Hiking Trails

This page describes some of my favorite hiking trails.

In the photo above, I am hiking in Dolly Sods Wilderness on October 10, 2011.

See map for all the hiking routes that I have documented.

About this web pageOpen accordion icon
This state-centric page describes the hiking trails I've hiked or intend to hike in the mid-Atlantic region. It is very focused on Maryland. Please send me an email if you find
  • Incorrect information that I've listed.
  • Broken links.

  • I do not intend to list every hiking trail in the mid-Atlantic region but if I've hiked it, I will list it along with some good trailheads.


    In 2021-2022, I started using a Google Maps application programming interface (API) to simplify the reporting process, linking my notes to a map that also links back to my notes. I also spent a lot of time learning JavaScript so I could create clickable maps to enable readers to find trailheads using a graphical user interface (GUI). Hopefully, the time I invested into creating this website will make it easier for you to find and get to your destination, thereby minimizing your effort and maximizing your time and enjoyment on the trail.

    For the maps that I've created, left click on the marker to display a choice of hyperlinks:
    Get Directions: Clicking this pulls up a Google Maps page that will show the access point and allow you to click on the "Directions" button so you can enter your location and get directions to the trailhead or parking area.
    Saki notes: Clicking this will take you back to my text writeup of the route where you may find links to my blogs for this area.

    I tried to be thorough in reporting the location of trailheads and where to park. I often do not report hours and fees because they are subject to change so I recommend checking out any links I post to get this information. Pay attention to the "Date last updated" field. If it is recent, you can be assured it is accurate, but things change over time so if I haven't been there for awhile, then don't take my word as law.

    Happy hiking!
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    Delaware


    Brandywine Creek State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Some maps show the Nature Center and Park Office at 4244 Wilsons Run Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19803. But this road doesn't appear on many maps. If that is the case, look for an unnamed road on the north side of Adams Dam Road, near 41 Adams Dam Road, 0.3 mile southeast of where it meets Thompson Bridge Road (route 92), Wilmington, Delaware 19803. Follow this unnamed road 0.7 mile to its north end. New Castle, Delaware ADC map 3 B11. See map.

    PHONE: 302-577-3534

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 14, 2012

    NOTES: The park maintains 14 miles of trails. Restrooms in park office building and porta-john outside. Picnic area. Access to Indian Springs and Hidden Pond Trail. Lots of parking available. About a half mile walk to Brandywine Creek and the Freshwater Marsh Nature Preserve. Many stone ruins along the way.

    BLOGS: April 14, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Delaware State Parks - Brandywine Creek State Park
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Brandywine Creek State Park
    Launch Sites - Thompsons Bridge
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    Killens Pond State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the southwest end of Killens Pond State Park Entrance Road, Felton, Delaware 19943. This is on the north side of Killens Pond and south of the water park. Kent County, Delaware ADC map 29 E11. See map.

    PHONE: 302-284-4526

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Pondside Nature Trail access is on the south side of the parking lot. There should be a restroom nearby.

    Regarding camping, electric hook-up sites are similar to non-electric Maryland state park campground sites in that they let you drive to your site and provide similar amenities, including showers. However, Delaware enforces a one car limit per campsite. Overflow parking is available for those expecting more than one car.

    Campsites can only be accessed from the campground entrance on the north side of Paradise Alley Road and south side of the pond.

    There are also primitive campground sites starting 120 feet from the dirt lot. This lot has a capacity of ~20 vehicles. There are two porta-johns near this lot and a water refill station near the campsites. Each campsite has a firepit and a picnic table. Mostly shaded and not breezy.

    BLOGS: May 18, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Launch Sites - Killens Pond State Park - Main launch
    Delaware State Parks - Killens Pond State Park
    AllTrails - Killens Pond Loop Trail
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    Maryland


    Adkins ArboretumOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely, Maryland 21660. Queen Anne's County ADC map 28 F6. Park at map.

    PHONE: 410-634-2847

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 24, 2022

    NOTES: This is an excellent place for a short beginner-level or family-friendly hike. The four miles of trails are extremely easy to follow. They are also suitable for hybrid bicycles. There isn't much to see at Blockston Overlook though maybe there is when there are no leaves on the trees. In the late spring, you'll see lots of mayapples. Walking along the trails near Blockston Branch is very scenic. No need for sunscreen if you are exploring the northern half of the arboretum, which in my opinion is the prettier side. The trails connect to the Piney Branch Trail in Tuckahoe State Park. The arboretum has goats in a pen on the south side but as of 2013, there aren't many and they aren't all that friendly. This is an excellent short stop after a trip to Tuckahoe State Park.

    BLOGS: June 15, 2013 and April 30, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Adkins Arboretum
    AllTrails - Adkins Arboretum Loop
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    American Chestnut Land TrustOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Beautiful woodlands on the eastern side of Calvert County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 410-414-3400

    NOTES: If you are looking for an easy, mostly flat hike of short to moderate length that isn't too far from Washington D.C., then this might be for you. Just don't expect to see any American chestnut trees.

    Lots of opportunities for volunteering and recreation.

    Some trails pass near the scenic Parkers Creek.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT)
    AllTrails - Best trails in American Chestnut Land Trust
    Maryland DNR - Parkers Creek, Calvert County
    Parkers Creek - the Chesapeake Bay in Miniature

    North SideOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 676 Double Oak Road, Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678. Calvert County ADC map 10 F10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 13, 2011

    NOTES: Check land trust hours and hunting schedule before planning a hike. Parking for ~eight vehicles. Porta-john available.

    BLOGS: November 13, 2011 and August 14, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MidAtlantic Hikes - American Chestnut Land Trust-North
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    Parkers Creek PreserveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 2650 Scientists Cliffs Road (west side, at Aspen Road), Port Republic, Maryland 20676. Calvert County ADC map 12 J4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 7, 2019

    NOTES: Trails are free and open all year. Sign in at barn. Bicycles allowed on east loop only.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Birder's Guide to Maryland & DC - American Chestnut Land Trust – Parkers Creek Preserve
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    Antietam National BattlefieldOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Situated on fields among the Appalachian foothills near the Potomac River, this site is a National Park Service-protected area along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 301-432-5124

    NOTES: This area commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam that occurred on September 17, 1862.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Antietam - Hiking the Battlefield
    AllTrails - Best trails in Antietam National Battlefield
    Hiking Project - Antietam National Battlefield
    Hiking Upward - Antietam Bloody Lane Hike

    Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: A good place to start on the north side is the Visitor Center at 5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, Maryland 21782. Washington County ADC map 31 A9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored
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    Snavely FordOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: On the south side, I suggest starting at Snavely Ford. This is located at the south end of Old Burnside Bridge Road, Sharpsburg, Maryland 21782. Washington County ADC map 34 B1. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 7, 2019

    BLOGS: September 20, 2020

    NOTES: One can access several hiking trails from this area. Some have scenic views along Antietam Creek. Parking for 13 vehicles in the paved lot with room for a plethora more in the overflow lot.
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    Bacon Ridge Natural AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This area is centered around Bacon Ridge Branch in Crownsville, Maryland 21032. It is east of Saint Stephens Church Road and west Highway 97.

    PHONE: 410-222-2844

    NOTES: Bacon Ridge Natural Area in the South River Greenway is 630 acres of permanently protected land through a conservation easement between Anne Arundel County, Maryland Environmental Trust, and Scenic Rivers Land Trust.
    - from Visit Annapolis - Bacon Ridge Natural Area

    Trails are well drained, moderately hilly, well maintained, and unmarked though I think they are working on making things easier to navigate.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Anne Arundel County - Bacon Ridge Natural Area: Do not trust the map links to the trailheads
    Scenic Rivers Land Trust - Bacon Ridge Natural Area

    Bacon Ridge RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northwest side of Bacon Ridge Road, 1.3 miles south of where it meets Waterbury Road, Crownsville, Maryland 21032. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5293 B6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 21, 2020

    NOTES: This area is the Phase 3 section. It contains 7.9 miles of trails. No restroom. Parking for about 12 vehicles. Good place for mountain biking.

    BLOGS: March 21, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Bacon Ridge Trail: Phase 3
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    Hawkins RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West side of Hawkins Road, 450 south of highway 97, Crownsville, Maryland 21032. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5293 C10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 18, 2020

    NOTES: Three trailheads meet here. There is a cool car graveyard off the northernmost trailhead. This area contains over 5.5 miles of trails. The traihead sign is marked "Crownsville CWMA" which is a little redundant because CWMA stands for "Crownsville Wildlife Management Area." There is parking for ~six vehicles in a dirt lot with plenty of room along the side of the road for more cars. Porta-john available.

    BLOGS: April 18, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Fox and Wolf Trail Loop
    Maryland DNR - Crownsville WMA
    AllTrails - Crownsville WMA
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    Battle Creek Cypress Swamp SanctuaryOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 2880 Grays Road, Prince Frederick, Maryland 20678. Calvert County ADC map 11 H8. See map.

    PHONE: 410-535-5327

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 10, 2022

    NOTES: This place has one of the northernmost stands of bald cypress trees. You can't hike far but the walk you do will be very scenic.

    BLOGS: October 10, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: National Park Service - Battle Creek Cypress Swamp
    Calvert Parks - Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary
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    Beverly Triton Nature ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park entrance is at 1202 Triton Beach Road, Edgewater Maryland 21037 or 7920 Carvel Lane. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5537 A9. The Trident Trail trailhead is at map. The Heritage Trail trailhead is about 90 feet south of the Trident Trail trailhead and west of the pavillion. Just south of the launch site, you can access the Beach Trail trailhead.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 24, 2024

    PHONE: 410-222-7317

    NOTES: There are about five miles of trails in the park. In some of the areas that tend to get wet you'll find narrow boardwalks. But the inner road trails between Deep Pond and the pavillion will tend to stay muddy.

    See Launch Sites - Beverly Triton Nature Park.

    BLOGS: February 24, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Triton Beverly Beach
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    Big Run State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The park is positioned at the northern end of the Savage River Reservoir and encompasses the confluence of Monroe Run and Big Run in Garrett County, Maryland.

    There is only one trail that I deem "hike-worthy" in the park and that is the Monroe Run Trail. The park (east) terminus for this trail is on the west side of Big Run Road, 0.5 mile northeast of where it meets Savage River Road. Garrett County ADC map Y15. See map.

    The west terminus for the Monroe Run Trail is on the southeast side of New Germany Road, 0.3 mile northeast of Monroe Run Scenic Overlook which is a suitable parking area. This trailhead can be found on the Garrett County ADC map U14. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: The park is a good end point for the 4.6 mile Monroe Run Trail.
    Crumbling bridge abutments are the only remaining evidence that this scenic trail was formerly a connection road built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. There are plenty of chances to cool your feet along this trail, which has frequent stream crossings (no bridges!). This trail ends near the Savage River Reservoir in Big Run State Park. To avoid the uphill trek at the end of the trail, begin your hike at the trailhead on New Germany Road. This trail is open only to hikers.
    - from Maryland DNR - Savage River State Forest Trail Guide

    What is the relationship between Big Run State Park and Savage River State Forest? According to Maryland DNR - Savage River State Forest Trail Guide:
    Two state parks located within the State Forest: New Germany and Big Run.

    BLOGS: July 1, 2007 and July 19, 2009

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Big Run State Park
    Maryland DNR - Big Run State Park - Trails
    Monroe Run Trail
    AllTrails - Monroe Run Trail
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    Billy Goat TrailOpen accordion icon
    The Billy Goat Trail is a 4.7-mile (7.6 km) hiking trail that follows a path between the C&O Canal and the Potomac River within the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park near the Great Falls in Montgomery County, Maryland. The trail has three sections:
  • Section A, the northernmost, is 1.7 miles (2.7 km)
  • Section B is 1.4 miles (2.3 km)
  • Section C, the southernmost, is 1.6 miles (2.6 km)
  • - from Wikipedia - Billy Goat Trail

    Section A is easily one of my favorite local hikes, assuming I can visit on a day when there are few people. This entire area is very popular and Section A is definitely the busiest.

    There are various places to park and access the trailheads. All these trailheads connect to the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Towpath, a great place for a variety of outdoor activities, especially bicycling. Thus, I've put my notes for each section of the Billy Goat Trail at Biking routes - Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Towpath.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Chesapeake & Ohio Canal - Billy Goat Trail
    Hiking Upward - Billy Goat Trail
    Backpacker - Hiking the Billy Goat Trail
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    Black Hill Regional ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The visitor center is located at 20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, Maryland 20841. Montgomery County ADC map 9 A13. See map.

    PHONE: 301-495-2595

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This is a terrific place for a family or group outing. There are boat rentals, a boat ramp, a fishing pier, paved paths, dirt trails, a dog exercise area, a playground, and covered picnic shelters. The park surrounds Little Seneca Lake. It is a spectacular area for both paved and dirt trail running, casual biking, and casual hiking. However, the hiking trails lack the scenic views common in many other parks and leave the serious hiker wanting much more. Still, for those that live in close proximity to the park, it offers a convenient outdoor oasis.

    Restrooms available.

    BLOGS: May 6, 2006

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Black Hill Regional Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Black Hill Regional Park
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    Blackwater National Wildlife RefugeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Biking Routes - Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

    NOTES: There are a few short hiking trails. I suggest biking to the various trailheads, locking up your bike, and then exploring each trail on foot.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Best trails in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
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    Bohemia River State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 4030 Augustine Herman Hwy, Chesapeake City, Maryland 21915. Cecil County ADC map 21 G8. See map.

    PHONE: 667-500-2417

    DATE LAST UPDATED: May 29, 2022

    NOTES: This place opened on April 22, 2022. As of May 2022, their website reports about five miles of trails and a further five miles of trails currently under development. Pay with credit card to get through their automated gate. Share trails with horses. Kayak launch site under development. Expect a mix of shaded trails and open fields, but mostly the former. Porta-john available. Military and veterans can enter for free but need a swipe card to access the gate, which means reaching out to the park several days prior to arrival.

    BLOGS: May 29, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Bohemia River State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Bohemia River State Park
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    Bosely ConservancyOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northwest side of 2601 Perry Avenue, Edgewood, Maryland 21040. Just north of Hanson Road and Perry Avenue at the end of Perry Avenue. Harford County ADC map 29 D1. See map.

    PHONE: Park office: 302-577-3534. Nature center: 302-655-5740

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 6, 2022

    NOTES: Parking for ~12 vehicles in dirt lot. No restroom. Trails are blazed. The orange trail tends to get muddy. Very few people know about this place so it is a good spot to go if you want to be isolated. I've been told it gets extremly buggy in the summer. It is bordered by Otter Point Creek. See trail map

    The full name for this place is the Melvin G. Bosely Wildlife Conservancy. It is associated with the Izaak Walton League of America, Inc.

    BLOGS: March 6, 2022
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    Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail / NCR Trail

    Cabin John Stream Valley TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: You'll find parking and trailhead access at Cabin John Regional Park, 7400 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, Maryland 20817. Montgomery County ADC map 35 C2. See map.

    PHONE: 301-495-2595

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: The main part of the trail parallels Cabin John Creek. There are 8.8 miles of trail and a restroom.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Montgomery Parks - Cabin John Stream Valley Trail
    AllTrails - Cabin John Trail: Tuckerman Lane to MacArthur Boulevard
    Montgomery Parks - Cabin John Regional Park
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    Calvert Cliffs State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Restroom, limited parking, and trail access at 10540 H.G. Trueman Road, Lusby, Maryland 20657. Calvert County ADC map 17 B12. See map. Much larger parking lots are further north on the park loop.

    PHONE: 443-975-4360

    DATE LAST UPDATED: May 24, 2015

    NOTES: Lots of parking. Restroom. Lots of people go to the beach to look for shark teeth.

    Some people launch a kayak here. I only recommend it if you have a folding boat or inflatable SUP because you'll have to carry it in 1.8 miles on the red trail to get to the beach.

    Trails are shaded enough so you won't need sunscreen. Stay off pipeline road since it isn't maintained and ticks get on the tall grasses which then get onto you.

    BLOGS: May 24, 2015

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Calvert Cliffs State Park
    AllTrails - Calvert Cliffs State Park

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    Catoctin Mountain ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Catoctin Mountain Park, located in north-central Maryland, is part of the forested Catoctin Mountain ridge−range that forms the northeastern rampart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the Appalachian Mountains System.
    - from Wikipedia - Catoctin Mountain Park

    The park lies in Frederick County, Maryland, just west of Thurmont, Maryland.

    PHONE: 301-663-9388

    NOTES: Catoctin Mountain Park got its start during the Great Depression. In 1935, the federal government bought over 10,000 acres and developed it as the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA). The program created public parks out of marginal farmland near cities. Forty-six RDAs were created in 24 states, and most eventually became state or national parks. In 1936, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), another New Deal agency, hired hundreds of local men to build maintenance shops, a visitor center, picnic areas, and cabin camps. The park's chestnut and oak trees were the ideal "log cabin" material for the rustic architecture.

    The park was drafted into the war effort as a rehabilitation center for sailors and marines and a training facility for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). President Franklin D. Roosevelt chose Camp Hi-Catoctin as a retreat he called Shangri-La. It was renamed Camp David in the 1950s by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Camp David is not open to the public.

    In 1954, the park was divided along Md. Rte. 77. To the north is Catoctin Mountain Park, which remains in the National Park System. To the south is Cunningham Falls State Park, managed by the Maryland Park Service.

    - from NPS History - Catoctin Mountain Park

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Catoctin Mountain
    NPS - Catoctin Mountain - Parking
    NPS - Catoctin Mountain - Hiking
    AllTrails - Best trails in Catoctin Mountain Park
    TrailForks - The Best Hiking Trails in Catoctin Mountain National Park

    Owens Creek Picnic AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: East side of Foxville Deerfield Road, 0.4 mile northeast of where it meets Park Central Road, Frederick County, Maryland. Frederick County ADC map 6 E1. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Room for 34 vehicles. Restroom available.

    Access to Browns Farm Nature Trail Loop and the Orange Trail, the latter connecting to the Deerfield Nature Trail Loop and the Catoctin National Recreational Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Owen's Creek Campground Loop Trail
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    Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 14707 Park Central Road, Thurmont, Maryland 21788. Frederick County ADC map 6 K5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 23, 2017

    NOTES: This is a very popular place to start hiking with various options. I generally try and follow one of the circuit hikes which takes me to all the scenic views: Wolf Rock, Chimney Rock, Thurmont Vista, and Hog Rock.

    Restroom available. Room for 62 vehicles.

    If this lot is full, there are others further north on this same road, listed at NPS - Catoctin Mountain - Parking.

    BLOGS: November 18-20, 2005, February 9, 2008, March 1, 2008, and September 23, 2017

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Catoctin Mountain - East Hiking Trails: This lists many hiking routes, several of which start at the Visitor Center
    MidAtlanticHikes - Catoctin Mountain Loop
    AllTrails - Catoctin Mountain Extended Loop Trail
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    Cedarville State ForestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The park office and Orange Trail trailhead is located at 10201 Bee Oak Road, Brandywine, Maryland 20613. Charles County ADC map 5 G11. See map.

    PHONE: 301-888-1410 or 1-800-784-5380

    DATE LAST UPDATED: June 9, 2013

    NOTES: Parking for about 20 vehicles. Restroom. About one hour from Savage. The terrain is wooded and mostly flat. This area is popular with both mountain bikers and hikers. There are ~19 miles of marked trails. Rare carnivorous plants live in Cedarville Bog but don't expect to find them.

    The Piscataway Indian Tribe made this section of Southern Maryland its winter camping ground because of the mild climate and abundance of game.

    The headwaters of the Zekiah Swamp are located in Cedarville. The swamp extends southward through Charles County for 20 miles, emptying into the Wicomico River. The Swamp is one mile wide, and serves as a haven for wildlife. In colonial times and thereafter, efforts were made to drain the swamp for cultivation. Drainage ditches are still evident. To this day, the swamp remains wooded bottom land.

    - from Wikipedia - Cedarville State Forest

    BLOGS: February 27, 2010 and June 9, 2013

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Cedarville State Forest
    Maryland DNR - Cedarville State Forest Trails
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Cedarville State Forest
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    Chapman State Park - MarylandOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Located in southern Maryland. This is not to be confused with the Pennsylvania park having the same name.

    Mount Aventine Mansion is located at 3452 Ferry Place, Indian Head, Maryland 20640. This is in the heart of the park and on the main road.

    Parking is available at various spots along Ferry Place. If the gate is closed, you can park where Ferry Place meets Chapmans Landing Road, Indian Head, Maryland 20640. The best place to park (if the gate is open) is near the trailhead and restroom at map. Charles County ADC map 7 D4.

    PHONE: 301-743-7613

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 20, 2016

    NOTES: The park's diverse, heavily wooded biosphere is home to many rare and disjunct plant and animal species. Several of the park's trees have been nominated for state and national big tree champion status.
    - from Wikipedia - Chapman State Park (Maryland)

    BLOGS: August 20, 2016

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Chapman State Park
    Maryland DNR - Chapman State Park - Trails
    Friends of Chapman State Park
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    Chesapeake Beach Railway TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead about 420 feet south of the southernmost side of Gordon Stinnett Avenue, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland 20732. Calvert County ADC map 4 F10. See map.

    Park at the lot for Kellam's Field which is ~0.2 mile north of the trailhead.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 30, 2016

    NOTES: Less than two miles long, I would hardly call this a real "hike." It is more like a scenic and natural wetlands stroll. If you're in Chesapeake Beach, it is definitely worth a stop but I wouldn't recommend driving out here just to do this walk.

    There is a restroom 0.3 mile away at the Northeast Community Center.

    BLOGS: October 30, 2016

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail
    TrailLink - Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail
    AllTrails - Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail
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    Colmar Manor Community ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The entrance to the park is at 3510 37th Avenue, Colmar Manor, Maryland 20722. Prince George's County ADC map 5529 K2. Parking and Anacostia River Trail access at map.

    PHONE: 301-927-2163

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 30, 2020

    NOTES: There are some lesser known, short trails in this park including one that leads down to Dueling Creek.
    The Dueling Creek Natural Area has a chilling history. During the first half of the 19th century, it was the site of over 50 duels was known as "The Dark and Bloody Grounds."
    - from MNCPPC - Dueling Creek Natural Area

    BLOGS: August 30, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Birder's Guide to Maryland & DC - Bladensburg Waterfront Park, Colmar Manor Community Park & Anacostia River Trail
    AllTrails - Anacostia River via Colmar Manor Community Park
    High Tide and Exotic Blooms
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    Corcoran Environmental Study AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Corcoran Environmental Study Area is located just northwest of Sandy Point State Park on the Broadneck Peninsula.

    PHONE: 410-974-2149

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 25, 2023

    NOTES: This land is managed by Sandy Point State Park and is sometimes called Corcoran Woods. Bow hunting is permitted.

    The Maryland Department of Forests and Parks dedicate this parcel of Sandy Point State Park for the interpretation of nature's environment. This tract is dedicated to you to protect and retain for the enjoyment of the wonders of nature for today and tomorrow.
    - from a sign just west of Tydings Road in the Corcoran Environmental Study Area

    Also listed on the sign mentioned above is the statement "use by permit only" but I saw no mention of how to obtain a permit or why one is needed.

    Other signs are contradictory such as one that says "park hours sunrise - sunset" and another nearby that reads "7:00 AM - sunset."

    I found this to be a very uninteresting place to hike. It is also poorly maintained.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Sandy Point State Park - Corcoran Woods
    Corcoran Woods - Corcoran Environmental Study Area

    Tydings RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking lot is on the east side of Tydings Road, 0.2 mile north of the intersection of Tydings Road and Log Inn Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21409. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5296 D6. See map.

    NOTES: Parking for ~eight vehicles. No restroom. Heading southeast on the trail will take you to Log Inn Road.

    BLOGS: December 25, 2023
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    Log Inn RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking on the south side of Log Inn Road, 0.3 mile east of the intersection of Tydings Road and Log Inn Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21409. This is just west of the intersection of Log Inn Road and Sandy Road. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5296 E6. See map.

    NOTES: Parking for ~five vehicles. No restroom. A sign here will mention Sandy Point State Park but not Corcoran. Crossing the road and heading north, you can pick up a trail which leads to Tydings Road. Going south will take you to Sandy Point State Park.

    BLOGS: December 25, 2023
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    Cunningham Falls State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Cunningham Falls State Park is located in the picturesque Catoctin Mountains, just south of Catoctin Mountain Park and west of Thurmont, Maryland in Frederick County.

    PHONE: 301-271-7574. Camping reservations: 1-888-432-2267

    NOTES: The park is home to
  • Maryland's highest cascading waterfall, the 78-foot Cunningham Falls.
  • The 26.6-mile Catoctin National Recreation Trail, the main trail in the park.
  • The 75-acre Hunting Creek Lake.

  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Cunningham Falls State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Cunningham Falls State Park

    Manor Area / Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: South end of Cunningham Falls Park Road, Thurmont, Maryland 21788. Frederick County ADC map 7 B13. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: The Manor Area has restrooms, a campground, picnic tables, and plenty of parking available. Here, you'll find the Scales and Tales Aviary and the historic Catoctin Iron Furnace.

    This is a good place to access the south trails in the park. I don't believe one can do any circuit routes from this location.

    BLOGS: November 18-20, 2005

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Bob's Hill via Catoctin National Recreation Trail
    AllTrails - Cunningham Falls Manor to White Rock via Catoctin Trail
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    Old Misery TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on the southeast side of Catoctin Hollow Road, 0.4 mile south of where it meets Foxville Road (route 77), Frederick County, Maryland. Frederick County ADC map 6 J6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Parking is on the northwest side of Catoctin Hollow Road, with the south side of the lot across from the trailhead. This is a good location to access Cat Rock and the northern trails in the park.

    I don't know why it is called Old Misery Trail but perhaps it has to do with the 490 foot elevation gain in the first half mile.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Cat Rock via Old Misery Trail
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    William Houck Area / Lower TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West side of William Houck Drive, 0.6 mile north of where it meets Catoctin Hollow Road, Frederick County, Maryland. Frederick County ADC map 6 H6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 15, 2018

    NOTES: This is an excellent place to park if you want to hike to Cunningham Falls. It is about a half mile from the lot to falls.

    There is a significant amount of extra parking slightly south near Hunting Creek Lake which has a beach and boat ramp. Fishing and swimming is permitted, though the latter is seasonal.

    There is a campground available.

    BLOGS: February 9, 2008 and September 15, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Live and Let Hike - Cliff Trail - Lower Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Cunningham Falls Lower Trail and Cliff Trail Loop
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    Dans MountainOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Dans Mountain lies in the western half of Allegany County, Maryland, just east of the town of Lonaconing.

    NOTES: Sometimes this place is spelled Dan's Mountain (with an apostophe).

    This area is comprised of three sections:
  • Dans Mountain State Park: Has the very short Dye School Trail.
  • Dan's Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA): Has some trails which are very poorly documented.
  • Dans Rock: This overlook is the highest point in the county and on Dans Mountain. It is owned by the county. No trails but it has a nice view.

  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Remembering the Poor Man's Friend - A Winter Hike on Dans Mountain
    SummitPost - Dan's Rock on Dan's Mountain

    Dans Mountain State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Dye School Trailhead is on the south side of Recreation Area Road Southwest, 0.3 mile south of where it meets Water Station Run Road, Lonaconing, Maryland 21539. Allegany County ADC map J15. See map.

    PHONE: 301-895-5453

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 15, 2020

    NOTES: Not much hiking. The swimming pool is the big draw.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Dan's Mountain State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Dan's Mountain State Park
    Allegany County Mountainside of Maryland - Dans Mountain State Park
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    Dans Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA)Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: Just northwest of McMullen Highway Southwest (route 220) and Rawlins, Maryland 21557. Allegany County ADC map K17 is near the center.

    PHONE: 301-478-2525

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: The below has a link to a map that shows a few trails and parking lots. I know of no hiking blogs for this area.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Dan's Mountain WMA
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    Douglas Point Recreation AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Along the Potomac River in southwestern Charles County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 301-743-5161

    NOTES: Douglas Point Natural Area includes portions of several different public properties and is managed by a team of state and federal land managers.
  • The Nanjemoy Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is managed by the Wildlife and Heritage Service, Department of Natural Resources.
  • The Douglas Point Special Recreation Management Area is managed by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Lower Potomac Field Station.
  • The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and the Star-Spangled Banner and Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trails (National Park Service) connect this area by land or water south to Virginia and north to Pennsylvania.
  • - from Maryland DNR - Maryland's Natural Areas - Douglas Point, Charles Count

    There is a lot of stuff one can find along the Potomac River shore area of Douglas Point Recreation Area.
    Some of the typical invertebrate fossils found at Douglas Point Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) include oysters, clams and giant clams, gastropods, ammonites, and cephalopods. Vertebrate fossils found here include many species of extinct sharks, bony fishes, rays (related to sharks), turtles, crocodiles, mammals, and birds. Pinaceous cones (plant fossils) have also been found.
    - from sign at trailhead

    Another sign claimed that fossils in this area are up to 55 million years old. This is my favorite place to look for shark teeth in Maryland that is open to the public and is easily accessible by land.

    Best to look for fossils at low tide. Get tide info at Maryland DNR Tide Finder by selecting "Region: Potomac River" and "Location: Liverpool Point."

    An area once known as Purse State Park eventually merged with the Nanjemoy WMA.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Najemoy Map
    Launch Sites - Purse / Nanjemoy Wildlife Management Area (WMA)
    Maryland DNR - Nanjemoy WMA
    Oh Ranger - Purse State Park
    Foraging and Fossiling in Nanjemoy Wildlife Management Area
    AllTrails - Best trails in Douglas Point Special Recreation Management Area

    North TrailheadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 9275 Riverside Road (route 224), Nanjemoy, Maryland 20662. It is ~0.1 mile south of Liverpool Point Road (route 426) on the west side. This is the upper parking lot that connects to the Cal Posey Trail on Najemoy Map. Charles County ADC map 22 D6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 7, 2021

    NOTES: This spot is about a mile from the parking lot to the beach via Cal Possey Trail and Blue Banks Beach Trail.

    BLOGS: August 7, 2021
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    South TrailheadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 9699 Riverside Road (route 224), Nanjemoy, Maryland 20662. It is ~1.1 mile south of Liverpool Point Road (route 426) on the west side. This is the lower parking lot that connects to the Cal Posey Trail on Najemoy Map. Charles County ADC map 22 D9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 20, 2016

    NOTES: The Chiles Homesite Interpretive Trail is a quarter mile walk from here. Blue Banks Beach is an easy to moderate 1.5 mile walk from the Chiles site.
    - from signs at trailhead

    BLOGS: August 20, 2016

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: William & Mary - Center for Archaeological Research - Chiles Homesite, Douglas Point, Maryland
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    Elk Neck State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This park is located on the peninsula formed by the North East River, Elk River, and the Chesapeake Bay. Turkey Point Road (route 272), North East, Maryland 21901 passed through the park.

    PHONE: 410-287-5333. For reservations, call 1-888-432-2267.

    NOTES: This park is comprised of sandy beaches, marshlands and heavily wooded bluffs.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Elk Neck State Park

    North East Beach: Provides access to the north trailhead of White Banks Trail.

    Rogues Harbor: Provides access to the south trailhead of White Banks Trail.

    Turkey Point Lighthouse TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Cecil County ADC map 19 F9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 1, 2023

    NOTES: This 1.9-mile out-and-back lollipop trail leads to Turkey Point Lighthouse which provides a view of the Elk River and the Chesapeake Bay. This is a very popular place. Dirt parking lot holds ~18 vehicles.

    BLOGS: July 1, 2023

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Turkey Point Lighthouse
    Maryland Hikes - Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail: An Easy Hike to a Historic Lighthouse at Elk Neck State Park
    AllTrails - Turkey Point Lighthouse Trail
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    Finzel SwampOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northeast side of Cranberry Swamp Road, 0.3 mile east of where it meets Finzel Road (route 576), Frostburg, Maryland 21532. Garrett County ADC map MM3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 4, 2021

    NOTES: You can't cover much distance here but if you like amphibians, then this is a good place to visit in the springtime.

    No restroom.

    I don't know how welcoming the locals are to folks driving to the swamp. All the no trespassing and no parking signs seem to indicate that they really don't want visitors getting near their property. A few years ago, one of the residents even put up a gate to keep folks from accessing the swamp. But rest assured, Finzel Swamp is open to the public. You will have to do some off road driving to get there and I highly recommend you avoid visiting if it is icy because you may not make it out without help.

    BLOGS: April 4, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Maryland's Natural Areas - Finzel Swamp, Garrett County
    The Nature Conservancy - Finzel Swamp Preserve
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & DC - Finzel Swamp Preserve
    AllTrails - Finzel Swamp Trail
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    Flag Ponds ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: East end of Flag Ponds Parkway, Lusby, Maryland 20657.

    PHONE: 410-586-1477

    BLOGS: April 9, 2006 and February 12, 2017

    NOTES: See Launch Sites - Flag Ponds Park.

    North Ridge TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Calvert County ADC map 16 H3. See Lot 2 and Lot 3.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: These parking lots provide access to the southwest trailheads of the one mile North Ridge Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Duncan Pond - North Ridge
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    Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Flag Ponds Park which lists Lot 1A. This provides access to the 0.8-mile South Ridge Trail and is the location of the restroom.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 19, 2018

    NOTES: See Launch Sites - Flag Ponds Park.
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    Fort Howard ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 9500 North Point Road, Fort Howard, Maryland 21052. Baltimore County ADC map 46 G10. See map for parking.

    PHONE: 410-887-7529

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 20, 2022

    NOTES: This is a great place if you like to explore old military ruins. There's some really good history and a few trails. Not good for a long hike or a wilderness hike but there are some nice water views. No place to land a boat. There are regular restrooms that are open during the busier months. Parking for 40+ vehicles. Trail access is on the south side of the lot.

    BLOGS: February 20, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Baltimore County Government - Fort Howard Park
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & DC - Fort Howard Park
    AllTrails - Fort Howard Park Trail
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    Fran Uhler Natural AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trails can be access at the northeast end of Lemons Bridge Road, Bowie, Maryland 20720. The Patuxent River is the north boundary. Prince Geoge's County ADC map 5290 J6. See map.

    Parking is available at the Bowie State MARC train station Park and Ride (D.C. side) on the southeast side of the intersection of Lemons Bridge Road and Jericho Park Road, Bowie, Maryland 20720. Prince Geoge's County ADC map 5290 H8. See map.

    PHONE: 301-627-6074

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 16, 2010

    NOTES: Though centrally located to many people in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, this place is known by few. With no trail blazes, few signs, and only one published map (to the best of my knowledge), it is no wonder why these five miles of trails remain so well hidden.

    BLOGS: January 16, 2010

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Fran Uhler Natural Area
    Run DC - Fran Uhler Natural Area/Race Track Spur
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    Friendship Farm ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 4715 Friendship Landing Road, Nanjemoy, Maryland 20662. Charles County ADC map 23 H7. See map.

    PHONE: 301-932-3470

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 21, 2021

    NOTES: There are a few different places to park at some of the different trailheads. One of them has a porta-john. Some of the trails can get pretty muddy.

    As of 2021, this place has
    over seven miles of recreational trail...that surround Nanjemoy Creek. Visitors will experience mature forests, backwater tidal marshes, abundant wildlife, and some of Southern Maryland's most scenic views.
    - from brochure

    BLOGS: Also see my March 21, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Charles County, Maryland - Friendship Farm Park - Friendship Landing
    Launch Sites - Friendship Landing: This is 0.2 mile down the road
    AllTrails - Best trails in Friendship Farm Park
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    Gambrill State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Just west of Frederick, Maryland, this park straddles the Catoctin Mountain Ridge. The main trailhead and south parking lot are on the northeast side of Gambrill Park Road, 0.7 mile north of where it meets Shookstown Road, Frederick, Maryland 21702. Frederick County ADC map 20 C9. See map.

    PHONE: 301-271-7574

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 1, 2014

    NOTES: There are over 16 miles of trails with the trailhead listed above being the one that provides access to the most routes.

    BLOGS: February 1, 2014

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Gambrill State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Gambrill State Park
    MidAtlanticHikes - Gambrill State Park
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    Gathland State Park

    Governor Bridge

    Gorman Stream ValleyOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: A circuit trail runs on both the north and south sides of the Middle Patuxent River in Kings Contrivance, Columbia and Laurel, Howard County, Maryland. It is bordered on the west by Old Columbia Road and on the east by Murray Hill Road.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 12, 2020

    NOTES: I don't know the official name for the circuit route in this area but I call it the Gorman Stream Valley Loop Trail. It is comprised mainly of the Gorman Stream Valley Trail and the Middle Patuxent River Trail. Gorman Park is another name I've seen associated with the area. I estimate the entire route to run ~6.5 miles.

    There is very little documentation about these trails. No restrooms anywhere. Most of what I learned is just a result of satisfying my own curiosity. It is a fairly non-strenuous hike but the navigation part can be difficult.

    BLOGS: December 25, 2012, January 5, 2020, and April 4, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Howard County Bird Club - Gorman Stream Valley Natural Resource Area

    Eden Brook DriveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is at the southwest end of Eden Brook Drive (or its southwest extension road, if your map shows a different name), Columbia, Maryland 21046. Howard County ADC map 5052 K4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 4, 2020

    NOTES: There will be a vehicle gate. Walk past the gate on the closed off section of Eden Brook Drive towards the Middle Patuxent River. Near the end, there will be a trailhead that leads to Murray Hill Trailhead - North on the left (east) side of the road. Walking east on it, the dirt trail ends at playground KC16 at 39.162162, -76.872329. Here, one can continue on the paved Kings Contrivance Loop. If continuing east, turn right when the trail splits to stay along the Middle Patuxent River.

    On the opposite (west) side of the closed section of Eden Brook Drive, near the river and across from the trailhead that leads to Murray Hill Trailhead - North, there will be a clearing. On the northwest side of this clearing will be a trailhead that leads west to the Old Columbia Road Trailhead.
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    Kindler RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the northeast end of Kindler Road, Laurel, Maryland 20723. Howard County ADC map 5052 K5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 25, 2021

    NOTES: Look for a vehicle barrier. Near this barrier on the right (east) will be a trailhead that leads to Murray Hill Trailhead - South.

    You can walk past the barrier, heading north to the Middle Patuxent River on a closed section of Kindler Road. At the river, you can walk to the right (east) and this will also take you to the Murray Hill Trailhead - South. Or, you can walk to the left (west) to the Old Columbia Road Trailhead.

    I've found the area between Kinder Road and Murray Hill Road to get little use. So when the other trails are packed, this is the one to hike.

    BLOGS: January 25, 2021
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    Murray Hill Trailhead - NorthOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on the northwest side of Murray Hill Road, 100 feet southwest of where it meets Vollmerhausen Road, Columbia, Maryland 21046. Howard County ADC map 5053 D5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 4, 2020

    NOTES: The closest place to park to this trailhead might be Murray Hill Trailhead - South.

    This road is the easternmost boundary of Gorman Stream Valley. This trail is a paved Columbia Association path. Walking on it is the best way to complete the Gorman Stream Valley Loop.

    Head west, and if the path splits, stay on the left (south) side. Always try to remain near the Middle Patuxent River. This paved path is commonly referred to as the Kings Contrivance Loop and much of the Gorman Stream Valley route will be on this path.

    On the west side of playground KC16, 39.162162, -76.872329, the trail continues as a dirt trail to Eden Brook Drive.
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    Murray Hill Trailhead - SouthOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the northwest side of Murray Hill Road, 0.2 mile southwest of where it meets Vollmerhausen Road, Laurel, Maryland 20723. Howard County ADC map 5053 D5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 25, 2021

    NOTES: This road is the easternmost boundary of Gorman Stream Valley. If there are warning signs about hunting, the trail will be nearby. Otherwise, this trailhead may not be marked. There's only room for a couple of vehicles on the northwest side of Murray Hill Road, just south of the Middle Patuxent River

    BLOGS: July 19, 2020 and January 25, 2021
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    Old Columbia Road
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    Great Falls - MarylandOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Great Falls is a spectacular, rocky area along a white water rapids section of the Potomac River, about eight miles upstream of Washington, D.C. One set of trails exists along the Maryland side while another is along the Virginia side.

    PHONE: 301-767-3714

    NOTES: This area is popular with hikers, rock climbers, and white water kayakers. Both sides offer dramatic views of the most turbulent section of the Potomac River. There is no bridge nearby connecting the two sides.

    The Maryland side of Great Falls is part of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: TripSavvy - Great Falls Park: Maryland and Virginia
    Hiking Project - Great Falls Park

    Anglers Inn

    Carderock

    Gold Mine SpurOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is about 70 feet south of the Great Falls Visitor Center. Montgomery County ADC map 33 H9. Northern Virginia ADC map 3 H9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 1, 2022

    NOTES: This trail will take you to an old gold mine. I was told that it was not very successful. Very shaded.

    BLOGS: January 5, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: C&O Canal Trust - Gold Mine Trail
    Hiking Project - Gold Mine Spur
    TrailLink - Goldmine Loop Trail
    National Park Planner - Gold Mine Trail Loop Hike
    AllTrails - Gold Mine Loop Trail
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    Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center
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    Green Ridge State ForestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Green Ridge State Forest is a state forest in Western Maryland. Approximately 46,000 acres (186 km2) in size, it is situated along Green Ridge and Town Hill in eastern Allegany County.
    - from Wikipedia - Green Ridge State Forest

    PHONE: 301-478-3124

    NOTES: The park has several hiking trails, ATV trails, mountain bike trails, campsites, and kayak launch sites.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Green Ridge State Forest
    Maryland DNR - Green Ridge State Forest - Paddling
    Allegany County Mountain Side of Maryland - Green Ridge State Forest

    Bonds Landing

    Fifteen Mile Creek Boat Ramp

    Fifteen Mile Creek RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead on both the north and south sides of Fifteen Mile Creek Road. The northbound trailhead is just east of Deep Run while the southbound trailhead is just west of Deep Run. Deep Run is 0.6 mile southeast of Green Ridge Road Southeast, Flintstone, Maryland 21530. Allegany County ADC map TT7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Long Pond Trail via Deep Run Creek
    AllTrails - Deep Run/Big Run Trail
    AllTrails - Long Pond Trail
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    Headquarters and Overlook ParkingOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 28700 Headquarters Drive Northeast, Flintstone, Maryland 21530. Allegany County ADC map TT 6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: ~0.1 mile to Green Ridge Overlook.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Pine Lick Trail
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    Paw Paw

    Twin OaksOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking lot is on the southeast side of Double Pine Road, 200 feet southwest of where it meets Old Cumberland Road, Flintstone, Maryland 21530. It is just south of the Former Twin Oaks Schoolhouse. Allegany County ADC map RR 1. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Room for about two vehicles. Access to Twin Oaks Trail. Pine Oaks Trail is nearby.

    BLOGS: November 1, 2009

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Pine Lick Trail
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    Greenbelt ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The entrance to the park is at 6565 Greenbelt Road (route 193), Greenbelt, Maryland 20770. Prince George's County ADC map 5410 F4.

    The Sweet Gum Parking Area is a large parking lot at the south end of Sweetgum, which connects to the south side of Park Central Road in the north side of the park. See map.

    PHONE: 301-344-3944

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: The park has a few short trails and a campground.

    BLOGS: May 2, 2009

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Greenbelt Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Greenbelt Park
    National Park Planner - Greenbelt Park
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    Greenbrier State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This public recreation area [is] located on South Mountain, three miles (4.8 km) northeast of Boonsboro in Washington County, Maryland.
    - from Wikipedia - Greenbrier State Park

    PHONE: Camp office: 301-791-4767

    NOTES: The park has several trails...enough for a moderate day hike. However, with the Appalachian Trail passing right by, this park would make a nice base camp for a weekend event. Best of all, on a hot summer day, a swim in the designated swimming areas of the lake will help cool one off. There is a large beach on the northeast side of the lake.

    The Appalachian Trail barely passes through the southeast side of the park. Access it via the Bartmans Hill Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Greenbrier State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Greenbrier State Park
    Hiking Upward - Greenbrier State Park
    MidAtlanticHikes - Greenbrier State Park

    Greenbriar Lake

    Visitor's Center / Bartmans Hill TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, Maryland 21713. Washington County ADC map 27 J11. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This is a good place to access the Appalachian Trail which is ~0.6 mile away. Sometimes this trail is called Bartman Hill Trail (no 's').

    BLOGS: June 2, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Washington Monument via Bartman Hill Trail to Appalachian Trail
    AllTrails - Camp Loop and Big Red Trail
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    Greenbury PointOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Greenbury Point is part of Naval Station Annapolis (NSA) on the north side and at the mouth of the Severn River. This area is open to the public unless it is closed.

    PHONE: 410-293-9304 or call the Community Planning Liaison Officer at 410-293-1084

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 25, 2023

    NOTES: For closures and trail map, check Twitter - @nsaannapolis.

    According to a sign seen in late 2023, access is permitted from 0500-1800 November through February and 0500-2000 March through October, but also subject to closure at any time without prior notification.

    These trails are near a firing range which may cause some areas to be closed.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Navy MWR Annapolis - Greenbury Point
    AllTrails - Greenbury Point Trail
    Chesapeake Bay Magazine - Firearms Range or Public Park? How to Hike the Trails of Greenbury Point
    Wikipedia - NSS Annapolis
    Maryland Archeobotany - Town Neck 18AN944

    Bullard BoulevardOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking on either side of Bullard Boulevard, 0.1 mile southwest of Greenbury Point Nature Center, Annapolis, Maryland 21402. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5417 H2. See map.

    NOTES: Parking for 20+ vehicles. No restroom. The East Access Road trailhead is 180 feet southeast on the south side of Bullard Boulevard. The West Access Road trailhead is 350 feet northwest on the south side of Bullard Boulevard.
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    Nature CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Greenbury Point Nature Center is located on the south side of the intersection of Bullard Boulevard and McLeans Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21402. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5417 H2. See map.

    PHONE: 410-293-1027

    NOTES: As of 2024, the Nature Center is open Thursdays 1100-1500 except for holidays or days when the building is scheduled for other use. I have not been inside the Nature Center so I don't know if a public restroom is available inside. None is available outside. Parking for at least 10 vehicles.

    The trailhead for the Bobwhite Trail is at the southeast side of the Nature Center.

    BLOGS: December 25, 2023 and March 24, 2024
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    Gunpowder Falls State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Gunpowder Falls State Park is a public recreation area comprising six non-contiguous areas covering 18,000 acres (7,300 ha) in northeastern Baltimore County and western Harford County, Maryland. The state park is primarily made up of the stream valleys of the Big and Little Gunpowder Falls and the Gunpowder River
    - from Wikipedia - Gunpowder Falls State Park

    PHONE: 410-592-2897

    NOTES: With more than 120 miles of multi-use trails, this place is a real gem, especially for those living in Baltimore City. With historic sites, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, a swimming beach, and marina, this park offers a multitude of outdoor recreational opportunities.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Gunpowder Falls State Park
    Maryland DNR - Gunpowder Falls State Park - Maps
    AllTrails - Best trails in Gunpowder Falls State Park

    Bel Air / KingsvilleOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the southeast side of Bel Air Road (route 1), 0.9 mile northeast of where it meets Honeygo Boulevard, Kingsville, Maryland 21087. It is just northeast of Big Gunpowder Falls. Baltimore City and County ADC map 29 G1. See map.

    There is also parking at the Gunpowder Falls Park and Ride on the northwest side of Bel Air Road, 0.2 mile southwest of the Bel Air / Kingsville trailhead/lot. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 26, 2021

    NOTES: With several options, this site is a mecca for hiking trails. From either parking lot, it is safe to walk across the bridge over Big Gunpowder Falls since there is a dedicated walkway for pedestrians on either side.

    The northwest side of Bel Air Road has the most trails. This section is known as the Sweathouse Branch Wildland Stocksdale Trail and Sweathouse Trail.

    BLOGS: September 26, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Sweathouse Branch and Wildlands Loop
    AllTrails - Gunpowder Pond Trail
    AllTrails - Lost Pond Trail
    AllTrails - Sweathouse Trail to Stocksdale Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Wildlands Trail to Stocksdale Trail
    AllTrails - Gunpowder Falls Trail
    AllTrails - Lost Pond Trail to Mount Vista East Trail
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    Big Falls Road / Gunpowder North and SouthOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the west side of Big Falls Road, 1.8 miles northeast of where it meets Monkton Road (route 138), Monkton, Maryland 21111. Just south of Gunpowder Falls. Baltimore City and County ADC map 7 J8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Room for ~9 vehicles. Easternmost access to the Gunpowder Falls North and Gunpowder Falls South trailheads.
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    Bunker HillOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the west side of Bunker Hill Road, 0.9 mile northwest of where it meets York Road (route 45), Parkton, Maryland 21120. Baltimore City and County ADC map 7 D8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Parking for over 100 vehicles.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Mingo Forks Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Gunpowder Falls North and South Loop Trail
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    Dundee Creek Marina

    Gunpowder River - Hammerman Area

    Gunpowder SouthOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the northwest side of Falls Road, 1.4 miles northeast of where it meets Evna Road, Parkton, Maryland 21120. Baltimore City and County ADC map 7 A6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: ~0.2 mile from the Gunpowder South Trail. Room for ~10 vehicles.

    BLOGS: November 11, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Highland Trail Loop
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    HighlandOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the west side of Falls Road, one mile northeast of where it meets Evna Road, Parkton, Maryland 21120. Baltimore City and County ADC map 6 K7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to the Highland Trail. Room for ~10 vehicles.

    BLOGS: November 11, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Highland Trail Loop
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    MasemoreOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on east side of Masemore Road, 1.4 miles north of where it meets Mount Carmel Road (route 137), Parkton, Maryland 21120. Baltimore City and County ADC map 7 B7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 11, 2019

    NOTES: Access to the blue blazed Gunpowder North Trail and the white blazed Gunpowder South Trail. What I saw of the Gunpowder North Trail was not well maintained. Parts of the Gunpowder South Trail are also not well maintained but most of it is fine and it is very scenic. This is a very popular fishing area.

    BLOGS: November 11, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Gunpowder North Trail: Masemore Road - Big Falls Road
    AllTrails - Gunpowder Falls North and South Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Highland Trail Loop
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    Mount Carmel / MingoOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the north side of Mount Carmel Road (route 137), 0.6 mile west of where it meets York Road (route 45), Parkton, Maryland 21120. Baltimore City and County ADC map 7 C10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to the Mingo Ridge Trail, Mingo Forks Trail, and Mingo Valley Trail.

    BLOGS: November 11, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Mingo Forks Trail Loop
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    Hell HouseOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This area is just south of the Patapsco River, north of Bonnie Branch Road, and west of Ilchester Road in Howard County, Maryland. It is easy to confuse it with being part of Patapsco Valley State Park but it is not.

    NOTES: This is one of my favorite places to explore. It is mysterious, spooky, and beautiful in an eerie sort of way. If you're looking for something different, this is it.

    The place goes by many names: Saint Mary's College Seminary Hiking Trail, Saint Mary's College, Ilchester Ghost Town, Creepy College, Hell House, and Hell House College of St Mary's.

    According to Wikipedia, Saint Mary's College was a Roman Catholic school built in 1868. A student would spend six years at the college before ordination as a priest. The college was shut down in 1972, with only ten students in its graduating class. In the 1980s, residents and media gave the college building the moniker, "Hell House".

    There are lots of trails out there, some of which were paved roads long ago. I've never found a good map of these trails and they are not marked. As of 2020, the MapQuest satellite photo gives a better view of the trails than Google Maps, probably because it was taken when there were less leaves on the trees.

    Who owns this property now? I saw a sign covered with vines that read "Private Property CSX Transportation, Inc." but it was obvious that CSX was not making any effort to make this sign readable. Also, I only saw one such sign. I've seen a LOT of people hiking this area and I don't think the owners care that people use the place recreationally. According to Wikipedia:
    The Kamakoti & Tirupati Foundation, which had previously leased the site launched an effort to purchase it. However, in 1988 the site was purchased by Sateesh Kumar Singh of BCS Limited Partnership for $400,000. A caretaker, Alan Rufus Hudson defended the property from vandals with repeated arrests for assault. On Halloween night, 1997, the building was burned by arsonists. The caretaker's building was condemned shortly afterward. The building was completely demolished in 2006.

    This place was landscaped for a college so drainage is good. You'll have no problems hiking here, even after a big rain.

    I did not see any trails west of 39.252444, -76.777000

    BLOGS: February 25, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MidAtlanticDayTrips - A Visit to Hell House in Howard County, MD
    Only in Your State - Somebody Painted Maryland's Hell House Ruins And It's A Mysterious Sight Indeed
    Ancient Origins - The legend of The Hell House College of St Mary's

    Bonnie Branch RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead is on the north side of Bonnie Branch Road, 0.2 mile west of where it meets Ilchester Road in Howard County, Maryland. Howard County ADC map 4936 H1. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 7, 2024

    NOTES: Look for an old vehicle gate and turnoff. You might be able to fit a couple of vehicles here. The gate blocks a road that is no longer in use. The road leads uphill and to the east, eventually connecting with the trails. The Ilchester Road trailhead has better access to parking.

    On the south side of Bonnie Branch Road is a creek called Bonnie Branch. Here you'll find the remains of Bonnie Branch Mill and the Bonnie Branch stone dam, built sometime around 1860.

    BLOGS: April 25, 2020 and April 7, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: HO-738-3
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    Ilchester RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This trailhead is 120 feet (as the crow flies) northwest of Ilchester Road and 100 feet (as the crow flies) southwest of the nearby railroad track, Howard County, Maryland. Expect no signs or trail markings. Howard County ADC map 4816 H10. See map.

    There is limited parking at map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 25, 2020

    NOTES: A long stairwell leads uphill to the trails.

    BLOGS: April 25, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Saint Mary's aka hell house
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    Howard County ConservancyOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking at 10520 Old Frederick Road (route 99), Woodstock, Maryland 21163. Howard County ADC map 4694 K10. See map.

    PHONE: 410-465-8877

    DATE LAST UPDATED: May 19, 2019

    NOTES: Trailheads are near the parking lot. This is a very pristine little oasis with about four miles of trails. Lots of ticks in the summer. Many of the trails are mowed grass so the ticks are hard to avoid.

    BLOGS: May 19, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Howard County Conservancy
    Howard County Conservancy - Mount Pleasant
    AllTrails - East Branch and Tulip Poplar Trail Loop
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & DC - Howard County Conservancy – Mount Pleasant Farm
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    Herrington Manor State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Herrington Manor State Park. The Blue Trail trailhead is near the boat launch.

    PHONE: 301-334-9180

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 11, 2012

    NOTES: There is swimming at Herrington Lake along with a boat launch and fishing. The concession stand rents cross country skis, snowshoes, and sleds for a half day or full day. This is an excellent location for cross country skiing. There is no non-cabin camping but there is camping at the nearby Swallow Falls State Park. One can hike or ski 5.7 miles to Swallow Falls State Park on the Herrington Manor/Swallow Falls Trail which runs right past Snaggy Mountain Trail.

    BLOGS: December 26, 2010, January 17, 2011, and February 11, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Herrington Manor State Park - Hiking and Trail Maps
    State Parks - Maryland State Parks - Herrington Manor State Park
    AllTrails - Herrington Manor Park Loop
    Garrett Trails - Herrington Manor State Park Trails
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    Huntington - Middle PatuxentOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northeast of the Middle Patuxent River and southwest of a community called Huntington, which resides in Columbia, Maryland 21046.

    NOTES: As far as I know, this trail doesn't have a name. As of 2023, it doesn't even show up in Google Maps. I call it the Huntington Trail because it is near a community called Huntington.

    This is a great place to hike when there are a lot of people at Wincopin Park because there is hardly ever anyone at Huntingon. There might be two miles of trails.

    No restroom.

    VollmerhausenOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead is on the southwest side of Vollmerhausen Road, 450 feet southeast from where it meets Murray Hill Road, Columbia, Maryland 21046. See Howard County ADC map 5053 E5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 22, 2023

    NOTES: There is no parking nearby so you may have to walk a bit to get there.

    BLOGS: December 13, 2020 and January 22, 2023
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    Wincopin Yellow Trail ExtensionOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Starting in Wincopin Park, one can walk northwest on the Yellow Trail under highway 95. Northwest of the highway, you are in the Huntington - Middle Patuxent area. Howard County ADC map 5053 F7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: May 2023

    NOTES: No parking nearby. This connection is just if you want to extend your hike at Wincopin.

    BLOGS: May 18, 2014
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    Irvine Nature CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 11201 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117. The parking lot for the Nature Center is 0.3 mile east of Garrison Forest Road. Baltimore City and County ADC map 17 A13. See map.

    PHONE: 443-738-9200

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: This place has at least eight miles of trails. There is an entrance fee for non-members and hours/days are limited. Check out their website for trail access times. Pets are not permitted.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Irvine Nature Center
    Irvine Trail Map
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Irvine Nature Center
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    Jug Bay Wetlands SanctuaryOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is located in southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland. It lies east of the tidal Patuxent River west of Lothian, Maryland.

