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A loop route featuring several steep rocky slopes with wide, smooth level areas to recover.


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Map Key

2.9

Miles

4.7

KM

Loop

1,614' 492 m

High

1,127' 344 m

Low

571' 174 m

Up

570' 174 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views

Park closes at sunset

Overview

A 'mountain' experience in central Maryland, this loop encompasses two popular trails in Gambrill State Park. Begin on the Catoctin Trail, and break west at the intersection with the Green Trail. Finish up your loop on the Black Locust Trail (West) to return to where you started.

Need to Know

Camping is available at Gambrill. You can find a map of the campsite here.

Description

All trails used in this loop begin at the parking lot on the east side of Gambrill Park Road (about half-way up the mountain between the Rock Run area and the High Knob area, on the right side of the road). There are a number of trails that begin at this lot, all of which are loops except for the Catoctin Trail which connects with Catoctin Mountain State park.

All along this loop, visitors will be treated to scenic views. Be warned that the way is generally steep, and rocky, and that descents/ascents can be slippery after a rain or when the weather is particularly humid. The Black Locust loop has lots of steep slopes balanced by flat terrain to recover. The trail is mostly hard pack dirt, but the steeper sections are very rocky (medium sized rocks) that will slow your pace for a moment.

History & Background

Named after the late James H. Gambrill, Jr., a well-known citizen of Frederick and conservationist who first brought attention to the beauty of the area in the early 1900s.

Contacts

Shared By:

Pam Smith

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 9 votes

#4761

Overall
  3.3 from 9 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
33%
3 Star
67%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#51

in Maryland

#4,761

Overall
11 Views Last Month
3,697 Since Feb 22, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

11%
11%
67%
11%
0%
0%

Photos

Steep ascent!
Feb 22, 2016 near Clover…, MD
Well, duh!
Feb 22, 2016 near Braddoc…, MD
Gambrill Overlook. South Mountain emerges as fog burns off.
Feb 22, 2016 near Braddoc…, MD
Steep descent at start.
Feb 22, 2016 near Clover…, MD

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Weather


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Check-Ins

Aug 16, 2023
Joey Brookhart
May 14, 2019
JD Snyder
12h 25m
Dec 29, 2018
Thomas Suter
Feb 21, 2018
Bill Java
Oct 15, 2017
Jerry Cruz
3.6mi
Oct 7, 2017
Jack Reid
Sep 17, 2017
Anthony Carey
3mi
Aug 6, 2017
philip lz
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