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

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Water
  • Snacks
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Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

840 Feet




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How to Get There

9 months 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.

9 months ago

9 months 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.

9 months ago

Added by The Outbound Collective

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