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Went hiking while there was about 5 inches of snow on the ground and it was beautiful. A little harder to hike but that was by our choice. Very well marked as well. There are many trails to choose from as well. We will be going back multiple times.

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

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.

hiking
17 days ago

I love hiking at Gambrill and the Yellow trail is especially beautiful in the spring when the mountain laurel is blooming and the ferns blanket each side of the trail in places. I deducted a star from my rating because I am a hiker and have had mountain bikers not notice I was on the trail. Last fall three bikers approached from behind pretty fast startling me, my dog, and the bikers! This was on the far north extension of the trail, so perhaps the bikers just weren't expecting a hiker! In addition to being biker aware, be bear aware! I was leading a hike there last Spring and came up behind a bear...heard him scamper away leaving only his fresh footprints in the mud! First time I had ever had a bear "almost" sighting in Maryland! Very exciting!

Great hike and nice views mountain tops.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Like everyone else is saying, it is very rocky. Much more of a challenge on a mountain bike as opposed to hiking. I started at the lower trail head junction and biked up to the halfway mark, then on a bit further to Stoner Road (ha) then turned around and did the same first half of the yellow trail since I was racing darkness and knew what to expect - mostly slow & technical, not very flowy, good balance practice and some bigger rock features to play on. I feel like half the trail was a rock garden.

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!

Beautiful views on the blue trail! We got a little turned around at the white rock viewpoint but eventually found our way back to the trail. Would definitely hike this trail again!

Great hike.If you get an early start the lake is great in the morning light. To change things up I made a left on the AT off Bartman Hill and hiked over to Annapolis Rock.The Monument is nice but the view from annapolis Rock is awesome. If you start off Mountain Laurel Rd and follow this guide it is about a 13.5 mile hike.

We walked counter-clockwise from the visitors center and saw the falls first, then hog rock, and then we turned south on the yellow trail before reaching thurmont. We had a 2 and 3 yr old with us and were taking our time. We recorded 5.7 mi on the yellow loop. It was a very nice hike with beautiful views and fall colors.

had a fun day with some brisk walking around 10+miles (we did a little extra walking here and there) in around five hours!

The hike in this trail was amazing. We started with a warm up through the Park Headquarter / Orange Trail, then climbed up to the Wolf Rock, Thurmont Vista and Chimney Rock, the view from Thurmont Vista and Chimney Rock is breathtaking.

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked the blue trail and it was a lovely hike!

Wonderful hike even on a foggy day, you miss some of the views but it’s an enchanting feel.

I'm docking a star only because one cannot truly summit this mountain since Camp David sits atop the peak. The trails for the most part are easy to follow. I tend to go counter-clockwise so I can save Cunningham Falls as a treat at the end. The large switchback on the White Trail is a bit tricky. Keep an eye out for the trail markers otherwise you will go a bit on a false trail that will disappear after about 1,000ft. Views from the overlooks are great. If you have the time, take the side trail, which is basically a pure scramble, to Wolf Rock for a proper view of it.

Nice variety of trail loops with same great views.

Good trail, good view. But too many mosquitoes, and the markers are inapparent and confusing.

This hike was a lot of fun and had its challenges! The Catoctin Mountain Extension trail is actually a combination of trails that loop around a majority of park. If you want more of a challenge, definitely go counterclockwise (starting with Chimney Rock). If you have any questions, the park employees are very friendly! Only gave it 4 stars because of the views aren’t to die for, but still very beautiful overall.

very nice trail, ample parking to be had. went on a sunday morning and the main area/main overlook was PACKED. if you want some time to yourself and pictures i suggest going off weekend. once you get out of the main overlook the trails are good and much less congested. the two overlooks in the back had no one there and i was able to eat lunch solo. sugarloaf also gets points for trail markers along the trails not just at the crossroads. that was a nice touch.

Beautiful nature but poorly marked blazes on parts of the blue trail. At one point we may not have been on the trail at all as the path was very overgrown and narrow on the east side of the mountain.

Good level of challenging, some steep parts but such a well made path it was no problem. Ample parking (with video security), free (with donations recommended), great views and different path options. Overall great hike!

Not a big fan of this one. This felt like a long walk in the woods. The woods are beautiful, but there is no “real” overlook. I did not get the sense of a “summit”. Lastly, Cunningham Falls was a little disappointing. I expected more. Plus, the fact that the falls is not technically part of the hike(it has its own parking lot) took away some of the experience to me.

Great hike. Fairly easy, but White Rocks( north and south) has scenic views. I will agree some of the markings(blazes) were difficult to see. My wife and I did lose the trail at one point. However, given this property is part of a foundation, I am very thankful we have access to it. Worth the hike.

The blue trail is beautiful and rugged. It is poorly marked in one spot. We took the wrong path and had to back track. We came across a Timber Rattlesnake on the trail.

trail running
5 months ago

I love running this trail. It has a good bit of variety. Some good climbs and technical terrain. The views aren’t that great but if you are looking for a challenge this is a great one for 10k distance trail training.

hiking
5 months ago

Decent trail. Look out for bikers.

Fantastic trail! Well marked and challenging but worth the views.

Yes it was rocky which wasn’t to big of a deal for me. The big deal was that the trail disappeared at the halfway mark. No “black” marks on trees and no used pathways to follow. I ended up following the yellow path back to my car.

5 months ago

Was nice and shaded but I would not consider this a trail for running is very rocky and more for hiking and make sure to wear good hiking shoes I wore running shoes ... thinking was a trail for running.... and wasn’t enough support for ankles

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