Get outdoors in Harford County’s three state parks

Harford County’s three state parks combine an unusual variety of water activities, trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, and history to hold attraction for just about everybody.

Susquehanna State Park, located along the Susquehanna River, offers fishing for pike, perch, and bass, whether you cast from shore or launch a boat at the Lapidum boat ramp.

A First Day Hike on Jan. 1 starts the year in Gunpowder Falls State Park.

On land, the forest and rocky terrain provide some of the most popular mountain biking trails in the state and offer campsites and cabins for overnight stays. The 15 miles of maintained trails are also good for hiking and horseback riding and the terrain differences lead to different trail difficulty ratings from easy to difficult.

Insider tip: The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenways Trail is flat and a great family hiking or biking experience.

The Rock Run Historic Area in the park includes the 200-year-old operational Rock Run Grist Mill and the Carter-Archer Mansion that are open weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The Jersey Toll House once collected tolls from travelers using the bridge that spanned the Susquehanna River. Visitors can also see the remains of the Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal.

Rocks State Park offers two popular attractions in its 885 acres. The park was one of  the first in Maryland created to protect a unique natural feature, the 190-foot high rock outcrop known as King and Queen Seat.

Legend says the natural rock outcrop was a ceremonial gathering place for Susquehannock Indians. Advanced rock climbers make the climb. Kilgore Falls is a scenic 17-foot waterfall and the second-highest vertical falls in the state.

Most of the park’s 3.5 miles of trails are steep and rocky.

Gunpowder Falls State Park straddles Harford and Baltimore counties, and its 18,000 acres make it one of the state’s largest parks. Its 120 miles of trails include a multi-use rail trail. Attractions include the historic mill village of Jerusalem, where artisans and reenactors provide regular living history.

There is also a swimming beach, a marina, and opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.

 

For more information:

Harford Co. Tourism: visitharford.com

Md. State Parks: dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands

 

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