Kilgore Falls is the second highest free-falling waterfall in the state of Maryland, but by far the most picturesque. The falls are located on the Falling Branch tributary of Deer Creek. Situated due west of the town of Pylesville, since it’s opening to the public in 1993 the falls are part of a northern annex of Rocks State Park.
The “Kilgore Falls” area of Rocks State Park is approximately 67 acres, accessible by road via a parking lot off of Falling Branch Road. If you’re using a map to locate the falls, the actual address is 1026 Falling Branch Road, Pylesville, MD 21132.
Here’s a road map of the area:
For photographers, the Falls offers a bevy of perspectives to shoot. In my opinion though, the downstream views (standing downstream and looking upstream) offer the most aesthetically pleasing potential. From the south (downstream), you get a partially tucked away shot of the falls behind a huge boulder. You’ll probably capture colorful, wet rocks and pebbles in the foreground.
Once you get about 10-15 feet downstream from the pool, the water is typically shallow enough to wade around without any serious footing issues.
From the west you can grab a head-on shot of Kilgore, and if you are careful with your footing, a tight view from the north is possible if you don’t mind setting up shop on some very slippery rocks. I’ve found the view from the west and north to be somewhat compositionally awkward, but still fun to get.
The Falls are also frequented by swimmers and those seeking a picnic with beautiful ambiance. Swimmers can make getting photographs challenging as they tend to hang around in a small pool just below the landing spot of the Falls.
If you decide to shoot the falls, I’d recommend bringing one wide-angle lens (15-21mm), and a medium range lens (between a focal length of 35-55mm). The wide-angle will be helpful from the North and West as the shots tend to be pretty close to the Falls, while the medium range lens will come in handy from the south. If you prefer zooms, a 24-70 lens will be sufficient, although having a wide-angle zoom would be helpful as well.
You can also get a good view of the Falls from above…it’s a relatively easy walk up to the top.
The Falls are about a quarter-mile easy hike from the parking lot. The only moderately challenging portion of the hike is when you cross the stream to access the path which takes you to the falls. The rocks can be very slippery around that portion of the stream, so watch your footing.
For those of you who live in the central Maryland area, Kilgore Falls offers you a nice, easy-to-get-to opportunity to practice on your long exposures and waterscape/waterfall imagery.
2 thoughts on “Kilgore Falls”
Beautiful work, Jeb!
Thank you Harold. Your work on your website is incredible. You have a very unique way of working with light that is exceptional.