Let’s just say that our first family hike did not get off to such a smooth start. We were very unorganized in the morning rushing to grab and go all that we would need (which was not much). So there was a little frustration there…. But the hour long drive brought us plenty of light conversation and pretty Maryland views. We even arrived a little early to the park. The gates were not set to open until 9am.
Well around 9:15pm we started getting frustrated that the gates STILL were not open. By 9:40pm I was on the phone with the DNR trying to figure out if maybe this part of the park was not open on Sundays. Low and behold 5 minutes after the phone call someone arrived to open the gate.
Finally we were off on the trail. We got a later start than we had intended but luckily the cover of the trees gave us plenty of shade and the humidity was not so bad, not so bad at all. The hike to the falls was SOOOO short and non-strenuous. The terrain was very easy to navigate. There were boardwalks, rocks to hop over the stream, dirt paths and rock formations.
Along the way we saw some pretty cedar trees and some other old trees with beautiful exposed roots.
The falls were gorgeous!! So very pretty. We had the place to ourselves for about 20 minutes before anyone else arrived. We got to swim out to the falls , dig under rocks to find bugs and just enjoy the peace and quiet.
It really did feel like we had our own piece of paradise.
You can absolutely bring kids along with you on this hike. Maybe even pack a snack and stay for a few hours. I loved that the falls even made my son smile and clap. Which if you have a teenager you know this is not always easily done.
The water was clean we filled up a water bottle just so we could see how clear it was. After about 45 minutes of playing in the falls we headed back towards the car. You can opt to come back along the trail the way that you came OR you can go up around the back and top of the falls and cross the river up there. There is a trail to the left of the falls that you can take up and around the back of the falls. There was a fun little rock crevasse that had what looked like rock steps.
The loop back around was a little more strenuous but I would still classify it as easy. PLUS you can sit in the water where the before the falls turn into falls.
There was a small area at the bottom of the falls that would allow you to jump into the water pool below but it was too small for our taste and not worth the risk. So after playing around in the water for a while we took the hike back to the car. The loop behind the falls met up with the same trail that we came in on. So it was a nice leisurely walk back.
I would recommend this trail if:
You are looking for someplace to take a short walk and cool off
If you have smaller children with you
If you want to just check out some beautiful sights
If you are looking for a work out you might want to skip this one.
The trail is easy to find
We came from route 24 just drive through Rock State Park
make a left on to St. Mary’s Road and then a right on to Falling Branch Rd. The parking lot will be on the right hand side.