Self-Guided Opportunities
Location Put and take trout fishing on the lower Big Gunpowder Falls
Gunpowder Falls State Park central area, Baltimore County, 410-592-2897
From Cromwell Bridge Road to just above the I-95 bridge. Trout are stocked between Cromwell Bridge Road and Route 1 (Belair Road).
Access Parking is located along the Big Gunpowder Falls where the following roads cross the stream: Harford Road, Belair Road and Jones Road. Use park designated trails to access the river.
Suitable For Families? Yes
Difficulty Easy
Hazards/Restrictions Anglers aged 16 and over need a freshwater fishing license and trout stamp. There are no tackle restrictions. Check the Maryland Freshwater Fishing Guide for current creel limits and size. Fishing below the B&O Railroad Bridge requires the Chesapeake Bay Sportfishing License. Check for ticks upon returning.
Potable Water None
Natural Features A piedmont river valley gorge lines the Big Gunpowder Falls with a beech, oak, hickory and tulip poplar hardwood forest. Several scenic tributaries enter the Big Gunpowder. A rapids section along the river below Route 1 is nicknamed "Pot Rocks," due to deep potholes created in the river bedrock from water action/erosion.
Historic/Cultural Features The river passes the sites of several mill and homestead ruins, including Carroll Sawmill ruins and millrace c. 1833. One section of the river just before I-95 is named Long Calm. It was once a ford used before 1692. In 1754 a ferry was used to cross the river at this spot. Lafayette with his troops camped at Long Calm while passing through during the American Revolution.
Rentals/Services None available in the immedate area. Food, bait and tackle are available in the towns of Bel Air or Perry Hall.
Camping Organized youth group camping is available at Camp Cone off Harford Road.
Other Points of Interest Put and take fishing is also available on the Little Gunpowder Falls nearby. Within an hour's drive are several other streams with put and take fishing, including Little Falls, Deer Creek, Big Elk Creek and Principio Creek. Scenic hiking trails wind throughout the floodplains and hills following the stream. The Jerusalem Mill Museum and Visitor Center is open on weekends from 1-4 p.m. and displays milling artifacts and village memorabilia. The Jericho Covered Bridge is a short walk from the mill.
Other Accommodations Hotels/motels are available in Edgewood and Perry Hall.
Service Charges or Permits A fee is required for the Maryland Freshwater Fishing License and the trout stamp. Both can be purchased at the Bel Air Regional Service Center or some area sporting goods stores.
Description The Big Gunpowder Falls is a warm water fishery that can be wet waded in the late spring and summer, dependent on water levels and temperature. The river consists of long riffles and deeper pools. Access from park trails provide for bank fishing or stream wading that is suitable for families. Trout (mostly rainbows) are stocked in the spring from Cromwell Bridge Road to Route 1 (Belair Road).

This put and take fishing opportunity for trout is available using bait, flies or artificial lures. Other species that can be caught include large mouth bass, small mouth bass, bluegills, sunfish and catfish. The lower sections of the stream are habitat for Hickory shad, White and Yellow perch in the spring.

During mid to late summer or drought conditions the stream has poor fishing conditions due to minimal or no flow from Loch Raven Reservoir. Check the current Maryland Freshwater Fishing Guide for creel limits and special regulations. Fishing is permitted year-round, except during closure periods for stocking. Check current fishing regulations for specific dates.

Resources Recommended Gear and Safety Tips
  • Bait, fly and spin casting tackle are all suitable
  • Wear shoes suitable for wading (no felt-soled waders or boots)
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and a hat when fishing from the grassy bank area to provide protection from ticks
  • First aid kit
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen