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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Appalachian Trail Pike to Old Pike, MD

no permit
22 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List MD > Western
3 of 5 by 1
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance One Way 4.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,259 feet
Elevation Gain -190 feet
Accumulated Gain 902 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.71
Interest Ruins & Historic
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
22  2012-04-07 kingsnake
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:53am - 6:16pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
No foxes in Fox Gap
by kingsnake

Likely In-Season!
This is a five mile segment of the famous Appalachian Trail, which follows the South Mountain ridgeline. The trail crosses on a footbridge over I-70, passes through some guy's yard, then this segment begins across the street. I did the hike in early Spring (first week of April), so only some of the trees had begun getting leaves/blooms. Really, it more resembled a late fall/winter hike. From Spring to Fall, it will be so heavily vegetated that, in most cases, you will not be able to see far off trail.

The first half mile is a 150-foot climb up Bartman Hill, on the rockiest portion of this segment. The rest of the segment varies from wide and smooth to slightly narrow and slightly rocky. Overall, a great surface, with minimal odds of joint injury. Also, any deadfall has been cleared, so no head banging. However, I am told that Eastern Diamondbacks have been spotted on the trail. (At 30 degrees, it was too cold for them.)

You will descend Bartman Hill, re-cross Boonsboro Road, then begin a more or less steady climb up to 1500 feet, just before you descend to 1300 feet, at 2.5 miles, where a powerline cutout crosses Turner Gap (site of one of three Civil War battles on September 14, 1862.).

Immediately after Turner Gap, you will begin the steepest part of the segment, a 250-foot climb to the top of Monument Knob, which is marked by a stone observation tower that was built in 1827 in honor of George Washington. It's wide panorama made it an ideal outpost for Union signal units during the Antietam Campaign. (You can see the battlefield, some six miles southwest, from the tower top.) After enjoying the view, follow the Washington history walk down to a paved parking area. (Which has toilet and water facilities.) The trail picks up again just east of the park HQ.

You will head east for about a half mile, cross paved Monument Road, then turn south and begin another 150-foot climb, before descending 400 feet to the end of the segment on Old National Pike at Fox Gap. (Another of the September 14, 1862 battles.) There are a number of historical markers around the trailhead at Old South Mountain Inn, including the Dahlgren Chapel, built in memory of the admiral who invented the guns used by the USS Monitor. There is a water tap down the gravel road, but the only bathroom facilities I saw in the area would be at the Inn, which is only open from late afternoon on.

Finally, if you are a Civil War buff, nearby Hagerstown is a great place to base yourself out of: Gettysburg is just 60 minutes northeast, Antietam (still the bloodiest day in American history) 15 minutes south, Turner Gap, Fox Gap and Crampton's Gap 20 minutes east, and Harpers Ferry 45 minutes southeast.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2012-04-10 kingsnake

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Appalachian Trail Pike to Old Pike
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    It was Thursday afternoon, and I was preparing to leave work, when I realized that although I would be in western Maryland for the weekend, I had no hike planned. I threw something together at the last minute, and hiking the Appalachian Trail was it. Not the whole thing ... just a small part I could knock out in two hours, with no gear.

    It was pretty darn cold, below freezing. I figure since 31 was the predicted temp in Hagerstown, it could not have been more than 30 at the top of South Mountain. Maybe less. But with a bottle of water in one pocket, and my GPS in the other, off I went. Across some guy's yard. (My wife reports a cop cruised by a few minutes later; you would think the neighbor's would be used to odd looking folks lurking around the Appalachian Trail ...)

    There were not any major climbs, or really very steep climbs, but there were some decent blows, particularly between Turners Gap and the Washington Monument. The original one from 1827, not the new one in the District of Columbia. My very rough work map estimated total AEG to be 177 over five miles, which I knew would be way off, so I figured 500 feet total -- it ended up being 902. On a HAZ scale, I estimate the segment to be a 1.0; on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy it would be a 2-3, "Moderate elevation change, but well graded trail."

    Even though it is early Spring, Fall leaves were still on the trees. Those that had leaves. What leaves there were, were very colorful, especially in the early morning sun. Did not see any other people until the area between Washington Monument and Fox Gap, when I passed a couple dozen, including one troop of Boy Scouts. Also saw two deer, but they moved too fast for me to get photos.

    The segment ended at Fox Gap, where there were several historical markers for the Civil War battle there, on September 14, 1862, which preceded the Battle of Antietam. (My favorite battlefield visit.)

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    From I-70, which runs from Baltimore to Pittsburgh: Exit Hwy 66 south. Go 1.1 miles south to the first major intersection, US 40, aka National Pike. Turn east. Go 3.25 miles east. First right, after the entrance to Greenbrier Park, just before you cross under I-70, turn south on Boonsboro Mountain Rd. The Appalachian Trail crosses the road in the first cluster of a half dozen houses.
    page created by kingsnake on Apr 10 2012 11:33 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
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