Gathland State Park was once the mountain home of George Alfred Townsend, a Civil War journalist. In the late 1800's, Gathland featured a unique collection of buildings and structures designed and constructed by Townsend. Two of the structures, the Main Hall and Lodge, were partially restored in the 1950's. A large stone monument dedicated to the memory of Civil War correspondents is the outstanding attraction of this day-use park. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail traverses the park and passes the monument base.

this was an amazing hike. I loved the rock formations and the view we had was incredible and so peaceful. It was...breathtaking.

The low rating refers to the inept description by all trails, rather than the trail itself. it is a lovely trail with a challenging but rewarding uphill hike and a view that is hard to beat. The map from all trails on the other hand, is complete garbage in this case. For starters, this trail is not a loop. again, THIS IS NOT A LOOP. Going straight up a trail, going around a group of trees, and coming back on the exact route one which one came in, is not a loop. also, according to the map, the trail starts in the middle of a road. infact, at a 4 way intersection. I spent literally a half hour looking for the trailhead and realizing that this is not a stand-alone trail, but a section of the Appalachian Trail. On a normal day, this would not bother me, except that a point to point was not what I planned for. Furious with all trails. The trail itself was lovely.

Ed Garvey shelter can be very crowded. Steep 0.5 mile descend to get to water source

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 starting point for day hike. We started here for our A.T. across Maryland trip. If you do not pay attention you may miss the turnoff for the A.T. The A.T. in this area has many access point so day hikers are common. I can borderline on crowded. See the details on my SPOT adventures sites.

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:
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:

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.

My favorite hike to do in the area. Weverton Cliff is amazing.

Ok trail flat between railroad tracks and a river.

great view

Parked at a small parking lot off of Reno Monument Road and hiked 5 miles south. Would have went farther but the trail was still covered in snow. One good overlook along the route.

For the region this was a good hike. Living in the DC area now it's tough to get out and truly experience wilderness and this was a breath of fresh air. Not a whole lot of views, but it nice to see some Appalachian Trail through hikers.

Walking into Harpers Ferry NoBo or SoBo is always a treat. The 1/8 mile descent detour off the A.T. to Weverton Cliffs is an absolute must! The last 2.5 miles before Harpers Ferry are along the historic C&O canal towpath and the beautiful Potomac River.

There are three shelters here, and actually four, not two, good places to park along this section of the Appalachian Trail. Two are at Gathland State Park, which is about 4/5 the way up the trail segment. The other two can easily be found at Hiking in from Gathland is easiest as the terrain in both directions is an easy incline up the ridges. Hiking in from the South end should be rated 'moderate' or 'difficult' due to the steep and rocky incline/decline. We parked at the south side of the park as well as at Gathland for a nice ~8 mile hike one way, and slept at the Ed Garvey shelter, which has a privy and a couple of lean-tos.

Nice evening hike. Pretty view. It's nice to see the Piedmont Plateau from a different angle. Another jaunt-like hike completed :)

Great veiw. Agree with the previous reviewer that you sould eat at the overlook. Several good spots.

Another cool variation on this hike is to leave a car at the parking lot on Weverton road, just below the hill climb to weverton cliffs, then drive further north on 67 into maryland to gathland state park. Head south on the AT. And a few miles up is ed garvey. Then tool on down to your other car. Or for a nice extra long day, go on to harpers ferry - the 3 miles along the C&O canal on the way to HF give your dogs a much needed break.

Wonderful 7.4 mi hike from South Mtn Inn (Alt 40) to Gathland State Park on 12/30/11. The Inn has ample designated hiker parking. Thumbs up! Rocky Run Shelter is a 2mi/1hr level hike. Shelter is very cool and worth peeking at. Proceeded up the long 1.5mi ascent to Lambs Knoll. I'm not in great shape but made it there slow but sure (in 1:15hr). The views start up here. A short jaunt down brings you to White Rocks. Magnificent!! Overlooking the Middletown Valley. What a treat! The next couple miles is along the top of the ridge with splendid views and vistas. Winter hiking affords the better views b/c of lack of leaves. The views end as you walk along a spacious path with an easy gradual descent all the way to Gathland. The last 1/4 mi is steep and my knees felt it. The 7.4mi took us 3:45hr. (We dropped a car at Gathland in the a.m. so we wouldn't have to RT) I look forward to going again. Of note, I think the SoBo is easier than the NoBo. NoBo from Gathland would be that steady 3.5 mi ascent to Lambs Knoll and that might be more challenging than my SoBo was. Great dog hike. No rocky challenges or dangers. Kids, maybe. Might be too long for them.

Started actually in Harper's Ferry and headed N to Pennsylvania.. Really liked HF area. A lot of historic interests. Hike out to Ed Garvey, as mentioned, is not exactly flat and easy.. Beyond Ed Garvey makes for a decently easy hike... Been doing the trail in sections for years and really enjoyed this part.. Was on in June.. Very hot that week. Had 7 days to get to Penn, and took my time and still managed to arrive in 4.. State of Maryland has some beautiful sections of trail.. Highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get a taste of the AT to see if it's for them..

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