Appalachian Trail: Pen Mar to Old Forge

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Pen Mar Park

Appalachian Trail: Pen Mar to Old Forge is a 14.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Highfield-Cascade, Maryland that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length14.1 miElevation gain2,703 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashKid friendlyBackpackingHikingRunningForest
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Reviews (87)
Photos (391)
Activities (102)
Completed (229)
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Dar Veverka
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Hiking

Not a ton of people out - passed maybe a dozen on the way to old forge and fewer on the way back out. That steep short stretch coming back into Pen Mar in mile 13 is rough! Nice drinking water tap at Old Forge. Have a dozen road crossings, one of them with a lot of traffic and 4 lanes.

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Karen Wallace
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Hiking

So long. So leafy! The trail could use a good raking, especially on the steep parts, to reduce slippage, but was not too crowded, and the spring at Old Forge meant we could top up water for the slog back to Pen Mar.

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Kaylee Fox
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Hiking

A decent hike, mostly down hill. Rocky but peaceful, not too many people on the trail

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Brendan Russell
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Hiking
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Joe Russell
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Hiking
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Sophia F
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Hiking
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Jon Harris
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Hiking
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Saran R
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Hiking
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Saran R
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Hiking
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D F
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Hiking
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Samantha Jarvis
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Hiking
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Mariah Foltan
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Hiking

Rough at times, but overall a good experience.

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Alan Parris
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Hiking

Went NOBO to see if the kids and I could overnight it. nice hike.. the first climb out of Penn mar is THE tough spot.. not difficult, just a nice long climb. Once you make it past that, it's pretty smoth sailing.. rolling climbs and descents. I'll bring them next time and we will start our traverse of PA via the AT.

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Bob Maher
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HikingRocky

Out and back. Reasonable grades. Some rocky sections where you need to pay attention to the footing. Old Forge Park is a nice place for a picnic and has a an all-year spigot for water refills.

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paula cahill
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Hiking

Beautiful day on rattlesnake rd hike!! Way off to 2 new paths and will definitely go on the last one again!!!

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Tara Williams
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Hiking

Pen Mar Park to Old Route 16 and back. Some inclines throughout. Rocky here and there but bo scrambling. Nice to come back to music in the park after the hike.

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Hallie Martenson
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Backpacking

Decided to do an overnight on this trail. Got a totally idyllic camping spot between two streams. I would certainly describe this trail as strenuous, if only for the footwork involved. Very rocky, and my poor dog was limping on our way back. We somehow lost the trail on the way back, so keep the blazes in sight, especially on your long descent into the Pen Mar area. The forest setting was nice, but there wasn’t a lot of scenery variation, which made the hike feel longer than it was. A few road crossings, so the middle of the hike is spoiled by traffic noise. But all in all enjoyable. Shockingly, didn’t find a single tick and came home with only one mosquito bite.

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wy9dc1l 2grzq3m
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Hiking

Decent hike with variety of rocks and streams to keep it interesting. Did not expect the nice lookout at Pen Mar Park. Would definitely suggest the short drive down to High Rock if parked in that area.

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Peggy Pugh
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Hiking

Got lost, and didn’t make it to the rock. Very rocky with tough stepping.

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Becky Ekins
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Hiking
First to Review

Did this one sobo with scouts. Pretty steep switchbacks as we got closer to PenMar. Working bathrooms were very welcome at trail's end. GREAT view from park and very near mid-way point of Appalachian Trail.

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Nikki W
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Hiking
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Carolyn Hicks
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Hiking
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Amanda Lancaster
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Hiking
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AJ Wright
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Hiking
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Michael Smith
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Hiking
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Sam User
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Hiking
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Ron Trimnell
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Hiking
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Marc Kurowski
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Hiking
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Josh Kozlowski
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Hiking
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Gage Stoops
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Hiking
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