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Maryland Waterfalls

Maryland doesn't have a lot of waterfalls, but I've visited a couple in the state.

Great Falls of the Potomac

Trailhead GPS: 39.00145,-77.24646 (Great Falls Tavern Parking Area)
Waterfall GPS: 38.99794,-77.25269

Great Falls of the Potomac is 76-foot waterfall on the Potomac River, just 14 miles from Washington, DC, in Montgomery County.  The waterfall is located between Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park on the Maryland side and Great Falls Park on the Virginia side.  The waterfall itself, and the Potomac River are in Maryland, however.

There are several ways to visit the falls form the Maryland or Virginia side.  The directions here are from the Maryland side.  From I-495, west of Washington, DC, take exit 41 towards Carderock.  Follow Clara Barton Parkway for 1.7 miles and bear left on MacArthur Blvd.  Follow this road about 3.5 miles to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park.  Note that there is a $5 admission fee for parking here.

From the parking area, get on the C&O Canal Towpath heading south past the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center.  In less than a half-mile, right after passing Lock 18, turn right on Olmsted Island Bridges trail and and go about a quarter-mile to the overlook at the end.

Kilgore Falls

Trailhead GPS: 39.69003,-76.42308 (Falling Branch Parking Area in Rocks State Park)
Waterfall GPS: 39.69287,-76.42700

Kilgore Falls is an 18-foot waterfall on Falling Branch, a tributary of Deer Creek, in Harford County.  The waterfall is located in the Falling Branch section of Rocks State Park.  Kilgore Falls is considered the second-highest vertical drop in the state of Maryland.  The hike to the falls is less than a mile round-trip and easy, though there is a creek crossing at the base to get the best views.

To visit the falls, head north on MD-24 from Bel Air for about 8.5 miles, passing the main section of Rocks State Park.  After crossing MD-165, turn left on St. Mary's Road.  Go less than a half-mile, bear left on Clermont Mill Road and then an immediate right on Falling Branch Road.  Drive about a quarter-mile and turn right into the parking area for the park.  Note that when I visited, they were doing construction and we had to take a detour - visit the park's website for updates on road closures.

The hike to the waterfall begins in the northwest corner of the parking lot.  A short trail leads to the waterfall in less than a half-mile.  As you approach the waterfall, you'll have to cross Falling Branch to get good views of the waterfall.  We were able to easily rock hop, but it might be difficult to stay dry if the water level is up.  We visited in the winter when there was no one else here; I understand that it can be quite crowded in the summer with people swimming in the base of the waterfall.