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Gunpowder Lodge: A Hungry Hiker's Haven

After hiking for two hours in Rocks State Park, we were so hungry we would have eaten anything, anywhere! "How about the Gunpowder Lodge?" I suggested.

Tom and I broke one of our golden rules: "Never eat in an empty restaurant!"

We learned from experience it's usually a bad sign. However, after hiking for two hours in Rocks State Park we were so hungry we would have eaten anything, anywhere!

"How about the ?" I suggested. We had been wanting to visit anyway, but kept putting it off at the request of our wimpy kids—who swore it was a biker bar! So silly.

Pulling up we noticed two older women leaving the restaurant and no, they did not drive off on their Harleys! So, we figured our kids must be a little mistaken. Oh yes, they were—t's not a biker bar, it's more of a ski lodge with warmly painted walls, adorned with snow shoes, big wooden canoes and ski bindings cleverly fastened to the booths for hanging your jacket.

Entering through the rustic bar, we were greeted by a friendly waitress and led to a comfy booth. A soccer match was playing on the huge flat screen TV hanging on a stone fireplace, flanked by sunny windows and one other group of "safe" looking diners who were happily eating in the other corner. "Whew, I think we're gonna be OK in here!"

One thing that's so great about this place is its location across from the Big Gunpowder Falls parking area. Belair Road is too dangerous to cross, so it's best to drive. I suppose you could swim across the river and climb up the embankment, however, the hostess might be a bit upset. There's some outdoor seating on the deck and grassy picnic area below. Perhaps she'll let you sit there? Oh, and there's a fun wooden jungle gym for the kids!

Being it was mid-afternoon (no man's land between lunch and dinner) we were a little skeptical about what to order. We decided to share the Ahi Tuna Wrap Sandwich and a large house salad. I let Tom splurge by ordering Potato Salad as our side. Yum! The wrap was delicious! And, as you can see in the photo, the salad wasn't too shabby either. We had asked for the tuna to be medium rare and it really was—kudos to the chef. I swear, some restaurants cook everything to the same temperature no matter what you order. We happily ate every single bite and it wasn't just because we were famished.

Our only complaint was they were playing different music in the bar and the dining area. We were sitting on the borderline of the two sounds and so we listened to mixed up music the entire time. Perhaps they might consider playing the same music or reworking the speakers a little.

Stuffed, we skipped dessert and asked for the bill. I handed the waitress my "Hon Fun" business card and explained what I do. She immediately disappeared and returned with an oval bumper sticker. Cute! Then she excitedly told me the owners had bought a second location in Essex, "The Old Duck Inn," she said as I earnestly wrote this down. "No," she laughed. "It used to be the Duck Inn!" Embarrassed, I quickly crossed that out. "They renamed it Sunset Cove." 

Apparently, it's on (or close to) the water and if it's as good at the Lodge, it'll be another nice place to eat. That evening, we told our kids all about it, assuring them it's a wholesome environment and no need to worry about 'bikers,' which, by the way, I want you to know I have no prejudice against. So, the next time we go, they're coming too!

Have you been to Gunpowder Lodge? Add your review to the restaurant's , or here in the comments.

Gunpowder Lodge
10092 Belair Road 
Kingsville, MD 21087
(410) 256-2626

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Jeff May 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM
There is a path under Bel Air Road that allows you to walk to Gunpowder Lodge as well, so no need to drive (or swim) if you are over at the parking lot of the park.
Carol May 15, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I have been there on two occasions... Once was dinner with a friend who has been there before. Our dinner was great. The macaroni and cheese is really good. My second time there was when my granddaughter took me there for Sunday brunch. It was excellent. Both times I have been there, the staff was very friendly.
Jackie McTear May 15, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Aha, great! Thanks for the tip....
Sarah Jane May 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM
You were lucky that the place was empty. I live behind the lodge and it is packed more often than not. Glad you enjoyed yourself and thanks for shedding a positive light on our little hidden gem. By the way, the Gunpowder Lodge is located next to Gunpowder State Park (in Baltimore County), not Rock State Park (which is in Harford County).
Jackie McTear May 15, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Thanks Sarah Jane. We had actually been to Rocks State Park and were heading home to Perry Hall, but thanks for the clarification.
Jim Jones May 15, 2012 at 08:37 PM
the second bar, Sunset Cove, is the old Wild Duck. It is on the waterfront in Bowleys Quarters. Food is very good and the orange crushes are addicting.
Jackie McTear May 16, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Thanks Jim!
Hardy Wright May 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Both places are great the brunch at the Lodge is terrific and the ice tea glasses are mini pitchers. You should visit Sunset Cove, great sunsets, good food and a terrific place to unwind.
Jackie McTear May 16, 2012 at 01:40 PM
We will definitely go, it sounds wonderful!
JD1 May 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Love both GPL and the new Sunset Cove. Hopefully the owners will fully take advantage of the waterfront location. Can't believe how previous owners dropped the ball. Try the wings - they are AWESOME!! Oh yea an added bonus - the bartenders actually have a personality and have conversations with the guests!
Voter May 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Will the GPL ever be allowed to get a deep fryer ?
Paul Amirault May 17, 2012 at 02:45 PM
No. There has always been an environmental issue next to the river as public water/sewer is not available.
Other Tim May 17, 2012 at 03:12 PM
"I let Tom splurge by ordering Potato Salad as our side." Did Tom really need to ask if he could have potato salad?
Jackie McTear May 17, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Haha! Well........
karen lancaster January 11, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Poor Tom!

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