17+ Awesome Waterfalls in Maryland by Height

Waterfalls in Maryland range from tiny trickles you find along a path to cascading waterfalls towering 78 feet up a rocky cliff. While you will find many cascading waterfalls, there are several free-falling Maryland waterfalls as well. 

If you are visiting Washington, D.C., these waterfalls are an easy day trip, although a few may be worth the overnight or weekend getaway so you can really explore the area. 

Best Waterfalls in Maryland

Anyone who loves the outdoors, scrambling around rocks, and enjoying nature will want to check out the best waterfalls in Maryland. Pack a reusable water bottle, bring some snacks and put a leash on the dog as you explore these waterfalls near D.C. and across the state. 

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Cunningham Falls State Park

Cunningham Falls

  • Height: 78 Feet, cascading
  • Address: 14039 Catoctin Hollow Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788
  • Distance from D.C.: 62 miles/ about a 1-hour drive

At 78-feet, Cunningham Falls is the tallest waterfall in Maryland. There are two main hiking trails in Cunningham Falls State Park you can take to see the falls, but there is a parking lot that makes the lower Cunningham Falls viewpoints accessible for those with mobility issues. 

Read our full guide to visiting Cunningham Falls

Great Falls National Park

Great Falls of the Potomac

  • Height: 76 Feet, cascading
  • Address: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, 11710 Macarthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854
  • Distance from D.C.: 17 miles/ about a 30 minute drive

Great Falls National Park straddles the line between Maryland and Virginia. While the C&O Canal National Historical Park is on the Maryland side, Virginia gets to claim Great Falls National Park. Personally, we prefer the Maryland views of the falls, and always start our hike at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor’s Center. 

TIP: there are bathrooms at the visitor’s center

Follow the boardwalk-style falls trail out to the Great Falls viewpoint. You can then wander along the canal trail, popping into viewpoints along the Potomac River. We love to hike the Billy Goat Trail with kids, as there are loads of rocks to scramble over. You also get a birds-eye view of the falls. 

  • Check out the three channels of Great falls:
    • Maryland Falls, the Streamers, and the Spout
    • Stubblefield Falls- between Yellow Falls and Capital Beltway
    • Yellow Falls- downstream from Great Falls

Headed south? Check out the best waterfalls in Virginia

Maryland Waterfalls- Muddy Creek falls

Muddy Creek Falls

  • Height: 54 Feet, free-falling
  • Address: 14, West Oakland, MD 21550
  • Distance from D.C.: 187 miles/ about a 3 hour drive

Located inside Swallow Falls State Park along the Youghiogheny River, Muddy Creek Falls is the highest free-falling waterfall in Maryland. Giant Hemlock trees surround the hike, which is well worth it if you are in the western part of Maryland. 

Maryland waterfalls- Swallow Falls

Swallow Falls

  • Height: 16 Feet, cascading
  • Address: Swallow Falls State Park, 2470 Maple Glade Road, Oakland, MD 21550
  • Distance from D.C.: 187 miles/ about 3 hours

Muddy Creek Falls may be taller, but Upper Swallow Falls is just as impressive and worth the added hike to visit when you are in Swallow Falls State Park in Garrett County, MD. 

Lower Falls

  • Height: 8-10 Feet, cascading (varies by season)
  • Address: Swallow Falls State Park, 2470 Maple Glade Road, Oakland, MD 21550
  • Distance from D.C.: 187 miles/ about 3 hours

You will find Lower Swallow Falls about 30 yards down-stream from the main section of Swallow Falls. The weather and seasons do affect how much water passes over this watefall, so don’t be too disappointed if there isn’t much water flowing during the hot summer months or autumn after long periods of no rain. 

Waterfalls in Maryland- Tolliver Falls
credit Maryland Department of Natural Resources/ Stephen Badger

Tolliver Falls 

  • Height: 6 feet
  • Address: Swallow Falls State Park, 2470 Maple Glade Road, Oakland, MD 21550
  • Distance from D.C.: 187 miles/ about 3 hours

If you keep walking south of Swallow Falls on the Canyon Trail you will find Tolliver Falls. While not as big as the others in the state park, it provides a lovely little swimming hole to jump into on hot summer days.

