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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 - I-70 to Wolfsville Rd, MD

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43 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List MD > Western
Rated
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4 of 5 by 1
 
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 9.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,256 feet
Elevation Gain 600 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,629 feet
Avg Time One Way 4.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.93
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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43  2014-04-20 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
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Jun → 7 AM
Sun  5:58am - 6:08pm
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Rockin' the Rocks
by kingsnake

Likely In-Season!
Overview: There are 41 miles of Appalachian Trail in Maryland. At every road crossing there are designated parking areas, and several of the crossings also have camping areas / privys. While hardcore types have been known to do the whole thing in one day, the Appalchian Trail Conservancy says most people do it in 3 or 4 days. For HikeArizona, I've divided it up into five segments, so each an be done in half day or so, leaving time to do other things, like visit Civil War battlefields, or -- as in the case of this segment -- explore rock formations.

History: The two segments south of this hike -- this and this -- were the site of the Battle of South Mountain on September 14, 1862, during the Antietam Campaign. But this segment saw no battles. There is a sign just north of Black Rock Creek, indicating the former location of the "Historic Black Rock Hotel", where a 19th century road crossed South Mountain. I did not notice any road/hotel ruins there, but then I did not look for them.

Water Sources: Apparently, there is a spring at Annapolis Rocks, but I did not see it. (Nor did I search for it.) There was plenty of water flowing in Black Rock Creek, about mid-point of the hike.

Camping: There are designated camping spots at Annapolis Rocks and Black Rock Creek. Both sites have a privy.

Hike: If you start from Boonsboro Mountain Rd. proceed through some guy's back yard, then on a foot bridge across I-70. After the bridge, turn left. In about 100 yards you will meet the trail (to your right) from the designated parking spot. (If you parked there, proceed west about 200 yards to the A.T.) The trail will pass under US-40 / National Pike.

0.3 mi.: The trail bends right and begins the only real climb of the hike, about 400 AEG or rocky surface. (Though the 9.5 mile hike's 1600 AEG is due to the rolling nature of the trail.) At the top of the climb, just to your right, is Pine Knob. As elsewhere along South Mountain, off trail is a tangle of rocks and dead fall. The least ankle-breaky approach to Pine Knob is from the northwest, or just past it on the trail. After exploring Pine Knob, continue north along the wide, smooth, well-groomed trail.

2.5 mi.: Turn left/west towards Annapolis Rocks, which are a quarter mile down slope. There is a privy along the way. The rocks offer a great view west towards Washington County and Hagerstown, and southwest towards Greenbrier State Park. It would not be difficult to climb down the rocks to the base of South Mountain. After exploring Annapolis Rocks, return to the A.T., continuing north.

3.8 mi.: You will see a white sign, high in a tree to your left. There are some neat rocks to explore there. I thought at first it was Black Rock, but it isn't. (Unless it is the very southern edge of Black Rock.) From there, you can work your way off trail (it would not be hard), north 200 yards to Black Rock proper, or do as I did, returning to the A.T., continuing until I saw the official Black Rock sign. Black Rock offers panoramic views from Virginia, through Washington County / Hagerstown, north to Pennsylvania. Like Annapolis Rock, it would be not be too hard to clamber down Black Rock to the base of South Mountain. After exploring, continue north on the A.T.

4.5 mi.: Black Rock Creek has good flow. The source is about .6 miles southeast, up the wash. (The whole of this hike follows the South Mountain ridge, but is anywhere from 100-300 feet downslope from the crest, sometimes on the east slope, sometimes the west.) Just after the crossing an underground spring contributes to the flow. A few hundred yards on is a heavily populated camping area, with a privy and a spring box, which also feeds into Black Rock Creek. A few hundred yards past that is the "Historic Black Rock Hotel".

5.3 mi.: Black Rock Gap, marked by the first double white blaze tree markings that I noticed. (A white blaze indicates the Appalachian Trail; a double blaze, a bend in the trail ; blue blazes indicate side trails.)

6.5 mi.: About 2/3s of the way into the hike, the trail will turn extremely rocky. My pace halved, taking me an hour to go the next 1.5 miles.

8.0 mi.: The trail surface mostly returns to it's normal smooth state, allowing you to pickup your pace without risk of sprains or fractures.

8.8 mi.: The final "climb" is a steep, rocky, bit of a couple hundred yards. After that you will descend 500 feet in a little less than a half mile, along more smooth trail, to Wolfsville Rd. Once you reach the road, turn right/east, about 200 yards up the road to the designated parking spot for your pickup.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2014-04-27 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 - I-70 to Wolfsville Rd
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Our annual Easter trip to Hagerstown, to see our grandaughter and younger son. As the Appalachian Trail is only a few miles away, I've hiked a segment each year. The first two years were Battle of South Mountain segments, and the historical markers were the highlight. But hiking-wise, and view-wise, this was my favorite so far.

    The climb up from I-70 was rocky, but after that the next 5.5 miles were smooth sailing. That initial climb was 400 feet, so the other 1200 AEG was basically rolling ups & downs for nine miles. With a smooth surface until about 6 miles in, it was a very pleasant stroll. :)

    I was hacking up my lungs, and blowing my nose for much of the hike, like I brought my allergies with me. :doh: My audio notes are filled with sniffles and coughing. :|

    Crappy Garmin 62S added some sort of light purple track on top of the actual track I had uploaded. Trying to get that straightened out mid-hike resulted in f-bomb carpet bombing. (I'm half tempted to upload the audio track to YouTube.) :x

    There were great views west from Annapolis Rocks and Black Rock. If I had had more time, I would have climbed down them to the base of South Mountain. Would have been a fun scramble.

    There was only one camper at Annapolis Rock, but a dozen tents at Black Rock Creek. I passed through the campsite about 10:00 a.m. Temperature was a perfect low 50s. The campers were huddled around a fire, in blankets. WTH!? :-s Oh, and when I said "Hello", none of them waved or said hello back. [-X

    After Black Rock Gap, the trail got extremely rocky for about 1.5 miles. :|

    The north end of the segment is only a few miles from Camp David, but I could not spot any signal towers. Maybe from the next segment north? :-k Frankly, I am surprised they even show it on the topo, let alone Google satellite view. (Serious: Check it out!)

    After the hike, our car GPS tried to direct us onto I-70 back to Hagerstown, but blah, who wants to do that? Instead, we had a very pleasant drive along country roads back to town. :)

    Hike Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ujwutYCbDI ... autoplay=1

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Travel east/west on I-70 to the Mapleville Rd, Hwy 66 exit, between North Mountain and Hagerstown. Head south for 1.0 miles to US-40 / National Pike. Turn left/east for 3.3 miles to Boonsboro Mountain Rd. There, you have a choice: Turn right/south for .25 miles, to where the A.T. crosses the road. There is no parking, but someone can drop you off if you are a completist. Otherwise, continue on US-40 for .25 miles, past Boonsboro Mountain Rd., over I-70, to the designated A.T. parking area on the south side of the road.
    page created by kingsnake on Apr 27 2014 1:00 pm
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