AA Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Always Best care is the best! Their caregiver is very nice with respective attitude. They are all expert and knows their job very well in all ages. I never regret that their service to take care of my grandmother. They are trustworthy, respectful, honest and passionate to their work. I highly recommend them on their work.”

Facundo K.

“I met with Elaine Gill as we needed a secure place for my Dad. She was very knowledgeable and professional. Fortunately, the second location she showed us was a good fit (Dakota Paradise). I heartily recommend Always Best Care if you want help finding a loved one the proper care.”

Keith S.

“I cannot really find the words to say how wonderful the staff is at Always Best Care of Upper Chesapeake: Highly competent, Comforting, caring, extremely attentive, endlessly patient and reassuring. Elaine Gill has done an amazing job at ensuring that the staff she has are just as committed to ensuring the highest quality of life for every client, as Elaine! You are on the top of my list for any further care services that my family members may need going forward.”

Alan L.

“I used Always Best Care to care for my parents who happen to live in another state. I met with Elaine (the owner) to discuss my options and determine the best caregiver service to meet my parents needs. She was a great help; addressed all my questions and concerns and gave me peace of mind that my parents were in good hands. Their caregiver is wonderful and very competent. I don't have to worry about them or become a detective to find out what is going on with them in Maryland. Although my parents were a little skeptical at first, Elaine and her staff have put their mind at ease and made them feel very comfortable about the entire experience. They both feel much safer now and happier that they are able to stay in the home that they love. I am comforted in knowing that my parents are receiving quality care and they are in the capable hands of Elaine and her staff at Always Best Care. Words can not express my sincere gratitude for the awesome care provided to my parents.”

Monica C.
 In-Home Care Upper Falls, MD

How does In-home Senior Care in Upper Falls, MD work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

Request More Informationright-arrow-light
 Senior Care Upper Falls, MD

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Upper Falls, MD, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Upper Falls, MD gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Upper Falls, MD

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Upper Falls,MD understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Upper Falls, MD

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Upper Falls, MD

Fall Foliage Report – October 27, 2022

The majority of our state is resplendent in fall color right now, with most of Maryland’s counties experiencing peak or near-peak conditions. Our resident photographers are capturing the moment, producing these gorgeous shots from Rocky Gap and Greenbrier State Parks and Thurmont, Maryland.Rocky Gap State Park, Allegany County – Photo: Lori L.Greenbrier State Park, Washington County – Photo: Emily H.Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Frederick County – Brenda B. For a great day trip ...

The majority of our state is resplendent in fall color right now, with most of Maryland’s counties experiencing peak or near-peak conditions. Our resident photographers are capturing the moment, producing these gorgeous shots from Rocky Gap and Greenbrier State Parks and Thurmont, Maryland.

Rocky Gap State Park, Allegany County – Photo: Lori L.

Greenbrier State Park, Washington County – Photo: Emily H.

Roddy Road Covered Bridge, Frederick County – Brenda B. For a great day trip check out the Maryland Covered Bridge Driving Tour

Don’t forget your camera this weekend. Send in photos of your fall Maryland adventures and we may use them in next week’s report.

Do you know someone who loves fall as much as you do? Have them sign up to receive our Fall Foliage Report every week, delivered directly to their inbox.

Photos: Bob Study

A drive to Carroll, Frederick or Washington counties will be worth the gas money. The trees are giving leaf peepers a memorable show with lush displays of gold, amber, burgundy, and red. Visitors to South Mountain State Park can walk in the footsteps of the Civil War soldiers who fought at the 1862 Battle of South Mountain, climb to breathtaking fall foliage views, and experience the solitude of nature.

The conditions are near-peak at Patapsco Valley State Park, and this Sunday visitors can enjoy a guided Fall Color Hike through the park. Contact [email protected] to register. Ranger Alyssa Myers, Park Service Supervisor, Patapsco Valley State Park

Photos: Alyssa Myers and Felicia Baker

For colorful fall foliage combined with some of the best water views in the state, Southern Maryland’s state parks are a great choice for visitors. In Calvert Cliffs State Park, 1,079 acres are preserved for hiking and nature appreciation, with 13 miles of marked foot trails open to the public.

