Rocky Gap State Park

Rocky Gap State Park

Rocky Gap State Park is located in Western Maryland’s Allegany County. The park encompasses over 3,000 acres of public land for visitors to enjoy. Rugged mountains surround the park, featuring 243-acre Lake Habeeb. The lake is fed by Rocky Gap Run, which winds its way through an impressive mile-long gorge, displaying sheer cliffs, overlooks and a hemlock forest dense with rhododendron and mountain laurel. Overlooking the lake is Evitt’s Mountain, named for one of the first European settlers in Allegany County.

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Image Credit: Maryland DNR / Flickr

Hours

Sunrise to Sunset.

Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours. 

(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.)

Activities

Nature Center & Interpretive Programs
Rocky Gap State Park's interpretive programs are based out of the nature center. Throughout the summer, the nature center offers daily activities to educate visitors about natural and cultural resources and experience the exciting features of the outdoor environment.

Interpretive activities include nature hikes, talks, nature crafts, demonstrations, children's programs, campfire programs and special events. The Nature Center has open hours for visitors to explore the building and its many exhibits.

Group programs are also available upon request throughout the year and can be tailored to accommodate group needs. To learn more about the interpretive programs available, please contact Ranger Wieners at 301-722-8966 or via e-mail at [email protected].state.md.us.

Aviary
“Scales and Tales” is an educational program using injured, non-releasable birds of prey and reptiles native to Maryland. Featured at the aviary are many birds that have been injured and cannot be released or have been raised in captivity and could not survive in the wild.

This one-of-a-kind program allows visitors the opportunity to view wildlife up close and hear the tales of how the animals became part of the program.

Our "Critter Encounter" program will bring our birds direct to your campsite. If you are looking for something unique at your next gathering, a Scales and Tales program can be scheduled as part of your special event. To check for program availability, scheduling or to receive information on program costs, please contact the park office at 301-722-8966 or via e-mail to Ranger Wieners at [email protected]

Water Flow Info:

Facilities

Rocky Gap State Park's visitor facility is located in the Day Use Area and was designed with a nod to an architectural style known as "Parkitecture," the rustic nature inspired structure blends beautifully with the surrounding landscape. The facility is made up of three buildings connected by covered walkways. The snack bar area has panoramic windows overlooking the lake as well as indoor and outdoor seating. Hot and cold menu items are available throughout the summer season, including hand dipped ice cream! The center building is home to a Ranger Station and a small Nature Center. Finally, the third building is a spacious Men’s and Women’s Bathhouse which has fully accessible toilet, shower and changing room areas. 

Pets

Pets are allowed on trails on a leash; leashed pets are allowed in Ash, Birch, Chestnut, Dogwood and Elm camp loops and common areas of campground; leashed pets allowed in day-use area and lake (except for sandy portion of swimming beach areas); unleashed pets are allowed in the lake except for the sandy portion of the swimming beach areas; pets must be leashed when back on land.

History

According to legend, Jacob Evart was the first white, European (Englishman) settler to come to what is now known as Allegany County.

He settled on top of the mountain that overlooks Rocky Gap. According to the story, Mr. Evart (the mountain is named Evitt’s Mountain), around 1730, moved to the wildlands of Western Maryland after suffering a disappointing relationship.

Also named for Mr. Evart is the creek that Rocky Gap’s water ultimately empties into – Evitt’s Creek. The “Homesite Trail” leads hikers to the top of the mountain where Mr. Evart’s home once stood.

Remains of a well are all that is left, today.

Weather

Last updated: September 11, 2019
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