    NOTES: As of 2023, the Sanctuary has 19 miles of trails.

    If someone (myself included) doesn't refer to a specific part of the Sanctuary, you can almost always be assured they are talking about the Sanctuary Proper.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
    Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary - Properties
    Friends of Jug Bay

    Nature Preserve at Waysons CornerOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: East trailhead and parking at 5490 Sands Road (southwest side of road), Lothian, Maryland 20711. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5769 K1. See map.

    West trailhead and parking at 5481 Southern Maryland Boulevard (northeast side of the road), Lothian, Maryland 20711. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5769 J1. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: There are short hiking trails.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Nature Preserve at Waysons Corner
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    Parris N. Glendening Nature Preserve

    Sanctuary ProperOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 1361 Wrighton Road, Lothian, Maryland 20711. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5769 H5. See map.

    PHONE: 410-222-8006

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: When folks talk about the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, this is the area they are most likely referring to.

    Stop by the visitor center to sign in and pay the entrance fee. Their hours are more limited than a lot of places so check before you visit. Pets are not allowed.

    As of 2007, park naturalists can provide group canoe or hiking trips for a fee. Though you should get permission, it is likely the park will not have a problem if you bring your own boat as long as you paddle it to the boat launch, which is near the end of the Railroad Trail Bed peninsula on the south side.

    On March 4, 2007, I scouted out a pre-canoe trip hike. This five mile route covers the trails that wouldn't be seen during the walk to and from the boat launch so it made for a great pre-canoe route. It could be done in two hours but I recommend at least 2.5 hours for a good size group or three hours if you plan to stop at Sweet Flag Picnic Area for a snack or lunch. For the route, download the park map. If you need to shorten the route, I suggest skipping Beech Trail and finishing the last part of the hike on Utility Road instead of Middle Trail.

    BLOGS: March 4, 2007 and May 27, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
    Trail map
    MidAtlanticHikes - Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
    Paddling in Paradise at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
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    Wootons Landing Wetland Park
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    Kendall Ridge LoopOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Southeast trailhead is between 6442 and 6450 Summer Cloud Way, Columbia, Maryland 21045. Howard County ADC map 4936 C10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 22, 2020

    NOTES: The name makes it sound like it should be a rugged trail at the top of a ridgeline. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a fully paved suburban path. I'm guessing the full loop is ~2.5 miles. It is maintained by the Columbia Association.

    BLOGS: November 22, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Trail map
    Columbia and Howard County Pathway Map: The trailhead is located at G4
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    Little Bennett Regional ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This park is located just north of Clarksburg and east of highway 270.

    NOTES: This park boasts more than a dozen historic sites and over 25 miles of scenic natural surface trails.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Montgomery Parks - Little Bennett Regional Park
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Little Bennett Regional Park

    HyattstownOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 14901 Hyattstown Mill Road, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871. Montgomery County ADC map 2 J10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Lots of tree cover.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Hyattstown Mill, Pine Knob, Kingsley, Beaver Valley, Bennett Ridge
    AllTrails - Western Piedmont Trail, Mount Builder, Owl Ridge Loop
    AllTrails - Owl Ridge and Bennett Ridge
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    Little Bennett TrailheadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West end of Prescott Road, Clarksburg, Maryland 20871. Montgomery County ADC map 3 A9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 30, 2023

    NOTES: Lots of parking. Porta-john. This place is popular with mountain bikers and equestrians. Lots of tree cover.

    BLOGS: July 30, 2023

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Sidewinder Trail and Dark Branch Loop
    AllTrails - Dark Branch Trail
    AllTrails - Pine Grove, Western Piedmont, Windy Ridge
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    Maryland Heights

    Masonville Cove Environmental Education CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 1000 Frankfurst Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21226. Baltimore City and County ADC map 43 E8. See map.

    PHONE: 410-354-7180

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 8, 2024

    NOTES: The Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center is the nation's first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership and home to Captain Trash Wheel. Information about hiking trails and restrictions can be found at Masonville Cove - Plan Your Visit.

    Parking for ~18 vehicles.

    Unfortunately, pets are not permitted unless they are service animals.

    BLOGS: March 8, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Baltimore Residents Flock to Masonville Cove to Connect with Nature
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    Maxwell Hall ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: North end of Maxwell Drive, Hughesville, Maryland 20637l. Just west of the Patuxent River. Prince George's County ADC map 6237 J6. Charles County ADC map 21 G6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 27, 2019

    NOTES: 14.2 miles of trails. Bicycles prohibited. This place caters to equestrians so the trails tend to be wide. Dogs need to be leashed to keep them from spooking the horses. The Blue trail leads to a small beach on the Patuxent River. No drinking fountains. Porta-john available.

    BLOGS: July 27, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Charles County, Maryland - Facility Directory Table List - Maxwell Hall Park
    Friends of Maxwell Hall
    AllTrails - Best trails in Maxwell Hall Natural Resource Management Area
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    McKeldin

    Merkle Natural Resources Management AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Visitor Center and parking is located at 11704 Fenno Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Prince George's County ADC map 5885 G4. See map. Trailheads are very close by.

    PHONE: 443-510-9920

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This place is formerly known as the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary. With the renaming, leashed pets are now permitted.

    Restrooms and drinking fountains available at the visitor center which has limited hours. Porta-john available outside the visitor center. Outdoor water refill station just west of the west end of the visitor center parking lot behind a bush. Shaded picnic tables just east of the visitor center.

    The Critical Area Driving Tour (CADT) ends here.

    The Mounds Trail is in my opinion the prettiest. It goes along Lookout Creek and the Patuxent River.

    On March 4, 2007, I scouted the hiking trails for an upcoming trip. From the visitor center, catch the Paw Paw Trail and at every trail junction, turn left. This will take you through the entire network of trails. If you have weak hikers, I suggest they bail out at the Paw Paw Trail/Poplar Springs Trail intersection after ~two miles and head back to the visitor center. The rest of the group can complete the Poplar Springs Trail, finishing the 4.3 mile semi-circuit/semi-yo-yo hike. I recommend giving yourself two hours for this hike or 2.5 hours if leading a large group. For a copy of my route, download trail map.

    BLOGS: May 25, 2007, May 26, 2007, and April 23, 2005

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Merkle Natural Resources Management Area and Visitor Center
    MidAtlanticHikes - Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary
    AllTrails - Best trails in Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Visitor's Center
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Merkle Natural Resources Management Area
    Biking Routes - Patuxent River Park to Merkle Natural Resources Management Area Loop
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    Meshach Browning TrailsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 1249 Bumble Bee Road, Accident, Maryland 21520. Garrett County ADC map L13. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 4, 2021

    NOTES: This is a good place to go if you want to get away from things, though there are quite a few place in Garrett County that meet this criteria. The trails are generally well marked and a lot of maps are posted on trees but as of 2021, they don't tell you where you are so it is still easy to get lost.

    BLOGS: April 4, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Meshach Browning Trail System
    Maryland DNR - Meshach Browning: Maryland's most celebrated hunter
    AllTrails - Best trails in Meshach Browning Trail System
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    Middle Patuxent Environmental AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) is a 1,021-acre (4.13 km2) wildlife area in Clarksville, Maryland and operated by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. It is located next to the River Hill village in the town of Columbia, Maryland.
    - from Wikipedia - Middle Patuxent Environmental Area

    PHONE: 410-313-4700

    NOTES: The MPEA has 5.4 miles (8.7 km) of hiking trails including the 2.4-mile (3.9 km) Wildlife Loop Trail and the 2.3-mile (3.7 km) South Wind Trail. Both trails pass along the Middle Patuxent River.
    - from Wikipedia - Middle Patuxent Environmental Area

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Middle Patuxent Environmental Area Foundation
    AllTrails - Best trails in Middle Patuxent Environmental Area
    Howard County Bird Club - Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA)

    Trotter Road entranceOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 5795 Trotter Road (east side of road), Clarksville, Maryland 21029. Howard County ADC map 4934 C6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 28, 2019

    NOTES: The 2.4-mile, orange-blazed Wildlife Loop Trail trailhead is on the east side of this entrance. Around 2020, the trailhead area was rebuilt with a nice restroom.
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    South Wind entranceOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead on the south side of South Wind Circle, 150 feet east of where it meets Misty Top Pass, Columbia, Maryland 21044. Howard County ADC map 4934 D7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 28, 2019

    NOTES: The trailhead connects to the 2.3-mile long South Wind Trail. No restroom.

    BLOGS: January 28, 2019
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    Clarksville Pike entranceOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead on the south side of Clarksville Pike (route 108), 0.6 mile northeast of where it meets Trotter Road, Howard County, Maryland. This is on the southwest side of the bridge over the Middle Patuxent River. Howard County ADC map 4934 D4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 7, 2020

    NOTES: There are no signs and no restroom. This is not an official entrance...just one I stumbled upon.
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    Morgan Run Natural Environment AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the north end of Benrose Lane (sometimes spelled "Ben Rose"), Carroll County, Maryland 21784. Carroll County ADC map 24 F11. See map.

    PHONE: 410-461-5005

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 16, 2023

    NOTES: Do not confuse this area with Morgan Run Trail. Tons of parking and a porta-john. Hikers share the trail with equestrians. The trails here are not the most interesting.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Morgan Run Natural Environment Area
    AllTrails - Best trails in Morgan Run Environmental Area
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    Morgan Run TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the east side of Sykesville Road (route 32), 500 feet north of Liberty Reservoir, Eldersburg, Maryland 21784. Carroll County ADC map 30 E3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: No restroom. Parking for 13+ vehicles. No blazes on trail. Lots of shade. Many trails branch off the main one. Just keep yourself oriented with the reservoir and you won't get too lost. Share the trail with horses and mountain bicyclists. It is recommended to wear long trousers because of all the shrubbery under the power lines.

    Do not confuse this area with Morgan Run Natural Environment Area.

    BLOGS: July 20, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Liberty Reservoir Morgan Run Loop
    AllTrails - Liberty Reservoir: Liberty West-Morgan Runs Trail
    MidAtlanticHikes - Morgan Run Loop
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    Mount Nebo Wildlife Management AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking on the north side of Mount Nebo Road, 0.2 mile northwest of where it meets Garrett Highway (route 219), Oakland, Maryland 21550. Garrett County ADC map H23. See map.

    PHONE: 301-334-4255

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 6, 2020

    NOTES: No restroom. As best as I can remember, many of the "trails" here are dirt roads.

    BLOGS: September 6, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Mt. Nebo WMA
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Mt. Nebo Wildlife Management Area
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    New Germany State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the south side of McAndrews Hill Road, 0.4 mile northeast of where it meets New Germany Road, Grantsville, Maryland 21536. Garrett County ADC map AA8. See map.

    PHONE: 301-895-5453. Park reservations: 1-888-432-2267

    DATE LAST UPDATED: June 9, 2018

    NOTES: What is the relationship between New Germany State Park and Savage River State Forest? According to Maryland DNR - Savage River State Forest Trail Guide:
    Two state parks located within the State Forest: New Germany and Big Run.

    You can ski here in the winter and kayak here in the summer, launching at the beach or the ramp.

    This is a nice place to camp and there are a good number of trails. Be sure to bring bug spray. It seems there are more mosquitos here than other parts of Garrett County. I've been told site 39 is the best one and I agree. If you bring your dog, you'll have to camp in the Hemlock Loop, which does not include site 39.

    BLOGS: January 15, 2011 and June 9, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - New Germany State Park
    Maryland DNR - New Germany State Park - Trails
    AllTrails - Best trails in New Germany State Park
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    Oregon Ridge ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the southwest end of Kurtz Lane, Cockeysville, Maryland 21030. This road may not appear on some maps. It connects to 13555 Beaver Dam Road. If you follow signs for the Nature Center, you'll end up at the right place. Baltimore City and County ADC map 18 2A. See map.

    PHONE: 410-887-1818

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This parking lot is ~600 feet east of the Nature Center. There are numerous trailheads in this vicinity.

    There used to be a beach with swimming in a freshwater lake but that ended ~2017. It supposedly closed down permanently due to a tragedy and then some water health issues. The lake was once a quarry.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Baltimore County Government - Oregon Ridge Park and Lodge
    Oregon Ridge Nature Center Council
    Hiking Project - Oregon Ridge Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Oregon Ridge Park
    YouTube - What Ever Happened To The Beach At Oregon Ridge Park?
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    Oxbow Natural AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on the west side of Oxbow Place, 0.4 mile northwest of where it meets Russett Green West, Russett Community, Laurel, Maryland 20724. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5170 A2. See map.

    PHONE: 410-222-7317

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 15, 2019

    NOTES: No restroom and no official parking lot. Not much signage either. The trails here are short and not the best maintained so hiking here is not that great but it is a really good place for winter birding. This area
    comprises over 300 acres of public land surrounding a 70-acre lake in the floodplain of the Little Patuxent River. Oxbow Lake is considered to be the largest naturally occurring body of freshwater in Maryland; other large lakes are all man-made, the result of damming creeks or rivers.
    - from Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Oxbow Natural Area

    BLOGS: December 15, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Nature Conservancy - Oxbow Nature Preserve
    Anne Arundel County - Patuxent River Greenway - Oxbow Natural Area

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    Parris N. Glendening Nature PreserveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Parris N. Glendening Nature Preserve is east of the Patuxent River and southwest of Route 4 near Lothian, in southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

    NOTES: This place is more commonly called the Glendening Nature Preserve.

    The Preserve is part of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary but unlike the Sanctuary Proper, the Preserve is dog-friendly. You'll find lots of beautiful, wooded trails. It makes for a great summer hike because it is so well shaded.

    The trails are fairly well maintained. Near the northernmost end of the red trail is a picnic table and an open area. Some small prickly pear plants too. There is a white trail that leads to the Plummer House which is at the northeast end of the Sanctuary. The southern part can get muddy but the rest of the place is more sandy and well drained.

    BLOGS: August 20, 2017

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary - Properties
    2019 trail map
    AllTrails - Best trails in Glendening Nature Preserve
    MidAtlanticHikes - Glendening Preserve

    Plummer Road EntranceOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 5702 Plummer Lane, Lothian, Maryland 20711. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5769 K2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: May 2, 2020

    NOTES: This is the main entrance. While it is called the Plummer Road Entrance, the name of the road is Plummer Lane. Restroom available.

    BLOGS: December 21, 2008, May 22, 2019, and May 2, 2020
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    Wrighton Road EntranceOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 1290 Wrighton Road, Lothian, Maryland 20711. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5769 J4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: May 2, 2020

    NOTES: No restroom.

    BLOGS: May 2, 2020
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    Patapsco Valley State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Patapsco Valley State Park is a Maryland state park extending along 32 miles (51 km) of the Patapsco River south and west of the city of Baltimore, Maryland.
    - from Wikipedia - Patapsco Valley State Park

    PHONE: 410-461-5005

    NOTES: This is Maryland's largest and first state park, its first formation being in 1906. The park has over 200 miles of trails, with 70 of those miles identified as maintained trails.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Patapsco Valley State Park
    Maryland DNR - Patapsco Valley State Park - Trail Maps
    AllTrails - Best trails in Patapsco Valley State Park
    Patapsco - Patapsco Valley State Park
    Hiking Project - Patapsco Valley State Park
    Hiking through History in Patapsco Valley State Park

    AlbertonOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking for eight vehicles on the east side of Alberton Road, just south of where it meets Dogwood Road, Baltimore County, Maryland 21244. Baltimore City and County ADC map 32 F8. See map.

    Additional parking for six vehicles on the southwest side of Hollofield Road, just south of where it meets Dogwood Road, Baltimore County, Maryland 21244. Baltimore City and County ADC map 32 F8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 27, 2019

    NOTES: Start here if you want to walk on the Baltimore County side of the Patapsco River to the Daniels area. No restroom.

    BLOGS: December 8, 2018 and January 27, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Alberton Self-Guided Hike
    AllTrails - Alberton Road Trail
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    AvalonOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the northeast side of River Road, where it intersects Gun Road, Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland 21075. Howard County ADC map 4937 D4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: The Avalon, Glen Artney, and Orange Grove areas are often merged into one. This is not unreasonable since they are all adjacent to each other. But it can get a little confusing trying to figure out where one starts and the other ends. This is especially true for the Avalon area.

    This is a popular area for large group gatherings. There is a large parking lot, playground, and restroom. Trail access, however, is not that great. Supposedly, the Ridge Trail Extension meets just across from the parking lot. Otherwise, the Ridge Trail and/or Water Bars Trail meets the south side of River Road ~0.25 mile northwest of the Avalon parking lot.

    BLOGS: March 25, 2008
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    DanielsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Daniels Area for a plethora of information.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 22, 2022

    NOTES: There is no way to legally cross the river in this area without getting extremely wet. Futher downstream is the CSX railroad bridge but pedestrians cannot cross it. If you want to walk on the Baltimore County side of this area (across the Patapsco River), start at Alberton.

    BLOGS: January 20, 2014 and March 24, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Old Main Line and Daniels Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Old Main Line, Daniel's SIngle Track, and Backside of Daniels
    AllTrails - Old Main Line and Backside of Daniels Loop
    AllTrails - Church Loop via Daniels Road Trail
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    Glen Artney / Lost LakeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the east end of Glen Artney Road, Halethorpe, Baltimore County, Maryland 21227. Parking is on the south side of the road. Baltimore City and County ADC map 41 E11. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 25, 2012

    NOTES: Restroom available. The trailhead for the Grist Mill Trail is on the west side. A path leads under the train tracks on the north side to the Soapstone Trail.

    BLOGS: April 16, 2005, March 12, 2006, and February 25, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Patapsco Valley State Park - Avalon/Glen Artney/Orange Grove Area Directions
    Step Outside - Patapsco Valley State Park: Glen Artney
    AllTrails - Upper Glen Artney Alternate Loop
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    Glen Artney / SoapstoneOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the southwest side of South Rolling Road (route 166), 0.5 mile northwest of where it meets Sulphur Spring Road, Halethorpe, Baltimore County, Maryland 21227. Baltimore City and County ADC map 41 G8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: A network of trails comprise the northern section of the Glen Artney area. This area is extremely popular with mountain bikers so if you plan on hiking, please exercise caution. No restroom.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Mountain Bike Project (MTB) - Soapstone Trail
    AllTrails - Soapstone Trail
    AllTrails - Soapstone and Bull Run Loop
    AllTrails - Soapstone Trail to Santee Branch and Grist Mill Loop
    AllTrails - Soapstone Trail to Vineyard Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Soapstone Trail to Grist Mill Trail
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    HilltopOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the south side of South Hilltop Road, 1.1 miles south of where it meets Frederick Road (route 144), Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland 21228. Baltimore City and County ADC map 41 A7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 29, 2018

    NOTES: From here, one can catch Buzzard Rock Trail, heading either northeast or southwest. If heading southwest, it is about a third of a mile to Ilchester Rocks, a popular rock climbing area.

    No restroom. Parking for ~15 vehicles. There are other trailheads on this road but I think the parking is best here.

    BLOGS: February 25, 2012 and November 29, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Patapsco - Ilchester
    Mountain Project - Ilchester Climbing
    AllTrails - Best trails in Patapsco Valley State Park: There are a LOT of hiking options in this area. I suggest going to this link and just zooming in on the South Hilltop Road area to view your choices.
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    HiltonOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the southwest side of the Park Drive loop, Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland 21228. Baltimore City and County ADC map 41 C8. See map.

    Additional parking and trailhead access just north of the Nature Center near Pavillion/Shelter #245. The Nature Center is a little north of the north side of the Park Drive Loop, Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland 21228. Baltimore City and County ADC map 41 C8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 19, 2018

    NOTES: Lots of parking and a restroom. Access to some various hiking routes. This is a good child-friendly section of the park. There is a nature center, big playground, and an "All Sensory Trail" for blind kids. There are campgrounds and cabins nearby.

    BLOGS: April 16, 2005, February 25, 2012, December 19, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Forest Glen Trail
    AllTrails - Forest Glen, Pigs Run, Santee Branch, and Backside of Nun's
    AllTrails - Nun's Run, Grist Mill, and Forest Glen Loop
    AllTrails - Forest Glen and Pigs Run Loop
    AllTrails - Pigs Run to Santee Branch Trail
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    HollofieldOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 8020 Baltimore National Pike (route 40), Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland 21043. Howard County ADC map 4816 E3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 19, 2019

    NOTES: This area has a scenic river valley overlook, picnic sites, rental pavilions, and fishing. In the campground, there are numerous campsites, some with electric hookups, a pet loop, and a camp store.

    BLOGS: December 29, 2007 and February 19, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Hollofield Area
    AllTrails - Best trails in Patapsco Valley State Park: There are a LOT of hiking options in this area. I suggest going to this link and just zooming in on the Hollofield area to view your choices.
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    IlchesterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on the southeast side of Ilchester Road, 150 feet northeast of where it meets Bonnie Branch Road, east of Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland. Howard County ADC map 4936 H1. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 25, 2012

    NOTES: This trailhead is at the north side of what I believe is called the Grist Mill Walking Bridge. The north side is in Howard County while the south side is in Baltimore County. Once on the south side, you are on the Grist Mill Trail in the Hilton Area of the park.

    Much of this area is known as Ilchester. The road, tunnel, and rock climbing area all bear this name.

    There are parking spaces along the side of the road but they tend to fill up quickly on a nice day.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Patapsco - Ilchester
    AllTrails - Grist Mill Trail via Ilchester
    AllTrails - Grist Mill, Sawmill Branch, Santee Branch, and Cascade Falls Trail
    TrailLink - Grist Mill Trail at Patapsco Valley State Park
    Mountain Project - Ilchester Climbing
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    Landing Road

    McKeldinOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This recreation area is located at 11676 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville, Maryland 21104. It is on the southeast side of Marriottsville Road in Carroll County, 3.4 miles north of Old Frederick Road (route 99). Carrol County ADC map 36 C5. There is parking, a restroom, and access to the Switchback Trailhead at map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 8, 2018

    NOTES: I think of this as the Harpers Ferry of Patapsco Valley State Park. The former is where three states meet and at the confluence of the Patapsco and Shenandoah Rivers while the latter is where three counties meet and at the confluence of the Patapsco and South Branch of the Patapsco Rivers.

    The scenery here is really great. All the river views are very calming. The changes in elevation make me feel like I am someplace further west. In my opinion, this is the most scenic part of the park. Unfortunately, I rarely go there now because there is a shooting range nearby. It isn't all that loud and I have nothing against guns but Daphne does. So be forewarned if you have a sensitive dog.

    BLOGS: April 16, 2005, February 28, 2010, and September 8, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Patapsco Valley State Park - McKeldin Area
    AllTrails - McKeldin Switchback Trail
    AllTrails - McKeldin to Woodstock Train Loop: This one has some pretty serious water crossings.
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    Old Frederick Road

    Orange GroveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the northwest end of River Road, Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland 21075. Howard County ADC map 4936 K2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: May 21, 2017

    NOTES: Numerous trail options, lots of parking, a restroom, access to Cascade Falls, and a pedestrian bridge to access the other side of the Patapsco River makes this a Cadillac trail access area.

    BLOGS: March 12, 2006, November 12, 2011, February 25, 2012, and May 21, 2017

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Best trails in Patapsco Valley State Park: There are a LOT of hiking options in this area. I suggest going to this link and just zooming in on the Orange Grove area to view your choices.
    Wikipedia - Patapsco Swinging Bridge
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    WoodstockOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Thru Trail westbound trailhead on the north side of the Patapsco River is listed as "drop-off" at Launch Sites - Woodstock.

    There is a big parking lot on the west side of Woodstock Road (route 125) just south of the Patapsco River and across from the Woodstock Inn. See this map which shows parking information as of 2021.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 7, 2024

    NOTES: This is one of my favorite places to hike because there are so many choices. There are several trails in either direction along the Patapsco River.

    BLOGS: March 25, 2018, January 1, 2019, January 1, 2020, January 2, 2021, April 18, 2021, September 4, 2021, and April 7, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Woodstock Area 16 map
    AllTrails - Thru Trail, Lower Thru Trail and Blasphemy Climb
    AllTrails - Patapsco Valley Woodstock North
    AllTrails - Thru, Chevrolet, Joe's, and Quarry Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Patapsco Valley Quarry Trail
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    Patuxent Branch TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Patuxent Branch Trail follows the Little Patuxent River in southern Howard County, Maryland. It stretches from Lake Elkhorn in Columbia to Savage Park in Savage.

    PHONE: Howard County Recreation and Parks: 410-313-4700

    NOTES: Various websites post differing distances for this 4.6-mile semi-paved trail. I know from personal experience that this trail is well suited for hiking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Howard County - Patuxent Branch Trail
    AllTrails - Patuxent Branch Trail
    TrailLink - Patuxent Branch Trail
    The Patuxent Branch Trail - Connecting the Industrial Past of Guilford with the Present

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Lake ElkhornOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The northern terminus of the trail lies east of Broken Land Parkway and west of Lake Elkhorn, Columbia, Maryland 21045. Howard County ADC map 5053 E1. See map.

    The Lake Elkhorn parking lot lies 0.2 mile south of the northern terminus of the trail on the east side of Broken Land Parkway, 0.2 mile north of where Broken Land Parkway intersects Snowden River Parkway. Howard County ADC map 5053 E2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: ~2021

    NOTES: The northern terminus of the Patuxent Branch Trail merges with the ~1.9-mile Lake Elkhorn Loop, a paved path that circumnavigates Lake Elkhorn.

    BLOGS: March 21, 2018 (skiing)

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Visit Howard County - Lake Elkhorn
    AllTrails - Lake Elkhorn Trail
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    Old Guilford RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the east side of Old Guilford Road, just south of Guilford Road, Columbia, Maryland 21046. Howard County ADC map 5053 F4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: ~2019

    NOTES: Porta-john available.

    This is the home of the Guilford Quarry Railroad Bridge, built in 1902.
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    Savage ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The southern terminus of the trail lies at the northernmost parking lot in Savage Park on the northwest side. The park resides at the north end of Fair Street, Savage, Maryland 20763. Howard County ADC map 5053 G8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: ~2022

    NOTES: In 1963, the Board of County Commissioners of Howard County adopted a General Park and Open Space Plan, which provides for acquisition of land along the Little and Middle Patuxent Rivers in order to develop a program of flood and erosion prevention, pollution control, conservation, and public recreation. This plan included the purchase of about 232 acres of land at the confluence of the rivers and downstream. Much of this land eventually came to be known as Savage Park.

    Savage Park of Howard County is not to be confused with Savage River State Forest.

    Just to the east of the playground, at 39.139250, -76.828417 is a marker that reads
    This survey point, set September 2001, marks the symbolic center of population for the state of Maryland. This point is where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the state of Maryland would balance perfectly if all its 5,296,486 residents (based on census 2000) were of identical weight.

    Since 2013, some privately owned undeveloped riverfront property bordering Savage Park was hotly contested by the community of Savage, with most of the residents favoring that the land not be turned into housing. This effort was led by Susan G., an outspoken leader in Savage. After seven years, all her hard work paid off and she finally won. This is a victory not just for Savage but also the environment.
    ...our county executive announced in March [2020] that the Savage Mill Remainder property would be purchased with Program Open Space funds and be added to Savage Park.
    - posted on Facebook

    County Executive Calvin Ball today [August 25, 2020] announced that an Agreement of Sale has been reached to acquire the Savage remainder property, a five-acre parcel located to the west of Savage Mill, for $1.725 million. Howard County will now preserve the property as open space. The County will use Program Open Space (POS) - state funding designated for outdoor recreation and open space areas for public use - to complete this transaction.
    - from "Scott E.'s Blog - Howard County will preserve a five-acre parcel located to the west of Savage Mill as open space"

    BLOGS: December 17, 2010, June 9, 2013, February 16, 2014 (skiing), March 3, 2014 (skiing), January 24, 2016 (skiing), and March 2, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Launch Sites - Savage Park
    Howard County - Savage Park Map
    Visit Howard County - Savage Park
    Patch - $1.7M Paid By HoCo Officials For Savage Remainder Property
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    Patuxent Ponds ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 1100 Patuxent Road (southwest side), Odenton, Maryland 21113. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5291 D4. See map.

    PHONE: 410-222-7317

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2019

    NOTES: No restroom. Parking for ~15 vehicles. The trails here are mediocre. Not much information online about this place. Nothing blazed or marked. The trails are more like dirt/sand roads. It is easy to get lost. Consider exploring the Patuxent Sand Esker.

    BLOGS: October 26, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Anne Arundel County - Patuxent River Greenway - Patuxent Ponds Park
    AllTrails - Patuxent Ponds Park
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    Patuxent Research RefugeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: With land surrounding the Patuxent River and Little Patuxent River in Anne Arundel County and Prince George's County, Maryland, the refuge encompasses land formerly managed by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Defense.