Poplars, gums, maple, and hickories in Calvert and Prince George’s counties are beginning to don their fall colors, and the brilliant shades of orange, yellow, and red should only improve in the next week or so. In Anne Arundel County the maples and gum trees are first to the fall stage, with the oaks still mostly green in the overhead canopies. Brian Stupak and Cristina Val Perez, Maryland Forest Service

Photos: Cristina Perez

Photos: Annalise Kenney

The Eastern Shore is a mixed bag of color right now. The landscape is largely green due to the pine trees that dominate, but patches of color are definitely showing. The pattern is generally more color north and west. So, the closer you get to Ocean City, the less color you’ll see. The real show begins here in the upcoming weeks, and leaf peepers who want to extend their fall foliage season should plan a visit to Tuckahoe State Park. The park offers 20 miles of scenic hiking, biking and equestrian trails, flat water canoeing, hunting, picnicking, and even a recycled tire playground for the little ones.

Black Walnut Point Natural Resource Management Area in Talbot County

Photo Submissions for the Week

We’d like to thank all of the folks that continue to send in photos of fall scenes from across the state. Through your reports and photos we receive first-hand accounts of our fall transition in Maryland. Please send us your fall foliage photos, including the names of any tree species you spot, using our easy online form!

Sugarloaf Mountain, Frederick County – Photo: James D.

Greenbrier State Park, Washington County Photo: Emily H.

Wolf Rock, Frederick County – James D.

Sugarloaf Mountain, Frederick County – James D.

Fair Hill NRMA, Cecil County – Eric W.

Wolf Rock, Frederick County – James D.

Gambrill State Park, Frederick County – Photo: Jacqueline R.

Bohemia River State Park, Cecil County – Photo: ShinAe G.

Columbia, Howard County Photo: Vanessa H.

Cedarville State Forest, Prince George’s County – Photo: Gabrielle E.

Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering-University of Maryland Photo: Kazi Tasnim Z.

Adelphi, Prince George’s County – Photo: Manas B.

Paint Branch Trail, College Park, Montgomery County – Photo: Manas B.

College Park, Prince George’s County – Photo: Manas B.

Paint Branch Trail, College Park, Montgomery County – Photo: Manas B.

Paint Branch Trail, College Park, Montgomery County – Photo: Manas B.

Paint Branch Trail, College Park, Montgomery County – Photo: Manas B.

Seneca Creek State Park, Montgomery County – Photo: Vali S.

University of Maryland, College Park – Musavvir M.

University of Maryland, College Park – Musavvir M.

Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Route 15 – Photo: Brenda B.

Centennial Park, Ellicott City, Howard County – Photo: Holly G.

Liberty Reservoir, Baltimore/Carroll Counties – Photo: Vali S.

Okay, not a Maryland photo but Vali S. submitted this photo of Old Rag Mountain in Virginia. We love our neighbors and they have some pretty amazing views too!

Spooky Scavenger Hunt

Bring the kids to a Spooky Scavenger Hunt at Seneca Creek State Park, this Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Celebrate Halloween by searching for creepy crawly critters! Stop by the Park Office to pick up a scavenger hunt sheet and see what you can find while exploring the park! Halloween costumes are encouraged, but not required for participation.

Blair Witch Heritage Hike

3-5 p.m. at Button Farm Living History Center 16820 Black Rock Road, Germantown

Nearly twenty years ago, two young filmmakers made cinema history. “The Blair Witch Project” was a worldwide sensation and is still one of the most profitable movies in Hollywood history. Join Ranger Ledbetter to learn how this horror classic came to be filmed here in Maryland at Seneca Creek State Park and visit actual shooting locations from the film. Hosted in cooperation with Button Farm Living History Center. Visit the Button Farm website for details. $2 per person suggested donation to Friends of Seneca Creek State Park. RSVP recommended to [email protected].

Our friends at the Maryland Office of Tourism have put together a great list of places to celebrate the spooky season – ghost tours, haunted mansions, and scary rides, oh my! visitmaryland.org/list/ghost-tours-haunted-attractions

Ghouls and goblins will be disappointed this year as the moon is in its waning crescent phase and only partially illuminated, meaning no full moon on Halloween. However, with the darkness increasing this time of year, it is a great time for stargazers. The Pleiades, also known as The Seven Sister Stars, is a tightly packed star cluster easily visible to even the most inexperienced of sky watchers. Start by locating the famous constellation Orion, the hunter. Using the three stars in Orion’s belt as your guide, follow it upward past his bow to find the Pleiades.

