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Located nine miles north of Oakland and just ten minutes south of Deep Creek Lake is Swallow Falls State Park. This park spans 257 acres and is a must-see on your trip to Deep Creek Lake. It features beautiful scenery all year round, plus many options for activities. The Youghiogheny Riven flows along its border creating rapids and waterfalls along the way. 

Waterfall near Deep Creek Lake


Swallow Falls is an incredible area for exploring the great outdoors. This destination is popular among both locals and visitors. With activities like hiking, camping, picnicking, swimming, and fishing, you can easily spend an adventurous day at Swallow Falls State Park. There is a service charge to enter the park. From the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and weekends in May, September, and October, the charge is $3 per person for Maryland residents and $5 per person for out of state residents. All other times, the charge is $3 per car for Maryland residents and $5 per car for out of state residents.


When you arrive, the most popular thing to do is to hike down to the waterfalls. Once you start down the trail, you can hear the roaring water! The trail continues for about 1.25 miles and has various terrain including level pathways, stairs, and some rocks. There are three waterfalls located along the trail, each varying in size. Muddy Creek Falls is a 53 feet tall and is Maryland's tallest free-falling waterfall. This picturesque landscape is a beautiful sight to see no matter the season. There is even a handicap parking area with a ramp leading down to Muddy Creek Falls so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of the park.

Another hiking trail is located in the park. This trail is a 5.5 miles long and connects the park with Herrington Manor State Park. Because it is relatively level and flat, it makes it a popular spot for hikers, cross-country skiers, and mountain bikers. There is parking available at both ends of the trail, making it easy to plan your trip.


In the warmer months, you can go for a swim in the river and around the base of the waterfalls. Even swim behind the waterfalls for a whole different point of view! You can also pack a lunch and have a picnic on the rocks along the riverbank.

Day Use Area

The day use area located at the park has picnic tables and grills available for use on a first come first serve basis. There is also plenty of room to spread out for large or small groups to play outdoor games like corn hole or frisbee.

Pet Friendly Activities

Pets are allowed throughout the campground and on trails located outside the day-use area. You can only bring your pet into the day use area and on the trails near the water after Labor Day and before Memorial Day Weekend. If you do plan to bring your pet, they must remain on a leash and under control at all times.