New Years Adventure! Join Us For an Incredible Trek in Catoctin Mountain and Cunningham Falls Parks!
A Moderate 5 Miles Including Cunningham Falls, Hog Rock Vista, and The Blue Ridge Summits with An Optional Post Hike Meal!
This hike is described as moderate only because most of the climbing is done in two short stretches: the first 0.25 mile and the 0.3 mile approaching Blue Ridge Summit Overlook. From past hikes, most people say that other than the first hill, this is a pretty easy hike and perfect for this time of year offering crisp and clear views!
This hike is Bill, your hike leader. For those who are interested, there is an option at the end of the hike, to visit the ruins of Blue Blazes Whiskey Still. There is good interpertive material about this somewhat infamous facility, that you can get at the Visitor Center. This add-on involves a .6 miles round trip (60 feet elevation gain) and perhaps 30 minutes. Also, if hikers are unanimous in favor of this, we may add 2 miles onto the 5.1 mile hike to include the weird granite formations at Wolf Rock and the scenic Thurmont Vista Overlook.
Click Here to see pictures of a past trip on this trail!
"A hike through hardwood forests and over ridges of Catoctin Mountain, with views of the Blue Ridge and the Monocacy Valley. In spring, dogwoods and other flowering trees are abundant. In about 2.5-3 hours, you can visit a splendid waterfall, enjoy a spectacular view of the Monocacy watershed, and find an intimate cross ridge at Catoctin's summit and South Mountain, all while wandering through a second-growth, almost-old- growth-again, hardwood forest." From the book Hiking Maryland and Delaware
This loop is rated as moderate only because of the uphill and downhill sections of the trail that include moderate to steep inclines which pushes it our of the easy category and just on the cusp of our easy side of moderate category. The trail we are taking creates the longest loop (without making any variations) and features Maryland’s largest cascading waterfall at 78 feet and two stunning vistas. The Hog Rock Vista is the highest elevation overlook on any of the trails/loops reaching 1610 ft. Although Blue Ridge Summit does not reach this elevation it is the second highest overlook reaching a maximum elevation of 1520 ft. These magnificent scenes make memories that will last a lifetime.
There is not a newbie pace for this hike so please only RSVP for this hike if you can keep at least a 2.5 mph pace, which is the pace of an average hiker.
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Thurmont
Elev. Gain: 700 feet
Length: 5.1 Total miles
Trail Type: Loop
Hike Time: About 3 hours
Skill Level: There is a steep hill in the very beginning but other than that it is an easy hike.
Local Contacts: Catoctin Mountain Park
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
To carpool from the Baltimore area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage 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 Where We Meetup for This Hike.
Hike Meetup Time is at 10:00 a.m.
Carpool Meetup Time is 8:30 a.m.
Optional Post Hike Lunch Information and Menu
We will have an optional hike lunch at Cozy Restaurantas they welcome hikers and have a fabulous buffet for a great price. I will ask for a show of hands of who wants to join us there for a bite mid-way through the hike and contact them with how many will be attending the lunch so you can decide on the trail.
Click here for suggestions for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes.
Please note that our holiday hikes are not refundable due to too many people backing out of the at the last minute before the refund cut-off. 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 vein...or they will be burned enough that they will no longer offer them. Since we have made holiday hikes non-refundable it has boosted attendance rate significantly and often have perfect attendance, yay! Thanks so much for your understanding.
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 means 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 on the trail!