Eight Great Waterfall Hikes Near DC

*All distances are measured from the Washington Monument.Eight Waterfalls, One HikeWhere: Whiteoak Canyon/Cedar Run in Shenandoah National Park.Distance from DC:* 96 miles.Length of hike: 8 miles.Difficulty: Strenuous....

*All distances are measured from the Washington Monument.

Eight Waterfalls, One Hike

Where: Whiteoak Canyon/Cedar Run in Shenandoah National Park.

Distance from DC:* 96 miles.

Length of hike: 8 miles.

Difficulty: Strenuous.

This loop hike features eight falls—most notably the 86-footer at the upper end of Whiteoak Canyon Trail, the second-highest waterfall in Shenandoah National Park. Fair warning: With a change in elevation of nearly 2,500 feet, this hike is a healthy workout. But you can cool off by standing beneath a couple of the falls or by sitting or wading into the catch pools. The park’s dense forest also provides shade on hot days. Leave your car in the Whiteoak Boundary Parking area, then ascend the Whiteoak Canyon Trail. You’ll finish by coming down the Cedar Run Trail. One of the falls midway down Cedar Run has a relatively flat, rocky portion where you can sit and feel the spray of the water or cool your feet.

After the hike: Sip some Sauvignon Blanc or Old Rag Red at Sharp Rock Vineyards in Sperryville.

Accessible to All

Where: Cunningham Falls in Thurmont, Maryland.

Distance from DC: 66 miles.

Length of hike: 0.25 to 1.25 miles.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

At 78 feet high, Cunningham Falls is Maryland’s highest cascading waterfall. Unlike a straight shower of water, a cascading waterfall meanders over sections of rock—inspiring some visitors to climb up the rocks to sit beneath the spray. (The park advises against this.) There are two paths to the falls in Cunningham Falls State Park. From the main lot in the William Houck Area, you can take an easy, lower path of crushed gravel that’s only a half mile long. The longer Cliff Trail includes a few fun rock scrambles and is about three-quarters of a mile. Or combine the two trails to make a loop—start with the Cliff Trail and return via the Lower Cliff Trail. The waterfall also can be viewed via a quarter-mile, handicapped-accessible boardwalk. For that, use the parking area on Foxville Road. (It requires a handicapped license or tag.)

After the hike: Take a dip in Hunting Creek Lake in Cunningham Falls State Park—the lake has two small beaches.

One Very Tall Waterfall

Where: Overall Run in Shenandoah National Park.

Distance from DC: 90 miles.

Length of hike: 6.2 miles.

Difficulty: Strenuous.

Overall Run Waterfall, at 93 feet, is the tallest in Shenandoah National Park. Yet timing is everything: If there hasn’t been any recent rain, it can be a mere trickle. With plentiful precipitation, though, it’s spectacular. The hike starts from the Hogback Overlook on Skyline Drive, at mile marker 21, and follows the Appalachian Trail to the Tuscarora–Overall Run Trail. A short side trail leads to a view of the top of the falls. A little farther along the Tuscarora–Overall Run Trail, there’s a view of the bottom portion of the falls. It’s mostly downhill to the falls, but that means it’s an uphill trek back to the car. Serious hikers can try an 11-mile loop that continues downhill to a swimming hole (no views of the falls here) and returns via the Overall/Beecher Connector and the Beecher Ridge Trail.

After the hike: Hit Skyline Brewing, near the park’s Thornton Gap entrance, for what’s on tap that day—perhaps a Shenandoah Wheat or White House Honey Porter (so named because it’s the same recipe made in the White House kitchen under President Obama).

Cool and Close By

Where: Scott’s Run in McLean.

Distance from DC: 12 miles.

