• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    840 Feet

Forest
Scenic

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.

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Snacks
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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J C

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

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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/

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

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.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Jess Fischer Explorer

A little adventurer with a big love for the great outdoors.

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