Explore the most popular forest trails in South Mountain State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It is not an easy trail. Every rocky , must be careful. We only went as far as the Washington monument

As a lot of others have mentioned, the trail starts near a major highway which is loud and not that pretty but the rest of the trail is greats and the view at the rocks is pretty nice, too.

5 days ago

By far my best local hike! The view at the top is worth every bit of incline! Pack a picnic in your backpack and relax on the cliffs!

Well marked trails , lots of shade trees awesome views!

Nice hike. Take the time to stop at annapolis rocks as well, the view will make the trip worth while!

This spring has been wet so it is no surprise that the trail is a bit wet. There are sections of the trail where the trail becomes a small stream (separate from the stream crossings). However, since the terrain is rocky, there was always a way to get through those areas on rocks while not leaving the path area. But if you are hiking with small kids, now is not the time to take it if you want them to stay clean and have dry feet.

Several beautiful stream crossings to work your way through.

You are rewarded with a great mountain top view looking west over the valley containing Hagerstown.

The top is a small rock scramble to get to the view so small kids and dogs will need to be close at hand.

I was able to run down the trail which is exhilarating as you look for footholds among the rocky terrain. Though there were the numerous areas mentioned above where walking was required.

hiking
12 days ago

Easy trail. Switchbacks and sometimes a little steep. Make sure to bring water and a little snack to enjoy at the top while you sit back and enjoy the view. Going back is obviously easy as it’s pretty much all down hill.
Just be sure to wear some good hiking boots or a shoe with good traction as there is a lot of rocks on the trail.
I also recommend this trail for some trail running.
Best to go on a weekday.

Great hike and view. Early morning nice and quiet but traffic picked up by 10. There’s quite a bit of climb and rocks. Great workout.

This was my first hike and it made me want more. A nice view from the top of Annapolis Rock. I arrived just in time for sunset but it was unfortunately too cloudy that day. Will definitely hike this again to try to catch it another time. Nearby campgrounds, privies and spring.

hiking
19 days ago

A fun hike to the top. Make sure you pack water! Moderately difficult, pretty much straight up thru switch backs. Easy to complete if you only have a couple hours. Lovely view at the top, look for bald eagles! Best times to go are first thing in morning or from 4-7pm on a weekday.

This is a great trail. I only ran into 3 people the whole way down and back. Definitely some areas that test your hiking stamina. One of my favorite trails. Definitely going to do it again.

Breathtaking beautiful !!!

Great hike! Amazing view. Very easy to follow with the wide paths.

I prefer this trail to reach both Black Rock and Annapolis Rock over the more popular way - from Route-40 parking lot for four reasons: a more direct route, walking along beautiful streams most of the way up, hearing no road noise from I-70, and less crowded.

Not to strenuous of a hike, nice wide trails with mostly flat walking. Beautiful views and a great nature walk!

Was in Boy Scouts loved doing this trail always was very pleasant.

Nice trail. Plenty of parking weekdays. They pay off is decent. Good way to kill a morning.

Short little hike with a decent view of Hagerstown from the rocks. Beginning of the trail is pretty ugly and parallels a freeway, and you don't escape the road noise until you're at least a mile in. Not a lot of incline and it's pretty brief so don't expect a workout.

Steep hike at first but a really beautiful view. Lots of rocks so go when it’s not raining.

Hike wasn’t really that hard. The most challenging part is the option climb down and back up from the springs.

Lovely trail with a rewarding view.
Watch for snakes if you go spring/summer time as the place is pretty rocky.
Parking is limited, the trail is to the right of the parking spot.

Lovely! Pretty accurate descriptions from other hikers. Steep in the beginning then a beautiful walk out to the rock. Parking is limited,get there early!

Probably my favorite trail! Brought some friends along once and we saw a proposal!! Great views but a little tedious at first!! Once you get past the uphill it isn’t bad!! Bring a flashlight though you will lose track of time while you’re admiring the view!!

Awesome! If you don’t wanna stay around the shelter there’s an abandoned house just a bit further up with a perfect shed for an overnight.

We went out on this hike and the uphill on the first part was brutal. My five year old had to stop a number of times on the way up. Oldest son did better and the dog was fine. Make sure to bring lots of water on a hot day. If you go don't give up on the way the view was really beautiful. There were lots of rocks to sit and enjoy the view on and have a good little rest and a great place to sit and eat. I do have to say the sound of traffic was annoying. We were almost two miles in before you could hear the sounds of the highway any longer. Maybe the noise isn't so bad during the Summer when there are more leaves on the trees. All in all kids enjoyed it, after the long hike up.

Nice hike with a decent elevation gain. Parking at Old South Mountain Inn is free as long as you park in the designated area. There's also a small parking lot at the trail's intersection with Reno Monument Rd if you want to make the hike a little shorter or avoid the campground.

That initial climb up to the top is pretty tough, but certainly possible! The view is more than worth it once you get up there. The rest of the trail north is pretty flat and boring, so i'd just go see the amazing cliffs and maybe walk an extra mile if you're feeling it.

2 months ago

great trail for kids too. short and sweet! My 6 year old boys love it.

Great hike. Great views from Monument Knob. Check out visitor center at Washington Monument State Park.

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