Called the "Stream of the Presidents" because of its proximity to Camp David, Hunting Creek is the most accessible trout stream in Maryland with natural trout populations as fly fishers can use the many pull-out parking areas located along Route 77 which parallels the creek as both wind down the mountain.  

Located within Cunningham Falls State Park above Thurmont in Frederick County, the minimum guaranteed stream flows from Cunningham Falls Lake together with long standing special regulations have allowed for a naturally reproducing stream-bred population of brown trout within the creek. There may now also be spawning rainbow trout as holdovers from earlier stockings.  There are plenty of small waterfalls, riffles and pools, the stream that provide many places to cast for trout. With campsites within the State Park, more fishing available in Cummingham Falls Lake, and miles of hiking trails, this Trail site just calls for a several day stay to enjoy everything it has to offer.

Fees & Accessibility

There is no fee for accessing Hunting Creek, but there is a fee for accessing Hunting Creek Lake. A handicapped accessible fishing pier is available at Hunting Creek Lake.

Site Location

Nested within Cunningham Falls State Park, Big Hunting Creek flows downstream through the Thurmont, Maryland on its southeasterly journey to meet up with the Monocacy River.


Cunningham Falls State Park, North Beach Circle, Thurmont, Maryland 21788

How to Get There

From Interstate-70, take the exit to north on Route 15 and then take the exit onto Route 77/Rocky Ridge Road as you pass by in Thurmont. Continue, then along Route 77/Rocky Ridge Road through Cunningham Falls State Park as it parallels Big Hunting Creek.


Hunting Creek parking is located within Cunningham Falls State Park along Route 77/Rocky Ridge Road in roadside small 1-2 car sized dirt and gravel parking areas. Parking for Hunting Creek Lake is located off North Beach Circle, Thurmont, MD 21788 within Cunningham Falls State Park.

Boat Rentals

Boat rentals available at Eastern Watersports Cunningham Falls Rentals located at 14274 William Houck Dr, Thurmont, MD 21788.

Where to Fish

The stream is divided into two sections. The lower “canyon” section has a steep gradient with deep plunge pools, all underneath a hemlock canopy. The upper section above Camp Peniel Bridge has a lower gradient with longer pools and riffles, fish this section up to the road below the dam. You can fly fish Hunting Creek from the bank or by wading in the creek. You can fly fish Hunting Creek Lake from the shoreline or by kayak, canoe or small boat. Use the concrete boat launch next to the parking lot for launching your boat into Hunting Creek Lake. Please be aware that gasoline motors are prohibited, but electric motors may be used.

What to Catch

In the creek: Brown and rainbow trout

In the lake: Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish and black crappie

What to Fish & How

A 4 weight 7 1/2 or 8-foot 4 weight fly rod, with a 7 1/2-foot leader works fine. Most of the traditional eastern fly patterns such as blue wing olives and hendricksons in the spring, tan and olive caddis during the spring and summer, parachute Adams, Wulff, coachman and trudes, and in the summer, ants, beetles and green inch worms are all effective patterns for the resident brown trout.

Fly Fishing Organizations

Connect with local fly fishing organizations to learn about mentoring opportunities and to connect with others interested in fly fishing.