Gunpowder Falls State Park: Hammerman Area

As Gunpowder’s featured day-use park, Hammerman features a swimming beach, food concessions, four picnic pavilions, picnicking, playgrounds, canoe/kayak and sailboat rentals, fishing, short hiking trails and two short water trails. 

The beach at Hammerman

Please be respectful to others and take your trash with you. Alcohol is not permitted (except by permit).


Hammerman is open year-round, except Christmas Day. Hours are 8 a.m. to sunset April through October, and 10 a.m. to sunset the remainder of the year.

Service Charges

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.

Children in car seats are free.

Senior citizens aged 62 and older are eligible for a $10 lifetime Golden Age Pass.

Patrons who leave the park are required to pay again to re-enter.

The Hammerman Area is known to fill to capacity on summer weekends and especially holidays. All visitors will be turned away if the park fills to capacity. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early. The Beach parking lot also fills to capacity often. Alternative parking is usually available at the Dogwood parking lot, but be prepared to walk.


The Hammerman Area offers 1,500 feet of beach and swimming area on the banks of the Gunpowder River. Lifeguards are on duty at the swimming area from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Swimming is permitted at your own risk when lifeguards are not on duty. *Lifeguard hours are subject to change. Call 410-592-2897 to confirm.

Open Water Swimming: Open water swimming and long distance swim training are permitted between the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Swimmers are required to sign a distance swimming agreement with a lifeguard before entering the water and must only swim between beaches 1 and 5.

The Beach parking lot also fills to capacity often. Alternative parking is usually available at the Dogwood parking lot, but be prepared to walk.

Gunpowder Falls State Park Hammerman Area Trail Map

A new map of the trails at Gunpowder Falls State Park's Hammerman Area can be downloaded for free from this website. Please make sure to read the printing instructions and information for how to download the file to cell phones. The map is in a PDF format that requires Adobe Reader. To get the free Adobe Reader go to

Plan Ahead for "Filled To Capacity" Park Closures

Gunpowder Falls State Park is one of Maryland’s most popular parks and serves a very high volume of visitors during summer weekends and holidays. To ensure the safety of our visitors and protection of the park’s natural resources and facilities, the park has a limited capacity.

During periods of high visitation, when the park’s capacity is reached at the Hammerman Area, the park will be closed and traffic will be turned away from the park entrance. When that occurs, no additional vehicles / visitors will be allowed to enter the park, including those with members of their party who may already be in the park. If you are not traveling in the same vehicle with others in your party, we suggest that you all arrive at the same time.

When the park is closed due to being full to capacity, individuals and groups with shelter reservations will be admitted, as parking is reserved for those purposes.

Based on recent experience and visitation trends, and depending on good weather, Gunpowder Falls State Park's Hammerman Area will likely fill to capacity and close on holiday weekends and many other weekends during the course of the summer. Please take this into consideration when planning your trip.


Picnic tables and grills are available free-of-charge on a first come-first serve basis. Please keep all fire in the grills provided, and be sure to extinguish all fires before departing.


Hammerman has four pavilions that can be rented between May 1 through October 30. These may be reserved in advance by calling 1-888-432-CAMP(2267), or by visiting our reservation page. There is a $200 reservation fee (plus an optional $35 alcohol permit fee) for each pavilion. All pavilion users are required to pay the park entrance service charge. Ticket books can be purchased in advance by calling 410-592-2897. *Rental fees are subject to change.


Anglers 16 years-of-age and older must possess a Maryland Bay Sport Fishing License. For more information, visit the Maryland DNR Fisheries website. Fishing is not permitted from the Hammerman Beach. Fishing is permitted north of the beach, and near the canoe ramp.

The concession at Hammerman


Hungry or thirsty and don’t want to leave? The Riverside Grille offers a variety of food and drinks at a reasonable rate. Open during the summer. Call 410-592-2897 for hours.

Boat Rentals

Ultimate Watersports rents kayaks, wind surfboards and stand-up paddleboards at the beach. Please call 410-335-5352 for more information, or visit their website at

Boat Launch

The Hammerman Area has a small boat launch , however the water is extremely shallow and is only appropriate for unpowered boats such as canoes, kayaks, and row boats. Those seeking to launch powerboats should launch at Dundee Creek Marina.


The Muskrat Trail is a short hikers’ only trail that winds through the marsh. The trail features an observation deck and a canoe/kayak launch. Please take precautions by planning ahead and wearing appropriate footwear.


Pets on leashes are welcome, except on the sandy portion of Hammerman Beach, Beach house/concession stand, restrooms, and playgrounds.


The beach bathhouse and day use pavilions are accessible. There is an accessible path to the swimming beach. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.