Rocky Gap State Park
|Rocky Gap State Park|
|Maryland State Park|
Entrance to the park
|Elevation||1,201 ft (366.1 m) |
|Area||3,400 acres (1,375.9 ha)|
|Owner||Maryland Department of Natural Resources|
|IUCN category||V - Protected Landscape/Seascape|
|Nearest city||Cumberland, Maryland|
|Website: Rocky Gap State Park|
Rocky Gap State Park is a 3,400 acres (13.8 km2) park in Allegany County, Maryland. It is 7 miles (11 km) east of Cumberland on Interstate 68 (exit 50) and is about a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The park includes the man-made Lake Habeeb, which covers 243 acres (0.983 km2) and sports white sand beaches, which is fed by Rocky Gap Run and Evitts Mountain, named for the first European settler in Allegany County.
Amenities include the Rocky Gap Resort and Golf Course, developed in 1998 by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation, an agency created in 1984 that allows the State of Maryland the ability to directly own or develop property for economic development. The Rocky Gap Lodge is located on Lake Habeeb and features a 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. A 220-room lakeside lodge provides conference rooms for meetings and conventions, and a full-service restaurant and lounge overlooks the lake.
In 2009 the state sought proposals to open a 750 slot-machine casino in the park. The only bidder was Empire Resorts which did not pay the required $4.5 million licensing fee. Empire's contingent bid was based on Maryland altering its 67 percent tax on casinos -- one of the highest in the United States. A casino license was eventually awarded in late April 2012. The casino opened on May 22, 2013, with slot machines and live table games.
Rocky Gap offers a range of year-round recreation such as swimming, camping, fishing, boating and hiking.
Rocky Gap provides a variety of hiking trails, including the four-mile (6 km) Lakeside Trail and the five-mile (8 km) Evitt's Homesite Trail climbs Evitts Mountain amid streams with hemlock, mountain laurel and rhododendron growing nearby. The quarter-mile Touch of Nature Trail is a paved route to an accessible fishing dock.
Lake Habeeb is home to everything from panfish to large trophy trout and bass. Boats are allowed on Lake Habeeb 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a fee is assessed; motorboats, however, are prohibited if they are gasoline powered. Electric motors are acceptable. The park also offers paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes for rent. Fish most commonly caught by anglers at Lake Habeeb include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, rainbow trout, brown trout, channel catfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, and pumpkinseed.
Rocky Gap is also served by the Volunteer Team, Inc., a group of Western Maryland and surrounding community citizens that participate in daily operations in the park. The Team has a website located at www.volunteerteam.org
The park provides a concert stage, which can be rented. In the past, this stage was used for the Rocky Gap Country Bluegrass Festival (1988-2001). The seating capacity of the amphitheater is 3,000, and the stage area is 42 feet (13 m) by 60 feet (18 m).
- "Lake Habeeb". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 1992-09-01. Retrieved 2009-11-04.
- State rejects New York group’s Rocky Gap slots proposal times-news.com - February 13, 2009
- 'Rocky Gap Music Pavilion', DNC Architects, published 2001
- Rock Gap Resort Rocky Gap Resort: located at Rocky Gap State Park
- Official website of Rocky Gap State Park
- mdMountainside: Rocky Gap
- Rocky Gap State Park in World Database on Protected Areas
- DNR: Rocky Gap Lodge