Cunningham Falls is the largest waterfalls in the area. There are four main trails to the falls.
1) Cunningham Falls (SR 77) 0.3 miles (.5 km) - Disabled parking only.
2) Cunningham Falls (lower trail) 0.8 miles (1.3 km) William Houck Area (Cunningham Falls SP)
3) Cunningham Falls (cliff trail) 0.8 miles (1.3 km) William Houck Area (Cunningham Falls SP)
4) Cunningham Falls 2.8 miles-4.5 km (SR 77 Catoctin Mtn Park Visitor Center)
Since it was winter and there was nobody in the park, I was allowed to park in the disabled parking area (no other vehicles were present at the time) and wasl the short trail. On a warm day, the moderate hike from the Catoctin Visitor Center would have been a wonderful chance to see birds and wildlife.
The story of the Catoctin Mountains is as much a story of natural wonders as it is the history of the people who lived here. The Blue Blazes Whiskey Still Trail is .6 miles (1 km) long and takes about a half hour. It takes you up the valley, among the trees. I walked the trail on a cool (35F; 2C) day. The sun shown through the trees, casting strong shadows across the ground. It was uphill but only slightly. There was plenty to watch for and because the main road in the park was closed, no nearby traffic. In summer, the leaves would have blocked the view of the road and muffled some of the sound.
The still is reminiscent of those used to make home-brew. Since there has been a tax on alcohol since the nation was founded, the stills location would have been protected. It was located where there was plentiful water, a way to get the corn mash in and the liquor out. The few signs along the trail helped me understand the setup. In the summer, a Ranger or volunteer may be found at the still, keeping the fire hot and the mash boiling.
First stop is always the Visitor Center. Here, you'll find out whats open for the time of year you're here. It was winter when I arrived and the main road through the park was closed. But it was a sunny day and there were a few walks available.