Hike to Annapolis Rock and Black Rock Cliff

Details

Distance

8 miles

Elevation Gain

840 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Jess Fischer

Take in scenic views from both lookouts as you hike a segment of the Appalachian Trail.

Hike along the Appalachian Trail as it passes through South Mountain State Park, taking you to a number of very scenic lookout spots.

From the parking area, take the connector trail a short distance until you see blue blazes on the left – these will lead you to the Appalachian Trail (white blazes), on your right. After a noisy stint next to the freeway, the trail begins climbing the South Mountain ridge.

Around 1 mile in, you will reach the connector trail to Annapolis Rock. Beyond the scenic views, Annapolis Rock is popular with rock climbers. There are camping options at Annapolis Rock, as well – there is no fee, and it runs first-come-first-serve.

Once you've had your fill of the views there, turn back to the AT. The trail for Black Rock Cliff will come about 3 miles in – it can be hard to find, but will appear just before the AT begins to dip steeply.

To head back to the parking lot, retrace your steps back to the original connector trail to the US40.

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Photography
Hiking
Forest
Scenic

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Reviews

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Beware Parking Constraints

Hiking AT trail nice in both directions. However, parking at trailhead is limited. Get here early. DO NOT park illegally or on shoulders of Route 40 or you will be ticketed, and possibly towed, by Maryland State Police and/or Maryland Natural Resources Police. There is a ton of available parking at Greenbrier State Park. Its entrance is off Route 40 about 300 yards west of the AT trailhead parking lot. If you park at Greenbrier State Park, there is a short trail that starts behind the Visitor's Center that will take you right up to the AT trail. It is called Bartmans Hill Trail. Worth the $10 Greenbrier State Park carload fee to park at the park versus a $60 illegal parking ticket and possible tow. That would ruin your day.

AT And Annapolis Rocks

Instead of coming north, we hiked the AT from the Maryland Line South towards Annapolis rocks. On our second afternoon we stopped at Annapolis rocks. What a Gorgeous view! I would do the hike again Just to see Gods beautiful creation from atop those rocks!! I highly recommend this to anyone

Short Hike, Good View!

I hiked the AT around and to here several times, and the view is worth veering the hundred yards off the trail. During the season there is usually an AT ranger camping out around, and I've found that they are all very friendly and helpful. I parked across the ranger station out on US40. This website helps and outlines where to park and the distances to each landmark. http://www.hikingupward.com/OMH/AnnapolisRockBlackRockCliff/

Wonderful

Just did this hike last weekend, except I started just a bit south of Washington monument state park and turned back around after admiring the view offered by Annapolis Rocks.

My favorite hike in all of Maryland. This is a challenging and fun hike that gets very steep in parts so you truly can get a great workout. The views from Annapolis and Black Rocks are both the best in the area. If you are into climbing and bouldering Annapolis rocks is a perfect place to do that.

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4.4/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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