Take exit 89, Rt.155 off I-95. Proceed west to Rt.161. Turn right on Rt.161, then right onto Rock Run Rd. Follow to the park. Park in the picnic area parking lot (Historic Area on map).
Located along the Susquehanna River valley with its heavy forest cover and massive rock outcroppings, Susquehanna State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities as well as historical significance.
The Park contains a very family friendly campground with traditional campsites and cabins. History buffs will be drawn to the many restored historical buildings and sites within the park as well as historic towns on the outskirts. (see historical note below). Other facilities include: boat launch, campfire programs, fishing, flat water canoeing, picnicking, pavilions, playground, riding trails, bow hunting area and archery range.
The park is home to some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Maryland. Trails visit historical areas, hardwood forests and rolling agricultural fields with opportunities to observe herds of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. There are lots of bald eagles, osprey and herons too. The park is also noted for it's beautiful wildflowers in the Spring.
Riders have a choice of easier cruising on the 2.2 mile (one-way) Lower Susquehanna Greenway Trail and intermediate and advanced riding on over 15 miles of marked and maintained, challenging dry single-track. The trails traverse a varied terrain of wooded ridges and valleys. At times they overlook and flank the wide Susquehanna River offering fantastic river views.
Riding these trails involve small creek crossings, steep climbs and technical descents. The trails come close to ledges with steep drop-offs and riders must transverse rock steps. Helmets are highly recommended for everyone, and required for those under 16. Carry in all water; primitive restroom facilities are available at the picnic area.
Mountain bike races are also held here. Every year, "The Adventure Race" usually takes place around mid-September.
Lower Susquehanna Valley Greenway Trail: Runs between the Conowingo Dam and Stafford Road at Deer Creek. It is an excellent flat trail for family hike and bike outings. It is also handicapped accessible. 2.2 miles one-way. Easy cruising. (see Other Trails: above for more details)
Ivy Branch Trail: 2 miles (easy to
Land of Promise Trail: 1.6 miles (moderate)
Farm Road Trail: 2 miles (moderate)
Rock Run "Y" Trail: .9 mile (moderate)
Deer Creek Trail: 2.1 miles (moderate
Susquehanna Ridge Trail: 3 miles (difficult)
The history of the Susquehanna River Valley demonstrates the reliance that pioneer settlers placed on waterways for both power and transportation. That story is told at Susquehanna State Park. Several buildings at Susquehanna State Park which are associated with the river's history have been restored and are open to the public.
Rock Run Grist Mill
Rock Run Grist Mill was erected in 1794 by John Stump, a prosperous businessman who owned several mills in Harford, Cecil, and Baltimore counties. It is a three story stone structure and is fully operational. Inside are displays of 19th century farm and mill equipment. The water powered mill is operated during the summer months.
Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal
Between the mill and the river runs a section of the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal, which was built in 1836. The canal linked Havre de Grace with Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. With mule drawn barges plying its waters, it was a major commercial waterway until 1889. Two of the canal locks are within the park's boundary.
Jersey Toll House
Up the river from the mill is a little white frame building known as the Jersey Toll House. The toll house once served a covered bridge that spanned the Susquehanna at this point.
Rock Run House
Across the road from the toll house, this majestic 14 room stone mansion was built in 1804 by John Carter, a partner of John Stump in the Rock Run Mill. Several rooms are restored and furnished with period antiques. Associated with the mansion are a large stone barn and a stone spring house. The barn houses examples of early farm equipment and water still runs clear and cold in the spring house.
Stepping Stone Museum
located within the park, the museum preserves and demonstrates the rural arts and crafts of the 1880-1920 period.
At the lower end of the park, this settlement traces its history to 1683 with the granting of land patents for the tracts "Paradise," "Elberton" and "Vincent's Castle." As the surrounding land was transformed from wilderness to farmland, Lapidum grew in importance as a commercial center. Corn and tobacco grew along the river bank at Lapidum and a bustling fishing industry developed here.
For more information:State Park Website: Maryland Department of Natural Resources