Cunningham Falls State Park is found in the Catoctin Mountains, in picturesque Maryland. Come to the park and see the infamous waterfall and hike, swim, or boat to make your stay even more special.
The Maple Syrup Festival is held here every year, and park rangers play a big part in the interpretation of the maple syrup process. Hear about how it is done from start to finish and see demonstrations in the onsite boiling shed.
A pancake breakfast is one of the highlights of the festival, of course, so come by and get your share of the delicious meal. The kiddos can take part in crafts and games in a large, heated tent. Then, peruse the selection of Maryland Maple Syrup products and be sure to take some home with you for breakfasts in your RV.
The William Houck area of Cunningham Falls State Park is where the festival takes place. For over 50 years, guests have visited to see and experience the fun of tapping the trees for syrup.
While in the Thurmont area, take a trip to the Seymour B.Cooper Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary or the Cat Rock and Bobs Hill Natural Area to see some of the spectacular scenery in the region. Gettysburg National Military Park is another nearby location that brings the history of the region to life.
Tickets to the Maple Syrup Festival have often been about $5, and the money collected is donated to the Friends of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks. When paying your admittance fee, for breakfast, or when purchasing maple syrup products, remember that this is a cash-only event.
US Route 15 runs close to Frederick County, where the Maple Syrup Festival is held in Cunningham Falls State Park. The venue is about an hour away from both Baltimore, MD and Gettysburg, PA. Explore the region as you drive and check out great hiking sites like Patapsco Valley State Park and try your hand at a swinging bridge. Before leaving home, become familiar with Maryland 511 to keep abreast of weather and construction-related closures.
There is plenty of parking in Cunningham Falls State Park. The event is held in the William Houck area, and thus allows for easy maneuverability of your RV. A small donation per person is requested instead of the usual park entry fee. Friends of Cunningham Falls and Gambrill State Parks are the recipients of the donated funds.
Being in a forested area outside of Frederick, there are no options for public transit to the Maple Syrup Festival. If you feel like taking a break from driving the RV while in the area, bring along your bikes and pedal the Frederick History Bicycle Loop or the 40 miles Covered Bridge route.
While there are lovely options for camping at Cunningham Falls State Park in some months of the year, it is not open during the Maple Syrup Festival. Gather the family around to discuss what you would like to see and do while in this area of Maryland, and choose a campground accordingly.
Hagerstown / Antietam Battlefield KOA offers RV campsites year-round within 30 miles. Sites with electricity and other amenities may or may not be available in the winter months, but spaces for rigs of all sizes are generally available.
Looking to travel to or near Washington DC during your road trip to the Maple Syrup Festival? Cherry Hill Park campground skirts the eastern side of the nation's capital and is about an hour and a half from the festival. This popular campground offers year-round RV camping, usually with hookups.
Camping in Northern Maryland in the winter means that you will need to be prepared to dry camp even if amenities are listed at your location. Unexpected weather and road conditions can mean that travelers experience nature at its finest with plenty of fresh or melting snow. Inquire about road closures if conditions change during your trip. State park camping locations near Frederick, Maryland usually do not open until sometime in April.
Some private and historically-oriented campgrounds in the area are open year-round but may require a membership to stay overnight.
Expect lots of standing as you watch the maple syrup demonstration. Wear warm and comfortable boots so that your feet stay cozy. The terrain will be uneven, so if you are in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller, have assistance on hand in case you need it.
Jackets, hats, and mittens are the ideal apparel if it’s a cold day. However, chances are the temperatures will be ushering in spring, and you can wear a light jacket as long as you layer. Be prepared for variations in the weather and pack plenty of spring-like clothing for everyone. Have your outdoor clothing within easy reach at all times in the event you want to make a stop at places like Gathland State Park.
Winter camping means you may want to bring along extra blankets so that the family is comfortable and warm when sleeping. Your gear list should include batteries, a flashlight, portable radio, and toiletries. Bring a lighter or matches too, for starting a fire to enjoy hot cocoa and toasted marshmallows. Onsite purchases will require cash, including an optional pancake breakfast.
Keep a constant eye on the excited kiddos while at the Maple Syrup Festival. There will be large vats of very hot water in the boiling tent, required for the syrup demonstration. Educate the kids on staying nearby as they wait for a delicious serving of fresh and hot pancakes.
Open fire cookouts are wonderful in the cold months, just as they are in the summer. Adhere to the rules in regards to campfires and do not move wood from one campground to another. This is to prevent the movement of invasive insect species. Pack a cast iron pot for tasty one-dish meals like chili and chowder.
Frederick has a bevy of restaurants to sate a cold-weather appetite. Sample an appetizer and a drink in front of a crackling fire, or cozy up in a diner for a hearty soup and sandwich. You won’t go hungry in Frederick; the choices are many and the tastes varied.
This sap-to-syrup event is cash only. Bring along enough to take part in the pancake and sausage breakfast, and you may want to purchase some made-in-Maryland syrup, too. Shop while in Frederick. You will have your choice of stores, from quaint shops to outlet centers.
No matter whether you are camping near a small town, a bustling city, or have your rig parked in a primitive campground, keeping your belongings secure is essential. Lock your motorhome every time you leave. Keep the shades drawn when away. Secure valuables in a safe within the camper or in the trunk of your vehicle.
Take advantage of a crisp day to explore the tallest falls in Maryland. The trail to the waterfalls starts near the maple syrup boiling tent in Cunningham Falls State Park. Dress in layers for any type of weather, and carry a backpack to stow an extra hat and gloves. Catoctin Mountain Park is worthy of a winter hike. Call ahead to ensure all routes are open.
When you arrive in the area, check for the pharmacies and medical center in the event that you need supplies or emergency care. Have a fully-stocked first-aid kit in your Class A. Be sure to prepare a mini-kit for hikes and treks. Include an emergency blanket, protein snacks, water, pain relief, and bandaids.