Explore 10 Week Training Plan - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I loved this trail! lots of different terrain and sites to see. A little hard to follow at times. I believe I stayed on the course but I ended up walking over 10 miles not 7.

Accidentally took the blue trail and 6 miles became 11. Still a great hike on a well marked trail.

Great hike. It was very windy.

This is a great hike with significant variations in the terrain. You walk through meadows and woods, cross the creek by jumping from stone to stone, and climb up and down relatively significant hills. You also get a nice (albeit brief) walk past the C&O canal.

The only reason this doesn’t get a 5 is because I like to have some bouldering or scrambling and there really isn’t any on this trail. Also it was very muddy but that’s my own fault for going out in the midst of a wet January. It is a long trail. Not sure if it clocks in as high as the 12.9 miles as posted, but it’s definitely in the double digits.

1/6/19: This hike was a great break from being in D.C. There is a lot to see in a relatively close proximity. I hiked counterclockwise starting with Chimney Rock and saving Cunningham Falls for last. There’s a nice bench at the Thurmont Vista for lunch and the trails are very clearly marked. I took a few side excursions and and walked all the way around Wolf Rock and ended with 11.3 miles total. Parts of the trail was extremely crowded, while the stretch between Thurmont Vista and Blue Ridge Summit Vista was empty. There is one restroom at the Hog Rock parking area along with picnic tables. The only two draw backs are crossing the road to get to Cunningham Falls and front side of the trails follows along the road. The short .5 miles stroll to the Blue Blazes Moonshine Still has an outstanding story to go along with it.

blue/white trail is moderately challenging. very well marked. beautiful views, even in winter.

A little muddy but very enjoyable. All the dogs we saw were on leashes, which I appreciated.

Did in two sections this fall. Nice!

Great hike and nice views mountain tops.

Decent trails. Super muddy in the low spots due to the excessive rain recently. Lots of up and down but not too hard. Trails weren't marked the best but if you have the tracker on you'll be fine. I would imagine in the summer the trails are probably a little overgrown but this time of year (January) we didn't have to walk through brush or tall grass.

Great trail, not as crowded as other parts of the park. Parking is limited, but seemed sufficient for the morning crowd. Mainline trail is a nice easy walk along the river with some opportunities to scramble up some rock cliffs. The ridge loop is more challenging but offers some fantastic views. Be sure to check out the Camel Den "cave" near Daniels rd!

trail running
19 days ago

Great trail. Very runnable especially on the south side of the NW Branch.

Great trail but gets very muddy when it rains.

excellent views and scenic waterfalls and that was in the middle of winter.

Great place to hike and rather easy trails. Most trails connect and can create longer or shorter distance. Great for horseback riding as well.

Did this hike 12/19/18. Excellent hike did the full loop. Had to cross to streams so just be careful doing so. It was a lot of up and downs but not horrible great work out. There were mange hunting signs up so use caution. Maybe where something bright. Awesome place pretty well marked used the app a few times just to be sure.

hiking
1 month ago

So it is a beautiful place even though it is December. It however is really poorly marked. There are a lot of marks for the yellow trail though and those areas seemed to be the best taken care of. I am not sure how well this trail is maintained in the summer as it seemed like it was pretty overgrown in some areas the further you get on the trail. Overall though my youngest loved it and we all enjoyed our day. Do make sure you have the app with you and a map though, otherwise you could find yourself out here for a very long time.

trail running
1 month ago

A small stream valley with light eastern suburban forest and some granite boulders. Nice local trail for running with a few climbs.

I wouldn't rate this as hard at all. Nice hike though. It was a little stinky just in close proximity to the landfill. Nice view though and can get close to the windmills.

Note: you cannot cross the river just north of the start point - looks like this bridge is permanently out. This is the biggest problem with this trail, which is otherwise mostly fine.

I'll admit that I was pretty cavalier here with mixing and matching trails (so if you take the trail as written, you'll figure this out pretty early), but as written on the site, this hike doesn't exist. The trail on the west side was very frequently underwater, as it's been raining pretty frequently, and required a lot of stomping around in uncleared areas. Although I admit it's slightly my fault for not looking through the comments here, it was definitely annoying having to hike a lot farther just to cross back across the river.

Onto the good - difficulty and route options were pretty solid, and the river views were just fine. Good diversity in scenery. Could have been a three-or-four star review if things were drier and the bridge was in, just not in the cards for me.

It’s a good trail in part, but becomes difficult to follow along extended loops and takes you into deep mucky wetlands that are better for biking than hiking. Today, I tried to do a 2 hour loop and ended up walking for almost four hours, including several tough river crossings, before giving up on the trail entirely, tracking to the nearest road through thick thorny brush before humping back to the truck. Unless you known where you’re going, go somewhere else. I will be.

Took the Orange trail up to the summit. My sister and I found it kinda difficult but we only go hiking once a month or so. Great views once your up there. Took the white and blue trail down and did a couple miles. White and blue were not hard. All the trails are very well marked!

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail. Not too difficult. Plenty of options to go different ways so you don’t have to do all 10+ miles if you don’t have a time or inclination.

Great trail for a beginner like me. So many shortcut trails within the main loop you can cut your trip short if you find yourself unprepared.

Many sections of trail turn to flowing water or ankle high puddles after a rain/snow melt, so be prepared.

Overall a great trail I recommend.

Out and back would have been more pleasant, the gravel road for 2 miles kinda bummed me out

The northwest trail is nice and well indicated. However the trail on the other side of the creek is more challenging. The blue markers are not consistent throughout the trails and sometime the grass is overgrown and it’s hard to know which way to go. Also you have to go over huge logs to cross the creek at several points. But overall still a pleasant walk near the water.

Backpacked this section last weekend. It was very rocky, muddy and there were lots of leaves on the ground which can hide some hazards and make your footing less stable. We had to detour at a water crossing which added almost a mile to our hike. This section has a couple significant inclines and declines also.

One of the best trails for the Gunpowder area. Open views. Many extra little paths. Gradual inclines but mostly flat. Not boring scenery.

It is what the name says.. a pleasant easy hike.

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