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Appalachian Trail: South Mountain

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

The South Mountain portion of the Appalachian Trail - right near Harpers Ferry!


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Map Key

13.4

Miles

21.6

KM

Point to Point

1,749' 533 m

High

374' 114 m

Low

1,679' 512 m

Up

2,303' 702 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

A great trail to hike on and to see the valleys below from. The best light on the trail is at dawn and dusk if you really want to enjoy the scenery. You'll experience great views of the Potomac River throughout this trail.

Need to Know

Rocks can be hidden under foliage, so be careful. There are no water sources along this trail, come prepared.

Description

This section of the Appalachian Trail starts on alternating easy, groomed singletrack and paved fire road from the parking lot to the top of the mountain. From the top of Lambs Knoll, the trail becomes singletrack with lots of rocks and some roots, so pay attention.

In general, the trail is easy to follow from end to end. Just keep trucking south and enjoy it. You need at least 2 vehicles to leave at each end, or you're looking at a long out-and-back excursion.

History & Background

War Correspondents Arch:
The War Correspondents Arch is a National historic monument. Constructed in 1896, the monument stands fifty feet high and forty feet broad. The monument is administered and maintained by the National Park Service.

South Mountain State Battlefield:
Gathland State Park is located in Crampton's Gap, which witnessed a portion of the Battle of South Mountain, the first major battle of the Civil War fought in Maryland.

Contacts

Shared By:

Keith Rickett

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 10 votes

#1261

Overall
  4.5 from 10 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#8

in Maryland

#1,261

Overall
279 Views Last Month
8,302 Since Apr 7, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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43%
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Photos

Follow the white Blazes!
Oct 10, 2016 near Brunswick, MD
Looking down at the Potomac from the Weverton Cliffs.
Oct 10, 2016 near Brunswick, MD
Welcome to the AT
Apr 7, 2015 near Boonsboro, MD
View of white rocks.
Apr 30, 2017 near Middletown, MD
AT South Mountain!
Jul 21, 2018 near Brunswick, MD
Sunrise on the South Mountain
Apr 7, 2015 near Middletown, MD

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 15 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jul 12, 2020
Karen Lips
Gathland SP to weverton cliff.s and back
Jul 11, 2020
Iris W
14mi — 10h 00m
May 25, 2019
Ethan B
Did about half of this trail and stayed at a shelter, well near one. Not a scenic hike, but enjoyable nonetheless. 7mi — 2h 45m
May 17, 2019
Corey T
2, 7 mile days
May 6, 2019
yao Chen
Mar 29, 2019
Matthew Fogle
trail is 20 miles if you end in harpers ferry 20mi — 14h 40m
Dec 2, 2018
Sage Maiolo
Birthday hike
Dec 2, 2018
Channing Maiolo
Foggy at Weverton lookout but good incline and clear trail markings. 2mi