Gunpowder Falls State Park: Hereford Area

Located in northern Baltimore County, the Hereford Wild azaleas at the Hereford AreaArea’s 3,620 acres feature a scenic wilderness setting preserved under State Wildlands Status for nature appreciation and outdoor adventures. Anglers can enjoy a nationally renowned special trout management area located downstream from Prettyboy Reservoir and hikers and horseback riders can explore more than 20 miles of wooded trails. The Big Gunpowder Falls also attracts canoeing, kayaking and tubing enthusiasts throughout the year.

The Big Gunpowder River has become popular with a wide variety of users. Please be respectful to others and take your trash with you. Alcohol is not permitted in the park.

Trails

Hikers and horseback riders are welcome on the Hereford Area’s 20-miles of trails. This is a state designated Wildlands Area: bicycles are strictly prohibited. Be sure to purchase a park map by either visiting park headquarters, or at the DNR online store.

Please stay on designated trails. The trails in this area are steep and rocky and potentially slippery. Please take precautions by planning ahead and wearing appropriate footwear.

Fishing

A nationally renowned blue-ribbon trout stream, the Big Gunpowder Falls is managed by Maryland DNR from Prettyboy Dam to Blue Mount Road as a special trout management area for catch and release with artificial lures only.

A Maryland Non-Tidal Fishing License and a trout stamp is required for anyone 16 years-of-age or older. For more information, visit the Maryland DNR Fisheries website.

River Recreation

The Gunpowder River in this section offers opportunities for both novice and advanced paddlers. The range of difficulty ranges from Class I to Class III. The more difficult section of the river lies between Falls Road and York Road. The section downriver from York Road is considered easier.

The river flows into private property downriver of Big Falls Road. Please respect the rights of private property owners.

Personal flotation devices are required for all persons canoeing or kayaking on the river. Helmets are required for canoeists and kayakers using the river between Prettyboy Dam and York Road. Because the water in this section of the river is released from the bottom of Prettyboy Reservoir, the water temperature ranges from 45 to 50 degrees year-round.

Youth-Group Camping

Organized youth group camping with a permit is available at Camp Wood. The camp includes tent sites under a mature hemlock forest, fire rings, grills, and a comfort station. An amphitheatre is also available for programs.

Millpond Cottage

Hereford’s Millpond Cottage provides overnight accommodations for up to eight people in a beautiful historic and natural setting.