Rocky Gap State Park is located in Western Maryland’s Allegany County. The park encompasses over 3,000 acres of public land for visitors to enjoy. Rugged mountains surround the park, featuring 243-acre Lake Habeeb. The lake is fed by Rocky Gap Run, which winds its way through an impressive mile-long gorge, displaying sheer cliffs, overlooks and a hemlock forest dense with rhododendron and mountain laurel. Overlooking the lake is Evitt’s Mountain, named for one of the first European settlers in Allegany County.
Day Use Visitor Facility
The entrance to the Rocky Gap State Park day use area will be undergoing renovation from early March through the end of May 2013. The park will remain open during this time but vehicle access to the day use area may occasionally be limited or delayed. The project includes addition of a travel lane, installing two new entrance booths and replacing gates. Please contact the park at 301-722-1480 for additional information.
Rocky Gap State Park's visitor facility is located in the Day Use Area and was designed with a nod to an architectural style known as "Parkitecture," the rustic nature inspired structure blends beautifully with the surrounding landscape. The facility is made up of three buildings connected by covered walkways. The snack bar area has panoramic windows overlooking the lake as well as indoor and outdoor seating. Hot and cold menu items are available throughout the summer season, including hand dipped ice cream! The center building is home to a Ranger Station. Finally, the third building is a spacious Men’s and Women’s Bathhouse which has fully accessible toilet, shower and changing room areas.
Pets are allowed in Rocky Gap State Park in the following areas:
- Leashed pets are allowed on trails
- Leashed pets are allowed in Ash, Birch, Chestnut, Dogwood and Elm camp loops and common areas of campground
- Leashed pets allowed in day-use area (except for sandy portion of swimming beach areas)
- Unleashed pets are allowed in the lake except for the sandy portion of the swimming beach areas. Pets must be leashed when back on land.
It's never too late to discover the joys of sitting around a roaring campfire, roasting marshmallows or sleeping under the stars!
With the new OPERATION: CAMPOUT! Program, we can lend you gear free of charge (includes a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and more). This program is designed for military individuals and military families new to camping or experienced campers stationed or recovering in this area. OPERATION: CAMPOUT! is an opportunity for families to reconnect with each other and the great outdoors in a comfortable, safe and relaxing setting.
Campsites have picnic tables and fire pits. Some sites have electric hook-ups. Restrooms and shower facilities are nearby.
Contact the park office directly by phone to make your reservation. Be sure to let us know you are reserving through OPERATION: CAMPOUT!
Bicycle Helmets are required by Maryland State Law
- Helmets are required for everyone under the age of 16, including passengers, who ride their bicycles on the road, bicycle paths, or any public property. (TR § 21-1207.1)
- Helmets are also required for everyone under the age of 16 who are riding on a scooter or on in-line skates. (TR § 21-1207.2)
- The helmets must meet or exceed the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American Society for Testing and Materials. (TR § 21-1207.1)
Make reservations online at http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us or call the reservation center at 1-888-432-2267. TTY users call 1-866-804-7846.
Mountain View Pavilion is located in the Day Area, near the public beaches. The pavilion accommodates up to 80 people. This pavilion features private restrooms, service counters, large grills and access to all day area beaches and amenities. Users and guests of this pavilion are subject to paying the park entrance fee during the season.
White Pine Pavilion is located along Pleasant Valley Road near the public boat launch. This pavilion is nestled under a shady grove of white pine trees and accommodates up to 125 people. There are bathrooms and ample parking.
Lakeview Pavilion is located along Pleasant Valley Road. This pavilion accommodates up to 125 people. This pavilion features a private restroom, parking and a large open field perfect for weddings, family reunions and large group gatherings.
If you are looking for a place to host your outdoor wedding, reception, a small concert, or other special event, the amphitheater offers the perfect facility. The amphitheatre at Rocky Gap is available for daily rental. Applications for special events are available at the park office. Rocky Gap State Park is located just seven miles east of Cumberland, surrounded by mountains for the most breathtaking views and backdrop for your special event. Seating capacity is 3,000. The stage area is 42 feet x 60 feet of smooth finish, rose colored concrete. There is no overhead cover installed on the stage area.
For more information on daily rentals of the amphitheatre at Rocky Gap State Park, please contact the park office at 301-722-1487.
