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Maple Syrup Festival Returns to Cunningham Falls State Park

Mountain Maryland Tradition Continues March 17-18

Photo of Maple Syrup Festival by Ranger Mark SpurrierCunningham Falls State Park hosts its 48th Annual Maple Syrup Making Demonstrations for a second and final weekend of the year, March 17-18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festivities will take place in the William Houck Area, located at 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road in Thurmont.

Maryland Park Service rangers and volunteers will demonstrate the traditional way to craft this sweet concoction, as it has been done in North American forests since before the arrival of European settlers.

Attendees are welcome to relax on a hayride and watch as sap is collected. Visitors are also invited to enjoy a hot pancake breakfast, join in children’s activities, and listen to live bluegrass and folk music in a large, heated tent.

“This Catoctin Mountain tradition is a fun and delicious event that the whole family can enjoy,” Park Manager Mark Spurrier said. “It may sound sappy but we love showcasing our beautiful property and bountiful trees with the thousands of visitors that come out to our Maple Syrup Festival each and every year.”

New this year, the festival will feature a Maple Sap Fun Run March 17 as part of the department’s Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative. Participants of all ages can participate in a noncompetitive 1.5-mile fun run/walk along a scenic roadway that showcases the park’s sap-producing maple trees. Weather permitting, kick off will be at 9:30 a.m. in the South Beach parking lot.


A donation of $3 per person or $2 per person for youth groups is requested to attend the festival. Children in safety seats are free. A pancake and sausage breakfast will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at an additional cash-only cost. In addition, a retail area with maple products such as candy, cream and syrup will be open for cash-and-carry sales. Proceeds from the festival benefit the nonprofit Friends of Cunningham Falls State Park and Gambrill State Park.

Anyone with questions is welcome to call the park office at 301-271-7574. Sign-language interpretation will be provided on Sundays. Pets are permitted (outside areas only).