first parking lot on the left is the one for the falls.
(If your headed to the lake take the first right turn after entering the park. There is a parking lot, restroom facilities, a playground as well as the beach and lake.)
There are two paths that will take you to the falls. The Lower Trail (1/2 mile) and the Cliff Trail (3/4 mile). If you want you can make it a loop and take both trails. (One trail to the Falls and the other back to the car)
The age and skill level of your children will probably help you decide which trail to take. The lower trail is very family friendly and an easy path to follow. Our two-year-old walked to the Falls and most of the way back to the car.
Once we reached the falls the little man was so excited about the “little bridge” and the waterfall he kept running back and forth to see them both. Though the Falls aren’t extremely large the trail and the falls are beautiful.
The little man loved hiking to the Falls. Almost everyday since we saw Cunningham Falls he has asked to go see a waterfall.
Related Post: Visiting Bushkill Falls – Pennsylvania’s Niagara
Tips for Hiking Cunningham Falls with kids
Depending on your pace plan on an hour and a half to two hours to hike and explore the Falls. It took us about 2 hours round trip letting the little man stop and explore the whole way.
- Wear good closed toed shoes
- Don’t being the stroller, the path is not stroller friendly.
- If you have an infant a carrier will totally save your arms!
- Bring water and a little snack but leave the big diaper bag in the car.
- Don’t forget your camera to capture making memories out in nature.
- Watch for poison ivy. We found it in a few different spots on our hike.
- Put on bug spray. Maryland has tons of different bugs so when we get out in nature we try to remember the bug spray so we don’t have to worry about mosquitos and ticks as much.
Visiting the Lake
If you want to visit the lake while at Cunningham Falls state park a couple things you should know are:
There are two beaches, one on each side of the lake. (Continue past the Cunningham falls parking lot to reach the far side of the lake.)
A life guard must be present for you to get in the lake. The life guards monitor the water as well as the weather in the surrounding area. While we were at the state park everyone had to get out of the water due to thunder in the area.
Throughout the park there are several picnic areas with charcoal grills. Next time we go to Cunningham falls state park we need to bring a picnic.
Have you ever visited Cunningham Falls? What did you think?