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Article Archive >> Autumn Tourism

A State Park Full of History and Scenic Beauty

A State Park Full of History and Scenic Beauty

Cunningham Falls State Park, located in the Catoctin Mountains, is known for its history and scenic beauty, as well as its 78-foot cascading waterfall. The Falls are located one half mile from the lake in the Houck Area via the Falls Trail.
Before the first Europeans arrived, many small Native American tribes farmed, hunted and fished the area. Tradition says the name Catoctin came from the tribe, the Kittoctons, who once lived at the foot of the mountains near the Potomac River. By the time the settlers began to arrive in the Monocacy River Valley, Native Americans were seldom seen.
Early settlers used timber from the forests to make charcoal to fuel the Catoctin Iron Furnace. Too many years of clear-cutting and unscientific farming practices contributed to the overuse and destruction of the land.
In 1954, the area was divided into two parks, divided by Maryland Route 77. The northern 5,000 acres is now Catoctin Mountain Park, a unit of the National Park Service. The remaining 5,000-acre parcel was named Cunningham Falls State Park.
There are two main developed areas in the park, the William Houck Area and the Manor Area.

Source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, www.dnr.state.md.us

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