    PHONE: 301-497-5772

    NOTES: The refuge offers some nice hiking and bicycling opportunities.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: FWS - Patuxent Research Refuge
    AllTrails - Best trails in Patuxent Research Refuge

    North TractOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at 230 Bald Eagle Drive, Laurel, Maryland 20724. This is on the east side of Bald Eagle Drive where it meets Wildlife Loop (some maps show this as Switchboard Road). Anne Arundel County ADC map 5170 G8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 13, 2021

    NOTES: Visitors must check in at the contact station which has a restroom.

    The hours here are more limited than most hiking areas.

    This property is a former military installation and may contain unexploded munitions so don't stray from the trails.

    BLOGS: March 13, 2021 (bicycling)

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Patuxent Research Refuge – North Tract
    AllTrails - Patuxent Research Refuge North Tract Loop
    AllTrails - Patuxent Research Refuge Forest Trail
    AllTrails - Wildlife Loop to South Road
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    South Tract - National Wildlife Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, Maryland 20708. This is on the south side of where Scarlet Tanager Loop meets Tram Route (some maps might show this as Telegraph Road) just north of Redington Lake. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5290 C6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 29, 2023

    NOTES: Nice visitor center with lots of parking. Restroom available. This is a good biking destination and a fantastic place to see water lilies in the summer.

    On December 22, 2020, I reached out to the staff with some questions about the area. Here is what I was told
    The South Tract has no Unexploded Ordinance issues because it was never part of Fort Meade unlike the North tract which was part of the base. There are no Unexploded Ordinance issues on Central Tract either because it was not part of Fort Meade. But access to Central Tract is limited. Only staff and other researchers and contractors are allowed in. No access for the general public.

    BLOGS: July 29, 2023

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Patuxent Research Refuge – South Tract (National Wildlife Visitor Center)
    AllTrails - Cash Lake Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Patuxent Wildlife Refuge Loop Trail
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    Patuxent River ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northeastern Prince George's County, Maryland bordering Jug Bay.

    PHONE: 301-627-6074

    NOTES: The trails in this park may not be blazed. However, there are often markers at trail intersections. They are generally easy to follow and have little elevation change.

    Note that Patuxent River Park is different from Patuxent River State Park.

    BLOGS: April 23, 2005, March 4, 2007, May 25-28, 2007, and March 31, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Patuxent River Park
    Maryland DNR - Patuxent River Park
    NPS - Patuxent River Park
    MNCPPC - Jug Bay Natural Area Trail
    Map from trail sign: This is similar to the above but shows some additional trails
    Patuxent River Park / Jug Bay Natural Area - Map: This one is from 2022
    Patuxent River Park / Jug Bay Natural Area - Map: Not sure of the year of this map

    The following sites are listed in order of north to south:

    Governor BridgeOpen accordion icon

    Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 16000 Croom Airport Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Prince George's County ADC map 5769 G7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 2, 2022

    NOTES: There are many things to do in this area besides just stopping at the visitor center: kayak/canoe rental, hiking, fishing, power boat tours, and observation tower.

    Walk on the scenic Black Walnut Creek Nature Study Area boardwalk but don't bring your pet or bicycle on it.

    Visit the Patuxent Rural Life Museum.

    BLOGS: April 2, 2006 and December 2, 2006
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    Jacksons Landing

    CampgroundOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: On the south side of Croom Airport Road, 0.9 mile east of where Croom Airport Road meets Park Entrance Road, an unnamed and possibly gated road leads south. At the end of this unnamed road is the Patuxent River Park campground. Prince George's County ADC map 5769 G10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: I've found the staff to be extremely accommodating of groups when I've camped here. They are nowhere near as restrictive as the state parks who only seem willing to accommodate youth groups.

    There are four sites in the group camp area (A-D). Each site has at least one picnic table and a fire grate.

    The area has a pavilion on the south side of the white well building that is shared by all campers. This pavilion has numerous picnic tables, a few electrical outlets, and a tri-grill.

    A barn is available for use during inclement weather, located on the east side of the pavilion. This barn has a basketball hoop on the outside west side. Inside are several picnic tables and electrical outlets.

    Campsite D is my favorite site because it has some tree cover that can also be used for hanging hammocks. This site is east of the barn and has a huge, open, grassy area to its north, ideal for throwing the frizbee. The southern side is wooded while the Critical Area Driving Tour (CADT) is to the east. This site is ideal for a large group.

    My second favorite site is site B which is west of the barn on a grassy hill. To the west of campsite B are woods. The hill offers a nice view of the area but no privacy from campsite A which is on the north side at a lower elevation. If reserving two campsites, selecting A and B would be ideal. This site is also good for a large group.

    Campsite C is also good but better suited for a smaller group, perhaps five tents. It offers the most seclusion. It is south of campsite B and west of the barn. There are trees on three sides of campsite C. There is a dirt path that leads from campsite C to the pavillion.

    BLOGS: May 25-28, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Patuxent River Park - Camp Sites & Pavilion Rentals
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    Selbys Landing

    Critical Area Driving Tour (CADT)

    Saint Thomas Church RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at 15902 Saint Thomas Church Road (north side), 0.4 mile east of where it meets Windsor Knoll Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Prince George's County ADC map 5885 D2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 31, 2024

    NOTES: No restroom. Parking for ~eight vehicles. This area is not gated so you don't have to worry about getting locked in. Access to the red trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Patuxent River Blue Trail
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    Patuxent River State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This park resides in Montgomery County and Howard County, Maryland, along the upper 12 miles of the Patuxent River.

    PHONE: 443-962-0216

    NOTES: Note that Patuxent River State Park is different from Patuxent River Park.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Patuxent River State Park
    Howard County Bird Club - Patuxent River State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Patuxent River State Park
    Hiking Project - Patuxent River State Park

    Visitor Center and Nature Center - Georgia Avenue (Route 97)Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Visitor Center and Nature Center reside at 23222 Georgia Avenue (Route 97), Brookeville, Maryland 20833. This is on the west side of the road, south of the Patuxent River. Montgomery County ADC map 12 F4. Howard County ADC map 4932 A2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 7, 2019

    NOTES: Parking for 20+ vehicles. Restroom at trailhead. This place is very wooded. No need for sunscreen in the summer.

    The South End is home to Patuxent River State Park's Nature Center, as well as all the park's developed trails. Most of the park's programs take place in the South End, which is the most popular area for hikers in the park!
    - from Patuxent River State Park - Park Map and Information

    BLOGS: July 7, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Patuxent River: White, Red, Blue and Yellow Trail
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    North End - Mullinix Mill RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the southeast side of Mullinix Mill Road, one mile northeast of where it meets Long Corner Road, Mount Airy, Howard County, Maryland 21771. This site is just east of the Patuxent River. Howard County ADC map 4810 G3. Montgomery County ADC map 5 D7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: The North End is popular with hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. It is a largely undeveloped area with miles of unmarked trails created over the years by park patrons.
    - from Patuxent River State Park - Park Map and Information

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Patuxent River Trail
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    The Wildlands - Annapolis Rock RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the south side of Annapolis Rock Road, 0.7 mile west of where it meets Hipsley Mill Road, Woodbine, Howard County, Maryland 21797. Howard County ADC map 4811 B6. Montgomery County ADC map 5 G10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: The Wildlands encompasses 1,579 acres of land in the middle region of the park. The trail system here is largely undeveloped, which helps highlight the natural beauty of the river valley and provides an excellent place to study nature in an undisturbed state.
    - from Patuxent River State Park - Park Map and Information

    Nearby is a 591-foot peak called Annapolis Rock in Howard County. This should not be confused with the one on the Appalachian Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Cabin Branch Loop via Annapolis Rock Parking Area
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    Patuxent Sand EskerOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The traihead is located on the west side of Patuxent Road, 1.8 miles northwest of where it meets Conway Road, Odenton, Maryland 21113. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5291 C3. See map.

    The Patuxent Sand Esker is ~150 feet west of the trailhead at map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 10, 2019

    NOTES: This is perhaps the most unique place I've visited in Maryland. It looks more like something one would find on the surface of Mars. It is a big, open, red, sandy area. I've been able to learn nothing about its history or geologic origin.

    This area doesn't have real trails in a hiking sense. It is more like a network of roads for work and recreational vehicles. There are no road/trail signs so it is easy to get lost.

    What is an esker?
    An esker is an attractive landform formed through fluvioglacial deposition. It is a winding ridge of low-lying stratified sand or gravel dominating the terrain and providing the vintage point and dry routes. An esker occurs in a glaciated area or a formerly glaciated region, especially in Europe and North America.
    - from World Atlas - Mountain And Glacial Landforms: What Is An Esker?

    So the name of this place seems to imply that there was once a glacier here. But glaciers never made it as far south as Maryland.

    The trailhead I mention above is the closest access to the esker but there is no parking there. I suggest parking at Patuxent Ponds Park and then walking about a mile on the unmarked sandy trails to get to the esker.

    I've heard talk of turning the area into a landfill. There is already a good bit of junk there which people use for target practice so don't be surprised if you hear gunfire.

    BLOGS: October 26, 2019 and November 10, 2019
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    Piney Orchard Nature Trail / PreserveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The northwest trailhead for the Lone Wolf Trail is on the east side of Sandy Walk Way, 0.1 mile southeast of where it meets Piney Orchard Parkway in the community of Piney Orchard, Odenton, Maryland 21113. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5291 D1. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 29, 2020

    NOTES: I used to live in Piney Orchard back in the late 90s. If you were to ask me the best thing about Piney Orchard, I would say, without a doubt, it is the Nature Trail which has ~five miles of paved or unpaved paths. If you like peaceful, well maintained, wooded trails, then this is the place to go. You'll have a very hard time finding better trails so close to a residential area in the Baltimore area.

    There is a parking lot 200 feet northwest of the trailhead but this is for residents. There are other places in the community that non-residents can park. The trailhead I list here is one of many in the community.

    BLOGS: April 30, 2018, May 11, 2018, and March 29, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Piney Orchard - Nature Preserve - Map
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Piney Orchard Nature Preserve
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    Potomac-Garrett State ForestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This discontiguous forest is located in Garrett County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 301-334-2038

    NOTES: Potomac-Garrett State Forest
    ...consists of over 19,000 acres. The forest features the highest point in any Maryland state forest - Backbone Mountain, elevation 3220 feet. Over 30 miles of hiking trails are located within the forest.
    - from Potomac-Garrett State Forest flyer

    So there is Potomac State Forest, Garrett State Forest, and Potomac-Garrett State Forest. I believe the first two terms might now be obsolete. I'm thinking there was some consolidation of the two entities, perhaps for management, organizational, financial, or administrative reasons.

    Many of the trails here can be used by off-road vehicles (ORVs).

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Potomac-Garrett State Forest
    AllTrails - Best trails in Garrett State Forest
    AllTrails - Best trails in Potomac State Forest
    Garrett Trails - Trail Inventory and information
    Deep Creek Times - Potomac-Garrett State Forest Trails
    Western Maryland's Haven for Outdoor Recreation

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Rock MazeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at 3739 Snaggy Mountain Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550. This is on the northwest side of Snaggy Mountain Road, 200 feet southwest of where it meets Cranesville Road. Garrett County ADC map C20. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 3, 2021

    NOTES: This is a family-friendly natural rock formation just 0.4 mile north of the trailhead. No restroom.

    Apparently, someone, a group, or a government entity tried to close the maze. All signage related to the maze was removed. But I never saw anything to indicate the area was off limits. According to YouTube - Rock Maze Trail Closed, from October 27, 2019,
    In the end, graffiti was removed and 45 living trees were cut to close rock maze trail.

    My advise is to not believe anyone that says a trail is closed unless they are official. Pretty much anyone can post what they want on YouTube or social media sites.

    BLOGS: September 6, 2020 and April 3, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MidAtlantic Day Trips - Maryland's Amazing Rock Maze
    AllTrails - Rock Maze Trail
    YouTube - Rock Maze In Forest: For the Love of Deep Creek: Nice winter views
    Only in Your State - Hike Through Maryland's Rock Maze For An Adventure Like No Other
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    Snaggy Mountain TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead is on the east side of Herrington Manor Road, 1.4 miles south of there it meets Cranesville Road and Swallow Falls Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550. Garrett County ADC map D22/23. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 6, 2020

    NOTES: At one time, there was a trail near here called Snaggy Mountain Trail. Maps I've found now show the closest trail being the 5.5 Mile Trail or the Herrington Manor / Swallow Falls Trail.

    This area is just north of Herrington Manor State Park.

    BLOGS: September 6, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - 5.5 Mile, Wilderness Ranch, Snaggy Mountain Road, and Blue Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Brier Ridge Loop
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    North Hill TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on the northeast side of North Hill Road, 0.6 mile southeast of where it meets Upperman Road and Potomac Camp Road, Garrett County, Maryland. This is just west of Kitzmiller. Garrett County ADC map R28. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 19, 2022

    NOTES: Access to Backbone Mountain but no overlook. Avoid hiking during snowmelt because the trail will turn into a stream. It looks like an old logging road. Not the most scenic hike.
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    Lostland Run
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    Rachel Carson Greenway and Northwest Branch Stream Valley ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This stretch of trails is located in Prince George's County and Montogmery County, Maryland.

    The Rachel Carson Greenway Trail between Kemp Mill Road and Colesville Road is on the east side of the creek opposite the Northwest Branch Trail in that area.
    - from MNCPPC - Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Trails

    PHONE: 301-495-2595

    NOTES: What is the relationship between Rachel Carson Greenway and Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park? As far as I can tell, the latter is a major subset of the former.
    The Rachel Carson Greenway would include a set of three existing trails, including the Northwest Branch trail in Silver Spring, Woodlawn Manor trails in Sandy Spring and Rachel Carson Conservation Park trails near Laytonsville. The Northwest Branch Trail Corridor was officially renamed as the Rachel Carson Greenway on March 20, 2004. The largest section of the greenway consists of a network of unimproved hiking trails through the Northwest Branch stream valley gorge in Burnt Mills, Maryland.
    - from Wikipedia - Rachel Carson Greenway

    Northwest Branch lies in a rocky gorge that
    marks the "Fall Line," where the tough metamorphic rocks of the Piedmont, meaning "foot of the mountain," give way to the sandy sediments of the Coastal Plain. The rapid change in gradient creates a series of waterfalls, also referred to as the "Torrent and Gorge" section of the Northwest Branch. Below the Fall Line, the stream widens and slows down.
    - from "The Fall Line and the Gorge" park sign

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Rachel Carson Conservation Park Trails
    MNCPPC - Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park
    MNCPPC - Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park Trails - Map

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Rachel Carson Conservation ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 22201 Zion Road (west side), Brookeville, Maryland 20833. Montgomery County ADC map 12 B8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Parking for ~18 vehicles. Some of these trails follow Hawlings River.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Rachel Carson Conservation Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Rachel Carson Conservation Park
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    Burnt Mills WestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northwest side of Columbia Pike (route 29), directly across from 10701 Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901. Montgomery County ADC map 37 D3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 24, 2021

    NOTES: This lot has room for ~20 vehicles. Access to the Rachel Carson Greenway Trail on the east side of Northwest Branch. Access to the Northwest Branch Trail on the west side of the river. The Rachel Carson Greenway eventually merges with the Northwest Branch Trail near Wheaton Regional Park while the Northwest Branch Trail ends at it.

    BLOGS: January 4, 2009 and July 24, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Burnt Mills West Special Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Burnt Mills East Special Park: I know it says "East" but these hikes are for this trailhead
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    Burnt Mills EastOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 10701 Columbia Pike (route 29, southeast side), Silver Spring, Maryland 20901. Montgomery County ADC map 37 D3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: ~2022

    NOTES: The parking lot has room for ~64 vehicles. Access to Northwest Branch Trail and Copperhead Run Trail, both on the east side of the Northwest Branch and heading south. The Northwest Branch Trail eventually merges with the Anacostia River Trail and the Northeast Branch Trail at the Anacostia River.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MNCPPC - Burnt Mills East Special Park
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    Rock Maze

    Rockburn Branch ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This is a local park in Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland that follows the Rockburn Branch, a tributary of the Patapsco River.

    PHONE: 410-313-4700

    NOTES: The park has 7.4 miles of trails with the Rockburn Trail connecting to Morning Choice Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park.

    This is a family-friendly park with many amenities: disc golf, tennis courts, mountain biking (including a skills park), horseback riding, and numerous sports fields.

    There are lots of wooded trails, many of which are muddy due to poor drainage and overuse.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Visit Howard County - Rockburn Branch Park
    Howard County - Parks, Playgrounds, and Trails
    AllTrails - Best trails in Rockburn Branch Park
    Hiking Project - Rockburn Branch Park

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Lot for Fields 1-5Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking near 5400 Landing Road, Elkridge, Maryland 21075. Get to this location but continue to the parking lot near the end of the road. See Howard County ADC map 4936 J5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 9, 2021

    NOTES: This parking lot could get a lot of use when sporting events take place.

    BLOGS: January 9, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Rockburn, Pain Cave and Morning Choice Loop
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    Lot for Fields 7-8Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the east end of Rockburn Branch Park Road, Elkridge, Maryland 21075. See Howard County ADC map 4936 H6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 9, 2021

    NOTES: This parking lot could get a lot of use when sporting events take place.

    BLOGS: January 9, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Rockburn, Pain Cave, Belmont and Nacho Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Morning Choice, Lewis and Clark, Ridge Trail, Hop Snake, and Rockburn Loop
    AllTrails - Rockburn, Belmont, Ridge, Cascade Falls, and Lewis and Clark Trail
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    Landing RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking near 5568 Landing Road #5538, Elkridge, Maryland 21075. This is a half mile north of where Landing Road meets Montgomery Road. This borders Rockburn Park and the west side of Patapsco Valley State Park. See Howard County ADC map 4936 K6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 9, 2021

    NOTES: Park on either side of the road. On the west is Rockburn Trail in Rockburn Branch Park. On the east is Morning Choice Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park.

    BLOGS: January 9, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Rockburn, Pain Cave, Iskills, and Nu Trail Loop
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    Rocks State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Rocks State Park is a public recreation area located in and around Deer Creek Valley near Pylesville, Harford County, Maryland.
    Wikipedia - Rocks State Park

    PHONE: 410-557-7994

    NOTES: The state park's 1,060 acres (430 ha) preserve the geologic formation known as the King and Queen's Seat and other features in three non-contiguous areas...
    Wikipedia - Rocks State Park

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Rocks State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Rocks State Park
    Three Hibernal Hikes in Harford County

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Falling Branch / Kilgore FallsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at 1026 Falling Branch Road (north side), Pylesville, Maryland 21132. Harford County ADC map 3 D6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 31, 2019

    NOTES: Kilgore Falls is Maryland's second highest vertical drop (free-falling) waterfall. I have read that it is 19 feet tall.
    It is located on the Falling Branch of Deer Creek in northern Harford County. The falls were well known to local native Americans and settlers, but in recent times the area was relatively unknown because the land was privately owned. Through the work of citizens groups, businesses, schools and government agencies the Falling Branch Area was added to Rocks State Park in 1993 and open to the public.
    - from Maryland Geological Survey - Falling Branch

    There is no good kayaking here.

    There is room for 28 vehicles. Porta-john available. On a nice day, the lot will fill up and there is no parking along the side of Falling Branch Road but you can park on the nearby Clermont Mill Road.

    From the lot, it is probably less than a half mile to the falls. Once you get close, the trail will split. The lower trail will take you to the base of the falls where you can actually see it. The upper trail will take you to the top. From the top, you can continue along Falling Branch for a ways. The falls are under the power lines.

    To get a view of the falls, you'll need to get on the west side of Falling Branch Creek. There is no bridge to cross near the falls so you'll just have to rock hop or find a fallen tree to walk across.

    This is a popular swimming hole in the summer.

    Afterwards, be sure to check out Eden Mill Nature Center.

    BLOGS: February 7, 2016, February 18, 2017, and January 31, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Rocks State Park - Falling Branch / Kilgore Falls
    Zone Magazine - Kilgore Falls
    AllTrails - Falling Branch Trail to Kilgore Falls
    Hiking Project - Kilgore Falls Trail
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    Hidden ValleyOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking lot at 4710 Carea Road, White Hall, Maryland 21161. This is on the south side of Carea Road, 200 feet west of where it meets Telegraph Road and Madonna Road. Harford County ADC map 2 D8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Short out-and-back hike along the north side of Deer Creek.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Hidden Valley
    AllTrails - Hidden Valley
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    Wilson's Picnic Area

    Hills Grove Picnic Area

    Rocks Road mile 18.6

    Park OfficeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking lot at 3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road, Jarrettsville, Maryland 21084. This is on the north side of the road, 0.3 mile west of where it meets Rocks Road (route 24). Harford County ADC map 9 F4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 4, 2021

    NOTES: Access to the White Trail. The 190-foot outcrop known as King and Queen Seat is 0.4 mile from the trailhead.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - King and Queen Seat
    AllTrails - King and Queens Seat Loop
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    Gauging Station
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    Rocky Gap State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This is a public recreation area in Allegany County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 301-722-1480

    NOTES: The Park offers opportunities for water activities at Lake Habeeb, hiking, camping, and gambling at the Rocky Gap Casino Resort.

    BLOGS: September 29 to October 1, 2006

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Launch Sites - Rocky Gap
    Maryland DNR - Rocky Gap State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Rocky Gap State Park

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    White PineOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the north side of an unnamed road that starts on the west side of Pleasant Valley Road. The unnamed road is 1.2 miles northeast of where Pleasant Valley Road meets Lake Shore Drive, Flintstone, Maryland 21530. Allegany County ADC map EE2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: This location is ~450 feet from Launch Sites - Rocky Gap.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Rocky and Lakeside Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Lake Habeeb Lakeside Loop
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    Old Hancock RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West end of the paved part of Old Hancock Road Northeast, Flintstone, Maryland 21530. Allegany County ADC map DD3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to several trails.

    BLOGS: September 30, 2006

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Rocky Gap Canyon to Evitts Summit Trail
    AllTrails - Lake Habeeb Lakeside Loop
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    Rocky Gorge ReservoirOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This reservoir is located on the Patuxent River in Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties in Maryland, between Laurel and Burtonsville.

    PHONE: Watershed information: 301-206-4FUN. Brighton Dam Visitors Center: 301-206-7485. Watershed maintenance issues: 301-206-7485. Watershed security issues: 301-206-8888. WSSC water police: 301-208-8888 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

    NOTES: This place is also known as the T. Howard Duckett Reservoir.

    There are numerous trails on the south side of this reservoir and a few on the north side. If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful walk when the popular trails are packed, then this is the place to go. There are no scenic overlooks, historic buildings, or anything else to draw a lot of people. The property is managed by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).

    It is especially important to clean up any dog waste when you hike here because any such waste will flow into the reservoir and end up in people's drinking water. Dogs are supposed to be on leash but if you should let them run off leash, just note that many of these trails are shared by equestrian riders. Also, be aware that the trails furthest from the reservoir border up against private property.

    Many of the trails at the reservoir are really dirt roads for maintenance vehicles.

    Permits are required to engage in recreational activities at the reservoir. You can purchase a permit online at WSSC - Watershed Recreation User Program or at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center, 2 Brighton Dam Road, Brookeville, Maryland 20833-2026. Here, you can also pick up a nice hardcopy map.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: T. Howard Duckett (Rocky Gorge) Reservoir - 2016 map

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Brown's BridgeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the "Parking" link at Launch Sites - Brown's Bridge - Montgomery County.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 8, 2022

    NOTES: Hiking northwest, between Ednor Road and Tucker Lane, one will find various side trails between the main trail and the Patuxent River.

    BLOGS: July 18, 2020, July 18, 2021, and July 8, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Browns Bridge and Rocky Gorge Reservoir
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    BridleOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at 16809 Brogden Road, Spencer, Maryland 20868. At north end of Brogden Road. Montgomery County ADC map 23 A11 or Howard County ADC map 5051 G9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 29, 2020

    NOTES: No restroom. Parking for ~7 vehicles.

    BLOGS: November 29, 2020
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    Supplee Lane
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    Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area (NRMA)Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Sassafras NRMA is located in Kent County, Maryland, south of the Sassafras River and west of Turner Creek.

    PHONE: 410-820-1668

    NOTES: There are ~nine miles of trails that are used by horses, hikers, hunters, and mountain bikers. From mid-July to mid-August, you can walk to a duck blind at the Tidal Pond and catch a view of the lotus flowers blooming.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area
    AllTrails - Best trails in Sassafrass Natural Resource Management Area
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area & Turner's Creek Park
    Maryland Hikes - Sassafras NRMA: Hike to a Sandy Beach & Tidal Marshes in Kennedyville, Maryland

    Main AccessOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the northwest side of an unnamed road, 0.9 mile from the start. This road commences at Turners Creek Road, 1.8 miles north of where Turners Creek Road meets Lambs Meadow Road (route 298), Kennedyville, Maryland 21645. Kent County, Maryland ADC map 3 D4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 12, 2012

    NOTES: The parking lots holds ~40 vehicles. No restroom but there is one at Turner's Creek County Park.

    BLOGS: August 12, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - River View Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Tidal Pond Loop
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    Turners Creek RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking lot is on the northwest side of Turners Creek Road, 2.5 miles north of where it meets Lambs Meadow Road (route 298), Kennedyville, Maryland 21645. Kent County, Maryland ADC map 3 F5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 1, 2019

    NOTES: There is a restroom a short distance away at Turner's Creek County Park.

    I suggest you plan your hike so you can check out the Knock's Folly Visitor Center.

    BLOGS: November 2-3, 2019

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Tochwogh Trail via Turner's Creek Park
    The Historical Marker Database - A Home with a Rich Past
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    Savage Mill TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Traihead on the west side of Foundry Street, just north of Gorman Road, Savage, Maryland 20763. Howard County ADC map 5053 H9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: June 15, 2023

    NOTES: In 1887, the Patuxent Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad was built by extending the Savage factory spur to serve a granite quarry in Guilford, a town that is now part of Columbia. A one mile section of this railroad was purchased by Howard County in 1978. It became the recreational trail that we now know as the Savage Mill Trail.

    This trail does not connect to the Patuxent Branch Trail or Wincopin but I have spoken to legislators and other county representatives, urging them to connect the three to provide increased access.

    Porta-john available. Parking on both sides of Foundry Street. One way on this trail is ~0.7 mile. If the water is low, you can rock hop to cross the Middle Patuxent River to Wincopin or you can cross the Little Patuxent River to Savage Park.

    If you like seeing whitewater flowing over rocks, this is a great place. Lots of great scenery in a very short distance. It is especially beautiful in the winter when things are frozen.

    The trail is a flat, gravel/dirt road ~10 feet wide.

    At 39.134972, -76.833194, a branch of this trail heads southwest and connects to a community playground just off Rock Ripple Lane. Rock Ripple Lane is almost right across the street from the Savage Library.

    Slightly northwest of the above mentioned branch is another branch that leaves the Savage Mill Trail and heads west and uphill. This branch splits, with the right sub-branch heading to the east end of the field behind Forest Ridge Elementary School. You can walk along a drainage berm behind Falling Waters Court that will take you to the south end of the field behind the school. The left sub-branch heads to what appears to be private property on Woodsedge Court.

    BLOGS: December 1, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Savage Historic Mill Trail
    TrailLink - Savage Mill Trail
    Howard County Bird Club - Savage Mill Trail
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    Savage Park

    Savage River State ForestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Savage River State Forest is located in the north and northeastern part of Garrett County, Maryland. The state forest has many waterways, including Savage River Reservoir. [The Forest]...is mostly located on the eastern side of the Eastern Continental Divide, which means that most of its waterways will eventually lead to the Potomac River and thus the Chesapeake Bay. But some of its waterways flow into the Youghiogheny River.
    - from Wikipedia - Savage River State Forest

    PHONE: 301-895-5759

    NOTES: The forest is comprised of over 55,000 acres, ten trails totaling 78 miles, and 72 campsites. It is Maryland's largest state forest.

    Many of the trails here can be used by off-road vehicles (ORVs).

    Savage River State Forest is not to be confused with Savage Park in Howard County, Maryland.

