Sugarloaf Mountain and Northern Peaks Trail

MODERATE 410 reviews

Sugarloaf Mountain and Northern Peaks Trail is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Dickerson, 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 November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1535 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

rocky

Stronghold, Inc. 301-874-2024

1 day ago

We started in the East View parking lot and went up the orange trail to see the peak of sugar loaf (steep, but quick) from there we made our way to the blue trail to go out to White Rocks look out (somehow got sidetracked off the blue trail for awhile...). Then we continued on the blue (then white) trail to get back to the parking lot. Nice and steady up and down, so never felt too strenuous. Arrived around 9:30 and wasn’t too crowded; by the time we were leaving (1:30) it was quite crowded. If we go again we might start down at the entrance gate in order to have more of an elevation climb.

1 day ago

Super crowded. Nice hike but way too many people there.

hiking
11 days ago

This trail loop does not ease up at end so get ready for some serious hike. Initial climb onto top via orange trail is tough but its short so if you have some endurance its no problem. Rest of hike through the blue trail is fairly easy until the end of blue trail . Then you hit the green trail and start climbing to top again when your legs are starting to feel it..

Agree with others on view - its nice but not spectacular as Maryland Height Harper's Ferry hike. Also agree regarding trail markings.. its there but you at some junctions its confusing and could be better. Some part of blue trail uses dark blue paint markings while other part uses light blue markings.. it can be confusing but dark and light blue markings on trees denote the same blue trail.

Great work out and overall, i'd say its on strenuous side of moderate if you follow the trail map given here. Took 2 hr 40 minutes on nice partly sunny day.

hiking
25 days ago

Trail wasn't marked very well in some spots. Make sure to park in the west view lot as that is where the tail starts and ends. There are some areas that aren't marked very well and some how we ended up getting turned around some where in between marker B5 and B6 and double backed. We didn't realize it until we hit a cross section again. While we didn't get to see White Rock we will go back and try again on another day. All in all the kids (5 and 12) and the dog enjoyed it. Tough with kids in some parts, but they have been hiking for a long time so it wasn't too bad.

1 month ago

The change in terrain and scenery was fun and challenging. The view was beautiful. The trail is definitely not marked as well as what I’m used to and we got a little turned around and confused, accidentally branching off onto a different trail at one point. It could have just been the day we went, but we did not encounter a ton of people on this trail, just occasionally. That made the hike more enjoyable.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice easy walk, great views at White Rocks. The scenery around the trail is really nice. There's a lot of parking available too.

hiking
3 months ago

Due to bad road conditions on the mountain I had to park on a field off of Comus Rd. This allowed me to incorporate more of the Mountain Loop Trail to the summit adding a little over 3 miles to the loop. Thankfully, it was just snow, so the trails weren't too treacherous. The markers at the summit can get confusing. Some trails leading off the summit are way easier to walk down than others. I can't wait to retry this extended loop when it gets a bit warmer.

hiking
4 months ago

The tough-but-not-backbreaking difficulty here was the best part. Views are indeed great, but I did think they were a hair overblown; the hype had me expecting something on par with Harper's Ferry.

Easy to get confused - markings are just ok, and with multiple places to park, you might get turned around without a plan. However, driving the loop and stopping several times could very well get you nearly a whole day well-spent here. You're not supposed to gawk at the mansions on the way down, but I did, and I have no regrets.

hiking
4 months ago

Very calming views and too much color for the eyes

hiking
6 months ago

My dog and us all loved it! Nice hike in the woods with several good view points!

6 months ago

We hiked a combination of trails at Sugarloaf for a total of 9 miles. The views are great all around but we ran into several people on the trails who got turned around. The marking system is sufficient but could use a updating. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful and semi-challenging hike it provided diverse terrain and just enough flat to give knees and ankles respite

hiking
7 months ago

Trail provided diverse terrain and changing scenery. The inclines created a moderate level of difficulty with plenty of easy portions intermixed.

hiking
7 months ago

Been planning to do this trail for several years but wanted to wait for a weekday when I was off work and fewer people were around as I've read other reviews saying how popular this place is. Parked in the East lot after winding my way up the roads. I actually thought to myself after driving up near the top "well this stinks. I wanted to climb to the top, not drive". Took the orange trail up the top and was instantly grateful that I got a head start by car. Initial scramble up the top was tough but not impossible. And frankly it paled in comparison to the strenuousness of the full 7 miles I did. Lots up ups and downs with 300' elevation changes each time. Great scenery, awesome workout, and beautiful trail. Only missed one blaze but caught it before I got too far down the incline.

8 months ago

pleasantly surprised by elevation changes and the views from the white rocks.

8 months ago

This hike was a bit rough at parts because of the intense incline, but once we made it to the top, it was all worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Enjoyable Trail busy for the first mile than wide open

hiking
8 months ago

Great set of trails. Lots of combinations, I can go back and do a different path. Get there early!

hiking
9 months ago

I made the mistake as a beginner and selected the Orange Trail. I hiked less than a mile and was done because the incline was too steep for me. Other than that I look forward to trying the other trails.

9 months ago

Good

9 months ago

I mean, it's aight. Not too much of a hike but still fun to do with friends. We found this one random dude who wanted to look for a cave off the cliff so we went rock climbing on the side. Was actually pretty cool.

hiking
9 months ago

It is a beautiful trail but I would rate it as hard not moderate because it is rocky and going up for the majority of the 6 miles.

hiking
10 months ago

Lots of different trails with nice views and difficulty levels.

hiking
10 months ago

The hike to the east view summit was pretty short and the view itself was okay, nothing too awe inspiring as the view includes factories and houses. It was very busy and heavily trafficked as well.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike up the mountain! And of course a beautiful view!

hiking
11 months ago

some of the other reviews complained the trails weren't well marked. I. disagree. while the blue diamonds at white rocks were a little confusing -- they designate a spur while blue rectangles Mark the main trail -- the trails are nicely blazed, with posts at intersections with other trails

lots of beautiful blooming rhododendrons this time of year. the views don't compare to the Berkshire mountains, where I have been hiking in recent years, but it is a good amount of challenge at the beginning of hiking season, and the woods and ferns are lovely

very busy on a cloudy, mild Sunday, but probably less than Billy goat trail.

hiking
11 months ago

I knew from the beginning it was going to push my boundaries. however we conquered the summit and the blue trail. 6.1 miles and 1,381 feet high. was a great challenge basically all straight up or down. was amazing

11 months ago

I loved this hike.
The view was so and so but the hike was amazing

hiking
Thursday, April 20, 2017

I really enjoyed this hike, however, some of the trees were not clearly marked. For instance, we decided to go counterclockwise on the trail. We missed the "green" trail because it was not marked. From the review below, I didn't realize it was private property which is why some of the trees weren't marked. The trail however was a wonderful experience. It was not heavily trafficked which was surprising because of all the cars that are around. Though the trail is so long there are periods where no one is around. The overlooks were beautiful and peaceful. Would do this hike again!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sugar loaf is a special place but I only gave this three stars for a couple of reasons. This is private property open to the public so the trails aren't as well marked as they are in government parks. Also be warned because of the geology of the mountain this hike is home to many snakes- including copperheads and mountain rattlers. In fact my kids and I ran into a baby copper head on the beginning of the white trail that was heavily trafficked just today. On the flip side - the rocky nature of this monadnock makes it a beautiful hike with unique geological features.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Really good trails for basic climbing. Beautiful overlooks.

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