Length of hike: 2 to 4 miles.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

This beautiful small waterfall adjacent to the Potomac River can be reached easily via a simple one-mile trail. Several longer loop hikes can also be created by connecting various trails—all of them well marked—in the nature reserve. On the way to the waterfall, you’ll cross a stream by walking on a row of round concrete pads. But once you reach the falls, you’ll need to stay out of the water: The current on the Potomac here can be very strong and dangerous. The hike is popular all year-round, so you’ll want to get there early to find a spot for your car. There are two parking areas; the second lot you come to when going west on Georgetown Pike is closest to the trailhead.

After the hike: Try the brick-oven pizza at Rocco’s Italian Restaurant in McLean.

The Greatest: Great Falls

Where: Great Falls in McLean.

Distance from DC: 20 miles.

Length of hike: 3 miles.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

No list of waterfalls in the area would be complete without Great Falls. The raging torrent drops 47 feet over a series of slanted rock walls. There are overlooks on both the Maryland and Virginia sides of the Potomac; the Virginia overlook, in Great Falls Park (a National Park Service site), provides a better view of the falls in their entirety. To avoid the entry fee ($20 a car) and a sometimes long line to get in, you might leave your car at Riverbend Park in Virginia, about two and a half miles north of the entrance to Great Falls Park (suggested donation: $2). The three-mile, out-and-back hike in Riverbend Park follows easy wooded pathways along the river to the two overlooks at the national park.

After the hike: Enjoy a leisurely lunch of French fare on the patio at L’Auberge Chez François.

Two Right in Arlington

Where: Potomac Tributary and Gulf Branch, on the Potomac Heritage Trail in Arlington.

Distance from DC: 6 miles.

Length of hike: 5 miles.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

Enjoy two little-known waterfalls right across the water from DC. From Potomac Overlook Regional Park in Arlington, follow the Donaldson Run Trail for about a mile to the Potomac Heritage Trail. Turn right and walk along the Potomac River for another mile to the Potomac Tributary Waterfall, which features several small cascades. Return north along the trail and continue past the intersection with the Donaldson Run Trail for a half mile to another cascading waterfall where Gulf Branch meets the Potomac River. Both of these run best after there’s been some rainfall. You can backtrack along the Potomac River and up the Donaldson Run Trail to complete the hike.

After the hike: Enjoy Thai rolled ice cream at La Moo Creamery in Arlington.

Descend Into Cool Darkness

Where: Rose River Falls and Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park.

Distance from DC: 100 miles.

Length of hike: 4.5 miles.

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous.

Starting atop Skyline Drive in the Fishers Gap Overlook parking lot at mile marker 49, descend deep into the woods to 67-foot Rose River Falls, which divides into two distinct cascades. From there, you can continue down the trail and traverse a bridge over the stream. As the trail begins to ascend, you’ll find some additional waterfalls and wading spots. A short distance after the trail intersects with a fire road, you’ll come upon Dark Hollow Falls Trail and its 70-foot waterfall. You probably won’t have this waterfall to yourself—it can get crowded because it’s also easily reached via a short hike from a different parking area along Skyline Drive. Return to the fire road and follow it back to your starting point.

After the hike: Grab a cup of coffee at solarpowered Off the Grid cafe in Sperryville.

A Short, Easy Walk

Where: Kilgore Falls in Pylesville, Maryland.

Distance from DC: 81 miles.

Length of hike: One mile.

Difficulty: Easy.

If you’re looking for a pleasant stroll to a tranquil waterfall, this gem north of Baltimore in Rocks State Park is it: Seeing the falls involves just a half-mile jaunt from the parking area over easy terrain. The tricky part? A reservation is required to visit the falls on weekends and holidays. Once there, look for the Kilgore Falls Trail, where hikers will find a boardwalk section, a wooden bridge, a small stream crossed via some well-placed rocks, and a side trail that leads to a view from the top of the waterfall. The catch pool at the bottom of the falls features a shallow area for children to splash around. A deeper area, closer to the 17-foot waterfall, allows for wading, swimming, or standing beneath the flowing water. On a busy weekend day, you may see visitors jumping from the rocks into the catch pool. This is not recommended—the waterfall is bordered by blunt rock faces.

After the hike: Try the delicious desserts at nearby Eats & Sweets. It has a full food menu, too.

This article appears in the July 2022 issue of Washingtonian.

