Hike the Big Savage Mountain Trail (Southern Terminus to High Rock)

Rate this Adventure 11 miles 1500 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Stephen Perrine

Big Savage Mountain (elevation 2,986 ft.) is arguably the most impressive 'Wildland' in Maryland. Traversing this beautiful and well-managed natural resource is the Big Savage Mountain Hiking Trail, with its southern terminus located at the site of the 1989 World Whitewater Championships. Approximately 5.5 miles into the trail, hikers will arrive at the mountain's highest point (known as High Rock), which features a fire tower providing an unobstructed panoramic view of Maryland's rugged western panhandle.

This is not a casual hike; it is one which should be taken taken seriously. However, it will be an enjoyable experience for anyone with the resolve to face the early 1,500 ft. climb in elevation, as well the ascent of a slightly dodgy (but still structurally sound) mid-20th century fire tower.  

The trail's southern terminus provides ample parking, along with car camping sites, just before the trailhead. Those who wish to break up the 11 miles over two days may camp at a primitive site (GPS=39°32'38.2"N 79°05'32.8"W) along the trail, located just before the fire tower.

The trail itself features several natural barriers and dense vegetation at times, but it is clearly marked with white blazes. There is a fairly reliable water source located on the left-hand side of the trail approximately 4 miles into the hike (GPS=39°32'07.6"N 79°06'09.2"W).

A clearly visible access road will cross the trail at just under 5 miles. Hang a sharp left at the junction, and follow the access road directly to High Rock. Take a moment to gather yourself upon arrival, and then start up the tower... the wind is almost certain to be howling so hang on tightly!

An annotated map is available here

Read More

Tags

Hiking
Forest
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Keyser, West Virginia

Robert W Craig

Overview The Robert W. Craig Campground is located off West Virginia State Highway Route 46, five miles from Elk Garden, West Virginia. The campground is located very close to Jennings Randolph Lak...

Elk Garden, West Virginia

Howell Run Picnic Area

Overview The Howell Run Picnic Area is a day use facility overlooking Jennings Randolph Lake, providing a beautiful backdrop for picnicking, sightseeing and hiking. A nesting pair of bald eagles ca...

Confluence, Pennsylvania

Outflow Camping

Overview The Outflow Camping Area is located on Youghiogheny River Lake in the heart of the Laurel Highlands. The lake spans the Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Clean waters, fo...

Parsons, West Virginia

Horseshoe Recreation Area

Overview Horseshoe Recreation Area is located in north-central West Virginia, 7 miles from the town of St. George. The campground is tucked in a valley along the Horseshoe Run River, providing exce...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Swallow Falls Loop

    This park has plenty to do—forest hiking, swimming at Herrington Manor, and camping—but the main attraction, unsurprisingly, is Swallow Falls. The Swallow Falls Canyon Trail (1.1 miles) follows Muddy Creek and features a number of other falls, inc...

    1.1 miles 125 ft gain

  • Hike the Herrington Manor/Swallow Falls Trail

    I began my adventure at the trailhead in Herrington Manor State Park. The parking lot was empty and the trail was very easy to access. From start to finish this trail varies in the width of its path. For the first mile I had a lot of foot room, bu...

    11 miles 25 ft gain

  • Primitive Camp along Wolf Rocks Trail

    This is a GREAT location for beginning backpackers with minimal backpacking rules, short trails and cell service. Although all trails (with a few exceptions found in this brochure -labeled as "Areas Closed to Camping") in the Forbes State forest a...

    1.5 miles 50 ft gain

  • Hike the Cathedral Trail in Cathedral SP

    Cathedral Trail is a part of Cathedral State Park located east of Aurora, WV. Cathedral State Park was originally the site of Brookside Resort which attracted visitors from Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD due to it’s cool clean air and natural b...

    1.1 miles 0 ft gain