Hike to Annapolis Rock and Black Rock Cliff
Maryland › Appalachian Trail, South Mountain State Park
Added by The Outbound Collective
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.
Photo Credit: Jerry Edmundson
- Hiking boots
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
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
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.
More Adventures Nearby
Bike Assateague Island National Seashore
Maryland / Assateague Island Visitor's Center
Assateague Island is a 37 mile long barrier island along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia, and is home to the famous herd of wild horses.
Point of Rocks/ Potomac River Overlook
Maryland / Point of Rocks/ Potomac River Ovrerlook
Park at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal parking lot. Walk to the US 15 and cross the road. Trail is not marked, though its faint traces can be detected as you continue on. GPS is recommended.