Chasing Waterfalls: Spring Break in Maryland

Chasing Waterfalls: Spring Break in Maryland

By: Jamison Heisey

@jheisey17Central Pennsylvania is not known for warm, beautiful weather in early March. But I was lucky enough to get a sunny day in the mid 60s while I was home from college for Spring Break. 

Cunningham Falls State Park lies just over the border from Pennsylvania to Maryland, and it’s my favorite hiking spot.

This area is unique because you can find so many treasures in this one park: hiking trails, campgrounds, a 43-acre man-made lake, fishing holes, and the largest cascading waterfall in Maryland nestled into the Catoctin Mountains.

When you’re nearing the park, the winding roads are surrounded by running water, rock formations, and all types of vegetation. It’s a nice reminder that even the scenery on the way to start your journey can be as breathtaking as any other adventure.

There are two trail options when you start your hike. The Cliff Trail is a pretty challenging, physically demanding hike. It takes you through the mountain, and different rock formations before spitting you out at the upper part of the falls. This is the trail my friend, Ryan, and I took. Since it had been freezing and snowing during the weeks leading up to our trip, there were some icy spots making the trek even more difficult.

The Blue Route is a much less strenuous option that brings you to the base of the waterfall where there is a wood bridge and a bench area perfect for taking photos and breathing in the beauty. 

After navigating the rock climbs, we finally made it to the top of the falls and were able to relax atop the largest cascading waterfall in Maryland.

After a quick snack break, we exported the different levels of the waterfall. The rocks were wet and covered in ice in some spots, so moving from one area to another was difficult and quite dangerous at times. But the experience was worth every cut, nick, and bruise.

*All photos were submitted by the writer unless otherwise noted.

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