    BLOGS: July 1, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Savage River State Forest
    Maryland DNR - Savage River State Forest - Recreation - Trails
    Maryland DNR - Savage River State Forest Trail Guide
    State Parks - Savage River State Forest
    AllTrails - Best trails in Savage River State Forest
    Garrett Trails - Trail Inventory and information
    Straddling the Eastern Continental Divide

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Saint John's RockOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This scenic overlook is ~800 feet (as the crow flies) northeast of the northerm terminus trailhead for Big Savage Mountain. You can park near the trailhead but if you have a vehicle that can handle off-road driving, then you can park much closer to the overlook. Garrett County ADC map LL5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 15, 2022

    NOTES: Saint John's Rock is a resistant sandstone outcrop of the Pottsville geologic formation located on Big Savage Mountain. Since the late 1800's, it has been a tourist and recreational attraction, with some visitors leaving their name and date of visit etched into the rock [please don't etch into the rock]. From its 2,904-foot overlook (some sources say 2,920 feet), one can clearly see the town of Frostburg about two miles east on a clear day.
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    Big Savage MountainOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The northeast terminus of this trail is on the south side of Saint John's Rock Outdoor Recreational Vehicle (ORV) Trail, a dirt road which may not appear on some maps. This ORV trail meets Saint John's Rock Road 0.5 mile south of where Saint John's Rock Road intersects with Beall School Road. The Big Savage Mountain trailhead is 0.4 mile northeast of this intersection. Garrett County ADC map LL5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 15, 2022

    NOTES: No restrooms. This is a ~17-mile challenging route.

    BLOGS: November 25, 2006 and July 16, 2017

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Big Savage Mountain Trail System
    NPS - Hike the Big Savage Mountain Trail
    Garrett Trails - Big Savage Mountain Hiking Trail
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    Mount AetnaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking for the Outer Loop is on the northeast side of Mount Aetna Road, 0.6 mile northwest of where it meets Frostburg Road, Garrett County, Maryland 21532. Garrett County ADC map GG7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 15, 2022

    NOTES: This area is in the 700-acre Mount Aetna Tract, a network of hiking trails nestled between Mudlick Run and the Savage River.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Garrett Trails - Mt. Aetna and Savage River Lodge Trails
    Hiking Project - Mt. Aetna Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Savage River Outer Loop and Red Oak Trail
    AllTrails - Savage River Blue Trail
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    Negro MountainOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the northeast side of Bowman Hill Road, 0.6 mile northwest of where it meets Foxtown Road, west of the town of Accident, Garrett County, Maryland. Garrett County ADC map R8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 15, 2022

    NOTES: On the eastern side of the Eastern Continental Divide lies Negro Mountain. Known for having the highest point on the National Road, the first highway in the United States, in recent years, Negro Mountain's name has been the subject of debate and controversy. Its origins are hazy, but the best documented story is that a black slave or a scout called "Nemisis" died heroically in 1756 during the French and Indian War while serving under frontiersman Colonel Thomas Cresap. While the mountain was most likely named as a testament to African American bravery, many are demanding that it be renamed. Such a bill was introduced in 2011, but rejected. Eight years later, the Maryland State Highway Administration removed road signs for Negro Mountain, citing concerns over racial sensitivity. So if the parking lot leaves you wondering if you're at the right place, you probably are.

    The trails are comprised of mostly of unmarked logging roads but there are nice views at the power lines.

    BLOGS: April 4, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Negro Mountain Loop
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    New Germany State Park

    Poplar LickOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The northwest trailhead is on the south side of New Germany Road, 0.5 mile southwest of where it meets Otto Lane, Garrett County, Maryland 21536. Garrett County ADC map Y10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Parking for ~12 vehicles. No restroom. ~Five miles one way to southeast trailhead at Savage River Road. There are drive-in campsites and several stream crossings along the way. Lots of off road vehicles during peak season.

    BLOGS: May 25, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Poplar Lick Trail
    Garrett Trails - Poplar Lick Trail
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    Meadow MountainOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trail lies on both sides of Frank Brenneman Road, 0.4 mile north of where it meets New Germany Road, Garrett County, Maryland 21536. Garrett County ADC map U12. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Parking for ~two vehicles along the side of the gate. No restroom. One can head west for about 0.8 miles to the overlook or east for ~four miles to Otto Lane, a dirt road.

    BLOGS: Christmas Day 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Meadow Mountain Trail System - Savage River State Forest
    Garrett Trails - Meadow Mountain Trail
    AllTrails - Meadow Mountain From Frank Brenneman Road
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    Big Run State Park

    High RockOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking is on the east side of Westernport Road, 1.6 miles south of where it meets Pine Swamp Road and Russell Road, Barton, Maryland 21521. The trailhead is across from the parking lot, on the west side of Westernport Road. Garrett County ADC map CC16. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: It is a 2.2-mile out-and-back hike to the overlook which lies to the west. This overlook is the 2,991-foot High Rock, though some maps call it the 2,996-foot Big Savage Mountain.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - High Rock
    Only in Your State - High Rock
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    Seneca Creek GreenwayOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This trail is located along Seneca Creek in Montgomery County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 301-495-2595

    NOTES: Different sources will quote different distances for the length of this trail but ~25 miles is the norm.

    The demarkation between Seneca Creek Greenway and Seneca Creek State Park is a little fuzzy.

    BLOGS: December 7, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Montgomery Parks - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail
    Hiking Project - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail
    AllTrails - Seneca Creek Greenway Lower Trail
    AllTrails - Seneca Creek Greenway to Clopper Lake Loop
    Trail Forks - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Magruder Branch - Log House RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the east side of Log House Road, 0.3 mile north of where it meets Watkins Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20882. Montgomery County ADC map 10 D3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Some maps show the trail on either side of the road as being the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail while other show it as the Lower Magruder Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail: Log House Rd to Watkins Rd
    AllTrails - Lower Magruder Trail From Damascus Recreational Park
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    Watkins Mill RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the northeast side of Watkins Mill Road, 0.6 mile east of the traffic circle where the road meets Germantown Road and Blunt Road, Montogmery Village, Maryland. Montgomery County ADC map 10 C13. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: This section of the trail crosses over Great Seneca Creek at Watkins Mill Road.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Upper Section
    AllTrails - Seneca Creek Greenway Trail: Watkins Mill Road to Frederick Road
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    Seneca Creek State Park

    Riffle Ford Road

    Seneca Landing Park
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    Seneca Creek State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This park is located along Seneca Creek in Montgomery County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 301-924-2127

    NOTES: The demarkation between Seneca Creek State Park and Seneca Creek Greenway is a little fuzzy.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Seneca Creek State Park
    Hiking Project - Seneca Creek State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Seneca Creek State Park

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Park OfficeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the west side of Seneca Creek Road at the end of an unnamed road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878. This unnamed road starts 350 feet southwest of where Seneca Creek Road meets Clopper Road (route 117). Montgomery County ADC map 18 H7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to Old Pond Trail at the south end of the lot and Great Seneca Trail at the north end of the lot.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Long Draught and Old Pond Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Seneca Creek to Frederick Rd
    AllTrails - Old Pond Trail and Clopper Lake Loop Trail
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    Clopper Lake

    Riffle Ford RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the east side of Riffle Ford Road, 1.3 miles north of where the road meets Darnestown Road (route 28), Darnestown, Maryland 20878. Montgomery County ADC map 18 E10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to several trails at this location, 200 feet north on Riffle Ford Road, or 450 feet south on Riffle Ford Road.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Seneca Creek Greenway to Clopper Lake Loop
    AllTrails - Seneca Ridge Trail
    AllTrails - Clopper Lake via Seneca Creek Greenway
    AllTrails - Seneca Ridge to Seneca Greenway Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Seneca Ridge and White Loop
    AllTrails - Seneca Ridge, Seneca Greenway, and Seneca Bluff Trail Loop
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    Severn Run Natural Environmental AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This area is located on the south and west sides of the upstream section of the Severn River in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

    NOTES: There's not a whole lot of information available about this area.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Best trails in Severn Run Natural Environment Area
    TrailForks - Severn Run Natural Environment Area

    Brown PropertyOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead on the east side of Veterans Highway, 0.1 mile northeast of Saint Anne Lane, Millersville, Maryland 21108. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5172 K8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 18, 2020

    NOTES: Look for a mailbox on the east side of the road that reads "Brown 8737." You can either park along the wide shoulder on the east side near this mailbox (not blocking the dirt road) or you can drive a short distance up the dirt road and park closer to the trailhead. There is room for about three vehicles on the north (left) side of this dirt road. This dirt road is shared with a private residence. Please respect their privacy and property. No restroom.

    BLOGS: April 18, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Severn Run via Indian Landing: See some nice views of the headwaters of the Severn River
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    Indian Landing RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead on the northwest side of Indian Landing Road, 290 feet northeast of where it meets Larue Road, Millersville, Maryland 21108. Anne Arundel County ADC map 5173 A8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 18, 2020

    NOTES: The only parking was on a wide shoulder by a "No Parking" sign which folks seemed to ignore. I'm not saying you can park here but there may not be any other option. No restroom.

    BLOGS: April 18, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Severn Run via Indian Landing: See some nice views of the headwaters of the Severn River
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    Soldiers Delight Natural Environment AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northern Baltimore County, Maryland, just east of Liberty Reservoir.

    PHONE: 410-461-5005

    NOTES: Soldiers Delight spans 1900 acres of serpentine barren. There are 8+ miles of marked hiking trails. Bicyclists and horses are not permitted. Because Soldiers Delight is an ecological restoration area, dogs must be kept on leash and going off the trail is strongly discouraged. Much of the trail is exposed, so it is a good idea to have plenty of water and wear a hat and sunscreen to avoid sunburn. This area was once used for chromite mining.

    While the trails are mostly flat, they are also rocky so wear shoes with good solid soles. The white-blazed Serpentine Trail stays pretty dry but the others can get muddy.

    You'll find a diverse variety of scenery and terrain in a fairly small space at Soldiers Delight.

    BLOGS: May 9, 2020 and October 30, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area
    Maryland DNR - Soldiers Delight Trails
    Trail map scanned in by Saki on May 9, 2020
    AllTrails - Best trails in Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area
    Maryland Geological Survey - Soldiers Delight, Baltimore County
    Hidden Beauty at Soldiers Delight

    Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 5100 Deer Park Road, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117. Baltimore County ADC map 23 J4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 30, 2022

    NOTES: Restrooms and nature displays available, including a raptor area. Provides access to the white-blazed Serpentine Trail.
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    OverlookOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West side of Deer Park Road, one mile south of where it meets Berrymans Lane, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117. Baltimore County ADC map 23 K4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 30, 2022

    NOTES: Provides access to the west side of the red-blazed Choate Mine Trail and the east end of the white-blazed Serpentine Trail.
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    South River Farms ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 3553 Loch Haven Drive, Edgewater, Maryland 21037. Anne Arundel ADC map 5536 H4. See map.

    PHONE: 410-222-7317

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 6, 2021

    NOTES: Porta-john available. About three miles of trails. No boat launch but you can land at the beaches...they just aren't anywhere near a parking lot. This place is pretty popular. Scenic trails with some beach access and nice water views.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Anne Arundel County - South River Farms Park
    AllTrails - South River Farms Park
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    Sugarloaf MountainOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This mountain and park is located in southern Frederick County, Maryland.

    PHONE: Frederick County: 301-874-2024. Washington Metro: 301-869-7846

    NOTES: Sugarloaf Mountain is privately owned, yet open to the public for hiking and recreation. Geologically, Sugarloaf is known as a monadnock, a mountain that remains after the erosion of the surrounding land. At Sugarloaf, that process took approximately 14 million years. At an elevation of 1282 feet, Sugarloaf stands more than 800 feet above the farmland below. The rugged cliffs on the summit are composed primarily of quartzite, the predominant type of rock on the mountain.

    There are a complex of blazed trails that lead to the peak. Depending on the distance you wish to cover, you can start the hike at various places on the mountain. There are parking spots at several points up the slope. Note that driving on the mountain is one way only and if you start driving up the mountain, you will need to drive all the way up and all the way down, then turn left on the main road to get back where you started.

    There are no campsites on the mountain. Several porta-johns and picnic tables at various levels up the mountain. Bicycles are not permitted on the mountain.

    Note that there is a Sugarloaf in Shenandoah National Park but this is totally different.

    BLOGS: November 25, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Stronghold Sugarloaf Mountain
    AllTrails - Best trails in Sugarloaf Mountain Natural Area
    Fun in Fairfax - Sugarloaf Mountain Hike to Beautiful Maryland Views
    Hiking Upward - Sugarloaf Mountain

    Comus RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the interection of Comus Road and Sugarloaf Mountain Road, Dickerson, Maryland 20842. Some maps might list the south side of Sugarloaf Mountain Road as Mount Ephraim Road. Frederick County ADC map 45 H10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Just a few parking spaces available but because this is at the base of the mountain and the first one that people will encounter when they drive here, these spots are quite popular.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Sugarloaf Mountain Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Sugarloaf Mountain from Comus Road
    AllTrails - Sugarloaf via Mountain Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Sugarloaf Yellow Trail
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    East ViewOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This trailhead and parking lot is located 1.4 miles from the park entrance on Sugarloaf Mountain Drive. This road, which may not be named on some maps, is the only road in the park. Frederick County ADC map 45 J8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: There are numerous route options from this location...too many to list individually. See AllTrails - Best trails in Sugarloaf Mountain Natural Area and then zoom in on East View.
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    Susquehanna State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This park is located on the west side of the lower Susquehanna River and north of the city of Havre de Grace, Harford County, Maryland. Do not confuse this park with the one in Pennsylvania with the same name.

    PHONE: 410-557-7994

    NOTES: In my opinion, this park does a great job in highlighting some of the prettiest parts of Harford County. It has some historic buildings, nice hiking trails, fantastic views of the Susquehanna River, and peaceful views of Deer Creek. This place is popular with mountain bikers.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Susquehanna State Park
    Maryland DNR - Susquehanna State Park - Trails
    Maryland DNR - Susquehanna State Park - History
    AllTrails - Best trails in Susquehanna State Park
    Hiking Project - Susquehanna State Park
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Susquehanna State Park

    Locations shown below are ordered from south to north.

    Deer Creek Picnic AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the southwest side of Stafford Road and south of Deer Creek. The turnoff for the picnic area is 0.1 mile east of the intersection of Stafford Road and Craigs Corner Road, Harford County, Maryland 21078. Harford County ADC map 13 D6. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to Deer Creek Trail on the west side of the parking lot. Restroom available. 200+ parking spaces.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Susquehanna State Park - Picnicking
    AllTrails - Deer Creek Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Deer Creek Shoreline Loop
    AllTrails - Susquehanna Ridge Short Loop Trail
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    Rock Run Grist MillOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Rock Run Grist Mill.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 9, 2017

    NOTES: This is near the start/end point for the following routes: AllTrails - Susquehanna Ridge, Ivy Branch, Rock Run, and Land of Promise Trail and AllTrails - Susquehanna State Park Loop. Both these hikes follow part of the Mason-Dixon Trail.

    BLOGS: November 20, 2011 and August 8, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Mill Pictures - Rock Run Grist Mill
    Self Guided Walking Tour of the Rock Run Historic Area
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    Lapidum Boat Launch Facility
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    Swallow Falls State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The main parking lot and trailhead is near 2470 Maple Glade Road Oakland, Maryland 21550. It is on the southeast side of the road, just past the ranger shack. Garrett County ADC map E20. See map.

    PHONE: 301-387-6938. 301-334-9180 (February and March)

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 23, 2018

    NOTES: This park is home to Muddy Creek Falls, the tallest non-cascading waterfall in the state. The park has a short but very scenic trail along with camping. A 5.7-mile trail takes one to Herrington Manor State Park. This is a nice cross country ski route. The park is located where the Youghiogheny River and Muddy Creek merge.

    Restroom and lots of parking.

    In my opinion, this is one of the prettiest parks in Maryland.

    BLOGS: August 9-13, 2006, Christmas Day, 2008, December 26, 2010, September 18, 2011, October 7, 2012, February 18, 2018, and December 23, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Swallow Falls State Park
    Maryland State Parks - Swallow Falls State Park
    Garrett Trails - Swallow Falls State Park Trails
    AllTrails - Swallow Falls Canyon Trail
    NPS - Potomac Heritage - Hiking In The Hemlocks Of Swallow Falls
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    Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail / NCR Trail

    Triadelphia ReservoirOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This reservoir is located on the Patuxent River in Howard and Montgomery counties in Maryland.

    PHONE: Watershed information: 301-206-4FUN. Brighton Dam Visitors Center: 301-206-7485. Watershed maintenance issues: 301-206-7485. Watershed security issues: 301-206-8888. WSSC water police: 301-208-8888 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

    NOTES: There are numerous trails on the south side of this reservoir and a few on the north side. If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful walk when the popular trails are packed, then this is the place to go. There are no scenic overlooks, historic buildings, or anything else to draw a lot of people. The property is managed by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).

    It is especially important to clean up any dog waste when you hike here because any such waste will flow into the reservoir and end up in people's drinking water. Dogs are supposed to be on leash but if you should let them run off leash, just note that many of these trails are shared by equestrian riders. Also, be aware that the trails furthest from the reservoir border up against private property.

    Many of the trails at the reservoir are really dirt roads for maintenance vehicles.

    Permits are required to engage in recreational activities at the reservoir. You can purchase a permit online at WSSC - Watershed Recreation User Program or at the Brighton Dam Visitor Center, 2 Brighton Dam Road, Brookeville, Maryland 20833-2026. Here, you can also pick up a nice hardcopy map.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Triadelphia Reservoir - 2016 map

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Triadelphia Lake Recreation AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Triadelphia Lake Recreation Area.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 27, 2020

    NOTES: This is the northwesternmost access point to a trail about 4.8 miles long that stretches between Triadelphia and Green Bridge. There are no access points in between.

    The lot holds about six to eight vehicles, depending on how folks park. No restroom there but there is a porta-john at the end of the road on the north side of Triadelphia Road, about 0.2 mile east of Georgia Avenue (route 97). The trailhead is just across Triadelphia Road from the parking lot.

    BLOGS: December 27, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Saki's Triadelphia to Green Bridge map
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    Green BridgeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Green Bridge.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 19, 2020

    NOTES: The trailhead is best accessed by walking north from the main (not the overflow) parking lot. It will be before you get to the water. From the footpath, walk east until you get to a dirt maintenance road. That is the trail. Follow it northeast for about 4.8 miles to Triadelphia. The other option is to walk east on Greenbridge Road. There will be a metal gate on the right after about a tenth of a mile that separates Greenbridge Road from the trail (a maintenance road).

    BLOGS: December 19, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Saki's Triadelphia to Green Bridge map
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    Trolley Line #9Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: Oella and Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland

    NOTES: The #9 trolley line arrived in Ellicott City 1899 and served the community for the next 55 years. This route was known for its scenic woodland views as the line dropped into the Patapsco River Valley. In 1991, Aaron Tomarchio of Boy Scout Troop 456, organized the effort to clear and pave the #9 Trolley Line for a bike/hike trail as part of his very successful Eagle Scout project.
    - from Catonsville Rails to Trails - #9 Trolley Trail

    This trail is ~1.25 miles long. It is mostly paved. It is very popular with families, joggers, and dog owners. If you want to stop for a bite to eat, check out The Breadery at 418-C Oella Avenue. There are some side trails such as one for Benjamin Banneker Park.

    BLOGS: February 28, 2016

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: TrailLink - Trolley Line #9 Trail
    Visit Old Ellicott City - Number Nine Trolley Trail
    AllTrails - Number Nine Trolley Trail

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of west to east:

    Lot AOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Access the west end of the trail just behind (north of) the Trolley Stop at 6 Oella Avenue, Ellicott City, Maryland 21043. It is actually located in Oella, Baltimore County. Baltimore City & County ADC map 40 F4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 28, 2023

    NOTES: This is a big, free parking lot that holds about 70 cars. It fills up quickly on weekends.
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    Northeast EndOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead is where Edmonson Avenue meets Stonewall Road and Chalfonte Drive in Catonsville, Maryland. Baltimore City & County ADC map 40 J2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 28, 2023

    NOTES: This is a residential area so don't expect much parking though there is about 0.2 mile east on Edmonson Avenue at Catonsville Middle School.
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    Tuckahoe State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This public recreation area is located along Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline and Queen Anne's counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

    PHONE: 410-820-1668

    NOTES: Flat trails and nice water views.

    You can purchase snacks, gasoline, and use the restroom at Royal Farms which is close to the park.

    BLOGS: July 4, 2006 and June 11, 2017

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Tuckahoe State Park
    Hiking Project - Tuckahoe State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Tuckahoe State Park

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Boat HouseOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Boat House

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Catch the north end of the Tuckahoe Valley Trail just south of Crouse Mill Road.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Pee Wee's and Tuckahoe Valley Loop Trail
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    Adkins Arboretum

    Office and Ranger StationOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 12282 Eveland Road, Ridgely, Maryland 21660. Queen Anne's County ADC map 28 F7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 30, 2022

    NOTES: Stop in the office and view the displays. Also, check out the raptor aviary. Restroom or porta-john available. Walk west to access the Tuckahoe Office Spur Trail or catch the Multi-use/Connector Trail between the parking lot and Eveland Road.

    BLOGS: April 30, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Tuckahoe Office Spur Trail to Tuckahoe Valley Loop
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    Cemetery RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park on the west side of Cemetery Road, 240 feet north of Shore Highway (route 404), Hillsboro, Maryland 21660. Queen Anne's County ADC map 28 E12. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: I'm not 100% certain about this location. The park map puts one close but I'm convinced the map is incorrect. Satellite photos indicate what I suggest is suitable for parking.

    Follow Cemetery Road north to access the trails. Bring a map since things are not well marked in this part of the park.
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    Union Mills / HashawhaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northern Carroll County, Maryland.

    PHONE: 410-386-3580

    NOTES: There are several miles of multiuse trails available for equestrian use, bicycling, hiking, and cross country skiing.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Carroll County Government - Hashawha Environmental Center & Bear Branch Nature Center
    Birder's Guide to Maryland & D.C. - Hashawha Environmental Center / Bear Branch Nature Center
    Hiking Project - Union Mills Area
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Bear Branch Nature Center
    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Equestrian / KowomuOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the south side of Kowumu Trail, 500 feet west of Rinehart Road, Westminster, Maryland 21158. Carroll County ADC map 4 H13. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 1, 2010

    NOTES: Expect to share the parking area with horse trailers. No restroom. Access to a fire road that connects to the Union Mills Trail.

    BLOGS: August 1, 2010
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    Bear Branch Nature CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the east side of Hashawha Road, 0.3 mile northeast of where it meets John Owings Road, Westminster, Maryland 21158. Carroll County ADC map 12 H4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 5, 2023

    NOTES: Parking for 30 vehicles. Restroom in the building and a porta-john in the parking lot. Very nice nature center.

    BLOGS: November 5, 2023
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    HashawhaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the west side of Hashawha Road, 0.1 mile northeast of where it meets John Owings Road, Westminster, Maryland 21158. Carroll County ADC map 12 H4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 5, 2023

    NOTES: Restroom. Access to Lake Hashawha. 0.3 mile from Bear Branch Nature Center which has a restroom in the building and a porta-john in the parking lot.

    BLOGS: November 5, 2023

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Hashawha Loop Trail
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    Washington Monument State Park

    Weaverton Cliffs

    WincopinOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 9299 Vollmerhausen Road, Jessup, Maryland 20794. Howard County ADC map 5053 G7. This is near the confluence of the Little Patuxent River and Middle Patuxent River. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: June 15, 2023

    NOTES: Sometimes this place is called Wincopin Park. Other times, people refer to it as Wincopin Trails. I just call it Wincopin. ~3.7 miles of designated trails. Porta-john available. This is a very popular park.

    In the 1700s, this land was part of the Warfield family and called Wincopin Neck. Parking for ~15 vehicles.

    Trails at Huntington connect to Wincopin under highway 95, via the Yellow Trail.

    Keep an eye out for balanced rocks and chainsaw-carved bears.

    BLOGS: March 31, 2010, July 25, 2010, March 3, 2014, March 17, 2014, May 18, 2014, March 4, 2018, April 29, 2018, May 5, 2018, February 2, 2019, February 28, 2019, March 14, 2019, October 12, 2019, August 6, 2020, August 29, 2021, and December 21, 2023

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Howard County - Wincopin Trails
    Howard County Bird Club - Wincopin Trail
    AllTrails - Wincopin Green, Red, and Yellow Trail Loop
    Map - Wincopin Access - Horseshoe Area
    Map - Lands End Area - Wincopin Park
    Wincopin Neck: My Neck of the Woods
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    Woodstock

    Wootons Landing Wetland ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Wootons Landing Wetland Park.

    PHONE: 410-222-8006

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 12, 2013

    NOTES: This area is owned by Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. There is room for ~five vehicles at the park entrance. No restroom. ~1.8 miles of trails along the Patuxent River. This is a loop trail that was an old, dirt road. Grass grows on this trail so be sure to wear bug spray and check for ticks after walking here.

    BLOGS: March 20, 2009

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Wootons Landing Park
    2019 trail map
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    Wye IslandOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: South portion of Wye Island Road, Queenstown, Maryland 21658. Once you cross over a bridge, you're there.

    PHONE: 410-827-7577

    NOTES: This island has some short, flat, but fairly scenic trails. It is a Natural Resource Management Area (NRMA) which means hunting takes place here so be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season. Check yourself for ticks after hiking here since they are abundant. While you're in the area, check out Wye Grist Mill and Wye Oak State Park.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Wye Island NMRA
    Maryland DNR - Wye Island NMRA trail map
    AllTrails - Best trails in Wye Island Natural Resource Management Area

    The following are listed from north to south.

    Lodge LaneOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking lot are on the southwest side of Lodge Lane, 0.3 mile south of Wye Island Road.

    Follow Wye Island Road for 1.4 miles after crossing the bridge to the island to get to Lodge Lane. Queen Anne's County ADC map 31 E5. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to Dividing Creek Trail and Yellow Trail. Porta-john available.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Old School House , Holly Tree Loop, Wye Island
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    Ferry PointOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the northwest end of Drum Point Road. Some maps show this as Natural Trail. Other maps show it as unnamed or an extension of Wye Island Road. This area is near the southwest end of the island and on the northwest side of Wye Island Road.

    Follow Wye Island Road for 3.9 miles after crossing the bridge to the island, turn right onto Drum Point Road, and follow to the end. Queen Anne's County ADC map 30 K7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 28, 2018

    NOTES: Porta-john available. Access to Ferry Point Trail and West Corner Trail.

    BLOGS: October 28, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Ferry Landing Trail
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    Pennsylvania


    Bear Run Nature ReserveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Located on the western flank of Laurel Hill in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, off Mill Run Road / Whites Bridge Road / Route 381, ~three miles south of Mill Run, Fayette County, Pennsylvania 15464. See map.

    PHONE: 724-329-8501

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This ~5,119 acre reserve has over 20 miles of marked trails. It is owned and operated by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

    Please wear blaze orange during hunting season (late autumn and winter). Parking for ~30 vehicles. No outdoor restroom.

    On the Laurel Run Trail, there is a blue blazed offshoot called Laurel Glen. I highly recommend taking this route down to Laurel Run then hopping across it and up the other side. If there is a good amount of water, you'll see some very nice falls.

    Here's a photo of a trail map at the parking lot. I added some annotations to denote the trail markings (blazes). Unfortunately, there was no scale so I don't know the lengths of the trails.

    If you're in the area, also check out Ohiopyle State Park.

    BLOGS: Grantsville, Maryland President's Day 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy - Bear Run Nature Reserve: Includes link for reserving a primitive campsite
    AllTrails - Best trails in Bear Run Nature Reserve
    MidAtlanticHikes - Bear Run Nature Preserve-1
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    Caledonia State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Enter the park at 101 Pine Grove Road, Fayetteville, Pennsylvania 17222. This park is located in Greene Township, Franklin County, Franklin Township, and Adams County in southern Pennsylvania.

    PHONE: 717-352-2161

    NOTES: This park has ~ten miles of trails.

    1.8 miles of the Appalachian Trail run through this park.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Pennsylvania DCNR - Caledonia State Park
    Pennsylvania State Parks - Caledonia State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Caledonia State Park

    Locations shown below are ordered from west to east.

