Lamb's Knoll White Rocks Loop Trail is a 10.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Boonsboro, Maryland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Nice hike to a view. Near a USG Communications Facility. Keep walking on the South on the AT past the facility and you will find White Rocks on your left. Be sure to read the historical signs on the entrance and maybe visit the nearby Washington Monument State Park. Beginning at the parking lot, enter the Appalachian trail adjacent to the building ruins dated 1887. Begin a slow ascent towards White Rocks Overlook on a moderately rocky trail. Follow the white blazes for the Appalachian Trail. At the 3.5 mile mark (roughly) look for the blue blazed trail marked with a sign for Bear Spring Cabin for the optional loop down to the Cabin. On the loop return, take a right onto the short 2/10's of a mile steep incline to White Rock Overlook. Lunch here. Return by heading south on the Appalachian Trail. At the 7 1/2 mile mark, look on the left for a blue blazed marked trail for Crampton Gap Shelter and campgrounds. Head down and loop back to the parking lot at the lower section of the campground area. This is a moderate hike with wonderful visits to two cabins. The Bear Spring Cabin is managed by PATC which may be reserved through their website. The Crampton Gap Shelter is open to those hiking on the Appalachian Trail. COMMENTARY: The Gathland State Park near Burkettsville, Maryland is best known for The War Correspondents Memorial Arch that was built by American Civil War journalist George Alfred Townsend. Completed in 1896, this memorial is claimed to be the only one in the world to commemorate journalists who died in battle. The grounds of Garthland State Park was originally the estate of George Townsend and the park offers a museum, historic buildings, and a "Living History" weekend. Nearby Crampton Gap saw fighting during the South Mountain Battle, one of the first battles in the Maryland Campaign during the Civil War.
Although I've never hiked this as a single 10 mile loop, this area is one of my favorite local places to hike. The climb up Lamb's Knoll is a good workout and most days you are rewarded with a nice view of the valley, the ridgeline, and hawks soaring on the thermals. A loop trail to a locked cabin provides a nice training hike if you're planning a trip on a more rugged section of the AT. Don't miss the Civil War exhibit across the road from the trailhead on Reno Monument Road, or the ruins at Gathland State Park if you use that trailhead.
Boring with 1 nice view. Essentially a walking trail and a few hills.
Not much to see except a tower and a small view from the side of the AT trail.
Nice hike. Date: 4/16/2016
Decided to complete the section of the Appalachian Trail between Gathland State Park at Crampton Gap, South Mountain in Maryland to Rocky Run shelter near Boonsboro, Maryland. The total section distance was 5.4 miles. We hiked this as an in and out with some blue blaze for a total of 11 miles and one night at Rocky Run shelter. Gathland State Park is a beautiful park with public restrooms, piped water available in winter, and a picnic pavilion. There is a neat museum there and the War Correspondent’s Arch. Information about the park can be found here: http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/gathland.aspx
The trail starts north near the remnants of a large stone foundation and is marginally steep. Once up on the ridge, the trail is relatively flat until you reach Lamb’s Knoll, where there is a slight ascent up to the site of the old fire tower which has been torn down and replaced with a commercial tower that is not accessible to the public. As the AT passes to the south of the summit, a side trail that the maintainers try and keep covered with fallen limbs leads to the peak and the tower facilities. Also at the summit is a really neat “former” Federal military microwave communications facility and concrete tower, now used by the FAA.
Some interesting history on the facility may be found here: http://blog.historian4hire.net/2010/07/15/coldwarsites/
The paved access road is used by bikers and hiker shortcut to Reno Monument Road. Nearby is a wonderful view from White Rocks.
This time of year, the hike is very beautiful, with oodles of May Apples that look like Smurf umbrellas growing everywhere. Just past the peak, the trail winds down, crosses the access road, and then descends steeply and eventually meets with the Rocky Run Shelter side trail (blue blaze). The shelter is quite nice and fairly new. Down further by the water source which was very plentiful during this hike as well as last fall, there is the old shelter that is still functional. The privy at the new shelter is far better than the one at the old. Lots of space for tenting in this area. During our overnight, we met up with Flip Flop hiker “Travelin’ Tom”, who was very interesting to get to know, a die hard hippie from years gone by with a knack for playing the recorder. We also passed another Northbound flopper “shoelace” who was moving along at a quick pace.
Nice evening hike. Pretty view. It's nice to see the Piedmont Plateau from a different angle. Another jaunt-like hike completed :)