Appalachian Trail Hiking – Maryland Section

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Annapolis Rock

dogfriendly-iconparking-iconviewpoint-iconphotogenic-icontrailhead-iconhiking-iconbackpacking-icon
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
799 Washington Street
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
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ONE OF MY INITIATION HIKES, TO GET REACQUAINTED WITH HIKING/BACKPACKING. ON A GOOD WEATHER DAY, THIS IS A VERY REWARDING HIKE WITH SOME MAGNIFICENT LANDSCAPE VIEWS.

Appalachian Trail

fees-iconFree entry
direction-iconFrom Hagerstown MD, take I-70 East. At exit 26, take Hwy 40 East. Parking area is on the right, immediately after Hwy 40 crosses the Interstate [see my list of other favorite free overnight parking areas].

Annapolis Rock Trail

distance-icon7.5 mi. round trip
difficulty-iconModerate Day Hike

Remarks:
Good location for day hikes or multi-day backpacking trips. Access to great views.
trailmapTrail Details:
It is a short seven mile round-trip day hike on the AT to Annapolis Rock and Black Rock; a moderate trail that includes a short, but invigorating ascend that tested my still wobbly legs.
From the parking area on US.40, where it crosses the I-70, there is a short side trail that leads to the AT at a point where it crosses the Interstate via a footbridge. This leads to Washington Monument SP, about five miles to the South.
02-at-annapolis-rock-foot-bridgeJust before the footbridge, I turn right and follow the trail North to Pine Knob Shelter, about 0.75 miles. Located 0.1 mi off the main trail, it is well hidden and offers a lot of privacy for the thru-hiker. Very basic shelter with a table to sit at and a roof to protect you from the rain. As local black bears frequent this area, separate bear poles are available at a little distance to store your food at night.
Returning to the trail, the only steep incline during this hike awaits you and takes away your breath during the next 15 minutes. The trail is mostly light on your feet, but during this ascend, a lot of small rocks cover the trail and can make it slippery under the right circumstances. The remainder of the hike is fairly flat and quite easy.

12-at-annapolis-rockAt 2.1 mi a 0.25 mi long side trail leads to Annapolis Rock where the outcroppings are accessible and where a fantastic view is offered of the surrounding landscape, when the sky is clear. I had to imagine those views during this foggy day.
This location is well visited and the campsites have recently been relocated and restoration of the entire area is in progress. One or two ‘managers’ are at this site during the hiking season to maintain the site and keep users in check. They also patrol part of the AT up to Pogo Memorial shelter. There is a spring for fresh water and privies for you to use.
11-at-annapolis-rock-trailI returned to the main trail to continue another mile to Black Rock, a similar site with an even better view. Today the view was the same foggy, drizzly wet lack of view, but I can imagine to sit here for a few hours and enjoy my surroundings. One exception was the spray paint on some of the rocks. After I made a short video and had a late lunch, I got back on the trail to return to my vehicle. The trees along the trail had protected me from most of the rain, but the rain became more persistent, while I hurried back.

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