Camping & Cabins
Make reservations online at http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us or call the reservation center at 1-888-432-2267. TTY users call 1-866-804-7846.
Rocky Gap Campground offers 278 individual campsites (including 30 equipped with 30 amp electric hook-ups), a family group site and two youth group camping areas. The campground also features a dump station, bathhouses with hot water in each loop, a boat ramp, canoe and kayak rentals, a nature center, a private swimming beach and a camp store. Pets are allowed in Camp Loops Ash, Birch, Chestnut, Dogwood and Elm (Sites 1- 143).
The Family Group Site offers space for up to 40 people to camp together. The group site includes a two-story mini cabin with electric, as well as six electric hookups and a group fire ring. Bathhouses are located in the adjacent camp loops.
The two Youth Group areas are for use by valid youth groups only. Please see http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/youthgroup.asp for more information.
There are 14 mini cabins located throughout the campground. They sleep either four or six people. Each has electricity (no water) and beds. Users must provide their own linens.
The Easter Hill Chalet accommodates up to eight people. A completely furnished kitchen, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, wrap-around deck, gas fireplaces, outdoor campfire area and grill make this an enjoyable vacation spot. Effective January 1, 2013, Chalet guests must provide their own linens, towels, bedding, pillows, and soaps. The chalet is located in a forested, private area of the park, overlooking the lake. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there is a seven-day minimum stay of Saturday to Saturday. Out-of-season there is a two-night minimum. Make reservations online at http://reservations.dnr.state.md.us or call the reservation center at 1-888-432-2267. TTY users call 1-866-804-7846.
Trails & Hiking
Rocky Gap offers a variety of hiking trails for guests to enjoy. The Lakeside Trail, a moderate 4.5 mile trail that encircles Lake Habeeb, offers hikers scenic beauty of the area. Crossing over four-foot bridges, trekking along the shoreline and winding through the woodlands are what makes this such a diverse trail.
A magnificent view of the one mile long gorge is the gift hikers will get when they reach the overlook on the one-quarter mile long Canyon Overlook Trail. This trail offers visitors a short but scenic hike.
“Rock hop” down into the canyon on the challenging five-mile long Evitt’s Homesite Trail and find yourself surrounded by hemlock, mountain laurel and rhododendron. Cross the small cascading stream on the footbridge and begin to climb Evitt’s Mountain, named for one of Allegany County’s first European settlers. This is an ambitious trail that climbs about 1,000 feet in elevation in 2.5 miles (5 miles round-trip). Plan to take water and a camera and spend a couple of hours hiking to the top of the mountain. This trail offers a great hike for those willing to take the challenge.
The one-quarter mile long Touch of Nature Trail offers hikers of all ability levels a fully accessible paved trail. Benches line the hemlock-edged path that leads to the fishing dock and connects with the Lakeside Trail.
Walk 100 feet into the woods from the road to the Touch of Nature Parking Lot, to visit the Lemel Bucy Family Cemetery. The Bucy Cemetery is an excellent example of a 19th Century rural cemetery. Originally owned by Caleb Luman, the land was sold to Lemel Bucy, whose family used the cemetery during the 1800’s, until the property was sold in 1900. The parcel of land passed through five owners before the Maryland Commission of Forests and Parks purchased it in 1964. The cemetery features many Civil War era stones, including for two children who perished only days apart.
- To purchase copies of the Rocky Gap State Park Trail Guide with a credit card, please "click" on this link to place your order online.
- To purchase copies of the Rocky Gap State Park Trail Guide with a check, please "click" on this link to print an order form.
Boating & Fishing
Rocky Gap State Park's Lake Habeeb offers year-round recreational opportunities. Boats are allowed on Lake Habeeb 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Navigational lights are required after sunset. Only electric powered motors are allowed on Lake Habeeb. Gasoline powered motors are prohibited. A public boat ramp is located within the park, along Pleasant Valley Road. Rental boats, including canoes and kayaks, are available in the day-use beach area and at the campground beach, for campground users.
Fishing is permitted 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The lake is home to panfish, trout, catfish and large and smallmouth bass. A valid Maryland Non-Tidal/Freshwater Fishing License is required for those 16 years of age and older.
To help maintain a healthy fish population, park volunteers have added artificial fish habitats throughout the lake. Brown trout and rainbow trout are stocked throughout the year.
