nature trips

wild flowers



trail running

dogs on leash

South MountainState Park encompasses the South Mountain ridge from the Pennsylvania line to the Potomac River. The park has no entrance facility but can be accessed at various locations. Most of the park is only accessible by foot, adding to the feeling of being a million miles away from it all. Maryland's 40-miles of the Appalachian Trail span the park, providing access to High Rock, Black Rock, Annapolis Rock, White Rock, and Waverton Cliffs scenic overlooks. Camping is possible at six shelters and three backpackers campgrounds off the AT. Black Rock Hunting Lands and Lambs Knoll Hunting Lands provide hunting opportunities.

Well marked and wide. Nice views and I would say moderately trafficked for a Saturday. Parking lot was almost filled

Great hike. First mile is straight up- but doable! The hike is 5.1 this includes the walk to the parking lot. Wear good shoes and the “caretaker” left a note to “look out for snakes”. (Sunday Aug 6) They too are happy to have the sun-shining. I am very happy not to have seen any.

Definitely not easy. I would rate this trail as moderate due to the pretty steady incline up.

Great trail with a beautiful and spacious overlook- even on “busy” days. Besides the heat and humidity today, my son and I really enjoyed this trail!

Not too tough. White Rocks overlook was great. Mosquitoes out & fairly wet and muddy in spots.

I LOVED this trail! Not sure why this says 5.1 miles...it is only 4.4, unless I missed something? It was just the right amount of hard and easy for a short day hike. Pretty much the whole first mile is uphill. Not terribly steep but not easy! Then it flattens out and is a nice walk to the rocks. The trail is so wide which is nice because it's heavily trafficked on a weekend!

After almost 2 weeks of rain the trail was pretty muddy. For the most part you are able to walk around it or rock-hop but there were a few times I was in my groove and just sunk down in the mud. But like I said...two weeks of rain!! So who cares about a little mud! I can't imagine the mud will clear up quickly since people are already back on the trail after so much rain, so just be prepared. The rocks were beautiful and there are several spots you can walk around to for a view. Just be careful obviously.

8 days ago

Not necessarily "easy". Saw a couple of copperheads. Biggest complaint were the other hikers leaving behind their trash. Beautiful view.

9 days ago

The trail was definitely challenging at the start, which I love. It levels off a little more than halfway to the top. Nice out and back trail, not too long if you’re kind of in a rush like we were, but you get a good workout in right away. Fun trail, and the view at the top is so worth it!

10 days ago

Rocky in some spots, relatively easy trail. Heavily trafficked and narrow. Beautiful view. Remember trail etiquette. Don't lounge on the rocks at the view with your group.

After a climb, you skirt along the top of the mountain. Highly recommend.

The hike was a real workout! the accents on either side were faily steep and very rocky. After so much rain it was fairly dry except for a few areas. the High Rock lookout was great!

Yet another wonderful trail. I've been here twice now - once in winter and once in summer. I will definitely be going back in the fall. Awesome views!

This is a great trail! There are a couple of creek crossings in the first half mile of the trail, so make sure to wear shoes you can get wet if the water is flowing from recent rains. The steep climb at the beginning is difficult, but not too bad if you hike frequently.

Once you get to the ridge, make sure you take a left before you go over the tiny stone bridge (it's more like a rectangular rock laid over two smaller rocks that is marked "AT"). If you cross this bridge and pass the Pogo Shelter, you're heading South toward Black Rock. You want to be heading north instead.

This section of the AT is fairly flat at first and then gets super rocky with larger boulders that make up the trial. On 7/29/18 there was a huge blowdown from the recent storms that prevented passage past mile 3.5 of this trail. You could potentially bushwack around it, but after already taking the AT South for two miles to check out Black Rock, we decided just to turn around at the blowdown.

Didn't see too many people early on a Sunday morning on the hike in, but saw more people on the hike out late-morning/noon. The parking lot is pretty small, so get there early!

Great trail and I’m sure wonderful view but I would not rate this as an easy hike. I count “easy” as something you could take a toddler on and or a pregnant woman could do. (We had both) We tried it out, but lots of rocks and fairly steep. Coming back after baby is born.

A great trail that's not too steep, and wide. Pup had a blast. Heavy foot traffic. No creeks for cool down, bring lots of water for your pup.

There is free parking across the street which is amazing if you just want to check these cliffs out. The trail can be very muddy after a good rain, however, a lot of it is just rocks. Easy climb to the top and easy to get out to the furthest rock to see the view!

This is one of my favorite hikes for a in and out, it is not hard, and the view is nice. Bring a lunch, and enjoy it on the rocks. Talk to the camp host, and just enjoy it.

Great trail! Thankful for the shelter for a bit to get out of the rain:)

The beginning uphill was a little rough but the view is totally worth it!

Fairly easy hike. There is a section early on that most of the elevation gain occurs, but it is easy elevation. The view is amazing! Will definitely do this again.

Amazing hike

Beautiful hike with a great view at the top!

My 1 year old Chocolate Labrador and I tested out this trail for the first time (mid July); the weather was perfect, the trail itself was an easy climb, and the view from Annapolis Rock was lovely. This trail was just enough exercise to tire a pup out by its end.

P.S. I was pleased to find a dog-drinking station at the rest area. We did bring our own water just in case. :)

Great trail for relaxing hike! More on the moderate to easy side. 2.5 miles up and 2.5 miles back totally at 5 miles. The hike starts on a freeway which seems funny but after about 5 minutes you’re in nature’s quiet! We got lucky and got the trail mostly to ourselves! A beautiful summit with rewarding views. Definitely suggest!

Nice hike--climbing two peaks (both ways) on this out-and-back hike. Very, very rocky--need sturdy soles. I made the mistake of wearing running shoes, and my soles were so sore after 10 miles. My hiking partner had sturdy hiking shoes and fared much better. Two big road crossings. Two stream crossings. Mostly shaded/wooded trail, a few open grass crossings. Lots of muddy areas on first .5mile of trail. Wonderful ATC stewards working on the first section. By the time I had returned, it looked spectacular!

Our family loves this trail. We take our five kids ages 15 down to 1 year and they do pretty good. Well maintained trail with lots of shade. The view from Annapolis Rocks is worth the trek. There’s an outhouse near the Rocks, fyi.

We completed both the Washington Monument and Annapolis Rock trails. The total distance was 11 miles. The trail was a bit wet from heavy rains the day before. Bugs were a bit heavy also, but the views were awesome. Love this hike. That's the second time we have completed the Annapolis Rock portion and the first time to the monument. Both were worth the climb.

This was a nice short trail with some decent inclines and switchbacks. The trailhead itself isn’t too well marked, though. From the parking lot, turn right and walk up the road a bit and you’ll see the white blazes of the Appalachian trail on the left. Great views at the top, comparable to some of the longer trails in the area!

This was a tougher trail for us. Though it was short, the incline and switchbacks made it a good workout. Today was also too hot.

Easy access and well marked. Great views with a rocky wet start.

Load More