High Knob on the Catoctin Mountain Loop in Gambrill State Park with Optional Post Hike Meal! A Moderate 5 Mile Hike with 7 Mile Option
This hike is in Gambrill State Park, located 45 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. Pretty much in Frederick.
A circuit along and beside the ridge of Catoctin Mountain through mature hardwood forest, offering excellent views east and west. This hike along Catoctin Mountain offers plentiful, sweeping views north and west of South Mountain, home of the Appalachian Trail. On the hike's return on the east side of the ridge are scenes of the Monocacy River watershed. The views west are slightly marred by the distant sounds of I-70, which passes below about 3 miles to the west. But the sounds on the east side of the ridge are more likely to be those of woodpeckers and barred owls. © Copyright David Edwin Lillard Published by Falcon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
Click Here to see Some Pics From a Past Hike We Enjoyed on This Trail
Three native stone overlooks, strategically located on the 1600-foot summit of High Knob, midway between the Mason-Dixon Line and the Potomac River, offer excellent and exciting views of the surrounding area. On a clear day, looking north, a visitor can see the rugged tree-covered mountains of the Frederick City Municipal Forest, one of the State's best managed watersheds. Looking south, one can see Crampton's Gap, a Civil War Landmark and the site of Gathland State Park, and the Middletown and Monocacy Valleys. South Mountain, where many engagements between Confederate and Union troops took place during the Civil War, can be seen to the West.
A moderate pace of about 2.5mph (pace of an average hiker).
Nearby City: Frederick, MD
Length: 5 total miles with a 2 additional mile option
Elev. Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Moderate
Local Contacts: Gambrill State Park
Facilities: None, but water is available from fountains at 0.5 mile.
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
There are 3 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.
Annapolis Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area , meetup at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click here for Annapolis carpool directions for getting to the carpool location.
VA East Area Carpool (Fairfax Area METRO)
People can also arrange to meet at the Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station. Click here for directions to Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click here for directions to where we meet for this hike.
Hike is at 10:30 a.m.
Carpool meetup time from Savage is 8:30 a.m.
Time for carpooling from Annapolis is 8:15 a.m.
Time for carpooling from Vienna METRO is 8:30 a.m.
Optional Post Hike Lunch Information and Menu
We will have an optional hike lunch at Cozy Restaurant as they welcome hikers and have fabulous post hike food at a great price.
Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which helps make sure that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
Fido is Welcome on this Hike!
Let's have good times and see you there!