To purchase a Maryland fishing license, call the licensing service center, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, at 1-800-918-2870. Callers may start fishing immediately with a confirmation number.
Rocky Gap is one of Maryland's many state parks that allow hunting activities for the public. At Rocky Gap there are 1,451 acres of land designated for hunting. This area can be accessed by walking from the parking area at the Touch of Nature Trailhead or by walking in from the campground or campground office.
A separate 300-acre tract of land between Pleasant Valley Road and I-68 offers bow only hunting. Parking is available at the park office and at the amphitheatre on Pleasant Valley Road.
Hunting areas are marked with signs and safety areas are posted. Please recognize all hunting regulations and safety precautions. Remember to keep all weapons unloaded and cased until you are within a designated hunting area. Hunters are asked to take into consideration that recreational trails do pass into the managed hunting areas. Rocky Gap State Park offers a distinct hunting program for individuals who possess a permit to hunt from a vehicle. For specific information refer to the Maryland DNR – Guide to Hunting and Trapping for current seasons.
Hunters may enter / remain on park property outside of the regular posted hours provided that they are engaged in legitimate, authorized hunting activity.
Programs & Activities
Nature Center & Interpretive Programs
Rocky Gap State Park's interpretive programs are based out of the nature center. Throughout the summer, the nature center offers daily activities to educate visitors about natural and cultural resources and experience the exciting features of the outdoor environment.
Interpretive activities include nature hikes, talks, nature crafts, demonstrations, children's programs, campfire programs and special events. The Nature Center has open hours for visitors to explore the building and its many exhibits.
Group programs are also available upon request throughout the year and can be tailored to accommodate group needs. To learn more about the interpretive programs available, please contact Ranger Wieners at 301-722-8966 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
“Scales and Tales” is an educational program using injured, non-releasable birds of prey and reptiles native to Maryland. Featured at the aviary are many birds that have been injured and cannot be released or have been raised in captivity and could not survive in the wild.
This one-of-a-kind program allows visitors the opportunity to view wildlife up close and hear the tales of how the animals became part of the program.
Our "Critter Encounter" program will bring our birds direct to your campsite. If you are looking for something unique at your next gathering, a Scales and Tales program can be scheduled as part of your special event. To check for program availability, scheduling or to receive information on program costs, please contact the park office at 301-722-8966 or via e-mail to Ranger Wieners at firstname.lastname@example.org
According to legend, Jacob Evart was the first white, European (Englishman) settler to come to what is now known as Allegany County. He settled on top of the mountain that overlooks Rocky Gap. According to the story, Mr. Evart (the mountain is named Evitt’s Mountain), around 1730, moved to the wildlands of Western Maryland after suffering a disappointing relationship. Also named for Mr. Evart is the creek that Rocky Gap’s water ultimately empties into – Evitt’s Creek. The “Homesite Trail” leads hikers to the top of the mountain where Mr. Evart’s home once stood. Remains of a well are all that is left, today.
Just 100 feet into the woods from the road to the Touch of Nature Parking Lot is the Lemel Bucy Family Cemetery. The Bucy Cemetery is an excellent example of a 19th Century rural cemetery. Originally owned by Caleb Luman, the land was sold to Lemel Bucy, whose family used the cemetery during the 1800’s, until the property was sold in 1900. The parcel of land passed through five owners before the Maryland Commission of Forests and Parks purchased it in 1964. The cemetery features many Civil War era stones, including for two children who perished only days apart.
The day use area of Rocky Gap State Park is situated on the former Clover Hill Farm, a dairy farm that was owned and operated by the McLuckie Family throughout most of the 1900’s, until just before the park was established. Until 1998, the original Clover Hill barn stood just off of the Exit 50 ramp, at the park’s entrance. The McLuckie’s purchased 162 acres of land from Mr. Thomas Pownell, who had purchased a much larger tract of farmland that had been known as the Bretz Farm and encompassed much of present day Rocky Gap. At the time, portions of the land were known as “Clover Hill,” “Pleasant Valley,” and “Great Friendship.”
