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Kilgore Falls - Pylesville, MD

Kilgore Falls - Pylesville, MD

As we kick off August there are definitely hot days ahead. This time of year we love chasing waterfalls and finding cool creeks to splash around in. One such waterfall isn't here in Lancaster, but if you're local or near the area it's worth exploring to beat the heat this summer!

This waterfall is just across the border in Pylesville, MD. It's known by multiple names, but you can find it on Google Maps by searching for Kilgore Falls. This is the second largest free-falling waterfall in the state of Maryland, and it is a beautiful sight.  Check out the image below ...

 

To access the Falls you will have to park at the Falling Branch Area of Rock State Park. There is a small 28 spot parking area on Falling Branch Road that fills up quickly, so be sure to get there early as they strictly enforce their no parking policy along the road and in the grass. This is a very popular area, so get there early and avoid weekends and holidays. It actually took us two trips to see the falls. The park grounds are open sunrise to sunset, but the parking lot is open at 8am from March through October, and 10am from November to February.

Once you park the falls trail is approximately a 1/2 mile single track hike to the falls. It is NOT wheelchair or stroller accessible, and large coolers are also discouraged. The trail is narrow, rocky and filled with roots, but it's not a strenuous hike by any means. The kids had no problem keeping up, until the falls tired them out of course.

That's because swimming and wading are permitted at the falls. No lifeguard is on duty and cliff jumping is highly discouraged as people have been seriously injured here before.  You should also note that there are no picnic tables, no restrooms, and no trash cans. Keep it light going in and make sure that you leave nothing behind.

This isn't the tallest waterfall I've ever seen, but it is a gorgeous area. Don't just take my word for it, I had my Insta360 Nano along for this adventure. Checkout what I capture below ... 


360 view on Kuula.co

Below you will find a 360 photo I captured with my Insta360 Nano. Not the best 360 photo I've ever captured, but I good sense of what it's like at the base of the falls.

More of Rock State Park

In the event you can't get into the parking lot, or maybe you're looking for more adventure, the main section of Maryland's Rock State Park is home to the King and Queen Seat Overlook. A really fabulous rock outcrop with a stunning view of the valley 190 feet below. Check out this short video ...

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Safe Harbor Dam

Safe Harbor Dam

Last week we had a bit of a warm snap and we very excited to get out of the house and explore a little. Once of the places we visited was the safe harbor dam. I had a very particular photo I was after that day. Too soon for details, but we'll just say it had to do with the Conestoga River Inlet to the Susquehanna River. Fun stuff coming up this summer!!

That's where you'll find the Safe Harbor Dam, sitting just above the inlet in Conestoga, PA. The massive gravity dam and hydroelectric power station is one of three concrete gravity dams along the Lower Susquehanna River from the Great Depression-era. It's 75ft tall, and 4,869 feet long, and at the time of our visit the river flow was 66,000 cubic feet per second!

Brookfield Renewables purchased the dam a few years ago, but continue to allow public access for fishing out on the bridge. A sign on the property directs inquiries to pa@brookfieldrenewable.com. Here's a snapshot of their rules:

Safe Harbor Visitor Rules posted on the staircase to the point at the Conestoga River Inlet.


360 Video:

Come take a walk with me on the stoplog bridge! I had my Kodak SP3604ks with me to capture the Public Fishing area in 360! Have a look around:

Flat Video:


Photos:

Safe Harbor Dam viewed from the point where the waters of the Conestoga River join the Susquehanna River.

That massive trestle stretching over the Conestoga River will one day in the next few years connect the Manor Township section of the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail with the southern portion of the trail that stretches all the way to Atglen. As you can see, the point where the Conestoga River meets the Susquehanna is popular for fishing. The shore of the point can be access via a staircase below the visitor parking area.

360 Roundtop Mountain Resort

360 Roundtop Mountain Resort

Half way through December and the weather hasn't quite been ready to give us snow yet. There was a light dusting on the western edge of Lancaster County last weekend, but nothing more than a few sporadic flurries over my way. It just so happens I know where you snow lovers like myself can find some.  To find it we'll have to hit the road and venture west a little to Roundtop Mountain Resort.

I knew that SkiRoundtop was going to be opening some of the slopes this week for Skiing and Snowboarding, and then Tubing over the weekend. I had seen a few photos of them making snow earlier this week and wanted to take a peek. I really dislike cold weather, but snow is entirely different. Love snow!

To make things a little interesting I got the kids excited by telling them we were going to go find some snow. Zoe, ever vigilant, instantly KNEW that there was no snow "because it didn't snow last night, duh". However, I convinced her that maybe it had snowed somewhere else. Then she tagged a wagger onto it. The deal was that if I couldn't find snow I would have to take her and her brother directly to Chuck E Cheese's for dinner. I had already spoken to the folks at Roundtop Mountain Resort about stopping by, so game-on little lady. 

360 Video


Photos

Here are a few photos I captured while we were there. The snow crews were out in force building up the Terrain park for opening day. Outside of that it was a pretty quiet. The last quiet evening the resort will see for a while. 

If you make your way up to Roundtop Mountain Resort be sure to share your pics and videos on our Facebook Page and tag #GrandLancaster on Instagram!

The west of Roundtop Mountain Resort just after Sunset.

Snow crews working on the Terrain Park the night before opening day. 

Fife and Drum trail just behind the Roundtop map. 

The western edge of Roundtop Mountain Resort reflecting in the pond at the base of the Mountain. 

The eastern edge of Rountop Mountain Resort behind the Snow Tubing parking lot. 

Save it onto your Google Maps:


Explore more of Grand Lancaster ...

360 Drives 001  Welsh Mountains to Valleys

360 Drives 001 Welsh Mountains to Valleys

As many of you reading the blog already know, I am a huge fan of 360 imagery. I have been contributing Street Views to Google Maps for the last few years and even carried a Google Trekker around Lancaster County (check that story out here). Well after much planning and about a year and a half of waiting I recently crossed the threshold from 360 stills to 360 video. Super PUMPED about that!

Now that I got my hands on my Kodak SP360 Dual Pro Pack I have wasted no time in getting started. There are so many cool ideas swimming in my head already and I'm not going to make you wait to share them. I've always said over the last few years "we're in a constant state of evolution". Ironically, so is the 360 and Virtual Reality world. It has been an amazing industry to watch over the last few years and I'm so glad to be able to get into this format and see what we can do.

I figured I would start things off with some driving tests. So the other day after picking my daughter up from school we took a little drive from Overlys Grove up over the eastern most edge of the Welsh Mountains. Then we headed through the valleys on the other side as we headed towards Upper Leacock. 

Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think!! Check out the links below if you're interested in trying a cardboard or slightly better VR viewer. I think it's a really cool experience!

The Route