13 Scenic Trails In Maryland To Hike Memorial Day Weekend

Maryland happens to be home to several scenic trails with waterfalls, beaches, wildlife and more. Check them out Memorial Day weekend.Kristin Danley-Greiner, Patch StaffMARYLAND — The Memorial Day extended weekend gives Marylanders time to check out scenic trails in the state. Numerous paths perfect for hiking and biking await an adventure for this weekend or throughout the summer, and Patch has the scoop on whe...

Maryland happens to be home to several scenic trails with waterfalls, beaches, wildlife and more. Check them out Memorial Day weekend.

Kristin Danley-Greiner, Patch Staff

MARYLAND — The Memorial Day extended weekend gives Marylanders time to check out scenic trails in the state. Numerous paths perfect for hiking and biking await an adventure for this weekend or throughout the summer, and Patch has the scoop on where they're at and the level of difficulty.

From challenging and rugged mountain-top trails to sedate saunters along Chesapeake shores, Maryland is a hikers’ paradise.

Some trails offer stunning views of waterfalls or traverse across iconic covered bridges. There are even water trails to try if you enjoy kayaking.

Rocks State Park

Hike up to the majestic King and Queen Seat, a natural promontory that sits 190 feet above Deer Creek and offers an unimaginable view of the Maryland Piedmont. With more than 855 acres of forest to explore, this terrain is terrific.

Find out what's happening in Bel Airwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park

Brace yourself for a good workout if you're hiking the Cunningham Falls Nature Trail at Catoctin Mountain Park. The 2.8-mile loop offers a breathtaking view of the 78-foot-high cascading falls. An even more strenuous workout awaits at the Wolf Rock Loop Trail that leads to the Wolf Rock and Chimney Rock formations.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

Found at a national park, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal offers a variety of trail options. The 1.7-mile Billy Goat Trail offers a steep descent with jagged cliffs and views of the Potomoc River and its falls. The Maryland Heights Trail in Knoxville features a 1,200-foot climb that results in beautiful views.

Fort Foote ParkThe Fort Foote Civil War Ruins Trail boasts an easy 1.7-mile trail that traverses through a Civil War fort with real Civil War bunkers and other interesting elements of history.

National Colonial Park and National Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park

Home to a variety of nature trails, a stroll at this park will offer views of bald eagles, beavers, deer, foxes and other wildlife. Shorter trails meander through forests, wetlands and along the Potomac River. The River Trail highlights views of Mount Vernon, George Washington's historic home.

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail at Gunpowder Falls State Park

Known previously as the Northern Central Railway, the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail happens to be popular among joggers, walkers and cyclists for its wide and flat terrain. The trail spans 20 miles and stretches from Hunt Valley to the state line.

Greenbury Point

A hidden gem inside Annapolis, this 3.1-mile loop trail showcases the Severn River. Trails also lope past the Nature Center and Naval Academy Golf Course.

Swallow Falls State Park

For minimum effort and maximum views, visit Swallow Falls State Park where hikers will find two waterfalls including the tallest waterfall in Maryland.

Calvert Cliffs State Park

A total of 13 miles of trails winds along the Chesapeake Bay coastline. The 1.8-mile red trail ends at the beach where you can hunt for ancient fossils. You might even find massive megaladon shark teeth here.

Loch Raven Reservoir

The Upper Loch Raven Reservoir Trail allows for a more relaxing hike along the 6.5-mile loop along the water and surrounded by tall forest.

Oregon Ridge Nature Center and Park

Families flock to Oregon Ridge where the loop boasts an easy 4.4-mile groomed trail.

Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail

This trail allows for a leisurely nature walk where you can explore the old railroad and see local wildlife like otters, blue crabs and even bald eagles.

Sugarloaf Mountain Recreation Area

The 5.7-mile Sugarloaf Mountain Loop highlights stunning quartzite cliffs. The Civil War Trail shares the history of Sugarloaf Mountain, which once was a Civil War signal station.

How to Get to Mill Creek Falls and Lock 12 in York County

One problem with being a waterfall lover in the Harrisburg region is that there aren’t many waterfalls close to the area. Sure, I can get to a lot of great Pennsylvania waterfalls in a few hours, but if I want to stay closer to home, there really aren’t any options outside of Letort Falls or ...