    Lot #2 - Appalachian TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Upon entering the main park area, stay on the leftmost main roads and head west to this parking lot. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Room for 100+ vehicles. This is a good place to access the Appalachian Trail. Restroom.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Ramble Trail
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    Furnace Monument and Thaddeus Stevens TrailheadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the northeast side of the intersection of Pine Grove Road (route 233) and Lincoln Highway (highway 30), Fayetteville, Pennsylvania 17222. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Room for 40+ vehicles.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Gettysburg Compiler - Beyond the Battlefield: The Park That Once Was Stevens’s Furnace
    AllTrails - Charcoal Hearth to Thaddeus Stevens Trail
    AllTrails - Appalachian Trail: Caledonia Park to Old Forge Road
    AllTrails - Appalachian Trail, Hosack Run and Locust Gap Loop
    AllTrails - Greefenburg Hill and Conococheague Creek Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Raccoon Run Trail
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    Chestnut Grove Natural AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 43 Chestnut Grove Road, Conestoga, Pennsylvania 17516. Trailhead and parking is on the west side of Chestnut Grove Road (route 402), 0.2 mile south of where it meets River Road. Lancaster ADC map 3570 A9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Parking for ~18 vehicles. Porta-john. Trailhead is just south of Fishermans Run.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Turkey Hill Trail Nature Preserve
    Susquehanna Riverlands - Chestnut Grove Natural Area
    Lancaster County Day Hikes - Chestnut Grove Natural Area
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Chestnut Grove Natural Area
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    William H. Kain County ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - William H. Kain County Park.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: There are over 12 miles of marked trails.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Best trails in William H. Kain Park
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    Kelly's Run / Tucquan Glen & PyferOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at 257 Old Holtwood Road, Holtwood, Pennsylvania 17532. This is at the northwest end of Crystal Drive. York County ADC map 44 J5. See map.

    PHONE: 717-392-7891

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Kelly's Run Nature Preserve and the Tucquan Glen & Pyfer Nature Preserve are connected by the Conestoga Trail System along the east side of the Susquhanna River. Parking for ~35 vehicles at lot. There is a trailhead at both the east and west ends of the parking lot.

    BLOGS: October 4, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Lancaster Conservancy - Kelly's Run
    Susquehanna Riverlands - Kellys Run Pinnacle Nature Preserve
    Lancaster Conservancy - Tucquan Glen & Pyfer Nature Preserves
    Susquehanna Riverlands - Tucquan Glen & Pyfer Nature Preserve
    AllTrails - Tucquan Glen, Pinnacle and Kelly's Run: The parking lot at the north end of this trail is closed indefinitely
    AllTrails - Kelly's Run Loop Trail
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    Laurel Highlands

    Michaux State ForestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Michaux State Forest encompasses more than 85,500 acres in the South Mountain area of southcentral Pennsylvania.

    PHONE: 717-352-2211

    NOTES: Considered Pennsylvania's "cradle of forestry," Michaux is the site of the first forestry school, Mont Alto. The forest is named for the French botanist, Andre Michaux, who discovered and named many plants during the 18th century.
    - from Pennsylvania DCNR - Michaux State Forest

    37 miles of the Appalachian Trail traverse the entire length of this forest.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Pennsylvania State Parks - Michaux State Forest
    AT in Pennsylvania - Michaux State Forest

    Locations shown below are ordered from south to north.

    Rattlesnake Run RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northeast side of Rattlesnake Run Road, 350 feet east of where it meets Old Forge Road, South Mountain, Pennsylvania 17261. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 2, 2021

    NOTES: Parking for ~five vehicles. No restroom. The Appalachian Trail crosses the road slightly to the west of the lot. If you enter the address for the Waynesboro Water Treatment plant (7555 Rattlesnake Run Road, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania 17268) in your GPS, you will get very close to the trailhead.

    BLOGS: October 2, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Chimney Rocks via Hermitage and Appalachian National Scenic Trail
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    Old Forge RoadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Southeast side of Old Forge Road, 0.2 mile northeast of where it meets Swift Run Road, South Mountain, Pennsylvania 17261. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 2, 2021

    NOTES: Parking for ~five vehicles. No restroom. The northbound side of the Appalachian Trail is just across the street. The southbound side is on the same side of the street but ~200 feet southwest and across Tumbling Run.

    BLOGS: October 2, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Appalachian Trail: Caledonia Park to Old Forge Road
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    Ohiopyle State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Ohiopyle State Park is a Pennsylvania state park on 20,500 acres (8,300 ha) in Dunbar, Henry Clay and Stewart Townships, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The focal point of the park is the more than 14 miles (23 km) of the Youghiogheny River Gorge that passes through the park.
    - from Wikipedia - Ohiopyle State Park

    PHONE: 724-329-8591

    NOTES: The park was made possible through the vision and generosity of members and donors of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC). The evolution of this state park began in 1951 when WPC bought Ferncliff Peninsula to protect the globally threatened plant species there, documented by botanist Otto E. Jennings. In 1971, the Conservancy conveyed almost 10,000 acres it had purchased to the Commonwealth, and negotiated the purchase of the remainder of the initial 18,000-acre park.
    - from park sign

    Youghiogheny River provides some of the best whitewater boating in the Eastern United States.

    BLOGS: June 15, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Pennsylvania DCNR - Ohiopyle State Park
    Pennsylvania DCNR - Hiking at Ohiopyle State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Ohiopyle State Park
    PA Bucket List - 10 of the Best Hiking Trails at Ohiopyle State Park
    Hiking Project - Ohiopyle State Park
    Go Waterfalling - Cucumber Falls
    Go Waterfalling - Ohiopyle Falls
    Fay West - Ohiopyle State Park
    Go Laurel Highlands - Ohiopyle State Park

    Laurel HighlandsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The east side of Garrett Street in Ohiopyle, Fayette County, Pennsylvania merges with the trail at mile zero. The closest parking lot to the trail is ~0.1 mile east of where Garrett Street meets Mill Run Road (route 381). This is on the north side of the Youghiogheny River. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Ohiopyle serves as the southern terminus for the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. The trail is open for year-round hiking and backpacking. The portion of the trail within Ohiopyle State Park is 6.3 miles of very strenuous and rocky hiking, leading to the first trail shelter. Hikers are rewarded for their efforts as they pass beautiful overlooks and creeks on this section.
    - from Pennsylvania DCNR - Ohiopyle State Park Map

    BLOGS: December 29, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Pennsylvania DCNR - Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail
    Go Laurel Highlands - Hike the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail
    AllTrails - Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail: Ohiopyle to Bidwell
    AllTrails - Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail: Ohiopyle to Myersbrook
    AllTrails - Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Mile 70 to 0
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    FerncliffOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the northwest end of an unnamed road that starts 150 feet south of where Mill Run Road (route 381) meets Garrett Street, Ohiopyle, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. This is on the north side of the Youghiogheny River. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: This is a very good place to access the Great Allegheny Passage.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Ohiopyle - Ferncliff at Ohiopyle Falls
    PA Hikes - Hiking the Ferncliff Trail in Ohiopyle State Park
    AllTrails - Ferncliff Trail
    AllTrails - Youghiogheny River Trail: Ohiopyle to Connellsville
    AllTrails - Ferncliff and Oakwood Trail
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    Meadow Run TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking is on the west side of Main Street (route 381) where it meets Ohiopyle Road (route 2010), Ohiopyle, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. This is on the south side of the Youghiogheny River and just west of Meadow Run. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: June 16, 2012

    NOTES: This location puts you in close proximity to some nice water views on Meadow Run. A half mile west is Cucumber Falls.

    BLOGS: June 16, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hiking Project - Meadow Run Trail
    AllTrails - Meadow Run Trail
    AllTrails - Great Gorge Trail
    PA Bucket List - Hiking the Meadow Run Trail at Ohiopyle State Park
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    Pine Grove Furnace State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles northwest of Gettysburg.

    PHONE: 717-486-7174

    NOTES: This park has ~four miles of trails, including a part of the Appalachian Trail. It is the midpoint of this trail and home to the Appalachian Trail Museum.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Pennsylvania DCNR - Pine Grove Furnace State Park
    Hiking Project - Pine Grove Furnace State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Pine Grove Furnace State Park
    Celebrating the Appalachian Trail's Halfway Point

    Locations shown below are ordered from west to east.

    Furnace StackOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This parking lot is just north of where T339 and T336 intersect. This intersection is 0.1 mile east of where T339 meets Bendersville Road, Gardners, Pennsylvania 17324. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Room for ~18 vehicles. This location will put you near some historic structures. ~300 feet north (as the crow flies) is the Appalachian Trail Museum.

    This lot is where Appalachian Trail hikers can park overnight but please confirm this with someone more official than me before doing so.

    BLOGS: February 2, 2008 and December 13, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Blueberry, Grave Ridge and Creek Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Sunset Rocks Trail
    AllTrails - Moss and Appalachian National Scenic Trail Loop
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    Fuller LakeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The parking lot is on the east side of Collier Lane, 280 feet south of where it meets Pine Grove Road, Gardners, Pennsylvania 17324. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 3, 2020

    NOTES: Parking for 100+ vehicles. ~400 feet southeast of the parking lot is Fuller Lake. Between the two is the Cumberland County Biker/Hiker Trail which connects to or overlaps with the Appalachian Trail.

    BLOGS: October 3, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Mountain Creek Trail
    AllTrails - Koppenhaver Trail
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    Pole SteepleOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park on the northwest side of Old Railroad Bed Road, 0.6 mile southwest of where it veers away from Pine Grove Road, Gardners, Pennsylvania 17324. Trailhead is across the street from the lot. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 3, 2020

    NOTES: Parking for 20+ vehicles. One mile strenuous hike to the top of Pole Steeple.

    BLOGS: October 3, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Pole Steeple Trail
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    Ricketts Glen State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This park is located in Columbia, Luzerne, and Sullivan counties in Pennsylvania.

    The Visitor Center is located at 695 State Route 487 Benton, Pennsylvania 17814. See map. There is no trailhead here.

    PHONE: 570-477-5675

    NOTES: This is perhaps the most beautiful state park I've ever visited. You can see 22 named waterfalls all in a single moderate distance day hike. Seeing them with the fall colors in mid-October is truly spectacular.

    The Falls Trail is typically closed in the winter due to hazardous icy conditions. Only experienced ice climbers that check in at the office are allowed during this season.

    BLOGS: October 17-18, 2015 and October 10-12, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Pennsylvania DCNR - Ricketts Glen State Park
    PA Hikes - Hiking the Falls Trail at Ricketts Glen State Park
    Uncovering PA - Waterfall Paradise: Tips for Hiking the Falls Trail in Ricketts Glen State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Ricketts Glen State Park
    Pennsylvania State Parks - Ricketts Glen State Park
    Wikipedia - Ricketts Glen State Park
    Wikipedia - Waterfalls in Ricketts Glen State Park
    The Waterfalls of Ricketts Glen

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Beach Lot 2Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: To access the parking lot, pass the Visitor Center and follow for 1.3 miles. The lot is just past Cabin Colony Road. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 10, 2020

    NOTES: Parking for 160+ vehicles. Restroom. Trails can be accessed from either the north or south sides of the lot. Access to Lake Jean.

    BLOGS: October 10, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Best trails in Ricketts Glen State Park: Zoom in on "Beach Parking #2" to find routes. Too many to list individually.
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    Lake RoseOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: To access the trailhead and parking, make the first right after the Visitor Center and follow to the end. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 12, 2020

    NOTES: This is the closest access to the Falls Trail System and western park trails. From here, it is 0.4 mile to the first waterfall.

    BLOGS: October 17, 2015 and October 11, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Ricketts Glen Falls Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Old Beaver Dam Road Trail
    AllTrails - Old Beaver Dam and Grand View Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Mountain Springs Trail via Highland Trail
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    EvergreenOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking lot is on the south side of State Route 118, 1.6 miles northeast of where it meets State Route 487, Benton, Pennsylvania 17814. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 18, 2015

    NOTES: Hike on this trail if you want to see the 36-foot-tall Adams Falls.

    BLOGS: October 18, 2015

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hiking Project - Evergreen Trail
    AllTrails - Ricketts Evergreen Trail

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    Turkey Hill Nature PreserveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 2459 River Road, Washington Boro, Pennsylvania 17582. Trailhead and parking is near the western terminus of the Enola Low Grade Trail. Look for the lot on the east side of the trail, 0.2 mile southwest of where it meets River Road, Conestoga, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 17516. Lancaster ADC map 3569 G6. See map.

    PHONE: 717-392-7891

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 16, 2024

    NOTES: Borders the east side of the Susquehanna River. Tons of parking. Porta-john. A sign at the trailhead reads:
    The Turkey Hill Trail totals about 6.5 miles from the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail Parking Lot off of River Road to Safe Harbor. The Turkey Hill Trail is a strenuous hiking trail filled with steep ascents and descents, but it also has plenty of rewarding vistas. From the Turkey Hill Trail, hikers can connect with the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail that runs parallel to the Turkey Hill Trail along the Susqehanna River. Hikers can also use the Turkey Hill Trail to access the easy to moderate hiking trails of the Chestnut Grove Natural Area.
  • 6.5 miles from the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail Parking Lot to Safe Harbor via the Turkey Hill Trail: Difficult hike
  • 2.7 miles from the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail Parking Lot to Chestnut Grove Natural Area access via the Low Grade Rail Trail: Easy hike
  • 3.5 miles from the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail Parking Lot to Chestnut Grove Natural Area access via Turkey Hill Trail: Moderately Difficult hike
  • 2 miles from Chestnut Grove Natural Area access to Safe Harbor via the Enola Low Grade Ral Trail: Moderate hike
  • 2.25 miles from the Chestnut Grove Natural Area access to Safe Harbor via the Turkey Hill Trail: Difficult hike
  • 0.8 miles from the Chestnut Grove Natural Area to Frys Run access to the Turkey Hill Trail: Moderate hike

  • BLOGS: April 16, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Lancaster Conservancy - Turkey Hill Nature Preserve
    Susquehanna Riverlands - Turkey Hill Trail & Nature Preserve
    AllTrails - Turkey Hill Trail
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    Virginia


    Bazil Newman Riverfront Park / Elizabeth Mills Riverfront ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trail access and parking at the northeast end of Heron Way, Lansdowne, Virginia 20176. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Early 2016

    NOTES: Parking for ~30 vehicles. You'll be driving through an upscale residential area to get to the parking lot and then walking on golf course sidewalks towards the Potomac River to get to the Potomac Heritage Trail. The trail runs along the river so as long as you keep heading towards the river, you can't miss it. The trail is about a third of a mile from the parking lot.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Launch Sites - Bazil Newman Riverfront Park / Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park - Riverpoint Drive Trailhead / Kephart Bridge Landing
    AllTrails - Potomac Heritage Trail
    The Historical Marker Database - Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park
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    Big Schloss

    Brownsville Nature Conservancy - William B. Cummings Birding and Wildlife TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 11332 Brownsville Road, Nassawadox, Northampton County, Virginia 23413. South side of Brownsville Road (route 608), 1.1 miles east of where Brownsville Road intersects Seaside Road (route 600). See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 19, 2024

    NOTES: This place is also known as the Brownsville Preserve. No restroom.

    BLOGS: April 19, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Nature Conservancy - Brownsville Preserve
    Birding Eastern Shore - The Nature Conservncy's Brownsville Preserve
    AllTrails - William B. Cummings Birding and Wildlife Trail
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    Bull Run Mountains Natural Area PreserveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This 2486 acre preserve straddles Fauquier and Prince William Counties on Virginia's northern piedmont.

    The trailhead kiosk is located at the Mountain House at 17405 Beverley Mill Drive (south side of the road), Broad Run, Virginia 20137. See map.

    PHONE: 540-658-8690

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Parking at the stone house. No restroom. Entrance fee at the trailhead paid on the honor system.

    BLOGS: July 22, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Virginia DCR - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
    Bull Run Mountains Conservancy
    AllTrails - Best trails in Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
    Hiking Project - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve
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    Fort Marcy Park

    Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife RefugeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: On the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula in Northampton County, Virginia 23310

    PHONE: 757-331-3425

    NOTES: While not hiking trails, Wise Point Boat Ramp and Northampton County Kayak/Canoe Launch are part of the refuge.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge
    Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources - Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge
    Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge - Trail Map

    Butterfly Trail / Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 32205 Seaside Road (route 600), Cape Charles, Northampton County, Virginia 23310. On the south side of Seaside Road, 450 feet east of Lankford Highway (route 13) is the Visitor Center Access road. Follow this south until it ends at the Visitor Center. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 20, 2024

    NOTES: Parking for 25+ vehicles. Restroom in Visitor Center.

    This half-mile trail winds through shrub/scrub and mixed hardwood habitats, ending at a beautiful butterfly garden near our Visitor Center. About halfway down the trail, take a junction to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Welcome Center.
    - from sign near trailhead titled "Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge"

    I highly recommend combining this hike with the Wildlife Trail.

    BLOGS: April 20, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Eastern Shore of Virginia Refuge Butterfly Trail
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    Wildlife TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: At the southwest corner of Fitchetts Road and Hallett Circle is the Wildlife Trail Access Road which heads south and ends at the parking lot and trailhead. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 20, 2024

    NOTES: Parking for ~10 vehicles.

    Interpretive panels guide you along this half-mile trail through WWII harbor defense battery and mixed hardwood forest, past an old cemetery, and out to our Marsh Overlook.
    - from sign near trailhead titled "Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge"

    I highly recommend combining this hike with the Butterfly Trail.

    BLOGS: April 20, 2024
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    Old Rag

    Potomac Heritage Trail within the ParkwayOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Potomac Heritage Trail within George Washington Memorial Parkway, a 10-mile footpath between the trailhead for Theodore Roosevelt Island (and the Mount Vernon Trail) and Live Oak Lane (adjacent to the American Legion Bridge/I-495), including a parking area within Scott's Run Nature Preserve.
    - from NPS - Trails within the Potomac Heritage Network

    PHONE: George Washington Memorial Parkway 703-289-2500

    NOTES: The Potomac Heritage Trail within the Parkway is a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail (NST), a developing trail network between the mouth of the Potomac River and the Allegheny Highlands.
    - from NPS - Potomac Heritage Trail - Map

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Potomac Heritage Trail
    AllTrails - Potomac Heritage Trail
    Fun in Fairfax, Virginia - Potomac Heritage Trail Hikes in Northern Virginia

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of west to east:

    Scott's Run Nature PreserveOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the north side of Georgetown Pike (route 193), directly across from Swinks Mill Road (route 685), McLean, Virginia 22102. Metro Washington, D.C. ADC map 7 D3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This is the northernmost access to the Potomac Heritage Trail within the Parkway.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Fairfax County - Scott's Run Nature Preserve
    Fairfax County - Scott's Run Nature Preserve - Map
    NPS - Hike between Scott's Run Nature Preserve and Theodore Roosevelt Island
    NPS - Hike Scott's Run to Great Falls Park
    Hiking Project - Potomac Heritage Trail - Scott's Run
    AllTrails - Scott's Run Nature Preserve Outer Loop
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    Turkey Run ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the northeast side of George Washington Memorial Parkway, ~0.7 mile east of where it meets the Washington, D.C. Beltway (highway 495), McLean, Virginia 22101. The park can be accessed from either side of the Parkway. Metro Washington, D.C. ADC map 8 B2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This park is a lovely wooded oasis in the heart of a heavily developed urban area.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Turkey Run Park
    NPS - Turkey Run Park - Map
    AllTrails - Turkey Run and Potomac Heritage Trail
    Go Hike Virginia - Turkey Run Park: The Most Incredible Loop Hike in Northern Virginia
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    Fort Marcy ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on the northeast side of George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean, Virginia 22101. The entrance to the park is 4.5 miles northwest of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge (route 66). No access to park from George Washington Memorial Parkway heading southeast. Metro Washington, D.C. ADC map 8 F8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: No restroom.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Fort Marcy
    AllTrails - Fort Marcy Trail
    National Park Planner - Civil War Defenses of Washington - Fort Marcy
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    Theodore Roosevelt Island
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    Scott's Run Nature Preserve

    Shenandoah National ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Shenandoah National Park is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, just west of Washington, D.C. The Park stretches 105 miles from its northern entrance at Front Royal to its southern entrance near Waynesboro. There are four entrance stations to Shenandoah National Park.
  • Front Royal (North Entrance): Near Front Royal, Virginia, off of Route 340 (also called Stonewall Jackson Highway). 21073 Skyline Drive, Front Royal, Virginia 22630. [This is the closest entrance to Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C.]
  • Thornton Gap: East of Luray, Virginia and west of Sperryville, Virginia. Off of Highway 211 (also called Lee Highway). 31339 Skyline Drive, Luray, Virginia 22835.
  • Swift Run Gap: East of Elkton, Virginia off of US 33. 22591 Spotswood Trail, Elkton, Virginia 22827.
  • Rockfish Gap (South Entrance): A few miles east of Waynesboro, Virginia off of Highway 250. 282 Skyline Drive, Waynesboro, Virginia 22980
  • Skyline Drive is the main road that runs the span of Shenandoah.
    - from NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Directions

    PHONE: 540-999-3500. Emergency: 1-800-732-0911

    NOTES: The American Indian translation for Shenandoah is "daughter of the stars." Shenandoah National Park (SNP) includes 300 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the central Appalachians. The main artery to all park facilities if the Skyline Drive. This road follows a 105-mile sinuous course, near the crest of the mountains, for the entire length of the park. For hikers, the park offers over 500 miles of trails. 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail pass through this park.

    With so much to offer, where does one begin? I suggest stopping at one of the visitor centers listed at NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Visitor Centers:
  • Dickey Ridge: Mile 4.6 on the west side of Skyline Drive, four miles south of the Front Royal Entrance or 26.7 miles north of the Thornton Gap Entrance.
  • Harry F. Byrd, Sr.: Mile 51 on the northwest side of Skyline Drive, 19.8 miles south of the Thornton Gap Entrance or 14.8 miles north of the Swift Run Gap Entrance. Look for a building just south of the parking lot off Big Meadows Visitor Road.
  • Mobile: The mobile visitor center allows Park Rangers to travel to different locations throughout the Park in order to answer questions and showcase various exhibits.

  • Day hikes: Numerous options for day hikes in the Park are listed at NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Recommended Day Hikes.

    Backpacking: A plethora of trip options are listed at NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Suggested Backcountry Trips. Many of these are also suitable for day hikes. Additional information about backpacking in the Park can be found at NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Backcountry Camping.

    For those not looking to "rough it," there are designated campgrounds in the Park listed at NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Campgrounds:
  • Matthews Arm: Mile 22.1 on the northwest side of Skyline Drive, 23.4 miles south of the Front Royal Entrance or 9.2 miles north of the Thornton Gap Entrance.
  • Big Meadows: Mile 51.2 on the northwest side of Skyline Drive, 19.8 miles south of the Thornton Gap Entrance or 14.4 miles north of the Swift Run Gap Entrance.
  • Lewis Mountain: Mile 57.5 on the east side of Skyline Drive, 26.1 miles south of the Thornton Gap Entrance or 8.1 miles north of the Swift Run Gap Entrance.
  • Loft Mountain: Mile 79.5 on the southeast side of Skyline Drive, 14 miles south of the Swift Run Gap Entrance or 25.4 miles north of the Rockfish Gap Entrance.
  • Dundo: An extremely small group campground at mile 83.7 on the southeast side of Skyline Drive, 18.4 miles south of the Swift Run Gap Entrance or 21.4 miles north of the Rockfish Gap Entrance.

  • Familiarize yourself with the trail blaze colors and their meanings:
  • White: Appalachian Trail
  • Yellow: Open to hikers and horseback riders
  • Blue: Open to hikers only
  • Unblazed: Nature trails for hikers only
  • Red-Orange: Park boundary
  • - from Shenandoah National Park Hiking Guide

    There is an entrance fee.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Shenandoah National Park
    NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Hikes to Waterfalls
    National Park Reservations - Shenandoah
    Guide to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive
    NPS - SNP maps
    AllTrails - Best trails in Shenandoah National Park
    NPS - Pets: Know which places pets are not permitted

    The following parking lots or trailheads are listed in order of north to south:

    Lands RunOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park on the west side of Skyline Drive in Huntly, Virginia 22640 at milepost 9.2. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 13, 2024

    NOTES: No restroom. Parking for ~12 vehicles. This is the best place to start from if you want to get to Hickerson Hollow Trail, Dickey Ridge Trail, Dickey Ridge Horse Trail, or Lands Run Falls. The falls are 0.55 mile south on the fire road.

    BLOGS: April 13, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Lands Run Falls
    AllTrails - Lands Run Falls Trail
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    Compton Gap / Fort Windham RocksOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park on the northeast side of Skyline Drive in Huntly, Virginia 22640 at milepost 10.4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 13, 2024

    NOTES: No restroom. Parking for ~15 vehicles. This is the best place to start from if you want to get to Fort Windham Rocks, Compton Peak West, Compton Peak East, or the basalt columnar jointing rock formation. Access to the Appalachian Trail. This is a very popular parking lot. If it is full, consider starting at Lands Run which is 1.5 miles northwest.

    The basalt columns are one mile from the parking lot, just south of Compton Peak East. Geologic structures such as these are rare on the east coast. They are best photographed on days that are not so bright to avoid harsh shadows.

    BLOGS: April 13, 2024

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Compton Peak Trailhead
    NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Compton Gap Area map
    NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Fort Windham Rocks
    AllTrails - Compton Peak Summit via Appalachian Trail
    Hoppy Hikers - AT: Compton Peak & Fort Windham Rocks
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    Thompson Hollow Trail / Overall RunOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park on the west side of Thompson Hollow Road (route 630), 1.9 miles south of where it meets Bentonville Road (route 613), Bentonville, Virginia 22610. B11 of Map 9 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park North District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 12, 2011

    NOTES: No restroom. Parking for ~ten vehicles. To get to the trailhead, walk 0.2 mile downhill/south on the gravel road. You'll see no trespassing signs. Foot traffic is o.k. Walk past a cable gate and continue downhill. You'll see a big fence. The Thompson Hollow Trail trailhead is on the right/south of this.

    Follow this trail south until it meets Overall Run Trail and Tuscarora Overall Run Trail. If you walk to the east, you'll get a nice view of Overall Run Falls, which has the highest drop of all the waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park.

    BLOGS: March 12, 2011

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Outdoor Project - Overall Run Falls via Thompson Hollow
    MidAtlanticHikes - Overall Run Loop
    AllTrails - Overall Run Loop
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    Gravel Springs GapOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: At mile 17.6 on Skyline Drive. G10 of Map 9 of the "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park North District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Provides access to the Appalachian Trail and Bluff Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Gravel Springs Hut via Harris Hollow Trail: This hike passes close to Gravel Springs Gap
    AllTrails - Appalachian Trail: Thornton Gap to Gravel Springs Gap
    Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group - Gravel Springs Gap Parking Area
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    Little Devils StairsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking and trailhead is on the west side of Keyser Run Road (route 614) just before a gate. It is 0.6 mile west of where it intersects Timothy Lane, Rappahannock County, Virginia 22747. H12 of Map 9 of the "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park North District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 19, 2010

    NOTES: Sometime it is called Little Devil's Stairs or Little Devil Stairs. Parking for ~eight vehicles. Head north and then northeast along Keyser Run to access Little Devil Stairs Trail.

    BLOGS: May 14, 2006 and September 19, 2010

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Little Devil Stairs
    MidAtlantic Hikes - Little Devil's Stairs
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    Buck Hollow / Buck RidgeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: South side of Lee Highway (route 211), 3.4 miles west of where this road intersects Sperryville Pike (route 522), Sperryville, Virginia 22740. J1 on Map 10 "Appalachian Trail and other Trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 5, 2011

    NOTES: There is room for about 10 vehicles if folks do a good job of parking. No restroom. Access to Buck Hollow Trail and Buck Ridge Trail.

    BLOGS: November 5, 2011

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Buck Hollow Trail and Buck Ridge Trail Loop
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    Meadow SpringOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: East side of Skyline Drive at mile 33.6. I3 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 4, 2014

    NOTES: This is a great place to park that will give you access to Buck Hollow Trail, Buck Ridge Trail, and Meadow Spring Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. Parking for ~twelve vehicles.

    BLOGS: July 4, 2014

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Outbound - Mary's Rock via Meadow Spring Parking Area
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    Stony ManOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northwest side of Skyline Drive at mile 41.7. H8 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: October 15, 2016

    NOTES: No restroom at trailhead but if after turning off Skyline Drive, you continue past the first parking lot to the dining room, you will find restrooms downstairs.

    Stony Man is the second highest point in the park, at 4,040 feet. It is very popular and typically crowded. There are some spectacular overlooks. It is a good place to access the Appalachian Trail.

    BLOGS: October 15, 2016

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Stony Man
    MidAtlanticHikes - Stony Man-Nicholson Hollow Loop
    AllTrails - Stony Man via Appalachian Trail
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    LimberlostOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking on northwest side of Old Rag Fire Road, 325 feet northeast of Skyline Drive at mile 43. H9 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to Skyland Stable Trail, Limberlost Trail, and Whiteoak Canyon Trail.

    BLOGS: October 15, 2016

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Limberlost Trail
    AllTrails - Limberlost Trail
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    Old RagOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Old Rag Mountain is on the east side of Shenandoah National Park, south of Nethers in Madison County, Virginia.

