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Gunpowder Falls State Park protects the stream valleys of the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls and the Gunpowder River, a western shore tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The long, narrow 18,000 acre park ranges from tidal marshes and wetlands near the Bay to steep, rugged slopes many miles upstream. The park consists of several areas:
The Hereford Area is the farthest north, near the MD/PA line
Over 100 miles of trails in the park give visitors the chance to experience a Bay tributary watershed from one end to the other. Since Gunpowder Falls State Park is so large, in order to get the most out of your visit be sure to obtain the appropriate maps, as they provide a lot of helpful information. Maps of specific park areas are available at park headquarters at Jerusalem Mill.
Sunrise to Sunset Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted).
Hammerman and Dundee Creek Marina: Hammerman is open year around; summer hours are 8 am to sunset; all other times, the area is open from 10 am to sunset; for the latest on tide conditions or marina hours, call 410-335-9390.
NCR Trail: Monkton Station is open Wednesday through Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day; the station is also open on weekends in the spring and fall; the Sparks Bank Nature Center on the NCR Trail is open on weekends from 1 pm to 3 pm and is available to school groups on request.
Central Area - Jerusalem Mill: The Jerusalem Mill Museum is open on weekends from 1 pm to 4 pm and is also available by special request; park offices located on the second floor of the Jerusalem Mill and are open Monday - Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm.
(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)
Service Charges are subject to change. Call 410-592-2897 to confirm.
Weekends and Holidays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day:
There is a $5 per person service charge ($7 per-person for non-Maryland residents) for entrance into the Hammerman Area.
Weekdays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day:
There is a $3 per person service charge ($5 per-person for non-Maryland residents) for entrance into the Hammerman Area.
Off-season (after Labor to the Friday before Memorial Day weekend):
A $3 per-vehicle ($5 for non-Maryland residents) honor system is in effect.
Dundee Creek Marina: The launch fee is $10 for Maryland residents ($12 for non-Maryland residents) at the Dundee Creek Marina. Various other service charges may apply for services provided.
The Hereford area of the park includes fly fishing in the Big Gunpowder, in a special Catch and Return Area downstream from the Prettyboy Dam. Bowhunting opportunities are also available (permits may be obtained through park headquarters).
The NCR Trail is a 21 mile abandoned railroad bed makes an ideal surface for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Points of natural and historic interest can be found along the way, including the restored Monkton Train Station, which serves as a museum, gift shop and Ranger Station to visitors on the NCR. The Sparks Bank Nature Center is also located on the NCR Trail.
Many miles of hiking trails traverse the Central area. The Big and Little Gunpowders are both stocked with trout in put-and-take fishing areas. Areas of special interest in the Central Area include: Sweet Air, approximately 1,250 acres and popular among equestrians; Sweathouse Branch Wildlands Area, featuring several loop trails prohibited to bicyclists through hardwood forest along the banks of the Big Gunpowder; and Jerusalem Village, a quaint historic village which is located on the banks of the Little Gunpowder Falls.
Jerusalem Village that includes several newly restored structures. Among these is the historic Jerusalem Mill, which not only houses the park headquarters, but also a small museum. The village also has a Blacksmith shop and gun factory, where gun stocks were crafted during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Little Gunpowder from the Mill to the Jerico Covered Bridge. The round-trip hike is less than one mile.