High Rock and Raven Rock via Appalachian Trail

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South Mountain State Park

High Rock and Raven Rock via Appalachian Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Smithsburg, Maryland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length6.4 miElevation gain990 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsRock climbingWalkingBird watchingRunningDog friendlyForestViewswild-flowersWildlife
Description
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Facilities

Nice hike to two beautiful views. Quick climb at the beginning, then a nice walk along the ridge ending at High Rock. The hike on on the Appalachian Trail the entire time. Start at the trail head on the North side of Raven Rock road and continue North. Raven Rocks and a camp ground will be on your right after a bit of a climb. Keep going on the AT North until you see a sign indicating the High Rock viewpoint 0.2 mile loop. Enjoy the views. Some of the best around :)

You can park right where the trail starts as Raven Rock Road is very wide or park a bit East at the beginning of Ritchie Road.

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Reviews (333)
Photos (455)
Recordings (324)
Completed (689)
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Olivia Jade
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Jill Beltrano
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Lilly Seltz
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Hiking

Steep first mile, but easy going after that! Icy while I was there, but did it fine without poles or ice clips

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Nicole Gieselman
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HikingGreat!

This is probably my favorite section of the AT in Maryland. A couple of great overlooks, limited traffic until you get to High Rock.

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Bea Amoateng
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HikingIcyRocky

That first mile is STEEP. I took multiple breaks. But once you get to the top(ish) it’s smooth sailing. The view at Raven Rock is BREATHTAKING. Worth the hike. :)

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Bob Collins
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HikingRocky

Fun part of the AT— suitable for a winter day hike. There are both climbs/decent s and flat sections. Some nice views.

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Andrew White
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Kevin Hildebrand
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Dylan Jaramillo
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Hiking

great out and back. the first part is brutal but after that very easy

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Jonathan Van Eck
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Hiking

Pretty steep beginning with rock stairs followed by ~2 miles of flat stable trail. Both overlooks offer classic Appalachian views over farmland in the valleys. Very pretty. We had good hiking boots which was great for the rocks. Other folks had trekking poles, and I wouldn’t say we regretted not having ours. But it may have made elements of the hike slightly more comfortable. Great afternoon hike.

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Shay Walls
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HikingGreat!Icy

Beautiful view! Nice easy trail. Icy in some spots.

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Emilie Cecil
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Hiking

Excellent!

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Theresa Cecil
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Hiking

Beautiful hike to a great view!

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Lily Annenberg
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Hiking

Considering it rained 12 hours ago it was a little wet, so wear your stompin boots! Steep incline at the beginning, but it flattens out. Amazing views minus the crowd - wear your mask! Sweet graffiti! Shiba was very excited.

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Scott Polack
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Amber Mendez
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Hiking

Beautiful trail, very steep. We did it with our two dogs and they loved it. You have to watch your step as it can get slippery when it rains and temperature drops. We parked on a small gravel section on the side of the road.

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kevin maloney
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Wayne Brechtel
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HikingGreat!

Had about 6-10” of snow so parked up at the top and walked down. Nice boulders and a large valley of rocks, good views and short steep decent to the flat bottom area. Would be a decent place to snowboard

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Linda Barnhart
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Hiking

We did this as a one way. Parked on 491, (after leaving a car at High Rock). Climbing was all at the beginning and was a lovely hike! Great rock formations.

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Dave Buttner
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HikingGreat!

Nice climb at the outset and great reward of views from the overlooks.

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keith Hah!
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Marco C.
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Joe Griffin
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Hiking

Very challenging and very rocky

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Jeffrey Levy
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Hiking

Nice hike! Steep at first until you get up to Raven Rock, then a little more up, then flat for a couple of miles to High Rock. Note that parking is just on the side of the road right where the directions button shows. There’s no lot.

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mary beth moritz
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Hiking

Interesting rock formations

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Cheryl Gendron
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HikingRockyScramble

The trail was absolutely beautiful even in these early winter barren months. And challenging in a good way. However, I didn’t see any reviews that talked about the amount of rocks/boulders to navigate. We went with my dog who is 13 and still athletic and energetic. But at mile 2 she said enough is a enough and began dragging me back up the path. (The look out was at mile 3). So we threw in the towel and headed back. About halfway in, you get to a portion of the path that is all large rocks and boulders, with the trail blazes on the larger rocks. A bit tuff to navigate with a dog on a leash, and I watched her struggling a bit too. She is a trooper; but an old lady. Don’t regret the lovely day, but if we had pushed through and made it to the top just to see that graffiti filled rock with a ton of people. It would have been extra meh. So, there ya have it! My first review on AllTrails.

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Steve Carlyle
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