What to do in Swallow Falls State Park

This mountain park is located nine miles north of Oakland containing some of Maryland's most breathtaking scenery. The Youghiogheny River flows along the park's borders, passing through shaded rocky gorges and creating rippling rapids. Muddy Creek Falls is a crashing 63-foot waterfall ­ a spectacular sight. Tall hemlocks dominate the silent woods. The meandering trails through Swallow Falls guide hikers to some of the most spectacular scenery in Western Maryland.

Swallow Falls State Park is a 257-acre mountain park located in Garrett County, 9 miles northwest of Oakland. It contains some of Maryland's most breathtaking scenery including Maryland's tallest waterfalls. The park comes alive once you pass the contact station and venture into the hemlock forest. You'll discover the Youghiogheny River along the park's borders, passing through shaded rocky gorges and creating rippling rapids. Muddy Creek Falls is a spectacular sight, crashing 63 feet to a sparkling river pool. Ancient hemlocks, some ranging in age to 300 years, grace the landscape. As you enter the woodland, you'll notice the temperature drop along with a decrease in noise, yet birdsong breaks the silence. Enjoy an extended gaze of the forest and appreciate how this area managed to escape the exuberance of the logging industry.

Sixty-five wooded campsites invite campers to enjoy a night out. The park's campground features modern bathhouses, electric hookups, and dump station.

Trails lead to the park's three waterfalls and beyond. There is a trail that travels between Herrington Manor State Park and Swallow Falls State Park which ventures into Garrett State Forest. This trail is open to a variety of users including cross-country skiers, equestrians, and hikers. Folks interested in history may wish to hike Swallow Falls Loop. At the end of the trail, an historical markers commemorates the campsite of four noteworthy Americans: Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison and John Burrows.

The park has an extensive picnic area with pavilion, children's playground, and nature programs during the summer months. Nearby Herrington Manor State Park, four miles south, offers a 53-acre lake with a swimming beach, boat rentals, and a snack bar during the summer season.
Pets are not allowed in the day use area from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Pets are permitted in the surrounding areas of Potomac / Garrett State Forests. Pet campsites are available. During the off-season pets are allowed in the day use areas as long as they are leashed.

Facilities for the handicapped include six camp sites, picnic areas, two camp loop bathhouses.

From the rear of the campground, a road leads into Garrett State Forest affording a look at the remote forestland with its lush four-foot high ferns flanking the road. State Forest trails are also reachable from this gravel, seldom-traveled road.

Recreation
Outdoor recreations enjoyed at one of Maryland's smallest state parks includes biking, camping, canoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, viewing historical sites, and picnicking.

Location
Swallow Falls State Park is a 257-acre mountain park located in Garrett County, 9 miles northwest of Oakland on County Route 20.

Climate
Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.

Address
c/o Herrington Manor State Park
222 Herrington Lane
Oakland, MD 21550

Phone: 301-387-6938


  • Swallow Falls State Park Travel Q&A

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