Mr. Edward Habeeb (pronounced Hay-Bib), President of the Route 40 Association, donated land to be established as a state park. He, along with approximately 40 other land owners, provided land and many were compensated $10.00 for their land, with the understanding that a park would be built on the property. The McLuckie Family was paid $100,000.00 for their portion of the land. Mr. Habeeb was a nearby resident. Although he was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1895, he came to Allegany County in 1913, first settling in Westernport, before opening a florist business in Piedmont, and ultimately moving his business to what became Route 40 and is now Interstate 68. His home and business location still stand today, operated as “Rocky Gap Gifts,” to the left off of I-68, westbound. The shop is not associated with or owned by the State of Maryland or the park.
Pursuant to Senate Resolution 2 of the 1950 Special Session of the Maryland General Assembly, the Maryland State Planning Commission commissioned a recreational survey of Western Maryland. The idea of constructing a park at Rocky Gap was suggested to Senator Charles See, by the Lions Club, who then presented the proposal to the Director of the Department of Forest and Parks, Mr. Joseph Kaylor. The Route 40 Association was then organized to promote business and industry in Allegany County, through improved highways and a recreational facility at Rocky Gap. The organization, under the leadership of Mr. Habeeb, obtained the support of Governors Tawes and Mandel. The beginning phase involved the purchase of the McLuckie’s farm in December of 1963, after which another 2,212 acres were acquired by December of 1966.
Rocky Gap State Park formally opened on July 17, 1974, in great part due to the efforts of Mr. Habeeb, for whom the park’s lake is named. In 1970, the dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers to impound Rocky Gap Run and create Lake Habeeb. The 243-acre lake is typical of all Maryland lakes in that it requires a dam and is thus man-made. Maryland has no natural lakes. The park was dedicated on September 18, 1976. The campground opened to the public in 1978. Including the General Construction Loan of 1975, approximately $7.9 million was appropriated for land acquisition and development of Rocky Gap State Park.
From the beginning of the park’s development, there were plans for a golf course and hotel. The Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort came to fruition in 1998, with $33 million in private financing from a bond issue and $16 million in state funding. The Lodge & Resort features 220 rooms and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
Volunteers & Internships
Members of the Volunteer Team have donated over 300,000 hours of service since the inception of the Team in 1992. The Volunteer Team sponsors and provides assistance for numerous special events for the public including a Memorial Day fun fair for children camping at Rocky Gap, Independence Day activities and a Labor Day corn roast. On Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day weekends the Team also hosts campground karaoke for campers.
Support is provided to park and forest visitors on a continuing basis through the Camp Host and Volunteer Ranger programs. These volunteers are publicly visible and help to promote goodwill and understanding of the park to campers and visitors.
Volunteer schedules are very flexible. Volunteers may commit to a weekly or monthly schedule or help on an as-needed basis. No amount of time donated is too small. Many of the projects are scheduled for the evenings or on the weekends so that working volunteers and students may participate.
If you are interested in volunteering at Rocky Gap State Park, please call 301-722-1480.
Rocky Gap State Park offers a variety of unpaid internships for motivated students. Opportunities are available in several areas, including interpretation, volunteer management, office management, concession management, IT/website management, maintenance, special event coordination, marketing, natural resource management, trail management, grant writing, special operations, emergency services, Spanish language and cultural adaptations, park operations, and sports management.
Internships are available throughout the year and are unpaid. Students are expected to perform at least 150 hours of service, according to a flexible schedule. Internships may be conducted during block semesters, over the summer, or during the winter.
Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and three character references to Ranger Milbourne. Applicants will be required to complete a volunteer application and student internship program application. The selection process will begin after all required materials are received and the applicant will be notified in advance of the requested internship. For additional internship information, please call 301-722-1487.
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and areas west:
Take I-279 south to I-79 south (Washington, PA) to I-68 east (Morgantown, WV) and follow I-68 east for approximately 78 miles. Take the Rocky Gap State Park exit (Exit 50). Make a left crossing over I-68 and the park's headquarters is on the right.
From Washington, D.C.: (approximately 150 miles)
Take I-270 north to I-70 west to I-68 west. Take the Rocky Gap State Park exit (Exit 50). The park's headquarters is located on the right.
From Baltimore, Maryland: (approximately 130 miles)
Take I-70 west to I-68 west to Exit 50 for Rocky Gap State Park. The park's headquarters is located to the right.
Rocky Gap State Park
12500 Pleasant Valley Road
Flintstone MD 21530
Contact Rocky Gap
Hours of Operation
Sunrise to Sunset
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us