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Gunpowder Falls State Park

Updated on October 18, 2014

Visit Gunpowder Falls State Park

Are you looking for a place to enjoy nature in Baltimore County with easy access to hiking trails, wildlife, birds, wildflowers and world class trout streams? Accessible from Interstate 83 North in Maryland and close to the Maryland and Pennsylvania State line, the Hereford area of Gunpowder Falls State Park has much to offer the nature lover. From fly fishing, nature walks, easy wildflower viewing, bird watching, horse back riding, kayaking and even summer tubing there is something for everyone at Gunpowder State Park. Please join me at one of my favorite places to enjoy wild and scenic nature in the greater Baltimore area.

The Hereford area - All images copyright © 2009 Chris Scroggins


The Hereford Area, located in northern Baltimore County, is one of five designated recreation areas in Gunpowder Falls State Park. The area's 3,620 acres feature a scenic wilderness setting preserved under State Wildland status for nature appreciation and outdoor adventures. Anglers enjoy a nationally renowned special trout management area located downstream from Prettyboy Reservoir and hikers and horseback riders explore more than 20 miles of wooded trails. The Big Gunpowder Falls, which flows through the Hereford Area valley, also attracts canoeing, kayaking and tubing enthusiasts throughout the year.

Fly Fishing

NOTE: Fishing in this area is catch and release only. © Chris Scroggins

Kayakers always look happy on the Gunpowder river! © Chris Scroggins

For detailed information on put in and take out locations, call the state park office at 410-592-2897

Cold Water

Even in midsummer, the Gunpowder river can be as cold as 50 or 60 degrees!

Hiking Trails

There are 4 EASY trails accessible from the Masemore parking area. © Chris Scroggins

Wooded trails offer some welcome protection from the sun. © Chris Scroggins

Look for these wildflowers:

trout lily

blue violets

yellow violets

white violets

dutchman's breeches



nodding trillium


skunk cabbage

star of bethlehem

jack in the pulpit


mountain laurel

Wildflowers and Sunshine

Most wildflowers only open up on SUNNY Days. Photographers and wildflower lovers should plan accordingly.


© Chris Scroggins

Jack in the Pulpit

© Chris Scroggins

Star of Bethlehem

© Chris Scroggins

Wild Geranium

© Chris Scroggins


© Chris Scroggins


© Chris Scroggins


© Chris Scroggins


© Chris Scroggins

Wildlife Sightings

Cute frogs are a common site along the river trails. © Chris Scroggins

Beavers are active in spring 2009 across from the Masemore Parking lot area. © Chris Scroggins

Gunpowder Falls State Park Links

Because Gunpowder State Park is a large park with sections spread over a wide area It can be very confusing to choose which area to explore. The following links will provide more information:

Baltimore Walks and Wildflower Guidebooks - Find out about more great walks in the Baltimore area and get guidebooks to Eastern Wildflowers:

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy:


directions to the Masemore Road parking area:

From Interstate 83 north in Maryland:

take exit # 27, Mt Carmel Road

at stop sign, left onto Mt Carmel Road

Right onto Masemore Road

pass farm on right,

go down a hill

watch for oncoming traffic at old stone house

parking is on the right before the bridge

Books about Chesapeake Bay Country

These pretty coffee table books and guidebooks about the Chesapeake Bay region make lovely holiday gifts.

I hope you've enjoyed my photographs of Gunpowder Falls State Park. Perhaps you will be inspired to visit this park, or to spend more time in nature at your own state's parks. Please sign my guest book. Signed, Nature Maven

My Gunpowder Guest Book

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


      Residents that live along the gunpowder have convinced county councilman Todd Huff (district 3) to ban the various tube-rental companies from driving tubers to the river. Apparently, people who own houses near the gunpowder don't want the rest of us to spoil their view. Sign the petition (link at and take back our river!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Some fabulous nature photography! Love the Fiddleheads!

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 6 years ago

      @efriedman: Thanks for your kind comments on my lenses! News update: Hurricane Irene definitely left her mark on the river; the little footbridge has been washed away and there is a lot of silt in the water. On Sunday the river was running very fast and deep and it was not safe to fish. I was heartened to see the resident great blue heron make a very nice catch on the river's edge. And I saw an osprey too!

