Explore want to do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

want to do Map
10 days ago

First time hiking the trail, will definitely do this again

Muddy and busy. Too many muscle heads wearing weighted vests trying to rough it on the few easy inclines. The river is pretty and there are some nice paths thru green forests. Better off going elsewhere.

park at the rock ridge pavilion to get the fastest route to views off the king & queen

3900 st clair bridge rd

Really beautiful trail but warning if you are trying it in July 2018 because all the rain we got has made the trail really muddy. Also I had to turn around about only a mile in because of a down tree blocking the trail. Will definitely come back during a drier time. Happy hiking!

Just a heads up- the recent rains have not done a lot of damage to these trails, with one exception: the orange blazed trail had a large downed tree right at the start of the large hill, about 3/4 of the way to the blue trail heading towards Loudoun heights. The trail is at best marginally passable. I was able to squeeze through the tree, but it took a considerable amount of effort.

Don't believe the previous review. While I'm off, I switch my hikes between Loudoun and Upper Maryland heights on a daily basis to exercise. Loudoun heights is at best slightly easier than upper Maryland heights, but only if you have the stamina to ascend for a longer period of time, and don't have issues with a significant and longer ascent after you get to the overlook.

1. If you want the trail to be harder, take the Orange trail 3/4 of the way up the mountain. It will be easier than the white trail until about 1/4 mile from where it meets the blue trail, where there is a steep hill.

To find the orange trail on the ascent, look for a section of bushes about 3/4 up that you walk through followed by a right turn. The orange trail will be on your left.

2. If you'd rather go easier, take the AT (white blaze) to the top of the mountain. There will be a sign indicating that Keyes Gap is in 4 mile, with an arrow to the right. Go to the left on the blue blazed trail, which will take you to Split Rock overlook after it merges with the Orange trail and two other lesser overlooks.

Neither trail is easy; upper Maryland heights has a briefly steeper ascent. Loudoun height's ascents are longer. Both are very easy at the top, and after the main overlook, the ascent back to the top before you go back down the mountain is much longer on Loudoun heights than Maryland heights, though it is a little steeper but shorter on Maryland heights.

Personally, I've always had a more difficult time on Loudoun heights than Maryland. That is because of the duration of the ascents.

Hiking times (as of Friday 7/22):
From the parking area to split rock: 56 minutes.

From split rock to the parking area: 47 minutes.

(But remember I've been doing this all summer so I'm used to it.)


It was good, I loved the fact I could pick black berries along the way. It was nice to see the other sides perspective.

This was a really great hike. It wasn't very challenging but if you aren't paying really good attention than you may have a problem as you go on three different trails. We did the longest part of the trail through the uphills first and then went to the swimming hole to relax, have lunch, and cool down in the water before finishing the trail; which was a nice easy flat trail all the way back to the parking lot. I would say get here early as there seemed to be a lot of people coming in as we were leaving around 1:30. Up until then though the trail was really quiet and beautiful.

on White Trail

30 days ago

Beautiful and scenic.
One of my favorites hikes!

Being so used to the Maryland overlook , the Loudon was so much easier , but does have its peaks where it poses some difficulty. At times, the trail is a little narrow! It wasn't much an issue for me because I was hiking alone, but if the trail ever gets busy --which I'm not sure it has equal amount of foot traffic as the Maryland trail. All views are so worth it! The hike as a whole took me roughly 4 hours, with a few moments where I stopped to get some water and help other hikers find their way! The few streams that do pass through the trail didn't pose any difficulty , however; I'm sure during Rainer months it could be a little more difficult in some portions! Overall, such an amazing hike and I plan on bringing my bestfriend back with me!

This was a pretty easy trail. Beautiful views from the King and Queens seat, but that was the only view on this hike and it was right at the beginning. The rest is a long uphill stretch. Not my favorite hike, but it was nice.

I've been taking my puppy here for awhile- nice walk and hike. Easy to get down to the patuxent river for him to cool down. A lot of runners and dogs - overall very peaceful.

Great hike took my sister and our dogs. My lab loved the access to the river and the trees provide amazing shade for a cool walk. Fantastic Day!

Awesome trail. Get there early for parking though.

My dogs and I love this hike and visit it often.