One problem with being a waterfall lover in the Harrisburg region is that there aren’t many waterfalls close to the area. Sure, I can get to a lot of great Pennsylvania waterfalls in a few hours, but if I want to stay closer to home, there really aren’t any options outside of Letort Falls or Acriggs Falls.

So, when I discovered that there was a great waterfall in southern York County, I knew I had to check it out. (Check out another set of waterfalls I found in York County at the nearby Duncan Run.)

Mill Creek Falls is located in a very rural section of York County, PA, just off Route 372 near Holtwood Dam.

Coming from downtown York, I turned off of the main road onto River Road immediately before crossing the Norman Wood Bridge over the Susquehanna River to Lancaster County, where there are also great hikes such as Tucquan Glen and Shenks Ferry. (If coming from Lancaster County, take the first right immediately after crossing the bridge.)

About a mile down the road, just after the first bridge, is an unmarked, but quite obvious trailhead that heads off to left at approximately these coordinates: 39.819163, -76.336048.

This is the Mason-Dixon Trail, a nearly 200-mile trail that is popular with day hikers. However, very little hiking is required to reach Mill Creek Falls. In fact, the whole trip to the top of the falls takes less than five minutes from the trailhead.

The Mason-Dixon Trail follows along the hillside a good distance above the creek below. After a very short distance, you’ll see Mill Creek Falls and have a wonderful look at it from above.

Roughly 20 feet from top to bottom, this waterfall makes two turns in 3 different drops that are separated by a few feet.

The trail offers nice views of the falls, but it’s also possible to head down to creek level to see it more closely. From my experience, the best spot to descend is in a rocky area near the crest of the falls. However, if you opt to do this yourself, be very careful as it was quite difficult.

From the bottom of Mill Creek Falls, the angle and slope of the falls look quite different than it does from the top.

In fact, because of the twists in the falls, it is actually a bit harder to see the entire falls from the bottom than it is from the top. However, being so close to the beauty of the falls is certainly worth the trip to the bottom in my opinion.

Back on the trail, I definitely recommend continuing on the trail upstream for another 5 minutes of relatively easy walking. Along the stream, there were several sections of small cascades, that make the creek quite beautiful and add the wonderful sound of falling water to the soundtrack of the forest.

Eventually, you’ll reach a fork in the creek. At this point, the trail turns to the right and starts uphill. However, before heading uphill, take a moment to look to your left. Here, on the stream that flows into Mill Creek, you’ll see a small second waterfall.

Unfortunately, getting to this waterfall not only requires some tricky wading and rock balancing but also requires navigating a small logjam in the creek. However, while it’s only about 6-8 feet tall, this upper waterfall is worth seeing if you can do so safely.

While you could turn around after seeing this second waterfall, I definitely recommend continuing along the Mason-Dixon Trail.

Where the stream splits, the trail breaks with Mill Creek and heads sharply uphill. There are a series of steep, but not overly difficult switchbacks that take you to the crest of the ridgeline.

Once at the top of the ridge, continue walking along it for about 5 minutes. Eventually, you’ll come to a small rock outcropping that has nice views of Holtwood Dam when there are no leaves on the trees.

This is a great spot to rest for a bit, and, in season, catch some nice views of the Susquehanna River.

From here, you could continue to follow the Mason-Dixon Trail, which will eventually meet back up with the road near the dam, or you can return the way you came.

While I’ve continued on in the past and there’s nice scenery, it requires a long road walk to get back to your vehicle, so I’d recommend simply returning the way you came so you can check out the waterfalls a second time.

Overall, Mill Creek Falls and this section of the Mason-Dixon Trail are surprisingly unknown given how impressive they are and how beautiful this area is. However, just because you’ve enjoyed the beauty of the area, there’s still more to see at nearby Lock 12.

At this point of the Susquehanna River, the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal once ran alongside the river. Going the 45 miles from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, to Havre De Grace, Maryland, the canal was open from 1840-1895 and carried lumber, coal, grain, and other supplies along the river.

While several areas of the canal can still be seen today, the best preserved is Lock 12, which is along the same road as Mill Creek Falls (look for signs for the lock when driving back to the main road).

