The State of Maryland began purchasing the land for Rocks State Park in 1951. There are currently 855 acres of forests, and massive boulder areas rise around Deer Creek. A natural 190 foot rock outcrop is known as The King and Queen Seat. Originally a ceremonial gathering place for the Susquehannock Indians, it is now a hiking destination reached by way of scenic trails and rolling hills. Guests are encouraged to move about this area with caution due to the falling rock and jagged ledges. The park also features a variety of structural remains from when the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad made its way through the area. This railroad helped the farming and quarry communities in Northern Harford Country grow and prosper. The park is located in Harford County, just a short drive east of downtown Baltimore.
The park is chock-full of popular recreational activities including canoeing and kayaking, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, bow-hunting, repelling, and tubing. There are several hiking trails ranging in distance from half a mile to two miles. There are steep and moderate incline paths available, and animals on leashes are permitted on the trails. Canoeing and kayaking trails range in distance from just over four and a half miles to nearly nine miles. The park also offers playgrounds, shelters, and three picnic areas for use by visitors. Deer Creeks is used for tubing and swimming, but there are no lifeguards on duty. The creek has been designated as a put-and-take trout fishing area.
These picnic areas include Hills Grove, Wilson, and Rock Ridge and are available for use April through October. A charge of $2 for Maryland residents and $3 for out of state residents is charged upon entry. The areas come equipped with grills, tables, restrooms, and playground equipment, and make great areas to host casual family functions like picnics and reunions. There are also pavilion areas available that have lights, electric outlets, barbecue pits, and picnic tables. These locations are for use by permit only and can be utilized for weddings, reunions, and picnics. The pavilions will accommodate about around 135 people, and are only available for a portion of the year.
The Hidden Valley Natural Area is a tract of land that is located five miles north of Rocks near the intersection of Telegraph, Madonna, and Carea Roads. The area is undeveloped and offers a variety of hiking trails and fishing spots along Deer Creek. Pets are permitted in the area if they are leashed. There is also parking available for less than a dozen cars. The area features no tables, restrooms, or grills.
Falling Branch is a 67 acre area of land. The area houses Kilgore Falls, Maryland's second highest vertical drop waterfall. This area is also undeveloped with no grills, restrooms, or tables, and offers a scenic trail leading to the waterfall. Again, leashed pets are allowed on the trail. Rock State Park is located about eight miles north of Bel Air on Route 24. Those seeking a scenic, historic, peaceful location to enjoy nature will enjoy a trip to Rocks State Park.