Great trial and easy to add to others! Dogs ARE allowed here and there are a lot of them! People are stupid in letting them off leash because it’s gonna ruin it for the rest of us good dog people. This is also a fun trail run location.

A bit harder than moderate if it’s a hot day. We had a few dogs with us and they struggled. Bring plenty of water as there’s no creeks on the trail for the dogs. Pay the parking fee or you will get hit with a fine. The parking lot gets very busy so getting there before 830 on a busy day is a must. 4.25/5. Worthwhile trail, it’s a shame the highway is there.

This was definitely more strenuous than we expected. Maybe it was too hot(+100F) and also it's actually 8 miles if you add the distance from parking lot to the bridge.
First uphill part was challenging (not too steep but long) but after that everything was enjoyable. Trekking pole and long pants will be good as you will need to go through narrow trails on top of mountain. The view of Split Rock was rewarding.
We met many thru hikers on the way up, but there was no one as we get off AT. Split Rock was small place and there was no one as we take 30 mins break there, which was good for us.
We met 2 deers and 1 raccoon about 10-3 yards away too.

The hike is shaded and a little steep. It turned out to be an awesome hike in the woods with plenty of wildlife and a spectacular view of Harpers Ferry at the very end.

This is a vigorous 6.4 mile hike - if going all the way to Split Rock, taking the AT up and traversing the southerly Loudoun Heights trail in one direction and the northerly trail in the other direction. The Split Rock viewpoint is a very worthy destination and rest spot to enjoy an iconic view of Harpers Ferry, the confluence of the Shenandoah River and the Upper Potomac River, and Maryland Heights to the north. The elevation gain is a modest 1,516 ft. It took us about three hours of hiking time. The sounds of traffic on Rt 340 below are a bit distracting for portions of the trail, but on this post-rain day, the more mellifluous sounds of the roaring, swollen rivers was a nice counterbalance. Don't forget to pay the $10 parking fee (self-pay) in the National Historical Park lot; the rangers are active here.

1 month ago

fantastic hike. well marked. lots of side trail options. the fam and I tromped around for about 5 hours. while there were other hikers on the way, most of the day hikers hike along over to the falls then along the C&O Canal towpath. I've never seen so many old oak trees in one area before. really had a great hike.

I love this trail. The terrain is varied and there are some areas that are pretty challenging, especially when muddy. I hike with my German Shepherd and she’s able to handle this trail easily. There are some really narrow spots where I have to pull her off the trail to make room if someone is passing, but that doesn’t happen often. We generally go early in the morning and run into few other hikers. Parking is easy in the lot next to the bridge if you get there early enough, but on sunny weekends or after 10:00 or so it’s hit or miss.

road biking
2 months ago

This trail is ideal for mountain biking. There are alot of abrupt stops and inclines and the trail towards Lake Elkhorn is mostly gravel and mud. I had to stop and turn around because it was too muddy for my bike.

Absolutely gorgeous views...def wear great hiking boots, and walking sticks would be useful as you will cross rocks, mud, and water

Interesting trail, almost desert like but then branches into scrub oak. Not the most interesting but fun none the less.

The start of the trail was an easy walk from the parking lot. We took the white, orange and then blue route the way up and saw all three overlooks. The way up is pretty steep at the beginning but definitely doable. Steady downward slope all the way back made it a bit slippery since it just rained all night.

Be advised: The parking lot has a $10 entrance fee but no one was there to collect it so our car had a ticket when we got back.

I loved this hike. I hit a snag though bc I read the review that said to take the first left, blue. The first left, at the first fork, was red/orange. I stayed on it though, and it was beautiful. So, for me, I parked on 32 as recommended, took the white (AT) to the red at the first fork. After the first fork, the red turned to orange. Then, I hit blue. Coming back, I took the blue to the white and back to the car. 5.14 miles from the car. Beautiful hike, and exhausting and only 5.14 miles! The humidity was high, and there was no breeze!

Wonderful forest walk. Very zen. Beautiful green forest carpet, not a lot of bushes. Terrain is on the easy side but it’s a totally enjoyable walk. Agree with another reviewer that it would be great for trail running. Easy to add additional loops for more distance (such as overlook trail).

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