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Hemlock Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Manchester, Maryland that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 278 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

muddy

over grown

rocky

The trail head is on Gunpowder Road .4 miles after you turn off of Hoffmanville Road and just before the bridge. Parking on the left, entrance on the right when facing the bridge.

hiking
closed
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

EDIT: as of late March 2020, this area (Prettyboy Reservoir) is closed to all recreational activities, including hiking re: COVID19. It's physically still open but you risk being charged with trespassing & fined if you're caught. IMO not worth it. I'm pretty new to hiking and this is one of the first trails I was taken on by a good friend. It's very challenging, as someone with more weightlifting aptitude than cardio aptitude. We started on the left path first (starting on the hill with the cemetery atop) and ended following the creek. The steep hills are quite rocky and uneven. The path isn't always clear and is often very narrow. Hiking boots or good sneakers are a necessity on this one—there is a significant section by the creek where you need to scramble over large, steep rocks to continue the path. Overall though the scenery is stunning and absolutely worth the effort. There are plenty of beautiful places to rest should you need to, and once you round the corner past the old mill, you start to get a nice breeze from the mini canyon.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Very pretty trail, especially the little waterfalls. Like previously mentioned there are 3-4 streams you need to cross to continue on the trail. For a couple of the streams if you go off trail a bit to the sides you can find bigger rocks to step on to get across the streams to avoid getting your shoes wet. Overall a fun hike and will do again!

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Great hike. couple steep ascent/descent ... Several stream crossings. With Care, you won't get wet. Hiking boots quite helpful. Glad to have hiking stick.

3 months ago

This is probably one of the most beautiful and fun hikes I've found in this area (though I'm looking forward to finding other anazing hikes that I just didn't know about). My husband and I took our 10-year-old and her friend, our 5-year-old, and our active 3-year-old Labradoodle. We all wore rain boots because of the stream crossings mentioned by other reviewers, and we did not regret it, though the rock scrambling would have been easier in sneakers. We're looking forward to going back in warmer weather with our Keens/Chacos, as those would be ideal. There were definitely places where we asked the kids to move slowly and intentionally and to use their hands, but the most dangerous part was when we accidentally left the trail. We had the map downloaded, so that was our only accidental detour. The trail definitely fades out toward the middle/back riverside corner, and I recommend downloading the map and consulting it when uncertain. We had a ton of fun, can't wait for warmer weather to hike it again!

hiking
off trail
3 months ago

Definitely a hike! — Easy and moderate until the second time you come up to water it gets EXTREMELY difficult to navigate as there’s no solid path. Lucky my dog is athletic and an avid rock climber lol. You will have to climb and sorta weave about to find your way back to the trail, fun but could be dangerous if not prepared. Definitely wear boots and download the map before you go! No signal and not many trail markings either. Beautiful hike though and definitely worth the rock climb

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This hike is BEAUTIFUL! It is also hard! My husband and I went and took our dogs...most of the trail is dog friendly but some of it is not. There are actually some rock scrambles along the river and some water crossings that were hard with dogs. Your feet may get wet. Beautiful scenery...gorgeous river with big rocks, little waterfalls, moss, lovely trees etc. Trail is not really marked though this app gets you to the trailhead perfectly. You can follow the map on the app but as others said, you lose service back there. Along the water there basically is no trail for awhile...be prepared to do some minor, yet somewhat strenuous climbing etc. We are fit and hike often but I was a little sore the next day...totally worth it.

blowdown
muddy
off trail
rocky
5 months ago

This was one of our favorites so far. The trails are poorly marked. Used the map feature, but I recommend downloading it before you get there. No cell coverage for most of the trail. We went in at the gate not the bridge. we also followed the creek back the 2nd half. This was a ton of fun, but turns the trail from moderate to hard in my opinion.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Moderate hiking, very poorly marked.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

Went out today and hiked with the family (Age 3,7,44,44). I have experience in hiking but my family is very limited in experience. When we initially arrived we saw a bald eagle the minute we stepped out of the car. It was really amazing thing to see and the kids loved it! The initial trail was great, wide, some incline and descents and there were two stream crossings. You will get your feet wet. Water proof shoes almost did the job! Great place for the kids to play around in.. yes even in the cold. Then we headed toward the river section of the trail and that is when things got a little scary. We initially crossed over onto an island where there is a fork in the creek/river.. we realized that was not corrected and then followed the trail up the bank of the river. It became more difficult to see where the trail is actually at for this later half. We reached the area where I actually LOVED. There were small water falls and running water, little play areas.. but there were some serious rocks. The trail was not clear at that point. I can assume in the summer the river bed itself could just be part of the trail however in the winter the only way we saw was up some rocks. You actually need some 3-point bouldering experience to safely get through it. Small kids.. not a recommendation at all if taking the rock way. There were some cliff drops of at least 20 ft+ with very little room. Once we made it past the first rock section we tried to follow the creek and it just did not happen. We lost the trail. Off to the right just past the first large rock crossing, there were trees that were marked with "silver strips". Literally went right up the side of the ravine. Serious incline. We have no idea what trail that was, but it dumped us out back on the main trail and we ran out of there to get out of the weather. A 2 hour hike turned into 6. It was a great hike.. however I would not take my older dog on it and in the summer the kids should stay at the creek bed level only.

over grown
rocky
6 months ago

Fun trail with an old cemetery along the way with a ton of scenery on the path and near the river. The path became all but non-existant at one point climbing over and along slippery rocks near the water but all in all much fun. I wouldn't take small children or pets along the areas where the path disappears for a bit.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike with plenty to see. multiple water crossings over rocks and down trees. No bridges and some moderate rocky spots but the trail is in great shape. Even with a little mud in spots we loved the hike!

hiking
6 months ago

A nice trail with a good mix of flat, hills and rocks. Fun for the kids.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice trail. Went with my teenage and 2 dogs. We ended up going off the mapped loop accidentally when we saw a trail head across the river. All good though we got back to the road and walked that back.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

Took my dog on this walk. she was old and I had to carry her or hold her tightly on some of the more challenging parts. But it was certainly gorgeous and peaceful .

hiking
bridge out
over grown
10 months ago

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