Gambrill Yellow Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Frederick, MD that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Hike or Bike the Catoctin Mt Ridgeline There are 14+ miles of loop trails on Catoctin Mountain beginning and ending at the Gambrill State Park parking lot. The trails are named after colorful trees and are blazed accordingly. The trails vary from easy to strenuous and from 1 to 7 miles in length. They are quire popular with hikers, bikers, and the occasional equestrian. The lot is frequently nearly full, so get there early. The Yellow Poplar trail is the longest. Bikers consider it one of the most "technical" trails in Maryland. There are some steep sections and the trail is very rocky in places. Since this trail runs parallel with the ridgeline on both sides, you can catch some nice views of the Monocacy Valley toward Frederick and the Cactoctin Valley toward South Mountain. If you catch it a the right time, Cactoctin Mountain is covered with beautiful laurel.
Truly the hike is difficult as the path is fairly rocky through out . We are novice hikers and found trail markings a bit sparse . Thank goodness for the app and phone service or we might still be out there in the yellow loop. The elevation was not a problem. There's not much to interest you along the way.
We may have been better of not doing the upper loop but we came we conquered and will be back! Oh and saw a downy woodpecker
Really nice hiking trail, but the dog and I did it during our humid heat wave this week, so it wasn't as enjoyable as it could be during cooler weather. Wish it didn't have so many sections close to the road, but other than that I really liked this trail
Hiked it with my two younger teenage kids. There really just isn't much of anything to see. The trail itself isn't too hard for the most part it is well marked. We only saw people in the first 1/4 mile and last 1/4 mile.
Nice hike but should be rated moderate
We hiked the yellow trail, including the upper loop this past Sunday. There are hundreds of mountain laurel just beginning to bloom. Lots of ferns, too. There is a nice overlook near the beginning of the trail.
In the snow twice as difficult and 3X longer great day to be on the trails
This Yellow trail is a nice hike that has 3 loops so you can hike from 3 -7 miles with varying difficultly.
There are also a Green, Red and a Black trail here that are also nice. The Black is the hardest trail here.
Very nice trails! The yellow trail had some steep spots but I like that! Some parts were very rocky not good for bad feet. Trees in fall were gorgeous! Lots of maples.
This is probably my favorite trail at Gambrill simply because it doesn't seem to get used as much as the others. The hike itself is pretty easy but still features it's fair share of ups and down and some rocky places (make sure you wear proper footwear!). Around the middle of the trail (just under 3 miles in) you can decide whether to take the upper loop and add about 2.5 miles (this is required for the 7 miles) or to continue on the lower loop and do only about 5.25 miles.
The biggest problem I have with this trail is that it basically follows along the road. At the beginning, you are in view of it and sometimes just walking along side it. Eventually, the road is out of sight but the sound of traffic is a constant reminder that you're never too far from it. At certain spots the trail seems to be a little over grown most of the times I have been on it so long pants as opposed to shorts might be recommended and you will probably spend some time trying to avoid getting hit in the face with a stray branch.
All in all, a great trail and one certainly worth doing at Gambrill if you can handle a 5.25 or 7+ mile hike.
We were a little confused about the distance of the trail - in order to get the full 7 miles, you also have to do the upper loop of the trail. There's a sign that says something like "additional 2.5 miles." So, you can make this trail shorter if you want!
Completed trail August 17, 2014. Very well maintained, enjoyed the cover provided by the trees but do not consider this "very hard" as indicated on label.
Good campsite at the bottom. Went with my wife two weeks before our wedding, had the trials virtually to ourselves. Perfect bit of exercise before a glamping style dinner