Waterfalls in Maryland- Gunpowder Falls
credit Maryland Office of Tourism

Gunpowder Falls

  • Height: 9 Feet
  • Address: 7200 Graces Quarters Rd, Middle River, MD 21220/ 1001 Falls Road, Parkton, MD 21120
  • Distance from D.C.: 77 miles/ 1 ½ hour drive

There are six different sections of Gunpowder Falls State Park, Maryland’s largest state park, including the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls. The Central Area, which is also the oldest part of the park, is where you will find the waterfalls, and can also enjoy some horseback riding.

Outside of the waterfalls, you can hike 120 miles of trails throughout the park, go fishing, swimming, kayaking and even let the kids run around the playgrounds.

Raven Rock Falls

  • Height: 25 feet, cascading
  • Address: Gunpowder Falls State Park, 17910 York Rd, Parkton, MD 21120
  • Distance from D.C.: 72 miles/ 1 ½ hour drive

Walk along the river, taking in the beautiful scenery as you head down a side shoot that brings you to Raven Rock Falls. 

Rocks State Park- Kilgore Falls

Kilgore Rocks (aka Falling Branch)

  • Height: 17 Feet, free-falling
  • Address: Rocks State Park, 1026 Falling Branch Road, Pylesville, MD 21132
  • Distance from D.C.: 82 miles/ 1 hour and 45 minute drive
  • Reservations Required: Weekends and holidays between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.

Kilgore Rocks may be one of the most popular waterfall hikes in Maryland, especially in the summer months. The trail leads to the waterfall, but also a nice size swimming hole below the waterfall that allow hikers to cool off. It is so popular that you need a reservation to park and enter this portion of the park. 

Sometimes called Kilgore Falls, it is part of Deer Creek, and also known as Falling Branch Falls and Falling Creek Falls.

Dulaney Valley Falls at Piedmont Plateau

  • Height: 17 feet
  • Address: Dulaney Valley Loop Trail, Northeast Creek, Elkton, MD 
  • Distance from D.C.: 94 miles/ about 2 hours

There is no official name for the waterfall located near the head of Dulaney Valley Branch in Baltimore County,  but you can still hike out to it for a look. 

waterfalls in Virginia- Cascade Falls
credit Visit VBR

Cascade Falls 

  • Height: 9 Feet
  • Address: Elkridge, MD 21075
  • Distance from D.C.: 40 miles/ 50 minute drive

Cascade Falls is one of the go-to waterfalls near D.C. for residents to visit on the weekends and hot summer days.

As part of the Patapsco River, in Patapsco Valley State Park, the 2.3 mile trail is heavily trafficked throughout the year.

You will have to pay a small fee to park, with overflow going into Landing Road parking lot. Do not park on the street, as you could get ticketed and towed. 

Prettyboy Dam Gunpowder Falls

More waterfalls near me in Maryland

Paw Paw Falls: Paw Paw Tunnel

  • Address: Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, Oldtown, MD 21555
  • Distance from D.C.: 123 miles/ 2 1/2 hour drive

Smith’s Falls or Amos Falls, Oakland

  • Address: Port Deposit, MD
  • Distance from D.C.: 83 miles/ 1 hour and 45 minutes

Gap Falls

  • Address: Part of Youghiogheny River, Gap Falls, 6, Sang Run, MD 21541
  • Distance from D.C.: 181 miles/ 3 hour drive
Waterfalls in Maryland

Burnt Mills East Special Park

  • Address: 10701 Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20901
  • Distance from D.C.: 10 miles/ 30 minutes

Round Falls

  • Address: 2948 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21211 (near Druid Hill Park)
  • Distance from D.C.: 45 minutes/ 1 hour and 15 minutes

Want to stay close to D.C.? Check out our favorite waterfalls near D.C.

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