    The big parking lot is on the south side of Nethers Road (route 600), a half mile west of where it meets route 707, Nethers, Virginia 22719. M7 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    There are two parking lots between the big parking lot and the trailhead. One holds four vehicles and the other holds twelve. These usually fill up quickly.

    The trailhead is where the Old Rag Access Trail meets Ridge Trail. L7 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map. It is ~0.6 mile west of the big parking lot.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 11, 2016

    NOTES: There is a restroom at the big parking lot.

    People generally hike this loop clockwise, covering Ridge Trail, Saddle Trail, Weakly Hollow Fire Road, and then end with Ridge Access Trail or Nethers Road.

    The main parking lot holds ~100 vehicles.

    At the trailhead, you'll find Weakley Hollow Fire Road on the right (yellow blazed) and Ridge Trail (the main trail, blue blazed) on the left. Take the latter and return on the former for a challenging eight mile circuit hike. On Weakley Hollow Fire Road, horses have the right-of-way.

    Expect lots of fun rock scrambling near the top of Old Rag. Technical skills are not needed.

    The summit is 3291 feet above sea level. Expect to climb 2200 feet.

    This is without a doubt my favorite hike in the area. But it is also most everyone else's favorite hike and many people know about it. So if you want a nice, secluded hike, then this is not it. Expect a lot of crowds if the weather is nice. The ideal thing is to do this hike when everyone else is at work. But if you must do it on a holiday or weekend, then I suggest arriving at the trailhead before 0800. Give yourself at least six hours to complete the hike.

    This place became so popular that the National Park Service decided to require visitors to obtain an Old Rag day-use ticket in advance, in addition to a park entrance pass.

    If you want to do some rock scrambling without having to hike uphill to get there and you don't want to drive far from the Washington, D.C. area, then check out the Billy Goat Trail.

    BLOGS: June 25, 2005, June 3, 2006, December 31, 2010, June 14, 2014, and November 11, 2016.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Old Rag Area - Shenandoah National Park: This is an excellent map
    NPS - Old Rag Mountain
    AllTrails - Old Rag Mountain Loop
    Mid-Atlantic Hikes - Old Rag
    Geology of Old Rag
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    Cedar RunOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Drive to mile 45.6 on Skyline Drive and park at the Hawksbill Gap Parking Area on either side of the road, preferrably the east side. I10 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 31, 2012

    NOTES: The trailhead is on the east side of Skyline Drive.

    Walk for 1.6 miles southeast on Cedar Run Trail to get to Cedar Run Falls.

    BLOGS: January 29, 2012 and March 31, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Cedar Run - Whiteoak Circuit
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    White Oak CanyonOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park 250 feet north on an unnamed road that connects to the west side of Weakly Hollow Road (route 600, though some maps show 643), 3.6 miles north of Etlan Road (route 643) and just before Chad Berry Lane, Syria, Virginia 22743. Heading towards 4400 Weakley Hollow Road will get you very close. K10 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    The trailhead is 400 feet northwest of the parking lot.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 29, 2012

    NOTES: This area is sometimes called Whiteoak Canyon. There are two parking lots and no restroom. Park at the first lot if you have a car that rides low. This is an extremely popular and scenic hike. If visiting in freezing weather, be sure to wear crampons because the ice-covered rocks near the waterfall are hazardous.

    One of the Park's most popular destinations is Whiteoak Canyon and its six waterfalls, with heights from 35 to 86 feet. There are swimming holes at the bottom of each waterfall, but do not expect much privacy because they are quite popular.
    - from Virginia - Whiteoak Canyon Lower Falls Trailhead

    BLOGS: January 29, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Whiteoak Falls (Upper)
    Mid-Atlantic Hikes - White Oak Canyon/Cedar Run
    AllTrails - White Oak Canyon Trail
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    Rose River / Fishers GapOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northwest side of Skyline Drive at mile 49.4. H13 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 31, 2012

    NOTES: Access to the Appalachian Trail northwest of the lot. Southeast of Skyline Drive is the Rose River Loop Trail and the Rose River Fire Road. Walk for east for 1.3 miles on Rose River Loop Trail to get to Rose River Falls.

    BLOGS: March 31, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Rose River Falls
    AllTrails - Rose River Trail
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    Dark HollowOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Drive to mile 50.7 on Skyline Drive and park at the large Dark Hollow Falls Parking Area on the southeast side of the road. H14 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: March 31, 2012

    NOTES: The trailhead is near the north end of the lot. Walk 0.7 mile east on Dark Hollow Falls Trail, to get to Dark Hollow Falls.

    BLOGS: March 31, 2012

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Shenandoah National Park - Dark Hollow Falls
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    Milam Gap / Mill ProngOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking and trailhead at northwest side of Skyline Drive at mile 52.8. H15 of Map 10 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park Central District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Parking for 25+ vehicles. To the west is the Appalachian Trail. To the south, across Skyline Drive is Mill Prong Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Mill Prong - Laurel Prong Loop
    AllTrails - Mill Prong to Rapidan Camp
    AllTrails - Rapidan Road, Mill Prong, Laurel Prong and AT Loop
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    RiprapOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking and trailhead on west side of Skyline Drive at mile 90. I19 of Map 11 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park South District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to the Appalachian Trail, Riprap Trail, and Chimney Rock

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Riprap - Wildcat Ridge
    AllTrails - Riprap Trail
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    Wildcat RidgeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking and trailhead on west side of Skyline Drive at mile 92.1. H20 of Map 11 of "Appalachian Trail and other trails in Shenandoah National Park South District." See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to the Appalachian Trail and Wildcat Ridge Trail.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Riprap - Wildcat Ridge
    AllTrails - Wildcat Ridge Trail
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    Shenandoah River Raymond R. "Andy" Guest Jr. State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This park is in northern Virginia, along the South Fork Shenandoah River.

    PHONE: 540-622-6840

    NOTES: It is easy to confuse this state park with Shenandoah National Park but the two are separate.

    If you want to plan a canoe or kayak trip, consider Bentonville and the park's canoe launch.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Virginia DCR - Raymond R. "Andy" Guest, Jr. Shenandoah River State Park
    Hiking Upward - Shenandoah River Raymond R. "Andy" Guest Jr. State Park
    Hiking Project - Andy Guest/Shenandoah River State Park
    AllTrails - Best trails in Shenandoah River State Park

    Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking at the Visitor Center which is on the west side of Daughter of Stars Drive (route 725), 1.4 miles north of Stonewall Jackson Highway (highway 340), Bentonville, Virginia 22610. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Some of the campsites at the primitive River Right Campsite are very nice. I distinctly remember site six having a waterfront view. There is a common parking area with big wagons placed at the lot so you can wheel your camping gear to your site. There is also a Cottonwood Group Campsite.

    Be sure to check out the scenic Cullers Overlook and Wildcat Ledge. The former is a drive-to overlook while the latter is a steep but short hike. Both are well worth the effort.

    BLOGS: September 28, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Hemlock Hollow, Bluebell and Overlook Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Overlook Trail
    AllTrails - Point Trail to Wildcat Ridge Loop
    AllTrails - Everett Cullers Overlook Trail to River Trail to Culler's Trail Loop
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    Overnight Road / Bear BottomOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead and parking on south side of Overnight Road, 0.2 mile west of where it meets Daughter of Stars Drive (route 725), Bentonville, Virginia 22610. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: The park map shows this as a "Horsebarn Area."

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Bear Bottom and River Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Bear Bottom Loop and Big Oak Trail
    AllTrails - Bear Bottom, Big Oak, and River Trail Loop
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    Signal Knob

    Turkey Run Park



    West Virginia


    Blackwater Falls State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The lodge is located at 1584 Blackwater Lodge Road, Davis, West Virginia 26260.

    Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, West Virginia. The centerpiece of the park is Blackwater Falls,...where the Blackwater River leaves its leisurely course in Canaan Valley and enters rugged Blackwater Canyon.
    - from Wikipedia - Blackwater Falls State Park

    PHONE: 304-259-5216

    NOTES: The following information about the park is from a paper titled "Facts and Figures":
  • 3100 feet about sea level
  • 2465 acres
  • 120-150 inches of snowfall per year
  • The gorge is 525 feet deep and 2000 feet wide between the Lodge and Pendleton Point
  • The height of the falls is nearly 60 feet or five stories
  • 1937 - State Park established

  • One source says Blackwater Falls is 57 feet high while another says 62.

    The park has 20 miles of hiking trails, scenic views, cross country ski trails, and nice cabins for rent.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: West Virginia State Parks - Blackwater Falls State Park
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Blackwater Falls State Park
    TrailForks - Blackwater Falls State Park - Hiking Trails

    Blackwater FallsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park at Canyon Point Road, Davis, West Virginia 26260. It is a very short road and the whole thing is pretty much a parking lot. There is a trading post on the south side of the lot. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 4, 2017

    NOTES: This is one of the most scenic views in the park and it is extremely easy to access. In the winter, the frozen falls can be truly magical but the boardwalk may be closed due to hazardous conditions.

    From the parking lot, walk east to the boardwalk and then continue north to the viewing platforms. Total distance from the parking lot to the closest viewpoint is only 0.2 mile

    BLOGS: October 8, 2006, March 6, 2011, and Labor Day, September 4, 2017
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    Harold S. Walters Nature CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: East side of the parking lot at the north end of Pendleton Lake Road, Davis, West Virginia 26260. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 4, 2017

    NOTES: This is a very nice nature center and a good place to park if you want to access some of the trails.

    BLOGS: March 5, 2011 and Labor Day, September 4, 2017

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Pase Point Trail
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    Lindy PointOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West side of Canaan Loop Trail, one mile southwest of the Blackwater Falls State Park Cross Country Ski Center and Sled Run, Davis, West Virginia 26260. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: January 13, 2013

    NOTES: From this trailhead, walk 0.4 mile west on the red-blazed Lindy Point Trail to get to Lindy Point Overlook. Here, you'll have what many consider the most beautiful view in West Virginia.

    BLOGS: October 8, 2006, February 14, 2010, January 13, 2013

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Lindy Point Overlook
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    Canaan Valley National Wildlife RefugeOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Canaan Valley is a large bathtub-shaped upland valley in northeastern Tucker County, West Virginia. Within it are extensive wetlands and the headwaters of the Blackwater River which spills out of the valley at Blackwater Falls.
    The Valley, nestled among the higher backbone ranges of the Allegheny Mountains, is about 13 miles (21 km) long and 3 miles (4.8 km) to 5 miles (8.0 km) wide. It is defined by Canaan Mountain to the west and Cabin Mountain to the east. The northern half of Cabin Mountain is part of the Eastern Continental Divide.

    - from Wikipedia - Canaan Valley

    The visitor center is located at 6263 Appalachian Highway (route 32), Davis, West Virginia 26260-8061. See map.

    PHONE: 304-866-3858

    NOTES: Within the valley is
  • Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge (NWR): The focus of this section.
  • Canaan Valley Resort State Park
  • Blackwater Falls State Park

  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: FWS - Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trail Map
    AllTrails - Best trails in Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

    BeallOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The parking lot and trailhead are on the north side of Beall Lane, 0.6 mile southeast of where it meets Cortland Road (route 35), Cortland, Tucker County, West Virginia 26260. This road is also known as Coffmans Lane or route 35/18. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Access to various trails along the Blackwater River.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Beall North and Beall Connector Trail Loop
    AllTrails - Farm View Trail
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    Freeland BoardwalkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northwest side of Freeland Road (route 37), 1.1 miles east of where it meets the Appalachian Highway (route 32), Davis, West Virginia 26260. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 16, 2022

    NOTES: This half mile boardwalk is not open to pets due to its environmental sensitivity. Much of it parallels Freeland Run.

    BLOGS: July 16, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Canaan Valley - Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge Scenic Boardwalk Is Better Than Ever
    AllTrails - Freeland Boardwalk Trail
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    Coopers Rock State ForestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Coopers Rock State Forest is a 12,747-acre state forest in Monongalia and Preston counties in West Virginia.
    - from Wikipedia - Coopers Rock State Forest

    PHONE: 304-594-1561

    NOTES: Beautiful rock formations and scenic views. 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. This area is also popular with rock climbers.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: West Virginia State Parks - Coopers Rock State Forest
    Visit Mountaineering Country - Coopers Rock State Forest: The Complete Visitors' Guide
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Coopers Rock State Forest

    Disc Golf Course TrailheadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: At the Disc Golf Course, on the west side of Cooper Rock State Park Road (route 73/16), 0.4 miles south of where it intersects highway 68, Bruceton Mills, West Virginia 26525. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: This is the closest trailhead off the main highway.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Coopers Rock Roadside Trail
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    Rock CityOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: At the west end of an unnamed road. This road branches off the north side of Cooper Rock State Park Road (route 73/16), 2.8 miles south of where it intersects highway 68, Bruceton Mills, West Virginia 26525. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 2, 2011

    NOTES: Make sure to take time to also visit Coopers Rock Overlook.

    BLOGS: July 2, 2011

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Rock City Trail
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    Cranberry Wilderness

    Dolly Sods WildernessOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Dolly Sods Wilderness (or simply Dolly Sods) resides in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, and is part of Monongahela National Forest.

    PHONE: 304-636-1800

    NOTES: In the mid-1800s, the Dalhe family used open grassy fields called "sods" for grazing sheep in this area, which now bears the name Dolly Sods Wilderness. The region, located high on the Allegheny Plateau, is known for its extensive rocky plains, upland bogs, and sweeping vistas. The bogs are unique depressions of sphagnum moss, cranberries, and the insect-eating sundew plant -- an ecosystem you'd expect to see in northern Canada.

    Beginning in August of 1943, the military used the area for maneuvers and mountain training for World War II. Many of the artillery and mortar shells shot into the area for practice still exist. In 1997, a highly trained crew surveyed the trail locations and known campsites for shells. They found 15, some of which were still live. All were exploded on site. Many more may exist and they are dangerous. [Call 1-888-283-0303 if you find any.] Since it is impossible to survey every acre of the wilderness, we ask that you stay on existing trails and use existing campsites.

    Dolly Sods Wilderness has nearly 50 miles of trails, many of which follow old railroad grades and logging roads. This is easily the most popular Wilderness in West Virginia. Maximum group size is 10.

    - from Wilderness Connect - Dolly Sods Wilderness

    Road in Dolly Sods leave much to be desired.
    Forests Roads (FR) 19, 75, and 70 are graveled, rough, steep, and narrow with sharp curves and no guard rails. Conditions can be snowy, idy, muddy, or dusty. There is no snow removal on these roads. FR75 is normally closed January through April. FR70 is closed March through September.
    - from sign at trail head

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Dolly Sods Wilderness
    AllTrails - Best trails in Dolly Sods Wilderness
    Harman's Log Cabins - Scenic Views & Adventure: The Best Dolly Sods Hikes

    Bear Rocks Trail / North LoopOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on the west side of Dolly Sods Road (FS 75), 4.9 miles southwest of where it meets Jordan Run Road (route 28/7), straddling the east side of Tucker County and the west side of Grant County, West Virginia. Some maps might label FS 75 as Brushy Ridge Road. See map.

    Park at map, on the west side of Dolly Sods Road (FS 75), 4.7 miles southwest of where it meets Jordan Run Road (route 28/7).

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: This trailhead offers a plethora of choices for hikes of various lengths.

    According to a trailhead sign this area offers:
    an expansive view of huckleberry plains, wind blown spruce, and rock cliffs.

    This area is also known as Dolly Sods North.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Bear Rocks Trail to Raven Ridge Trail and Dobbin Grade Trail
    AllTrails - Bear Rocks and Lions Head Loop
    Live and Let Hike - Dolly Sods North Loop (Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV)
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    Blackbird KnobOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on the west side of Dolly Sods Road (FS 75), 7.1 miles southwest of where it meets Jordan Run Road (route 28/7), straddling the east side of Tucker County and the west side of Grant County, West Virginia. Some maps might label FS 75 as Brushy Ridge Road. See map.

    Parking is 50 feet south of the trailhead on the east side of the road.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: 400 feet south of the trailhead on the west side of the road is Red Creek Campground.

    BLOGS: October 10, 2011

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Blackbird Knob Trail
    Live and Let Hike - Blackbird Knob Loop (Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV)
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    Boars Nest Trailhead / South Prong TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead is on the southwest side of Dolly Sods Road (sometimes shown as FS19 or Delta 19), Randoph County, West Virginia. It is 8.7 miles west of where FS19 meets Jordan Run Road (route 28/7). See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Various trail options with opportunity for a good bit of ascent.

    BLOGS: January 13, 2007 and September 15, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hiking Project - Boar's Nest Trail #518
    AllTrails - South Prong Trail
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    Northland Loop TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: South trailhead is on the west side of Dolly Sods Road (FS 75), 7.6 miles southwest of where it meets Jordan Run Road (route 28/7), on the east side of Tucker County, West Virginia. Some maps might label FS 75 as Brushy Ridge Road. See map.

    Parking is just 75 feet south of the south trailhead on the west side of the road.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: The Northland Loop Trail is also known as TR 569. According to a trailhead sign, this is
    a half mile trail with interpretive signs. You'll see bogs and rocky heath barrens that include blueberries, azaleas, mountain laurel, and rhododendron.

    It is actually 0.3 mile one way but if you make it a loop by walking along the road back to the start, then it is 0.5 mile.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: MyHikes - Northland Nature Loop Trail
    AllTrails - Northland Loop Trail
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    Red Creek TrailheadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead is at the intersection of Dolly Lane and Dolly Sods Road (route 32/45), just south of Red Creek. Some maps might show Dolly Sods Road as Laneville Road, Laneville Bridge, FS19, or Delta 19. This location straddles the south side of Tucker County and the north side of Randoph County, West Virginia. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 15, 2022

    NOTES: This very popular trail is also known as TR514. To the east is Red Creek Trail which parallels Red Creek. The parking lot here is huge and there are many route options.

    BLOGS: September 9, 2006 and July 15, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Red Creek Trail
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    Valley View TrailheadOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Near 311 Valley View Road, Davis, West Virginia 26260. This is on the east side of the road, 0.3 mile northeast of where it intersects Mountainside Road. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 7, 2021

    NOTES: While not actually in Dolly Sods, it provides access to Dolly Sods Wilderness and Monongahela National Forest.

    Here, one can get to Valley View Trail, Rocky Ridge Trail, and the scenic Rocky Knob.

    BLOGS: November 4-7, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Canaan Valley Cabins
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    Lindy Point

    Loudoun Heights

    Monongahela National ForestOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Monongahela National Forest is...located in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia. It protects over 921,000 acres (3,727 km2; 1,439 sq mi) of federally managed land within a 1,700,000 acres (6,880 km2; 2,656 sq mi) proclamation boundary that includes much of the Potomac Highlands Region and portions of 10 counties.
    - from Wikipedia - Monongahela National Forest

    PHONE: 304-636-1800

    NOTES: The Monongahela has five [some sources say eight] federally-designated Wilderness Areas: Otter Creek, Dolly Sods, Laurel Fork North, Laurel Fork South, and Cranberry; and one National Recreation Area, Spruce Knob - Seneca Rocks.
    - from National Forest Foundation - Monongahela National Forest

    Within the forest boundaries lie some of the highest mountain peaks in the state, including the highest, Spruce Knob (4,863 ft). Spruce Knob is also the highest point in the Allegheny Mountains.
    - from Wikipedia - Monongahela National Forest

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
    Forest Service USDA - Monongahela National Forest
    West Virginia State Parks - Monongahela National Forest
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Monongahela National Forest

    Cranberry Mountain Nature CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: East end of Cranberry Vista at the intersection of Route 39/55 and WV-150, Hillsboro, West Virginia 24946. See map.

    PHONE: 304-653-4826

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Cranberry Mountain Nature Center
    AllTrails - Cranberry Bog Boardwalk: 2.3 mile drive from the nature center but you should also be able to get almost all the way there via hiking trails.
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    Cranberry Wilderness - North South TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West side of Highland Scenic Hwy (route 150), five miles southwest of where it meets Williams River Road (route 86), Pochahontas County, West Virginia 24954. See map.

    Park 0.3 mile north of the trailhead at map.

    PHONE: 304-846-2695 extension 0

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: You'll find plenty of options for longer hikes and backpacking at this trailhead and others in the area.

    The 47,815 acre Cranberry Wilderness in the Monongahela National Forest is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is located in Pocahontas and Webster Counties, West Virginia.
    - from

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Cranberry Wilderness
    AllTrails - Best trails in Cranberry Wilderness
    AllTrails - North-South Loop Trail
    Into the Backcountry - Cranberry Wilderness Loop Backpacking Guide
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    Falls of Hills CreekOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking and trailhead at south end of Hill Creek Falls Road, Hillsboro, West Virginia 24946. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: This popular 114 acre area contains three waterfalls - 25 feet, 45 feet, and 63 feet. The lower falls, at 63 feet is the second highest waterfall in West Virginia.
    - from Forest Service USDA - Falls of Hills Creek

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
    AllTrails - Falls of Hills Creek Trail
    Pocahontas County WV - Falls of Hills Creek
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    Flatrock Run TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is on south side of Bonner Mountain Road (routes 32/2, 45/1), 0.8 mile southwest of where it meets Laneville Road (route 45/4) and 0.2 mile west of Red Creek, Randolph County, West Virginia. See map.

    Parking just northwest of the intersection of Bonner Mountain Road (routes 32/2, 45/1) and New Cut Road in Tucker County, West Virginia. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: Also known as Flat Rock Run Trail and TR 519.

    This backcountry of bogs, berries, and rocky heath barrens offers opportunities for hiking, backpacking, and hunting. From the rocky plains, clear mountain streams descend steeply through lush northern hardwood forests.
    - from sign at trailhead

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Roaring Plains West
    AllTrails - Flatrock Run Trail
    Hiking Project - Flat Rock Run Trail
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    Otter Creek / Dry ForkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West side of Dry Fork Road (route 72), 4.5 miles southeast of where it intersects Seneca Trail (route 48/219), Tucker County, West Virginia. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Slightly west of Dry Fork Road and paralleling it is Dry Fork of the Cheat River. ~0.2 mile southwest of the trailhead is where Otter Creek flows into Dry Fork of the Cheat River. Otter Creek Trail parallels Otter Creek.

    BLOGS: April 12, 2009

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Otter Creek Wilderness
    AllTrails - Best trails in Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area
    TrailLink - Otter Creek Trail
    MidAtlanticHikes - Otter Creek Backpack
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    Railroad Grade TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northeast side of Canaan Loop Road. 1.5 miles northeast of where it meets route 244 / FR 244 / Mountainside Trail, Tucker County, West Virginia. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This trail is also known as TR 110 or FT 110.

    BLOGS: January 14, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Railroad Grade Trail - Forest Trail 110
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    Roaring PlainsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Trailhead is near the southwest end of Roaring Plains Road (FR70) where it meets Pipeline Access Road (which may not appear on some maps), Randolph County, West Virginia. See map.

    PHONE: 304-257-4488, extension 0

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 17, 2007

    NOTES: This backcountry of bogs, berries, and rocky heath barrens offers opportunities for hiking, backpacking, and hunting. From the rocky plains, clear mountain streams descend steeply through lush northern hardwood forests.
    - from sign at trailhead

    Call the above phone number to find out if Forest Road 70 (FR70) is closed as it sometimes is.

    BLOGS: January 13, 2007 and September 15-17, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Roaring Plains West
    AllTrails - Roaring Plains Rim Trail
    AllTrails - Roaring Plains Loop
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    Seneca Rocks

    Table Rock OverlookOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: West of Canaan Loop Road, 1.8 miles northwest of where it meets route 244 / FR 244 / Mountainside Trail, Tucker County, West Virginia. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Table Rock Overlook Trail is also known as Table Rock Trail, TR 113, or FT 113. Hike 1.2 miles southwest on the trail to get to Table Rock Overlook.

    BLOGS: January 14, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Table Rock (Overlook) Trail - Forest Trail 113
    AllTrails - Table Rock
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    Close accordion icon

    Roaring Plains

    Rock City

    Seneca RocksOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Seneca Rocks is a prominent and visually striking formation rising nearly 900 feet above the confluence of Seneca Creek with the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River.

    The closest parking lot and trailhead for Seneca Rocks Trail (TR563) is in the lot at the southeast end of FS-745A, by the Sites Homestead, Seneca Rocks, West Virginia 26884. FS-745A is on the southeast side of route 55/28, 0.2 mile northeast of where route 55/28 meets Allegheny Drive (route 33). See map.

    One can also park at the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center lot. See map. From here, it is 0.3 mile on a pedestrian path to the trailhead.

    PHONE: Seneca Rocks Discovery Center: 304-567-2827. Cheat Potomac Ranger District at 304-257-4488.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: July 17, 2022

    NOTES: Seneca Rocks is contained in the 100,000 acre Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area which resides in Monongahela National Forest. It is one of the best known landmarks in the state.

    Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about this area is the geology.
    The soaring cliffs of Seneca Rocks are made up of Tuscarora Sandstone or quartzite which was laid down in a sea environment some 425 million years ago. The bed of rock was contorted into a huge fold as the Appalachian Mountains were formed. After millions of years, erosion has stripped away the overlaying rock leaving remnants of a mountain whose peaks reached 13,000 feet. The strong cement that binds many of the quartz grains together explains why Seneca Rocks remain standing whereas softer rocks around them have long since been worn away by the forces of nature.
    - from sign on trail

    Restroom available.

    BLOGS: October 9, 2006 and July 17, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Forest Service USDA - Seneca Rocks
    Wikipedia - Spruce Knob–Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area
    AllTrails - Seneca Rocks Trail
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    Multi-State Hikes


    Appalachian TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Appalachian Trail is a footpath across 2,168 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridgelines from Georgia to Maine. Almost 40 miles of the AT, as it is affectionately known, cross Maryland, most of which follow the ridgeline of South Mountain.
    - from Maryland DNR - Appalachian Trail

    NOTES: In 1921, Benton MacKaye, a Harvard-educated forester and self-styled philosopher, came up with a revolutionary idea: a linear park, extending from Georgia to Maine. Thousands of volunteers and many legislators helped make it happen. With the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the trail became a reality by 1937.
    - from Maryland DNR - Appalachian Trail

    The AT is marked with white blazes.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Appalachian Trail
    Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    AppalachianTrail.com
    Virginia - Appalachian Trail
    Rhodes Mill - Official Appalachian Trail Map
    Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC)

    Locations shown below are ordered from south to north.

    Shenandoah National Park

    Blackburn Trail CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 34899 Appalachian Trail Road (route 713), Round Hill, Virginia 20141. See map.

    PHONE: 703-967-2226

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Appalachian Trail Road (route 713) is a gravel road. In ~0.6 mile, state maintenance ends.
    At the sign which reads "End of State Maintenance," head to the right, following the signs for Blackburn Trail Center. People going to center can ignore the "Private Road, No Trespassing" sign.
    Continue around until you reach a three way split.
    Take the center road, cross a wooden bridge, and follow the road between two fields. In an ice storm, you may want to park in the field on the left before the road starts heading uphill, then have someone with a four wheel drive vehicle come get you. Only about a mile left.
    At end of the field, the road enters the woods and starts to climb.
    Drive up the mountain, staying on the dirt road following signs for Blackburn.
    There may be a gate on the dirt road. If the caretaker is expecting you, he/she will have it unlocked.
    You can park at the Center to unload, but please move your car to the lower parking lot to allow others to do so as well.

    Here is what someone else wrote:
    Roughly three miles from Hillsboro, turn right on VA 713 (Appalachian Trail Road). In 0.6 mile, state maintenance ends.
    Turn right, following signs for the Blackburn Trail center. People heading to the center can ignore the "Private Road - No Trespassing sign". Follow the gravel road ~two miles to the center.
    You'll find a parking area for ~five cars on the left just before a gate. If the gate is open, you can continue another 100 yards or so to a second parking area for ~six cars by some old chimneys. After this, there is a sign that says "Authorized Vehicles Only."


    For hiking, follow the more northerly of the two blue-blazed trails to the Appalachian Trail (AT). This climbs via switchbacks to the AT. The northbound AT is to the right with the southbound to the left.

    Reservations for the Blackburn Trail Center should be made in advance. There are no flush toilets, though the center has all the modern kitchen conveniences, including two dishwashers, refrigerators, microwave oven, etc. There are enough beds for about 25 people. Much of this information was provided by the 2007 caretaker.

    I highly recommend getting the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club map called Appalachian Trail Map 7: Western Virginia and Northern Virginia if you plan on spending any time in this area.

