If you have ever been to North East, Maryland, there is a strong chance that you have driven past this location without even noticing it. If you have never been there, the chances are even better. You can find an extremely historic covered bridge that spans a brook if you go a little bit further north from Cecil College. The trek into Gilpin’s Falls, located in Elkton, MD begins at that bridge and proceeds in a clockwise direction.
There is no other place quite like Gilpin’s Falls anywhere else in the United States. The North East Creek plunges around 106 feet over a distance of approximately 2,000 feet, so producing the waterfall. In addition, one of Maryland’s six covered bridges may be found right here in this town. Igneous rock and meta-rhyolite combine to form the boulders that may be found in this area. In this region, you can also find material that has crystallized from volcanic activity. Combine it with the ruins of a mill that used to be there, and you have the makings of a very unique environment that is ideal for exploration.
Samuel Gilpin, who purchased the land in 1735 and employed the power of the Falls for his saw and corn mills, is recognized as the one who gave his name to the Falls. After Samuel’s death in 1767, his family continued to run the mill property until the 1860s. Samuel’s death occurred in that year. In the year 1895, a gentleman by the name of William Warburton purchased the land that was located in the vicinity of the Falls and turned a portion of it into a power plant. In 1926, William sold the land to the Conowingo Power Company, and the new owners proceeded to close down the plant and the mills the following year, in 1930.
Since that time, the site has not undergone any significant changes; nevertheless, the mills have been removed from their previous location. The only parts of the old mills that have been preserved are the race courses and the retaining ponds, which may be found near the base of the Falls. You can find the structural foundations of barns, stone walls, and a spring house in that region if you search about. Another retention pond and a race that leads into a big pipe may be found at the very top of the Falls.
Because of the steep fall and the swift current, this is not a spot that should be visited by youngsters. Please do not climb down the boulders unless you are prepared with the appropriate hiking gear and have previous experience doing so. There is a tendency for it to turn dark there early due to the steep slope of the water; therefore, the optimum time to arrive there is around noon. If you do it this way, you will have plenty of time to travel around while the sun is up. Although traveling with a friend is not required, it is strongly encouraged that you do so so that you can discuss and learn from the experience together.