The park is located in northern Harford County about 30 miles north of Baltimore and 8 miles northwest of Bel Air on Route 24.
Rocks State Park3318 Rocks Chrome Hill RoadJarrettsville, MD 21084
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From Baltimore, take I-95 north to Route 24 north exit. Continue north on Route 24 through Bel Air, Rock Spring, and Forest Hill. The Park is located approximately 5 miles north of Forest Hill.
9 a.m. to Sunset, March-October
10 a.m. to Sunset, November-February
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Pets are allowed in Rocks State Park.
Rocks State Park featues 855 acres of rocky forest land nestled in rural northern Harford County. Primary attractions at Rocks include the King and Queen Seat and Kilgore Falls. The main section of the park includes three picnic areas, 3.5-miles of hiking trails, and access to Deer Creek, which is ideal for fishing, wading and tubing. The park’s two satellite properties, Falling Branch (home to Kilgore Falls) and Hidden Valley, are a short drive from the main park.
Rocks was one of the first state parks in Maryland created for the expressed purpose of protecting a unique natural feature. In 1949, the State of Maryland purchased the park to preserve the King and Queen Seat, a spectacular 190-foot high rock outcrop overlooking Deer Creek.
Rocks State Park is known to fill to capacity on summer weekends and holidays. Parking is only permitted in parking lots and authorized pull-offs. Visitors will be turned away if parking lots fill to capacity. Please plan to arrive early.
The King and Queen Seat rises 190 feet above Deer Creek. The soaring natural rock outcrop provides a breathtaking view, as well as a challenge to the skilled climber. There are many vertical rock faces on the outcrop, some of which are as high as 94 feet. Please use caution in this area.
The King and Queen Seat can be reached from the Rock Ridge Picnic Area, the park’s main office via the White Trail, or from Rapids parking via the Purple Trail.
Novice climbers are encouraged to seek professional training before attempting to climb the King and Queen Seat. Climbs range from 8 to 115 feet, and are suitable for skill levels 4 to 5.12.
According to legend, the King and Queen Seat was a ceremonial gathering place for Susquehannock Indians. While no evidence supporting the legend has ever been found, the “Rocks of Deer Creek” nevertheless attracted trainloads of tourists in the late 1800's.
Hikers and pets on a leash are welcome on the park’s 3.5 miles of trails. Trails in the main part of the park connect various points of interest and the picnic areas. Most of the park’s trails are steep and rocky, so please plan ahead and wear appropriate footwear. Parking is only permitted in parking lots and authorized pull-offs.
Trails in the main part of the park are best suited for hiking. Rocks State Park does not offer equestrian riding trails. Horseback riders are encouraged to visit Susquehanna State Park or the Sweet Air Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park.
For information on trails and hiking at Falling Branch and Hidden Valley, see below.
A new map of the trails at Rocks State Park 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 Adobe.com.
Deer Creek, a designated State of Maryland Scenic River, meanders across Harford County before joining the Susquehanna River below the Conowingo Dam. On its journey, it cuts through the center of the main portion of Rocks State Park. All those seeking to recreate on the creek are encouraged to scout out the area ahead of time.
Everyone is welcome to wade, swim in and tube on Deer Creek at their own risk. There are no lifeguards. Wading, swimming and tubing in the Deer Creek Rapids is strictly prohibited.
Deer Creek is best suited for canoeing and kayaking in the spring. Water levels vary throughout the rest of the year. The U.S. Geological Survey gauge along Rocks Road (Maryland Route 24) at the lower end of Rocks State Park should read at least 2.5 feet for optimal canoeing/kayaking. Only expert paddlers should attempt to travel through the Deer Creek Rapids.
Trout are stocked in the spring and fall on this scenic creek that meanders through woodland, hills, valleys and farmland. Look to the Maryland Freshwater Fishing guide for more information on regulations. A Maryland Non-Tidal Fishing License and a trout stamp are required for anyone 16 years-of-age or older. For licensing information, please visit: compass.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrcompassportal. Deer Creek closes to fishing for a few weeks every spring.
Rocks features three developed picnic areas: Hills Grove, Wilson's and Rock Ridge. These areas include tables, grills, restroom facilities and playground equipment. The Hills Grove and Wilson's Areas are handicapped accessible. Pets are permitted in any of the picnic areas. Horses are prohibited inside the picnic areas.
Picnic areas are open 9 a.m. to sunset from March to October, and 10 a.m. to sunset from November to February. There is a service charge ($3/Maryland resident, $5 out-of-state weekends and summer holidays; $2/vehicle, $4/vehicle weekdays) to enter the picnic areas. Seniors with a Golden Age Pass and children in car seats are free.
Each picnic area has a pavilion with lights (except Wilsons), electric outlets, a large barbecue pit and picnic tables. Pavilions may be used by permit only for various activities such as weddings, reunions and company picnics. Each pavilion will accommodate approximately 120 to 150 people.
Season beginning and ending date, and shelter service charges.
Interpretive programs are offered throughout the summer, and upon request (pending staff availability). Interpretive activities include nature and history hikes, talks, crafts and demonstrations for children, adults and school groups. Fees may apply. For more information or to request a program, please call 410-557-7994 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for something to connect children in the natural world? Come stop by our Nature Exploration area located in the Rock Ridge picnic area of Rocks State Park, near the "King and Queen Seat," a rock outcrop believed to be a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians. At this exploration area you will find a miniature rock climbing area, which allows for rock climbing and jumping on a more kid friendly size scale. You will also find a digging area called, "Deer Creek Beach," which represents the river’s edge. Other fun features include, an oversized bird’s nest, stump jumps, balancing logs and hollowed out logs for climbing through.
The park offers deer bow-hunting only. Be sure to consult your Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping for season dates and bag limits.
Hunting at Rocks State Park is permitted Monday through Saturday. Hunters may enter the hunting area one half hour before legal shooting time (legal shooting time is one half hour before sunrise). Hunters must be out of the hunting area one hour after legal shooting time. Legal shooting time ends one half hour after sunset. All hunters must enter and leave from the hunter parking areas and sign in and out on the hunter bulletin board.
Many Maryland State Parks have been approved as partners of Maryland Green Travel, a free and voluntary self-certification program that promotes and recognizes sustainable environmental practices by businesses in the tourism industry. These practices include energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and water conservation methods.
Click on this link to view the green profile and the list of sustainable practices for Rocks State Park.
The Falling Branch area of Rocks State Park is located about five miles north of the main park on a separate 67-acre parcel of land. It is home to the 17-foot high Kilgore Falls, which is Maryland's second highest vertical drop waterfall. Read more about the Falling Branch/Kilgore Falls Area of Rocks State Park.
This tract of land, administered by Rocks State Park, is located five miles north of Rocks at the intersection of Madonna, Telegraph and Carea Roads. The undeveloped area offers a beautiful hiking trail and fishing spot along Deer Creek. Pets on a leash are permitted. Parking is provided for 8 to 10 cars. There is no parking along roadways. There are no picnic tables, grills or restroom facilities.
Volunteer opportunities are plentiful at Rocks State Park. We welcome groups or individuals to help us with projects, adopt-a-garden, site maintenance, trail monitoring, visitor interaction, and general operations. From one-time volunteers to our dedicated and well-trained Volunteer Rangers, every effort makes a difference in improving our park. For volunteer information, contact the park at 410-557-7994 or email@example.com.
Rocks State Park offers accessible picnic sites at Hills Grove and Rock Ridge. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401