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      Enjoyed description of the park and your beautiful photographs.

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks, Ryan--I agree, tubing on the Gunpowder is a great way to stay cool on 102 degree days like today!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful photos.

      I, myself recently had the chance to enjoy this part of Maryland and I did so all while floating down Gunpowder Falls on a tube. After doing so I am officially a Gunpowder Falls tubing advocate. If you live in the area and like to relax tubing here can't be beat!

      I enjoyed it so much i went and looked for other places to go tubing in MD and published my findings at Though i havent found a place as good as the Gunpowder.

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 6 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: I'm so glad you stopped by!

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 6 years ago

      @CarolsCamera: thanks for your kind comments, Carol. It's nice to see you here on squidoo~

    • profile image

      CarolsCamera 6 years ago

      Excellent lens! Informative and the pictures make one want to visit the park. Nicely done, and better than a lot of brochures and pamphlets I've seen on similar places.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 7 years ago from Colorado

      Lovely and informative. An unbeatable combination. Feel as though I have just had a wonderful nature outing. Ahhh... :-)

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 7 years ago

      @anonymous: How did the river get it's name? Here's a quote from local historian David Marks: "The stream was probably called Gunpowder because of the saltpetre which James Denton discovered along its banks in 1665. Saltpetre is an ingredient for gunpowder. Legend has it that when local Indians witnessed the power of gunpowder, they bartered with European settlers and planted it along the river, hoping the man-made chemical would grow."

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      Your photos are fabulous. You make the park look so inviting...I felt like I was there in person.

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 7 years ago

      I just found your lens. I like it a lot. Thanks for building it. Gave you a thumbs up.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I was thinking about this beautiful photo gallery the other day. Was making a lens about Fly Fishing, only thing is it was spelled fly-flishing in the url, so I deleted it, and never did start again. ~ Thinking of you, hope things are going well!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This a very lovely state park. The name Gunpowder State Park is an attractive name too. Your photography of the park is so nice to look at. If I never get to see Gunpowder, I got to see it here on Squidoo first. This is a beautiful lens, and I just lenrolled it to all of my lenses. I will visit here again, and will want to get this feature. Thank you, I like this!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      Looks like a beautiful place to spend a day...or two or three...

      Thanks for sharing.


    • profile image

      martialartstraining 7 years ago

      I would like to visit there now, it seems like a really beautiful place to hike around. Thank you for the eye opening lens with the nice photography

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I see that we share a love of wildflower photography. You do a great job with your!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 7 years ago

      Wow, what a beautiful images, reminding me of some of my favorite places. Enjoyed this lens very much!! :)

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      Wonderful photography. This certainly looks and sounds like a great place to visit.

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 8 years ago from Covington, LA

      Lovely lens. Come back and add it to one of the plexos on Naturally Native Squids Headquarters.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago


    • HenryE LM profile image

      HenryE LM 8 years ago

      This looks like a stunning location! How beautiful!! It makes me wish I could travel. Your pictures can really transform a person.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I love your walk through the park.

      So glad to have them available this way!

    • profile image

      slotowngal 8 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Love your photos, Chris. :-) Gunpowder Falls State Park is not far from where I live. My husband and sons love to take the Rail Trail down from PA into MD and walk through the park area. Five Stars!

    • EveStock profile image

      EveStock 8 years ago

      beautiful place, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Beautiful images (makes me homesick!), wonderful lighting. Cannot believe you got the beaver. For years studied toothmarks on the trees along the trail, but never could lay my eyes on one. Great job - as always!

    • profile image

      kla10 9 years ago

      Great Lens. I loved the pictures. It looks like Gunpowder falls would be a great place to visit.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 9 years ago from Montana

      Great lens!

    • groovyfind profile image

      Samantha Devereux 9 years ago from Columbia Mo

      Very nice lens, the photos are outstanding!

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 9 years ago

      Beautiful lens. We want to go there. It looks so wonderful. Thank-you for all the info.

    • MacPharlain profile image

      MacPharlain 9 years ago

      Awesome photographs! I drive by the park occasionally but never stopped...will have to make time to visit.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 9 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      You have some beautiful photographs featured here. It does look like a wonderful park. Haven't been there but we always include some times for parks when we take a trip; so it's possible I'll get there sometime in the future. Nice lens!


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