I “save” adventures like this for the best of days. I know it sounds weird, but in my mind I have organized our personal Buckit List by level of importance and waterfall hikes are ALWAYS in the top. There are very few within a two hour drive of central Delaware so when the forecast predicted weather in the high 60’s in January I knew it was time to go to Kilgore Falls.
It took us about an hour and a half to get there from Dover and when we turned on the dirt road it was a bit of a surprise. We definitely don’t have roads like that in DE so it was a very “we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment. This road is only wide enough for one vehicle so you just have to hope no one is coming the other way. The parking lot at the falls says “parking by permit only” which made us think we were in the wrong place. There is no box there to pay to park as usual in most Maryland state parks and even the website says that there are no fees to park there so I’m still confused by that sign. One other thing to note is that the parking lot is relatively small and there is no where else nearby to park so it is a very real possibility that you could drive there and the lot could be full. That would be a HUGE bummer so I suggest planning on being there as soon as the gates open, especially in the warmer months when you can “swim” in the water by the falls.
This is not a stroller friendly or beginner hike. The trail can be slippery and was very muddy when we were there. Our tiniest hiker fell in the mud within thirty seconds of being there. This would be a good time to remind you to always be prepared. First, you will need waterproof shoes. In the Winter that would be either rain or hiking boots and in the Summer you can use water shoes with grippy bottoms or hiking boots. There is a creek crossing that can be a little challenging with littes. Hubby carried the boys across because we were NOT prepared and they had regular shoes on. I was wearing baby girl and had sneakers on so my feet did get a little wet. Second, you will need another set of clothes for all your littles and towels. Don’t forget the extra shoes, underwear and socks. There is a port-a-potty in the parking lot but that’s it. There are no tables to picnic, so take a blanket if you want to eat there and plan to take your trash home with you.
The trail is only half a mile long so it’s extremely doable for most families. It did actually look like there was a trail that continued further at the top of the waterfall but we were getting hungry so we didn’t go farther this time. I would not consider this to be a beginner hike by any means (slippery, rocky, creek crossing), but as long as you are prepared and take your time, you will be fine. This is a must do adventure for your 2020 Buckit List. Do not put it off until next year or the year after that like I did, trust me!
You HAVE to see this live video I shot while at Kilgore Falls. Timing could not have more perfect and it’s very much a real depiction of what our adventures are like 🙂