View Full Version : going north or south through Maryland?

02-17-2013, 16:25
This summer's section for me is Maryland. Any opinions as to taking the state north or southbound? Going for 4 days/3 nights.

02-17-2013, 16:29
We did Maryland SOBO last year in the spring. We chose this direction because it's generally downhill towards the Potomac at Harpers Ferry. I imagine the local hikers can give more or better information and advice.
Have a good hike!

02-17-2013, 16:43
I recommend southbound because I like approaching Weverton Cliffs just before the descent down to the C&O Canal. From the Cliffs, you see the Potomac below you and to the right, the gaps in the mountains from the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. As you're hiking south, you can sense that you're getting to the edge of the ridgeline. Then when the AT makes a 90 degree right turn to go downhill, take the blue-blazed trail straight about 100 yards and you'll come to the Cliffs.

02-17-2013, 17:33
If I had a preference it would be south. The cliffs just south of penmar are easier to climb than go down and Weaverton wasn't bad going down. I did I both directions and neither were tough by AT standards but as always YMMV.

02-17-2013, 18:05
Perfect! Just the type of advice I was looking for. Thanks!

02-17-2013, 19:16
The 10 miles south of PA are the toughest in MD (not saying much, I know). The terrain is so tame that the direction doesn't really affect the difficulty if you are taking any longer than 1 day to hike it. Its also very pretty hiking down into Harper's Ferry, not to mention the fact that its a great place to end a hike!

Mrs Baggins
02-17-2013, 19:27
Southbound. The only real climb is up to High Rock and that's not that far. Then it's mostly ridge walking and little up and down rolls. From Weverton Rocks it's a steep switchback down, one that I have no desire to ever have to hike UP. The water source at the Garvey shelter is about 1/2 a mile straight down a hillside but that's the only water til the river if you don't fill up at Gathland.

Lone Wolf
02-17-2013, 19:30
This summer's section for me is Maryland. Any opinions as to taking the state north or southbound? Going for 4 days/3 nights.

either way. it's a walk in the park

02-17-2013, 19:40
If you go south, you can park your car at the parking lot for Harpers Ferry National Park (or historic site, I forget exactly). You have to pay to get it in there, but if you park there, it's not just sitting on the edge of e road somewhere.

Country Roads
02-17-2013, 19:53
South. I have hike MD twice, both time south. The climb up high rock this past year was straight up the rock wall. I would look up and try to figure out where the next blaze was and darned if it was not in what appeared to be an impossible place, but it was fun anyway. The section from PA/MD line can be rocky in places, but is pretty nice walking overall. It is a decent climb up from Wolfville road to the top of the ridgeline, but not too bad, then it is nice walking for a mile or so, then it is pretty rocky for about the next 1/2 to 3/4 mile. After that, it is pretty easy until Lamb's knoll (I hated that climb both trips and craved lamb chops for about a week). I really do like this section though.
As an FYI: there is no soda machine at Washington Monument State Park (there was in 2007, but not in 2012); there is one at Gathland SP.

02-17-2013, 20:17
Another vote for SOBO. Rewarding yourself by ending at Harper's Ferry. Only thing i'll say is not to leave your car overnight at PenMar, have a friend drop you off. Parking your car at Harper's Ferry lot is good.

02-17-2013, 21:00
i hiked this section south last year,
Park at the National Park, small fee for entrance.
used a shuttle to Pen Mar Park, arrived around 2 hiked to first shelter
total trail time 3 1/2 days.
shower at camp ground near park entrance $5.00

Teacher & Snacktime
02-17-2013, 21:01
If you decide to head southbound and want the "easy life", check out the website for Teahorse Hostel in Harper's Ferry. They offer some sort of sag service where they transport your pack for you....others do it to I imagine, but there's was the only site I saw.