Gambrill State Park8602 Gambrill Park RoadFrederick MD 21702
Rock Run Campground Address: 8002 Gambrill Park RoadCampground Bathhouse Address: 8170 Gambrill Park Road
Gambrill State Park is located approximately 51 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., and 53 miles west of Baltimore on Catoctin Mountain. From U.S. 70, exit onto U.S. Route 40 at Frederick. Travel approximately six miles. Turn right onto Gambrill Park Road and follow it approximately one mile to the park entrance.
8 a.m. to Sunset, April-October
10 a.m. to Sunset, November-March
Limited parking available at High Knob and Trailhead Areas. North Frederick Overlook and Rock Run Areas closed to vehicular traffic December-March and during periods of inclement weather. All areas are open to foot traffic.
Pets are allowed in Gambrill State Park in the following areas:
Gambrill State Park is a beautiful mountain park, located on the ridge of the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County. Its most popular feature is the 16 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park is separated into two areas, the Rock Run area and the High Knob area. From the 1600-foot High Knob, three stone overlooks offer breathtaking views of the Frederick and Middletown Valleys then continue to the northern reaches of the Shenandoah Mountains. The High Knob area also offers wooded picnic areas, three picnic shelters, and a large stone lodge, called the Tea Room. The picnic shelters and the Tea Room are available for reservation. The Rock Run area offers a cozy family-style campground, a picnic area, and a small pond for fishing.
Gambrill State Park was named in honor of the late James H. Gambrill, Jr., a well-known citizen of Frederick. Mr. Gambrill was a conservationist who first brought attention to the beauty of the area in the early 1900’s. He believed that it was in the public’s best interest to develop the area into a park. Following his lead, a group of local citizens joined together to purchase the land. The group then donated the land to the City of Frederick to be used for a park. The City of Frederick soon-after gave the land to the State of Maryland for the development of Gambrill State Park.
Most of the buildings and facilities within the park were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The CCC was a Federal program that was created during the Great Depression. The goal of the program was to create jobs for young men and to help restore the nation’s struggling natural resources.
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 Gambrill State Park.
Gambrill has over 16 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. All trails begin at the Trailhead Parking Lot on Gambrill Park Road, between the Rock Run area and the High Knob area. Many of the trails feature great views. Due to the rocky terrain and steep hills, most of the trails are rated moderate to difficult. However, the White Oak Trail is an easy one-mile loop trail, which makes it a good choice for families with small children. All trails close at sunset. Pets are allowed on the trails, but must be kept on a leash at all times.
All trails are open to horseback riding with the exception of the White Oak Trail, which is restricted to hiking. Parking for horse trailers is limited.
To purchase copies of the Gambrill State Park Trail Guide with a credit card, please click on this link to place your order online.
To purchase copies of the Gambrill State Park Trail Guide with a check, please click on this link to download an order form.
The Tea Room has been a popular feature of Gambrill State Park for over 70 years. The Tea Room is a native-stone building, built by the CCC in the 1930’s. It was originally designed for community events and gatherings. Today, the building remains a popular location for weddings, family reunions, business meetings, and other special events.
The Tea Room has a kitchen, a dining room, and two restrooms. The kitchen is designed for cooking and serving food, with a refrigerator, sink, and conventional oven. Tables, chairs, and firewood are also provided. The building is available for rent from April through October, and can accommodate up to 75 people. Pets are not allowed in the Tea Room.
Picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and playground facilities are available at Gambrill State Park. The High Knob area also offers three rustic log picnic shelters, available for rent from April through October. Pets are allowed in the day-use area
The Rock Run area of Gambrill State Park has a campground with 34 campsites. Tent camping will start April 4, 2014. Each campsite has a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. Some campsites also have electric hook-ups. All types of camping units are welcome. A dump station is available for sewage and potable water. A bathhouse is located at the center of the campground, with hot showers and flush-toilets. Pets are allowed in the campground, but must be kept on a leash and attended at all times.
Rock Run Campground Address: 8002 Gambrill Park RoadRock Run Bathhouse Address: 8170 Gambrill Park Road
Four camper cabins with electricity are also available in the Rock Run Campground. Camper cabins are designed to sleep up to four people, with one bunk bed and one full size bed. Linens are not provided. Each cabin site has a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. All cooking must be done outside the cabin. The cabins do not have heat or air conditioning. Campers may bring an electric heater or fan. Propane heaters are not allowed. Pets also are not allowed inside the camper cabins.
Tips for camping in black bear country: Bears do visit our campgrounds. Here are a few simple reminders to help keep you and the bears safe and ensure that you have an enjoyable stay.
A small pond is located in the Rock Run area, just a short walk from the campground. The pond has a healthy population of large mouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. A Maryland fishing license is required for anglers ages 16 and over. Additional fishing information can be found in the Maryland Freshwater Sportfishing Guide. Swimming or wading is not allowed in the pond. Pets also are not allowed in the pond. Purchase a Maryland Fishing License.
The High Knob area of Gambrill State Park is known for its breathtaking views of the Frederick and Middletown Valleys. The park has three native-stone overlooks, which were all built by the CCC in the 1930’s.
The High Knob Nature Center, located in the High Knob area of Gambrill State Park, is open by appointment when staffing levels permit. Please contact the Park Office to schedule access.
The Nature Center features information on the CCC, as well as information on native wildlife. The Nature Center also has activity packets available for family activities such as scavenger hunts and self-guided hikes.
Gambrill State Park offers an accessible comfort station and campground building. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
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