The walls of the lock are quite well preserved and still show signs of where the old doors would have been. View of the lock can be had from the top or from inside the lock, giving you a unique vantage point.

In the vicinity are several signs that explain the history of the canal and how it worked. You’ll also likely notice the ruins of several buildings that would have been in use during the mid-1800s.

From the Lock 12 area, it’s also worthwhile to follow some of the trails behind the lock down towards the Susquehanna River just a few minutes walk away. Being below Holtwood Dam, the river here is very shallow with many small pools full of minnows and crayfish. This scenic area is definitely worth checking out for its semi-natural beauty.

I would definitely recommend a visit to Mill Creek Falls and the Lock 12 Area. This quiet corner of York County provides a great mix of beautiful natural scenery and interesting history sure to give you a few hours of fun.

How to Get to Mill Creek Falls and Lock 12

Both Mill Creek Falls and Lock 12 are located off of River Road on the York County side of the Susquehanna River near Holtwood Dam.

To see Mill Creek Falls, drive about a quarter-mile down River Road from Holtwood Road. Park in the second lot that you pass on the right.

From here, continue walking further up the road until you reach the bridge over Mill Creek. The waterfall is located about 100 yards up the trail that starts just after the bridge on your left.

The trailhead can be found at the following coordinates: 39.819141, -76.336116.

To see Lock 12, park in the first parking lot that’s located directly adjacent to Holtwood Road and take the short trail to the lock.

Looking for more great things to do in the area? Check out the White Cliffs of Conoy, Chickies Rock, The Pinnacle, and the Indian Steps Museum.

[Click here for information on how to use the coordinates in this article to find your destination.]

Discover the Tallest Waterfall in Maryland

Maryland is home to amazing towns and picturesque outdoor locations. It’s known for many things, like blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay and the city of Baltimore. However, Maryland boasts more than a handful of incredible cascading waterfalls, enjoyed by locals and tourists ali...

Maryland is home to amazing towns and picturesque outdoor locations. It’s known for many things, like blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay and the city of Baltimore. However, Maryland boasts more than a handful of incredible cascading waterfalls, enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

These natural wonders form from streams flowing from soft rock to hard rock. Over time, the soft rocks erode, while the hard rocks stay in place, leaving behind a ledge for the stream to flow over. Maryland has several of these natural wonders, but where can you find the tallest waterfall in the state?

What Is the Tallest Waterfall in Maryland?

The tallest waterfall in Maryland is Cunningham Falls, which cascades for an impressive 78 feet. The waterfall is a part of Cunningham Falls State Park, which is located in the picturesque Catoctin Mountains.

Getting to the falls involves a scenic 2.8-mile round-trip hike on the Cunningham Falls Nature Trail. Visitors can access the trail from the gravel parking lot directly across from the visitor’s center. The Falls Nature Trails is the most popular trail in the park. The hike does feature hills and uneven and rocky surfaces, but the view of the falls makes everything worthwhile.

History of the Falls

Locals know Cunningham Falls by another name — McAfee Falls. According to HMdb.org, the McAfee family was one of the original settlers in the area near the waterfall.

In the 1930s, the federal government acquired this land from the family when it was being developed into what was then known as Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area. The falls were later renamed after a photographer from Pen Mar Park, whose many photos of the area helped to make it a popular spot.

Where is Cunningham Falls Located on a Map?

Cunningham Falls is located west of Thurmont, MD, a small, historic town in the northern part of Frederick County. Thurmont is only a short drive of about nine miles from the border crossing into Pennsylvania.

The waterfall is a part of Cunningham Falls State Park, within the Catoctin Mountains. The park is also right beside Hunting Creek Lake, a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and boating.

Wildlife Around Cunningham Falls

Maryland is home to an estimated 90 species of mammals, 93 species and subspecies of reptiles and amphibians, and hundreds of species of birds and fish.

Cunningham Falls State Park offers incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. Whether you’re keeping an eye out for bears from rocky outcrops, or fishing in the Cunningham Falls Reservoir, there’s plenty for animal lovers to see.

Cunningham Falls State Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise. According to the Birder’s Guide to Maryland & DC, over 120 species have been reported on eBird in this area. Some of the most common species include woodpeckers, red-eyed vireo, common ravens, and various small woodland birds.

