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Appalachian Trail: US 40 to Pogo Campground

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South Mountain State Park

Appalachian Trail: US 40 to Pogo Campground is a 8.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Myersville, Maryland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length8.7 miElevation gain1158 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (5)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

This hike begins at a small parking lot on US 40 outside of Myersville and heads north to Pogo Campground. Passing Annapolis Rock and Black Rock overlooks, spectacular valley views are seen. Total elevation gain of 1,600' with the longest climb of 500' over .9 miles. Starting at the parking lot, head down to access the Appalachian Trail. At this point, turn right to head north. Sign indicating Annapolis Rocks. This is an out-and-back hike that offers spectacular views of Greenbriar State Park. Passing Pine Knob shelter (1 mile), Annapolis Rock Overlook (2.2 miles), and Black Rock Overlook, lunch at Pogo Campground before returning. This is a moderate hike that offers one significant slow and steady climb on a partially rocky trail. The remainder is pleasant with one stream crossing close to Pogo Campground.

Mountain Club of Maryland http://www.mcomd.org/

Bring plenty of water and lunch on this 4-5 hour hike. Hiking poles not necessary, but bring along if you prefer. Don't forget your camera on pretty days for the overlooks.

DIRECTIONS TO HIKE SITE: Taking I-70 West, past Frederick to Exit 42 - Myersville. Head north on Maryland 17, turning right in town to continue on MD-17. Turn left at the light onto US 40. Continue for 3.4 miles. Parking lot is located on the left at the top of the hill before US 40 crosses over I-70.

Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (257)
Photos (1471)
Recordings (257)
Completed (789)
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David Hampton
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Hiking
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Katie D.
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HikingGreat!
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Tee Jay
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Hiking

Awesome. Not easy on beginners though or elderly knees. Walking sticks highly recommended.

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Jason Lyons
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Hiking

Amazing hike, nothing better than the great outdoors!

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Jennifer Lin
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Backpacking

The trail was extremely well marked and shaded. We passed by dozens of groups of day hikers, but only 3 backpackers in, 4 more groups where we camped, and 1 backpacker out other than ourselves. There were a ton of day hikers to Annapolis Rock, then it significantly thinned to Black Rock, and pretty much no more day hikers after that. We did this as a 2 day/1 night leaving it flexible for where we’d end up to camp. The options were Annapolis Rock, Pogo Memorial, and Ensign Cowall. We ended up at Pogo, which was a good choice as it had a nice spring nearby and someone else who ended up at Ensign Cowall said the highway noise was loud. We set up camp and tried to hike to the next landmark but the marked turnoff was not an overlook. The trip was dog friendly and it was easy for our veteran backpacker 12 lb dog. We had wonderful fall weather and the leaves were starting to change, and no issues with bugs nor hornets as I saw in a comment in the version of this hike specifically aimed to Pogo.

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Dmitry Samogray
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HikingGreat!

Loved it!

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Jose Christian De Lara
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Hiking
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Matt Bird
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Hiking
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Tim Tomkinson
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HikingGreat!
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David Peacock
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Hiking
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Michael Dushel
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Backpacking
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Megan Kirkpatrick
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HikingGreat!

Trail was very well marked, as we expected for the AT. Rather than do a loop we actually accessed the AT north of Annapolis Rock by Pogo memorial campsite (used the Thurston Griggs trail— trailhead off of White Oak Rd.). The ascent to the AT had some healthy elevation gain but once we reached the AT itself, the ridge was flat and easy to traverse. We stopped off at Black Rock Cliff, which was a less crowded viewpoint with an excellent view. Then moved on the Annapolis Rock (there was a composting latrine on that 0.25 mile offshoot to the viewpoint, which was nice). We continued south then from Annapolis Rock and departed the trail just past the footbridge, which led to parking (lot access at 11196 Baltimore National Pike). Great hike overall!! I would rate the hike moderate only because of the elevation changes accessing and descending from the ridge line.

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Blythe Peelor
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HikingGreat!

Sound of traffic was the worst part - other than that a beautiful hike. Moderate is an accurate description.

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Andrew Carter
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Hiking

It's fine. Lookouts are only to the northwest. Mostly wooded, sometimes with a rocky path, sometimes stair-like, rarely soft mulch. Birds are the first to wake, then the spiders, then the bugs.

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Leah Paterno-Olivari
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Hiking

Enjoyed this hike a lot! It was a beautiful day but it was very crowded.

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Samantha Briggs
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HikingMuddyRocky

Amazing time on the AT - we ended up going 9.5 miles because of a detour at the pine knob shelter and Annapolis rock and spring. Lovely! River crossing near Pogo was tough, but got two inches of rain yesterday.

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Mike Gould
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Hiking

Such a great hike! The elevation change is substantial and makes for a great workout. The view from Annapolis rocks is amazing! It does get very crowded. The parking lot is big, but gets filled up quickly. I suggest going early. Also, the Black Rock Cliff is just a little ways further than Annapolis rocks, and it’s just as pretty with no one else around. I highly suggest going there as well.

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Tyler Morrissette
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Hiking

Did it for the views!

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Jon King
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HikingRocky

Crowded is an understatement. Parking is tight- even in February.

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Rodney Little
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Hiking

Great hike! can't wait to do it again in the Spring!

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Iasmyn B
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HikingNo shade
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Jason Hawkins
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Hiking

Excellent trail for hiking by yourself or the whole family. Very scenic but you cross a couple of busy roads so don't let your kids or pets run too far ahead of you if you're not familiar with the trail.

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Jen Showers
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Hiking

the trail itself was nice, had ferns and beautiful wild flowers all over. We did a weekend backpacking trip, slept at pine knob the first night and Pogo the second it's a big climb at the beginning but once you get to the top it's smooth sailing from there! the hike is short enough where you can get to Pogo and make camp and then double back to Annapolis rock around sunset when there's a lot less people there. Highly recommended! Pogo was a little crowded and the tent sites are almost all slightly on a hill so be prepared for that if you're looking to camp over night.

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Josh Robinson
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HikingBugsRocky

Trail is very rocky with lots of big steps in the beginning but it has plenty of shade, is very well marked, and great views from Annapolis rock. I would recommend sturdy trekking poles if you’re carrying a heavy pack to help yourself up and down the rocky steps. If you camp at pogo memorial beware of bees, there were a ton of them, including European hornets that harassed my group constantly until nightfall. We left before sunrise to avoid the hornets. The campsite itself is pretty nice with lots of fire pits and log seating and we had a good time overall, plenty of places to set up hammocks but tent spaces are small and usually on an incline. I got water from the spring at pogo and the water was crystal clear (I still purified it just to be safe) there are two outhouses, one at Annapolis Rock, and another at pogo but they are about what you’d expect from a mountain outhouse, the one at pogo had an electrical outlet on the side but I didn’t test it. Lastly if you walk past the first spring at pogo the trail it’s on is a monster! Very steep hill with large sharp loose rocks!

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Trevor Keller
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Hiking

Night hiking the AT, my first backpacking excursion!

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Chris Helman
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HikingRocky
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Bobbie Walsh
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HikingBugsRocky
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