At a Glance

Hours: Open year round except Christmas Day. 8 am – sunset, April through October. 10 am – sunset, November through March.

Cost:

  • In season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), weekdays: $3/person MD residents, $5/person non-MD residents.
  • In-season weekends/holidays: $5/person MD residents, $7/person non-MD residents.
  • Off season: $3/car MD residents, $5/car non-MD residents.

Tips: Bring a scope, especially in winter. ◾ When filled to capacity, the park will not admit additional visitors. The park will likely fill to capacity on holiday weekends and many other weekends during the summer. ◾ The Hammerman Area conducts a managed deer hunt, and there is also off-shore waterfowl hunting. Be aware of hunting seasons and plan your visit accordingly.

Best Seasons: Fall, winter and spring, prior to Memorial Day.

Breeding Bird Atlas Block: Gunpower Neck NW

Local MOS Chapter: Baltimore Bird Club

Gunpowder Falls State Park – Hammerman Area and Dundee Creek Marina

7200 Graces Quarters Road, Chase, MD 20127
(410) 592-2897

Established in 1959 to protect the Gunpowder River and the Big and Little Gunpowder River valleys, Gunpowder Falls State Park is now one of Maryland’s largest state parks. Comprised about 15,000 acres in Harford and Baltimore Counties, with six distinct areas, Gunpowder State Park forms a narrow corridor along the river valley, yet hosts varied topography ranging from tidal wetlands to steep and rugged slopes. Gunpowder State Park features more than 120 miles of trails, protected State Wildlands, historic sites, fishing and canoeing/kayaking streams, a swimming beach, and a marina. The Hammerman Area of the park and the adjacent Dundee Creek Marina comprise about 800 acres and are located in the southeast portion of Baltimore County, near where the Gunpowder River empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Habitat at the Hammerman Area and Dundee Creek Marina includes beach front, tidal wetlands, open fields, and deciduous/pine forests. Several short hiking trails through both wetlands and forest are available. The Hammerman Area is developed for beachfront recreation and features a swimming beach, picnic pavilions, food concessions, playgrounds, canoe/kayak and sailboat rentals, fishing, short hiking trails and two short water trails. During the winter season, the beachfront provides a great vantage point from which to scope the Gunpowder River for waterfowl. For those who wish to bird the area by boat, canoe or kayak, rentals are available at the nearby Dundee Creek Marina.  There is a lot to explore in this relatively compact area of Gunpowder Falls State Park.

Birdlife:

There are two eBird hotspots that cover these two areas of Gunpowder Falls State Park:

The Hammerman Area and Dundee Creek offer good birding year round, but especially during spring and fall migration. The park attracts a variety of seasonal migrants (warblers and vireos) and waterfowl in the winter. This area hosts nesting Bald Eagles, present year-round, and nesting Osprey are also present during the summer months. Winter brings scaup, mergansers, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, and Ruddy Ducks to the open waters of the Gunpowder River. Along with other gulls, Bonaparte’s Gulls can be seen in late March/early April. Least, Caspian, and Forster’s Terns may be found in spring and in fall migration (August-September). A good selection of sparrows, including Dark-eyed Junco, Eastern Towhee, American Tree, Chipping, Field, Fox, White-throated, Savannah, Song, and Swamp Sparrows, can be found in late fall through early spring.

Parking:

There are multiple parking areas located around the park’s central loop road. Parking is also available at Dundee Creek Marina.

Special Features:

There are extensive visitor facilities at the Hammerman area, focused on the swimming beach. Canoe and kayak rentals are offered seasonally. ◾ A large portion of Gunpowder Falls State Park, totaling 3,872 acres in four different parcels, has been designated as State Wildlands, with special protections that limit usage to passive recreation. ◾ Gunpowder Falls State Park is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network of the National Park Service.◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Baltimore Bird Club (https://mdbirds.org/join/chapters/baltimore-bird-club/). The Baltimore Bird Club is the founding chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, and remains an important hub of birding activity in the state. The club offers monthly meetings with informative presentations and a full schedule of field trips and bird walks, all free and open to the public.

Multimedia:

Episode 3202 – Blue Ribbon River: This special episode of Outdoors Maryland from Maryland Public Television explores the rich beauty and natural diversity of the Gunpowder Falls watershed in Baltimore County.

Directions:

From I-95 north of Baltimore. take exit 67A for MD Route 43 east (White Marsh Boulevard). Follow MD Route 43 to US Route 40 and take the ramp to go east on US Route 40. At the first traffic light on US Route 40, turn right (east) onto Ebenezer Road and follow it for 4.5 miles. The park entrance will be on your left. The Dundee Creek Marina is located 0.5 miles past the park entrance on the right, at 7400 Graces Quarters Road, Chase, MD 21027.

Nearby Sites:

Marshy Point Nature Center; North Point State Park, Hart-Miller Island State Park, Fort Howard Park.

Habitats:

Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerowsUpland Deciduous Garden or ArboretumLawn, Ballfields, Golf CourseSuburban Neighborhood Sandy Beach or Dunes Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainMud Flats (Tidal or Non-Tidal)Open Ocean, Bay, or EstuaryRivers & Streams

Features:

BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)Boat or Canoe/Kayak LaunchBoat RentalsFishingHiking/Walking TrailsHuntingObservation Platform or TowerParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaPlaygroundRestroomsSnack Bar, Camp Store, Food ConcessionsSwimmingWater ViewYoung People / Families

Type:

Chesapeake Bay Gateways NetworkChesapeake Bay Western ShoreState Natural Areas & WildlandsState ParksThe Rivers of the Western Shore