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6 EPIC WATERFALL HIKES TO TAKE NEAR BALTIMORE

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CHARLOTTE NAGEY

JUL 23, 2019

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Are you feeling adventurous, Baltimore? Well what’s more adventurous than a journey to a waterfall? (Answer: not much.) Maryland may not be known for its towering waterfalls, but along the borders (The Old State Line and DC/Virginia), you can count on a lot of beauty.

So when you’re planning your next road trip, make sure it includes this six-pack of natural wonder. Yep—six great falls. They may require a quick hike though, so be sure to pack accordingly.

Feeling blue? Take the blue trail (Falls Trail) all the way to Cascade Falls and, once there, breathe, experience, maybe snap a photo—the cascades and rapids are a beautiful sight to take in. Though the trail loop becomes very steep, the hike is very rewarding through lush forest, with the falls as the light at the end of the tunneling woods.

Historically, Kilgore Falls was the bathing hole for the Susquehanna Indians in the Harford County Area…but we recommend clothing or a swimsuit when you visit the falls. Known as the second largest vertical falls in Maryland—30ft. high—you can practice your rock climbing up the massive rock walls that enclose three sides of the area. FYI: you may know it as Falling Branch Falls due to its location in the Falling Branch area of Rock State Park.

Take a hike through Cunningham Falls State Park in Frederick, Maryland. Enjoy clearly-marked trails throughout the park that lead you to the base of the 78-foot cascading waterfall. Cunningham Falls flows over and cuts through boulders, but makes for one tough but rewarding workout if you clamber up the side to make it to the top of the streaming falls. Fitt Tip: arrive to the park early. It gets very busy during the day—and what’s worse than losing your snack you packed? Losing your patience.

Tales of mysterious happenings are tied to the Paw Paw Tunnel, often causing this trail to be labeled as haunted. See for yourself — take a roadtrip to Oakton, Maryland and travel to the Paw Paw Tunnel along the C&O Canal Trail. If you’re not one for ghost stories, then it should be easy to trek through the dark tunnel and find the haunting beauty of the trickling waterfall at the end.

A haven for hiking, the C&O National Historic Park borders Maryland and Virginia—there, the Potomac River rushes between the two states. And that also happens to be the site of some great falls. Need a guide? The Billy Goat Trail is the most traveled path through the park to arrive at the falls. And though it’s no Niagara Falls, witness as Great Falls plummets about 40 feet, soon channeling to Mather Gorge—whitewater favorited by advanced kayakers.

In the depths of Oakton, Maryland’s Swallow Falls State Park, this picturesque waterfall is only a short 1.5-mile hike along the easily-navigated Canyon Loop Trail. Once there, look up — Muddy Creek Falls is the highest free-falling waterfall in the state, falling a whopping 50-plus feet! Spend the day hiking throughout the park, then taking a dip in the swimming hole just below the falls to cool off. Just watch out for rocks at the bottom!

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