Appalachian Trail Leaf Peeping Hike Series! Part 2 of 2 - Pine Knob to Pen Mar County: Includes Devils Racecourse!
(Wolfsville Road to Pen Mar County Park)
The three fine, west-facing vistas of Annapolis Rock, Black Rock, and High Rock plus a peculiar river of stone called the Devils Racecourse are the highlights of this hike through northern Maryland. This AT section, mostly along the flat-topped South Mountain ridge a long 17.7-mile overnight trip, or it can also be neatly divided into two day hikes of 8.3 mi. and 9.4 mi. with the midpoint coming at Wolfsville Rd. (MD17) which is just what we are doing. At one point we will have Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia all visible on todays hike!
Natural History Features: Part 2 takes up on the AT right where we left off with part one where we recently hiked, and features;Hemlock Hill Shelter (w/privy), Grove Creek, Buzzard Rock Hollow (Buzzard Knob), Little Antietam Creek, Raven Rock Hollow, Devils Racecourse (a rare boulder outcropping with a river running beneath it and pictured to the right), Devils Racecourse Shelter (w/privy), magnificent sweeping views from High Rock which is a popular hang gliding launch location so if we are lucky we might see a launch or two, and towards the very end of todays hike, a sign marks the Mason-Dixon line and the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. This is a ton of stuff packed into one hike!
Social History Features: Part 2 Social History Features --Site of Pen Mar County Park; Mason-Dixon Line which is marked by a sign on the trail.
We break down into groups no larger than 15 hikers per leader/sweep team for a more enjoyable experience for all of us and is better for the environment. Large groups really take away from the hiking experience for everyone on the trail and not just our group. For this particular hike you have 2 to choose from so you can hike with others of a similar pace. Paces should be based on your preference but also please know your limitations.
Pace Option 1: A slower side of moderate pace but NOT a stroll as we will keep moving, which is great for those who want to soak up the nature and will be about 2.0mph and a great option for those who like to take a lot of pictures.
Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph-3.0 which is a little faster than the pace of an average hiker.
PLEASE put your pace preferences in your RSVP!
There is an unaided, (no stepping stones) stream crossing across Little Antietam Creek. Depending on water depth at our hike time, the river could be higher than the tops of hiking boots. Please plan accordingly by bringing water shoes or other appropriate gear to safely and comfortably ford the river.
Length: Part 2 is 9.4 miles
Trail Type: Point-to-Point (we provide shuttle car service)
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 5 hours est.
Trailhead Elev: 900 feet
Top Elev: 1100 feet
Facilities: There are two AT shelters on todays hike and they both have privies. Also, at the end of the trail there are rest rooms, snack bars, and water fountains where the shuttle cars will be to take us back to where we started.
We hike rain or shine! Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
Here are some suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore area, you can arrange to meet at Dorsey Station. Click here for directions to Dorsey Station.
If you can drive or want to carpool from an additional location, 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 the trailhead. Due to lack of parking space it is highly recommended that you carpool for this hike.
Hike is at 10:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time is 8:30 a.m.
Optional Post Hike Meal
There will be an optional post hike meal after this hike!
Please remember we hike the pace of the group and it can vary. We take breaks as necessary and have a guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group! We are very supportive and encouraging with no pressure on speed but focus on safety while leaving no trace .
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!