Start the New Year Off Right - On The Appalachian Trail!
An Easy Side of Moderate 10 Mile Hike from Crampton's Gap to Harpers Ferry!
Get off your rear and get it in gear for the new year (Hey, I actually rhymed there for a minute!)
For those of you who really prefer to stick very close to home...if you make a trip for ONE hike this year (take note it is the first day of the year too), this is it!!!! If you have always wanted to experience a hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT)... this is a perfect taste of what it is all about and we will have four paces offered today between the smaller groups.
The 9.8-mile stretch of Appalachian Trail leading from Crampton's Gap to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is one of the most popular and rewarding AT day hikes in this region, with good reason. It features a secluded forest ridgetop, an exhilarating vista pitching straight down into the Potomac River, and the historic Chesapeake and Ohio (C and O) Canal Towpath. Crossing the Potomac from Maryland into West Virginia, we pass from the Northern states into the Southern, from the Union into the Confederacy, from one culture and climate into another. We will hike the trail from north to south so the hiking is fairly easy with minimal climbing but note the distance.
Click Here for photos from a recent trip!
Gathland State Park was once the mountain home of George Alfred Townsend, a Civil War journalist. A large, stone monument dedicated to war correspondents is an outstanding attraction at this park and is right near the start of our hike. The Appalachian Trail where we will be hiking traverses the park and goes right by the base of this famous archway. Maryland has a total of 37.5 miles of the AT hiking trail. The park includes all of Crampton's Gap, which was the southern most gap fought over during the battle of South Mountain. Fought September 14,1862, it was the first major battle of the Civil War fought in Maryland.
Nearby City: Burkittsville, MD
Length: 10.2 total miles
Trail Type: Point-to-Point (we will have shuttle service)
Skill Level: Moderate ONLY due to the length of the hike, otherwise an easy hike.
Duration:Varies according to the pace of the group you are with. It usually varies between about 3 and 6 hours including time to enjoy the views. If you have a time you need to be off the trail then please contact the hike leader to discuss it so we can help you make an informed decision as to if this is a good hike choice for you today. This is not a hike to be rushed.
Natural History Features:South Mountain; Civil War Correspondents Memorial, Weverton Cliffs; Potomac River.
Social History Features:George Alfred Townsend's Gathland Estate; Crampton Gap Civil War Battlefield; Glenn R. Caveney plaque; C&O Canal; Goodloe Byron plaque and footbridge; and of course, Harpers Ferry.
Trailhead Elev: 900 feet
Top Elev: 1100 feet
Pace Option 1: A "walk in the woods" or "social" pace which is great for those who want to soak up the nature and will be about 2.0mph and great for people who take tons of pics or just looking for a peaceful walk in the woods but this is not a stroll.
Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph-3.0mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).
Pace Option 3: A VERY vigorous paced group of up to 4mph, often referred to as "The Justin Pace" so no complaints about this pace being too fast because you know what you are getting into.
PLEASE put your pace preference in your RSVP so we can plan accordingly.
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!
To carpool from the Baltimore area, you can arrange to meet people at Savage Station . Click here for directions to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.
To carpool from the Annapolis area, meetup at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click here for Annapolis carpool .
To carpool from the Metro DC Area, meetup at the Centreville Park & Ride. Click here for information.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations such as the DC area, 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 Meetup for this Hike.
Hike is at 10:00 a.m.
Carpool Time from Savage is 8:30 a.m.
Annapolis Carpool Time is 8:15 a.m.
Centerville (D.C.) Carpool Time is 8:30 a.m.
Gear Suggestions and Information Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
Please note that our holiday weekend hikes are not refundable due to too many people backing out of the at the last minute before the refund cut-off and keeping others from being able to go. Sorry, but this is the only way to help make sure that there is a good turnout and our leaders not offer to lead a hike on their holiday in vain...or they might be burned enough that they will no longer offer to lead them. Since we have made holiday hikes non-refundable it has boosted attendance rate significantly and often have perfect attendance, yay! Please note that our refund policy is always listed just beneath the price, and you are required to check a box that you agree to it before you can pay, so I put it in three places to avoid any issues. Thanks so much for your understanding and have a great time.
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 ensure 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.
Let's have good times and see you on the trail!
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!
Be sure to take the hike leaders numbers with you just in case!