    Consider the following hikes:
  • Snickers Gap to Blackburn: ~7 miles
  • Harpers Ferry to Blackburn: ~12 miles
  • Keys Gap to Snickers Gap: 13 miles

  • BLOGS: February 16-18, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Round Hill, VA - Blackburn Center
    Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) - Blackburn Trail Center
    TN Land Forms - Blackburn Trail Center
    Facebook - Blackburn Trail Center
    AllTrails - Blackburn Trail Center to Feather Top Knob via Appalachian Trail
    All Trails - Appalachian Trail: Keys Gap to Blackburn Trail Center
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    Harpers Ferry

    Weverton CliffsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: South side of Weverton Cliff Road, 0.3 mile southeast of where it meets Rohrersville Road (route 67), Knoxville, Maryland 21758. Washington County ADC map 37 D9. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 24, 2019

    NOTES: No restrooms. Parking lot holds about 25 vehicles.

    Walk east from the parking lot to head north on the Appalachian Trail (AT). The first part is a somewhat rugged wilderness hike, climbing ~500 feet on switchbacks over 0.8 mile. After this, you can hike to the south side of the hill and take a break at a scenic overlook of the Potomac River called Weverton Cliffs which can be found by following the blue blazed side trail downhill for about 0.1 mile from the top of the ridge. The blue blazed trail starts about 0.9 mile from the parking lot. This vista is, in my opinion, one of the finest in Maryland.

    About 3.2 miles north on the AT from the parking lot is the Edward P. Garvey Memorial Shelter, a great place to stop for the night or for lunch.

    Hiking seven miles north on the AT from the parking lot will take you to the next road after Weverton Road (route 858), which is Gapland Road at the Gathland State Park.

    Walk west from the parking lot to head south on the AT. In 0.6 mile, you'll come to the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Towpath. Continuing on the Towpath/AT (the two merge) will take you to the railroad bridge at Harper's Ferry which is 3.2 miles from the parking lot.

    BLOGS: December 24, 2006 and March 9, 2014

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Weverton Cliffs
    AllTrails - Appalachian Trail: Weverton Heights to Ed Garvey Shelter
    One Hike, Two Amazing Views
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    Gathland State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Just northwest of Burkittsville in Frederick and Washington Counties, Maryland.

    Trailhead located at the intersection of Arnold Road and Gapland Road, Jefferson, Maryland 21755. Frederick County ADC map 26 B7 or Washington County ADC map 35 F9. See map. Just south of this is a parking lot.

    PHONE: 301-791-4767

    DATE LAST UPDATED:

    NOTES: Look for the stone archway. It is impossible to miss. The Appalachian Trail runs perpendicular to Gapland Road in either direction. The archway is called the Civil War Correspondents Memorial Arch. This location is about seven miles north of where the trail meets with Weverton Road.

    If you want to camp but don't want to rough it, consider The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground which is 0.6 mile from the state park.

    BLOGS: December 24, 2006

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Gathland State Park
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Gathland State Park
    One Hike, Two Amazing Views
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    Bear Spring Cabin / Locust ValleyOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Slightly east of the Appalachian Trail and west of Middletown in Frederick County, Maryland.

    Access the trail from Locust Valley First Church of God, 1236 Mountain Church Road, Middletown, Maryland 21769. Frederick County ADC map 26 D2 or Washington County ADC map 35 H4. See map. Be sure to read my notes below.

    Bear Spring Cabin is between the church and the Appalachian Trail. Frederick County ADC map 26 C1 or Washington County ADC map 35 H4. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: There's not much information on-line about this location. Is it open to the public? On one of the forums, someone wrote
    Parking space is ample, but it is for the church and people staying at Bear Spring Cabin ONLY. There are signs that make this very clear.
    I don't know when this was posted and I haven't confirmed this myself.

    Parking lot holds about 20 vehicles.

    The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) Bear Spring Cabin is less than a quarter mile away from the church. From the cabin, take the steep, blue-blazed White Rocks Trail to reach the Appalachian Trail at the White Rocks Trail Overlook, 0.8 mile away.

    BLOGS: December 24, 2006

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: PATC - Bear Spring Cabin
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    Reno MonumentOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: South side of Reno Monument Road, 0.9 mile northwest of where it meets Fox Gap Road, Boonsboro, Maryland 21713. Frederick County ADC map 18 E9 or Washington County ADC map 32 J10. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2021

    NOTES: Parking for ~12 vehicles. No restroom.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrail - A.T. Reno Monument to Gathland
    The Historical Marker Database - Reno Monument
    Hiking Maryland's South Mountain
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    Old South Mountain InnOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 6132 Old National Pike (alternate 40), Boonsboro, Maryland 21713. Frederick County ADC map 18 E6 or Washington County ADC map 32 J8. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: December 12, 2021

    NOTES: Parking for ~eight vehicles at the east side of the lot in spaces designated for hikers. No restroom.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrail - Appalachian Trail: Dahlgren Camp to Bear Spring Cabin
    Hiking Maryland's South Mountain
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    Washington Monument State ParkOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 6620 Zittlestown Road, Middletown, Maryland 21769. Frederick County ADC map 18 D3. See map.

    PHONE: 301-791-4767

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Parking for 20+ vehicles. Entrance fee but free for military and veterans. Restroom and visitor center available.

    Hike about 3.2 miles north to the Route 40 parking lot or 5.5 miles north to Annapolis Rock, a popular climbing area with a scenic view of Greenbrier Lake.

    BLOGS: March 11, 2006

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Maryland DNR - Washington Monument State Park
    Annapolis Rock - the Perfect Off-Season Hike
    Hiking Maryland's South Mountain
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    Greenbrier State Park

    Route 40 Lot / Annapolis Rock and Black Rock CliffOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Just west of Greenbrier State Park at 11196 Baltimore National Pike, Myersville, Maryland 21773. Frederick County ADC map 10 G10 or Washington County ADC map 28 B11. See map.

    PHONE: 301-791-4767

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 28, 2019

    NOTES: The parking lot holds ~30 vehicles. Access the Appalachian Trail at the west end of the parking lot. From the trail, walk across the highway 70 bridge to head south or walk north along highway 70 to head north.

    Hike 2.5 miles north to Annapolis Rock, a popular climbing area with a scenic view of Greenbrier Lake and an eco-toilet where human waste decomposes quickly with the help of red wiggler worms. This is the closest parking lot to Annapolis Rock but it is a strenuous uphill climb to get there. Hike 3.2 miles south to Washington Monument State Park.

    This Annapolis Rock should not be confused with the one in Patuxent River State Park - Wildlands.

    BLOGS: March 11, 2006 and June 2, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hiking Upward - Annapolis Rock and Black Rock Cliff
    AllTrails - Annapolis Rock via Appalachian Trail
    Maryland Hikes - Annapolis Rock: Hike to Big Views Across the Cumberland Valley in Western Maryland
    Annapolis Rock - the Perfect Off-Season Hike
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    Thurston GriggsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Park at the southeast end of White Oak Road, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740. Washington County ADC map 28 A3. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: February 12, 2022

    NOTES: Some maps might list this as White Oak Lane instead of White Oak Road. Parking for 10+ vehicles. Once the lot fills up, people park along the side of the road on White Oak Road.

    The trailhead is not at the easternmost end of the parking lot...that is a private road. Looks for trailhead signs on the south side of the lot. Trail is blazed light blue and will follow Black Rock Creek uphill for 0.9 mile to the Appalachian Trail. Stay on the trail since private property borders it. No restroom. This is a very popular trailhead and provides access to Black Rock Vista and Pogo Memorial Campsite.

    BLOGS: February 12, 2022

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Thurston Griggs to Appalachian Trail to Black Rock
    AllTrails - Thurston Griggs Trail to Ensign Phillip Cowall Shelter
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    Ensign CowallOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Southeast of Smithsburg in Washington County, Maryland.

    The parking lot is south of the Appalachian Trail on the east side of Wolfsville Road (route 17), 0.4 mile north of where it mets Loy Wolfe Road and Garfield Road, Smithsburg, Maryland 21783. Washington County ADC map 23 H8. See map.

    The Ensign Cowall Memorial Shelter is ~0.4 mile northeast of the lot on the north side of the Appalachian Trail. Washington County ADC map 23 J7. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: The shelter has picnic tables, a fire circle, and an outhouse.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Rohland - MD Section 2 Pictures - Milemarker 3.5 - 4.1
    John's Hike Page - Ensign Cowall Shelter
    AllTrails - Thurston Griggs Trail to Ensign Phillip Cowall Shelter
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    Michaux State Forest

    Caledonia State Park

    Pine Grove Furnace State Park
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    Cranesville SwampOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: This 1,600-acre preserve straddles Preston County, West Virginia and Garrett County, Maryland.

    Trailhead and parking at the east end of Cranesville Swamp Road. This road is on the east side of Feather Road (route 47/1), 0.1 mile northwest of where it meets Burnside Camp Road (route 49), Preston County, West Virginia. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: September 7, 2020

    NOTES: This is a very special place where you will find some fascinating plants, including carnivorous ones. Dogs not allowed.

    Cranesville Swamp is a boreal peat bog relic left behind from the Pleistocene Epoch. The swamp formed 15,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, when glaciers inched close but never reached Maryland. The climate warmed and the glaciers retreated but many of the boreal plants remain to this day. Nestled in a mountain valley bowl known as a frost pocket, colder conditions still prevail enough for plants to whisper of the past.
    - from Maryland DNR - Maryland's Natural Areas - Cranesville Swamp

    BLOGS: September 7, 2020

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Nature Conservancy - Cranesville Swamp
    Garrett Trails - Cranesville Swamp Trails
    AllTrails - Cranesville Swamp White and Blue Swamp Trail
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    George Washington and Jefferson National ForestsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests is an administrative entity combining [in 1995] two U.S. National Forests into one of the largest areas of public land in the Eastern United States. The forests cover 1.8 million acres (7,300 km2) of land in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
    - from Wikipedia - George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

    PHONE: 540-265-5100

    NOTES: It is hard to comprehend the size of this forest. At 1.8 million acres, it is bigger than the state of Delaware.

    Here are some interesting facts:
  • The northern portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is separately administered by the National Park Service, runs through the Forest.
  • Over 2,000 miles (3,000 km) of hiking trails, including segments of the Appalachian Trail, go through the forest.
  • Virginia's highest point, Mount Rogers, is located in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area that is part of the forest.
  • - from Wikipedia - George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: USDA Forest Service - George Washington & Jefferson National Forests
    AllTrails - Best trails in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
    Virginia - National Forests - George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
    Hiking Project - George Washington National Forest

    Big SchlossOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The parking lot is on the southeast side of Little Stony Road (FR92), 3.4 miles northwest of where it meets Johnstown Road, Shenandoah County, Virginia. This is west of Little Stony Creek and east of Mill Creek. See map.

    The trailhead for Little Stony Creek Trail (TR571) is ~250 feet east of the parking lot and on the north side of the road.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: When monitoring the weather, check Woodstock, Virginia then subtract five degrees.

    "Schloss" means "castle" in German.

    BLOGS: November 3-4, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: USDA Forest Service - Big Schloss Trail (Forest Trail #1004A)
    MidAtlanticHikes - Big Schloss
    AllTrails - Big Schloss Loop
    Hiking Upward - Big Schloss
    Shenandoah County - Big Schloss
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    Buzzard RockOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Parking and trailhead access on the west side of Mountain Rd (route 619), 0.6 mile south of where it meets Wakeman Mill Road (route 615), Front Royal, Virginia 22630. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Parking for ~eight vehicles. No restroom.

    There are many places with this same name. Before heading here, make sure this is really the one you want. There is also a Buzzard Rock Overlook which is best accessed by picking up the Massanutten Trail (TR 408) from the Signal Knob Trailhead.

    BLOGS: August 27, 2006

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Buzzard Rock
    Hiking Project - Buzzard Rocks Trail
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    Elizabeth Furnace Recreation AreaOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: At the south end of an unnamed road on the south side of Fort Valley Road (route 678), Fort Valley, Virginia 22652. This unnamed road starts 2.8 miles south of where Fort Valley Road and Mountain Road (route 619) intersect. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: This area has a restroom and lots of parking. Many trails connect here including Tuscarora Veach Gap Trail, Charcoal Interpretive Trail, Botts Trail, and Pig Iron Interpretive Trail (TR 483)

    BLOGS: August 27, 2006 and October 13, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: USDA Forest Service - Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area
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    Signal KnobOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: East side of Fort Valley Road (route 678), 2.2 miles south of where it meets Mountain Road (route 619), Fort Valley, Virginia 22652. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: Access to the Massanutten Trail (TR 408) which leads to Signal Knob and Buzzard Rock Overlook.

    BLOGS: October 13, 2007

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: AllTrails - Signal Knob Loop Trail
    Hiking Upward - Signal Knob
    Wikipedia - Signal Knob
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    Close accordion icon

    Harpers FerryOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Harpers Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia. It is located in the lower Shenandoah Valley. Situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, where Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet, it is the easternmost town in West Virginia.
    - from Wikipedia - Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

    PHONE: 304-535-6029

    NOTES: Harpers Ferry is a spectacular place to visit. I know of no other day trip from the Baltimore / Washington, D.C. area where you can plan an outdoor adventure and see so much in such a concentrated area. The place is full of beautiful views and rich in history.

    The Appalachian Trail runs for ~1.2 miles between the Shenandoah River and the Potomac River in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. In total, it only runs for four miles in West Virginia.

    One can spend easily spend a lot of time in this area. Here are some of my favorite things to see/experience:
  • Appalachian Trail
  • Bolivar Heights
  • Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal/Towpath
  • Jefferson Rock
  • Loudoun Heights
  • Historic Lower Town
  • Maryland Heights
  • The Point
  • Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church
  • Virginius Island

  • History buffs will find this area most fascinating.
    [On October 16, 1859], Abolitionist John Brown leads a small group on a raid against a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in an attempt to start an armed revolt of enslaved people and destroy the institution of slavery.
    Although the raid failed, it inflamed sectional tensions and raised the stakes for the 1860 presidential election. Brown's raid helped make any further accommodation between North and South nearly impossible and thus became an important impetus of the Civil War.

    - from History - This Day in History - John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry

    During the American Civil War, it [Harpers Ferry] was the northernmost point of Confederate-controlled territory.
    - from Wikipedia - Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Harpers Ferry
    NPS - Harpers Ferry - Parking
    NPS - Harpers Ferry - Hikes
    NPS - Harpers Ferry - Hiking Trail Maps
    AllTrails - Best Trails in Harpers Ferry
    Hiking Project - Harpers Ferry

    Loudoun HeightsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Southeast of the confluence of the Shenandoah River and Potomac River in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Washington County [Maryland] ADC map 36 H11. See map.

    I suggest parking at River Access Parking Lot at 340 and doing the AllTrails route I list below.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 21, 2021

    NOTES: Here, you'll get a spectacular view of the Historic Lower Town and the Potomac River. I like to think of this as the West Virginia equivalent to Maryland Heights with this trail and overlook being much less crowded.

    Loudoun Heights is the second highest mountain overlooking Harpers Ferry, hugging the Shenandoah River along its base. The north face of the mountain is a 900-foot vertical drop - the steepest bluff surrounding Harpers Ferry. It is named after Loudoun County, Virginia.
    - from NPS - Harpers Ferry - Loudoun Heights

    For years, I incorrectly assumed that the Shenandoah River was the boundary between Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and Loudoun County, Virginia. I was wrong.
    The boundary line between Loudoun County, Virginia, and Jefferson County, West Virginia shall be the watershed line of the top of the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains as established by the survey approved by the Commission on April 29, 1997.
    - from Virginia's Legislative Information System - Virginia Compacts - 1-313

    This means Loudoun Heights is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, with the overlook less than 400 feet from the Virginia border. So until I fix my blogs, you may notice that I falsely reference the Loudoun Heights area as being in Virginia.

    Many maps mark the overlook as Split Rock. I've always just called it the Loudoun Heights Overlook. According to Google Maps, they are only 150 feet from each other so I think it is generally safe to use them synonymously. At least you won't send anyone in the wrong direction by using one name over the other.

    The blue blazed Loudoun Heights Trail branches off the white blazed Appalachian Trail with the former heading northeast and the latter going south. This occurs at 39.313693, -77.737325, ~0.3 mile after crossing Chestnut Hill Road (route 32). Other than this, the route as described in the AllTrails link I post below is fairly straightforward with the overlook at the east end of Loudoun Heights Trail.

    While it looks like the William L. Wilson Freeway (highway 340) is only 150-200 feet from the overlook, I don't recommend bushwhacking to the road (or vice versa) due to safety and environmental impact concerns.

    BLOGS: May 27, 2006, May 12, 2007, June 24, 2007, October 20, 2007, November 8, 2009, and August 21, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Harpers Ferry - Loudoun Heights Trail
    AllTrails - Loudoun Heights Trail to Split Rock: This is the route that I recommend
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    Maryland HeightsOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead, overlook, and everything in between is east of Harpers Ferry Road and north of Sandy Hook Road in Washington County, Maryland 21758.

    Park at the Train Station Parking lot in Harper Ferry, West Virginia. It used to be the case that early birds could park on Harpers Ferry Road to access the trail but this is no longer allowed.

    The trailhead is northeast of Harpers Ferry Road, ~0.4 mile northwest from the east end of the Goodloe Byron Memorial Footbridge. The stretch between the two is part of both the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Towpath. A small footbridge connects the AT/towpath with Harpers Ferry Road at the trailhead. Washington County ADC map 36 G10. See map.

    The overlook is at Overlook Cliff at the south end of the red blazed Overlook Cliff Trail. Washington County ADC map 36 G10. See map. Here, the elevation is about 642 feet above sea level.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: June 11, 2018

    NOTES: If you can get to this overlook in the morning on a clear day, you will have the most scenic view in all of Maryland, in my opinion. This is truly a picture postcard view and well worth the hike. Here, you will see Harpers Ferry Historic Lower Town, the Potomac River, and the Shenandoah River.

    From the trailhead and facing away from the Potomac River, the main trail is to the left and blazed in green. To the right, it only extends a few feet to what appears to have been the foundation to a house or building. There is no restroom at the trailhead or on the trail.

    The trail heads up Elk Ridge. It starts with Military Road which is blazed in green. This is a dirt road just wide enough for a vehicle. This is fairly steep and continues uphill for about a half mile. This road levels off a bit and splits. On the left is the Stone Fort Trail blazed in blue. This trail may also be called (or part of) Grant Conway Trail, depending on what map you view. On the right is the Overlook Cliff Trail blazed in red.

    To get to Overlook Cliff, follow Overlook Cliff Trail. At a post with two red blazes, the trail will split. Heading straight will take you downhill on a trail with no blazes. Then after about a half mile, you will leave the park and see "No Trespassing" signs. Instead, you want to head to the right to get to the overlook. The trail will get narrow and rocky. Then, it will end at Overlook Cliff.

    The vista is fantastic and it attracts a lot of other hikers on nice days if it is a holiday or weekend.

    This isn't a long hike but it is fairly strenuous with a 1115 foot elevation gain just to get to the overlook and back.

    It is easy to take a wrong turn to get to the overlook. I recommend consulting the NPS link I provide below.

    Those looking to add a couple of extra miles to the route should hike the blue blazed Stone Fort Trail which loops around, connecting at Overlook Cliff Trail twice. The eastern side of this trail is rocky and narrow. The western side is wide enough for a vehicle. The trails rises up to ~1400 feet at the northernmost point. At one time, there was a long trail that continued for several miles north of the northernmost point of Stone Fort Trail. This was the Elk Ridge Trail. It ran along the ridge of Elk Ridge to Gobblers Knob. My old map lists this trail as being unmaintained. I tried to find it but could not. I only found an aqua colored blaze where it should begin.

    BLOGS: May 27, 2006, May 12, 2007, June 24, 2007, October 20, 2007, November 8, 2009, March 9, 2014, and June 11, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Harpers Ferry - Maryland Heights Trail
    AllTrails - Maryland Heights via Harper's Ferry
    AllTrails - Maryland Heights Loop: This includes the Stone Fort loop
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    River Access Parking Lot at 340Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northeast of highway 340 and south of Shenandoah Street (alternate 340), Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425. Access from Shenandoah Street. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: August 21, 2021

    NOTES: This location is ideal if you plan to hike the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia. No restroom but it is a 0.8 mile flat walk heading east on Shenandoah Street to the Historic Lower Town where there are public restrooms and other amenities.

    Pay to park. At the southwest corner of the lot is a small pipelike structure with envelopes to place money for the fee. There may also be park rangers in the lot enforcing this fee.

    There is a dirt trail that leads directly to the Shenandoah River from this lot. White water rafters can park here and easily carry their boats to the river to launch. Good spot for river tubing too. Note that personal floatation devices (PFDs) must be worn on the Potomac River for boaters and tubers.

    Lot will hold 36 vehicles and will fill up quickly on a nice day.

    BLOGS: August 21, 2021

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Parking - Lower Town Parking Areas - River Access Parking Lot
    NPS - Harpers Ferry - Camp Hill and Appalachian Trail: This is a great map for showing trails between this parking lot and the Historic Lower Town
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    Train Station ParkingOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: Northeast side of Potomac Street near 182 Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425. This is 0.1 mile northwest of where Potomac Street and Shenandoah Street (alternate 340) intersect. Washington County [Maryland] ADC map 36 F11. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Unexplored

    NOTES: 81 parking spaces that fill up quickly. This is a good place to park if you want to hike to Maryland Heights.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Harpers Ferry - Lower Town Parking Areas - Train Station Parking Lot
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    Tri-State Circuit Hike (defunct)Open accordion icon
    LOCATION: This now defunct hike started from what I used to call the kettlecorn lot because there was often someone there on weekends selling kettlecorn. I don't believe one can park at this lot anymore and I was never sure who owned it.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: November 8, 2009

    NOTES: One of my favorite routes was what I called the tri-state circuit hike. It was a 9-11 mile loop with 2560 feet of elevation gain that included Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Loudoun Heights, Harpers Ferry, and Maryland Heights. The last time I did it was in 2009. Back then, one could park for free at the kettlecorn lot. Much has changed since then. Some of the trails necessary to complete this circuit hike are closed, possibly due to their steepness or because of environmental impact. Hence, I do not elaborate further.

    Here are some of my handwritten notes.

    BLOGS: May 27, 2006, May 12, 2007, June 24, 2007, October 20, 2007, and November 8, 2009
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    Virginius IslandOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The trailhead is at some mill ruins, south of Shenandoah Street (alternate 340), 0.2 mile east of River Access Parking Lot at 340, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425. Washington County [Maryland] ADC map 36 F11. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: June 11, 2018

    NOTES: What is the demarkation between a hike and a stroll? That is hard to say but I would say the trails here fall under the latter due to their short length. If you live in the Baltimore / Washington, D.C. area, I don't think it would be worth your time to drive out here just for this walk but it can be easily combined with other hikes or spending the day at the Historic Lower Town. This is also a great route for those wanting to see a lot but not physically capable of something more challenging.

    This area should appeal to history buffs.
    The thirteen-acre landscape, located entirely in West Virginia, was once the location of a rail line, road systems, residential and manufacturing structures, orchards, and gardens. The island is currently treated as an archeological preserve containing evidence of the area's industrial and residential development during the 1800s.
    - from NPS - Virginius Island Cultural Landscape

    Across from the trailhead, just north of Shenandoah Street, is a short and steep connector trail to the Appalachian Trail.

    The name is a little deceptive. Virginius Island is not really an island but a peninsula, though it was once an island.

    BLOGS: June 11, 2018

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Virginius Island and Hall's Island Trail
    AllTrails - Virginius Island
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    Visitor CenterOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: 171 Shoreline Drive, on the south side of where it meets route 340, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425. See map.

    DATE LAST UPDATED: Before 2010

    NOTES: If you've never been to Harpers Ferry, this is a good place to start. The park rangers are quite helpful in recommending trails and answering questions. They may not leave maps out on their desk but they have them behind the desk and will provide you with one if asked.

    Many people leave their car at the visitors center to do overnight backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. Just make sure you let the rangers know and fill out a form at the visitors center before leaving your vehicle after closing hours.

    Pay to park. One can take a bus from the visitor center to the bus stop at the Historic Lower Town. Bus fare is included in the park fee.

    If you don't want to take the bus, you can hike the scenic 2.1 miles to get to the Historic Lower Town. Allow 45 minutes. From the visitor center, head south and look for a sign that reads "Virginius Island, Hall's Island, Lower Town." This is where the trail begins. This will lead down the hill and down a rock staircase, past a small waterfall. Cross Shoreline Drive and walk along it, heading east. Cross under route 340.

    You can continue following Shenandoah Street (alternate 340, an extension of Shoreline Drive) into town or take the more scenic route. To take the scenic route, turn left and head north as if trying to get onto route 340. Before actually reaching route 340, you should see trail signs. Turn right and head east. This will take you on the Cliff Trail which has white blazes. This trail overlaps with the Appalachian Trail. The trail will split. Stay on the left to remain on the main part. The right side takes you down a stone staircase to Shenandoah Street near a sign that reads "Visitor Center Parking and Exit Next Left." If you want to vary your route on the way back, try going up the staircase on your way back, looking for this sign.

    Slightly further ahead, the trail splits again with light blue blazes to the left. The blue blazed area goes through Storer College Campus. Signs for it read "ATC" which stands for Appalachian Trail Conservancy. I recommend avoiding this tributary of the trail.

    Continuing the trek into town along Cliff Trail, there is a small, easily ignored split off to the left that leads just a few feet up to a plateau. On this plateau is the Harper Cemetery.

    Cliff Trail goes past Jefferson Rock, Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church, and then down a stone staircase. Note how much of this staircase was carved out of a single stone! At the bottom of the staircase (at the paved road), head right/southeast on High Street (alternate 34). At the end of High Street, turn right/southwest on Shenandoah Street to get to the restrooms. Or, turn left (northeast) on Shenandoah Street to get to The Point.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: NPS - Harpers Ferry - Visitor Centers
    NPS - Visitor Center to Lower Town Trail: This is an easier, more direct, and less interesting route than the one I propose
    AllTrails - Harpers Ferry Lower Town Loop Trail: The return trip is similar to the one I propose but in reverse
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    Mason-Dixon TrailOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: The Mason-Dixon Trail is a 193-mile (311 km) hiking trail that begins at the Appalachian Trail in south-central Pennsylvania, continues through northeastern Maryland and northern Delaware, and re-enters Pennsylvania shortly before ending at Chadds Ford.
    - from Wikipedia - Mason-Dixon Trail

    NOTES: This is one of the earliest trails I explored in Maryland. Some parts are very nice while in some areas, the trail is poorly maintained and even with maps, finding the trail can at times be difficult. About a third of the trail follows roads through rural areas so I think calling it a "trail" is misleading...it is more of a route that connects various trails near the Mason-Dixon Line.

    Despite this trail being mentioned in many websites, in my opinion, it is not as well documented as similar trails of such magnitude.

    BLOGS: October 5, 2008

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Mason-Dixon Trail System
    Maryland DNR - Elk Neck State Forest - Hiking Trails
    American Trails - Mason-Dixon Trail, Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania DCNR - Mason Dixon Trail
    Hiking Project - Mason-Dixon Trail System
    Blue Ridge Outdoors - Walk the Line: The Mason-Dixon Trail

    The following are listed from north to south.

    Broad CreekOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Broad Creek

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 28, 2017

    NOTES: This is the northwest terminus of the AllTrails - Mason-Dixon Trail: Susquehanna State Park to Broad Creek route.
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    Trestle Canoe Launch

    Rock Run Grist Mill

    LapidumOpen accordion icon
    LOCATION: See Launch Sites - Lapidum Boat Launch Facility

    DATE LAST UPDATED: April 9, 2017

    NOTES: This is near the southeastern end of the following routes: AllTrails - Susquehanna Ridge, Ivy Branch, Rock Run, and Land of Promise Trail and AllTrails - Susquehanna State Park Loop. Both these hikes follow part of the Mason-Dixon Trail.

    BLOGS: December 3, 2011
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    Acryonyms

  • ADC: A map company but I don't know what ADC stands for
  • AT: Appalachian Trail
  • ATC: Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • DCNR: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • DCR: Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • DNR: Department of Natural Resources
  • DWR: Department of Wildlife Resources
  • FWS: Fish and Wildlife Service
  • GPS: Global Positioning System
  • MNCPPC: Maryland - National Capital Park and Planning Commission
  • NPS: National Park Service
  • NRA: National Recreation Area
  • NWR: National Wildlife Refuge
  • ORC: Off-Road Vehicle
  • PATC: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
  • SNP: Shenandoah National Park
  • USDA: United States Department of Agriculture
  • WMA: Wildlife Management Area
  • Terminology

    A good source for hiker/backpacker terminology is Your Adventure Coach - Hiking Terms And Lingo You Need To Know

    Me hiking in Dolly Sods Wilderness on October 10, 2011
    Hiking in Dolly Sods Wilderness, October 10, 2011