Hiking Maryland & Delaware
by David Edwin Lillard (Falcon Guides)
© David Edwin Lillard/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
I have hiked this loop several times, in both summer and winter. The trail is 5 stars in the winter because of the beautiful ice sculptures and only 3 in the summer because of the crowds.
Muddy Creek Falls is the highlight of this hike for me, but the whole trail is very nice.
Group hike, Sat. afternoon, 85 degrees, hazy and overcast with a few light showers. This park and VERY short hike would be excellent if it hadn't been so overcrowded. It felt more like a tourist attraction than a "hike". The views were excellent- an amazing hemlock/pine grove and great views both up and down the falls. The water felt just right for my sweaty, weary group, and there are plenty of holes along the river to stand and soak. However, if you don't care for thick crowds, come during off hours on weekdays.
Ok, I would give it best but the best park about this hike is not the hike at all. now if you live in maryland much like I do you know that a hike is not one where its 80deg. when you start at your car and snow on top when you get there but there is something to be said about a water fall of some 50+ feet you can walk right under "muddy falls". As for Swallow Falls you cant beat this bring you swim suit. swim over a fall, or in a deep pool. I for warn you its MT. COLD WATER. no joke. Bust as I said great hike you cant find anywhere in Maryland./
A nice short hike worth a visit anytime, even though my wife and I usually go in the winter or early spring. The hemlocks are as impressive as the waterfalls. Stop and look up because you just don't see trees like this in the east. Lean up against one of them and realize how tiny you are. But if and when you must leave the quiet groves to chase down the sound of running water you won't be disappointed. Start downstream and work your way back up for the best views. This trail is a good one to do in conjuction with a few other short trails in the area, like Cranesville Swamp, an arctic remnant near the WV line containing blackwater bogs. It's a striking contrast to go from Swallow Falls to the Swamp in just one afternoon. My wife and I have a special attachment to this place because her grandfather worked here with the CCC during WWII.
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