Rocks State Park is a thriving forest nestled in the sprawling, wooded farmlands of Harford County, just under an hour’s drive from Baltimore, providing numerous recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. An 855-acre stand of hardwood forests with creeks, boulders, and waterfalls, Rocks State Park is located in Jarrettsville MD, just north of Loch Raven Reservoir, offering a full day’s enjoyment for families, day hikers, hunters and anglers alike. Be sure to grab a trail and driving map at the information center, located at 3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road, Jarrettsville MD, 21084.
The King and Queen’s Seat, a large rock outcropping is the star attraction for hikers, lending one a sweeping vista of Northern Harford County and an ideal location for photography, bouldering and mountain climbing. Standing on the top, ‘once a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians,’ according to the Department Of Natural Resources, one can see for miles, as if deep in the Appalachians.
Deer Creek sports smallmouth bass, bluegill and trout fishing (With a non-tidal license and/or trout stamp. Information can be found at the DNR Website), as well as kayaking and canoeing opportunities. Poking through the creek beds for small aquatic wildlife like bugs, crawfish and amphibians is another great way to spend an afternoon with your children. Access areas on Deer Creek allow for 4.6 to 15.5 mile paddling and range from 1 hour to all day (Around 8 hours).
Falling Branch Trail, located five miles north of King and Queens Seat, hosts Kilgore Falls, Maryland’s second highest free-falling waterfall. The trails range in difficulty from novice to expert, measuring at around 3.5 miles, an easy distance for a leisurely walk or a quick hike. Tubing is also of interest on Deer Creek, which has a .75 mi stretch of water designated for those who wish to float without care, and can be accessed at the Hills Grove picnic area for only $2 (not including an inner-tube rental fee). White-tailed deer and grey squirrels can usually be spotted along the banks of Deer Creek. Bow hunting is allowed in certain areas of Rocks State Park, and potential hunters are encouraged to consult their annual Hunting & Trapping guides for details.
For those who wish to experience the wonder of nature, but haven’t the time to drive out of state, Rocks State Park is the perfect location. With its proximity to Towson, Bel Air, and Baltimore City, the wilderness doesn’t have to be an overnight experience, and can offer an entire day’s worth of engrossing activities for all types of thrill seekers or outdoors enthusiasts.