Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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).

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.

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.

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