Gambrill State Park - Black Locust Trail is a 2.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Frederick, MD that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Nice wooded trail, scenic overlooks, fantastic Mountain Laurel Black Locust Trail warmly invites the hiker as the trail opens to the northwest with a gentle rise and an abundance of magnificent Mountain Laurel. However, this initial impression belies some of the rougher terrain that awaits the less sure footed explorer. While the northward trek towards Bootjack Spring was an easy to moderate jaunt for both myself and my 8 year old son, both the gain and the sometimes very rocky path made this portion of the hike less than pleasant for my 5 year old daughter. She was clearly testing the limits of her agility. Fortunately, beginning at North Frederick Overlook the remainder of the hike is more leisurely with an overall descent back south towards the trailhead. The trail is highly characterized by scenic overlooks, Tulip Poplars, Oaks, Locusts, and the ever present Mountain Laurel, which being in full blossom added greatly to the scenic appeal. An overall recommend trail with careful consideration for the younger hikers.
How are the leaves looking there now? Thanks!
Good workout. Enjoyed the views from the lookouts!
I bought a new backpack for a few trips my son and I plan to take this fall. We chose this park as a trail run. The trial was great. Very little traffic for a late summer trek. Lots of flat to offset the up and down hill parts. Views are worth the effort. Lots of trail options here. Can't wait to spend another day checking them out. Trails are well marked with great signs.
I have done this trail twice with my boys. It is not easy and does give a good workout.
This is a great day-hike area. With Gambrill campground connecting to this and with the few road access/parking areas intersecting the road, you can easily scale hikes in this area to meet the needs of most folks while staying away from the rush of big crowds.
I did a 3.6 mile version of this hike with a few friends and it was a little different for each of us. Some were exhausted, I felt it was a good level for exercise, but the trail blazer was left looking for more. The different parking areas seem to be strategically placed between the sections of varying difficulty, so it has segments perfect for children or elders.
The overlook spots are close to the road, so you could easily make your way there for a sun rise (for the one east-facing overlook) or set (three good spots for sun sets) without having to navigate the trail in the dark.
If this is part of your longer thru hike, there are a few streams, but there was only one flowing (assisted spring?) while we were there. No matter though, the park at the peak has both potable water and bathrooms.... Not sure if they close or shut of after dark though.
Some trails were bike friendly but I only saw two riders and they were only on the northern end of the loop, heading to the overlook. The rest of the cyclists (and there were MANY) were all using the road.
I don't believe any camping along the trail is permitted though. Just at the campgrounds near by, which are many. It's well marked and maintained. Even surprisingly clean from evidence of the pets I saw on the the trail.
10 out of 10: would do again.
OH! The Gambrill campground has a few (four?) tent spots that can ONLY be reserved in person. Good info if ever you wanna try your luck after being turned down by the online reservation system.
Only did a section of this one, while hiking the yellow trail with my dog. I really like what little I did of this trail and looking forward to being able to do the entire trail next time we visit.
Two great views, but parts of the trail weren't clearly marked. Overall, a nice workout.
A steep-ish ascent with two lovely vistas--one within a mile or two, and a second a mile after that. You will see other hikers on a nice enough day, but the trail is solitary enough that you can enjoy a packed lunch with a view. One of my favorite moderate hikes, easygoing with the opportunity for a nice workout if you take it fast enough.
Great hike. Gets the heart rate up with the hills.
Nice short hike near Frederick, located in Gambrill State Park. The Maryland Dept of Natural Resources Trail Guide rates the BLT as difficult, but to an experienced hiker this would barely rate as moderate. There are sections with rocky footing and some moderate steady climbs, but that's it. No scrambling and zero exposure. Nice views can be had of Frederick, especially from the North Frederick Overlook. The Middletown Overlook offers views of Middletown valley and the South Mountain ridge, along which the Appalachian Trail runs it's north/south path.
This is a very nice trail. Well marked and maintained. Somewhat difficult and you can also add other trails if you feel like going farther.
This is a great trail to do on a regular basis; the leaves and rocks get a bit slippery but the elevation is fine and the views are aight and a nice reward for your labor.
This is my favorite trail at Gambrill largely because it's short enough to do after work before it gets dark, but challenging enough when done at a good pace that it can be a good workout. Although the inclines certainly aren't rock-climbing-intense, they're significant enough to get the blood pumping. Once it goes across the road, some of it is appropriate for some trail running, as well. Also, some nice perks include passing by two different overlooks and a scenic area (that I've not yet taken the time to visit). The beginning of the trail is my least favorite part - rocky decline. It typically takes me a little less than an hour to complete this trail (in summer).
Nice trail to start but as you loop back most of the trail follows along side of the main road. This takes away from the trail for me personally. Only one or two major inclines, and nice scenic views of Frederick County.
Most of the trail is very well maintained. We started from the upper parking lot and went to the right, making it much easier. Not sure why but I tracked the distance with MapMyRun and actually got that it was closer to 4 miles. An all around nice hike but nothing spectacular. It'd be better if we'd gone while the mountain laurel is in bloom.