The park also has breeding populations of several species, such as the worm-eating and Kentucky warblers and the Baltimore oriole. During migration season, a variety of additional warbler species, migrating hawks and thrushes can be seen. The winter months are a good time to watch for the purple finch and kinglets.

A variety of small mammals such as raccoons, rabbits, and squirrels make their home in Cunningham Falls State Park. You can also spot larger mammals like whitetail deer. It’s worth noting that the state park is also located in black bear country.

Visitors may spot black bears while hiking, camping, or enjoying other recreational activities, so it’s important to know how to minimize conflict between humans and bears. Visit this page from the Department of Natural Resources for more information.

Many species of snakes live in Cunningham State Park, but only two are venomous: the eastern copperhead and the timber rattlesnake.

The eastern copperhead has a tan to brown body with distinct hourglass blotches and juveniles have a bright yellow tail tip. Timber rattlesnakes have a large, spade-shaped head and are often yellow, tan, brown, or grey in color with dark blotches or chevrons down their back.

The Cunningham Falls Reservoir is home to several species of warm-water fish. The most common include largemouth bass and panfish such as bluegill, redear sunfish, and black crappie. Since the reservoir is a popular fishing location, it is also stocked with adult trout during the spring and fall.

Visiting Cunningham Falls State Park

Cunningham Falls State Park is nestled in the Catoctin Mountains and is split into two separate areas. Hours of operation are 8 am to sunset from April-October and 10 am to sunset from November-March.

The William Houck Area is west of Thurmont and gives visitors access to camping areas, the lake, and Cunningham Falls. Day-use fees are by person and vary between $3-$7 depending on the day of the week and whether you are a Maryland resident or not.

The Manor Area off Route 15 is just a few miles south of Thurmont off Route 15. It features additional camping sites, the Scales and Tales Aviary, and the historic Catoctin Iron Furnace?. Day-use fees are $3 per vehicle for Maryland residents and $5 per vehicle for non-Maryland residents.

Activities in Cunningham Falls State Park

The Cunningham Falls State Park offers plenty of fun and exciting activities that are noted on Visit Frederick City & County. Here are a few that you should check out.

There are several locations to fish in Cunningham Falls State Park. A Maryland Freshwater Sport Fishing License is required for those 16 years of age or older. Hunting Creek Lake offers opportunities to catch trout, bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, and catfish.

Big Hunting Creek and its tributaries within Cunningham Falls State Park are restricted to catch-and-release fly fishing only. The creek has a flourishing population of brown trout. Little Hunting Creek offers fish such as catfish, carp, perch, and largemouth bass

Cunningham Falls State Park offers three beautiful swimming spots on Hunting Creek Lake. Swimming is permitted from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, though lifeguards are only on duty at certain times. Due to safety concerns and for the protection of natural resources, swimming is not allowed at the waterfall itself.

Both the William Houck area and Manor Area offer a number of hiking trails. The terrain varies from short, flat hikes to challenging rocky ascents. Routes can be as short as a half mile one way, or as long as 7 miles one way. Several of the trails lead to exciting locations, such as the Lower Trail, which takes visitors to the waterfall.

Catoctin Furnace Trail is a half-mile route that leads to Catoctin Furnace Historical Village. This location is preserved in time, offering a glimpse back into the lives of the enslaved Africans, free African Americans, and European immigrant laborers and families that lived there.

Cunningham Falls State Park offers both the William Houck campground and the Manor Area campground. Both campsites offer bathhouses with flushing toilets and showers. Camping via tent, RV, or camping trailer is allowed in the areas, and cabins are available for rent as well.

Hunting Creek Lake allows visitors to bring their own watercraft. The lake has a boat ramp available to use for a small fee. The fees are $3 for Maryland residents and $4 for non-residents. Only electric motors are permitted and boats are available for rent on the lake during the summer season.

Share this post on:

About the Author

Erica is a content writer who has been published on Anime Feminist, DoYouRemember?, ScreenRant, and Showbiz Cheat Sheet. She enjoys traveling to explore the great outdoors and take in the the wildlife each new adventure has to offer.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.


This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.