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Although it was a little hard to navigate at first, this was a beautiful hike. We could smell the wildflowers and saw all kinds of birds, groundhogs and a fox.

Hiked up to Annapolis rock over the first weekend in April. The first mile, or so, has a good ascent, but it is more of a stair climb (due to the anti-erosion logs) then a typical climb. As such, not too bad as is it flat, then a step, then flat, etc. I was expecting it to be a lot worse but with a 35lb pack and being out of shape I did fine.
Once at Annapolis rock, the views are good. While there are more spectacular views elsewhere, this one is only 2.5 miles from parking, has two privies on site, and a spring for water. Accessible and plenty of amenities. Additionally, there are many rocks to sit on and take in the view so even on a crowded day there is room for all to take in the sights.
For those camping, there are 13 primitive sites and I believe 3 group sites. A caretaker is there "in season". Just a note: NO FIRES are allowed so if you like sitting around the fire in front of your tent, this is not the place for you to camp. (there are two places to camp that allow fires about 1.5 miles N and S of Annapolis Rocks).

My ankles are a bit sore, and I have a blister or two, but this hike was awesome! It kicked my butt but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The orange path was pretty rough, kinda steep. A lot of dogs on the path which surprised me. I don’t think my doggo could handle it, but they seemed just fine!

View from split rock is nice, but otherwise the scenery is meh. Could just be the time of the year though.

First time in Gambrill State Park. Really enjoyed it. Rain made rocks on part of the trail a little slippery, but other than that it was what I expected.

Hiked to Black Rock. Icy on the way up but plenty of crunchy snow to gain footing. Not very crowed with the temps in the 30s in the morning. On the way down it was a little muddy as the trail gets sun and was now in the 40s. Not strenuous - just one long hill on the way to Annapolis Rock. The trail to Black Rock is a one mile woods walk. With lunch and stops it took about 4 1/2 hours.

This hike is hard enough without a foot + of snow on it. But with the snow, Maryland height's evil stepsister is flat out brutal. I had tried to get up to the overlook during Wednesday's snowstorm, but turned around 3/4 of the way to the top. Today, I noticed someone made it to the top of the mountain, but turned around. So today I carved the path to the overlook.

The overlook at split rock cliff, really all four overlooks were absolutely stunning. I am so glad I fought through the snow to get to them. It was well worth the effort, though I didn't stay too long at any of them as there was a strong wind.

Great hike in the morning. Lots of Spring birds including Bluebirds and Woodpeckers. Crowded after 10, like a bus dropped off 100 people! Parking up and down the road got full!

Hiked to Black Rock last weekend. Trail was clearly marked, no issues navigating. The first mile is a bear, but after that it's smooth sailing. A lot of foot traffic. Saw maybe 40-50 people between the parking lot and Annapolis Rock and only saw maybe 5-6 people between Annapolis Rock and Black Rock. Worth it to go to Black Rock. Equal views to Annapolis Rock even if the rock itself isn't as picturesque and as a bonus I had the whole place to myself.

Will definitely go again, just need to go on off peak hours.

Note: Annapolis Rock has a privy if ya need to go.

I was a bit thrown off by the first leg of this trail as it runs parallel to I-70, though the rumble of traffic subsided after the first mile. Overall, this was a nice walk through the woods. I would probably rate is as “easy” as the hike was mostly flat with minimal inclines - which makes it suitable for families! The view was great.

First time hiking this trail... My son took me & we had a blast! Rain, a little snow at the top, & still a beautiful breathtaking view! I’ll definitely hike this again!

Rob Blair

Drove over 2 hrs for this hike and it was well worth the distance! Easy to find, well marked and maintained trails with exceptional views up top. 10/10.

I've been using this hike to gauge my fitness. From the parking lot under the 340 bridge to the overlook, it took me 1:06..

One of my favorite trails in the area!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike on a warm winter day. We got a pretty good workout in and saw some cool views (we were able to see pretty far as most of the trees had lost their leaves).

Great hike. Did it in the rain and the foggy view was still gorgeous. Worth the work

This is a great hike, but the initial ascent is a challenge. Once you are past that, you are fine.

A word of advice: the trail IS well marked. Just don't take the red trail on the way to split rock, take it on the way back. You can continue up on the white blazed Appalachian trail until you come to a fork: you have to go left or right.

Go left. If you go right you will end up at Keys gap way up the road.

Once you go left, the trail is blue blazed, the color signifying it's a trail to an overlook on the Appalachian trail. The trail is easy with a general slow incline downward. A ways down the path the red trail meets the blue trail. Ignore it and keep going straight. There will be some decent overlooks on the left side of the trail. Check them out. Once the blue trail heads sharply downward, you know you are getting close to the overlook.

On the return trip, hit up the red trail on your right. It's MUCH easier and obvious to find on the overlook side than the ascent.

There is no great mystery to hiking this hike. Just follow the white blazes up, turn left at the fork, and follow the blue blazes. It's not hard.

Not much to see and a lot of it is by the road. I'm sure in the summer with the leaf cover it seems more secluded and quiet but the car noise cut down on the quiet during my warm January day hike. The trail is very rocky too so you spend a lot of time on foot placement/focus looking down. I did this with a 30lb weight best so that tended to make the hike more of a workout so keep that in mind with this review. What made this challenging was the sheer rockiness of the path. I don't think I'll try this one again soon but it's worth a hike for sure.

Nice hike to a gorgeous view.

One mile further north after Annapolis Rock on Appalachian Trail is Black Rock Overlook. I think the view at Black Rock is just as good if not better, and definitely less crowded on the weekends.

Trail is not marked well. There are plenty of blazes along the trail to mark the path, but knowing which ones to follow is the confusing part. We parked off of Shenandoah Street in the public parking lot (which we found out costs $10 to park in). Our 6 mile hike turned into a 10 mile one as we followed the white blazes on the trees. The trail starts with white blazes, however, apparently you’re supposed to take a left when you see the orange blazes instead of continuing to follow the white ones. We didn’t see any signs to tell you this, nor are there any signs along the trail. Once we did find the correct path, we were very pleased with the view. Now that I know which way to go, I’d do the hike again. It is steep, so don’t be expecting an easy hike.

The hike is fairly easy and faster than we thought, reached the rock in just an hour. The views were amazing especially during fall

Beautiful in the fall and the overlook is breathtaking.

Was very foggy on Sunday, could not see the views from Annapolis rock. But still a nice hike

The view from Split Rock is worth the trip. We decided to head out early, before sun up, which afforded us some amazing pics of the sunrise. It had the added bonus having the trail not be busy. The initial ascent is moderately difficult for someone like me who does not hike as much as he would like. The actual orange trail was easy to find at this time and opposed to some other reviews. I'm assuming they corrected the issue. I would warn that about 0.2 miles before the actual orange trail there are several trees off to the left with orange ribbon. I don't know if it serves another purpose, remnants of the original trail, or an unsafe "joke" by some near do well hikers. Hopefully someone will fix that. Also, keep in mind that many trees have lichens on them that can appear like the faded white or blue blazes that are a part of the trail as well. All in all we managed 2.5mph with full packs which I was very happy with and came away with some great pictures.

hiking
5 months ago

This was a great hike! The outhouse just before the overlook was key :). It can be strenuous at the beginning as it is quite rocky and almost all uphill. I arrived at about 1:00 on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and there was ample parking. Can't wait to go back when the leaves are more colorful.

nice wide trails for the dog or multiple hikers

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