Hike to Devil's Racecourse on the Appalachian Trail

3 Miles Round Trip - 1500 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Maryland 491 & Appalachian Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Ashley Stimpson

A stony surprise, Devil's Racecourse is a worthy side trip during a day on the Appalachian Trail.

Start your hike where the AT crosses Raven Rock Road (Maryland Route 491). This crossing is well-marked from both sides by large, yellow signs and blazed stakes. You will need to park on the side of the road, but the shoulder is wide and can accommodate a crowd. 

The first half mile or so of this hike is hard; you'll be climbing more than a thousand feet up uneven stone steps and switchbacks. Luckily, it's immediately scenic as you meander through Raven Rock Hollow, a large outcropping of boulders overlooking South Mountain's eastern edge. 

At about one mile, you'll come to a side trail to your left for the devils' racecourse shelter and another side trail to your right for a spring and Ritchie Rd. Follow the trail to your right. It will lead you downhill and across a spring. Soon you'll come to a tree with a black blaze. Just beyond that is Devil's Racecourse, an impressively large boulder field in the middle of the forest. 

Listen to the creek as it flows beneath the rocks and snap a 'gram (or 70) before retracing your steps back to the car, or on to High Rock. 

Tags

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Details

3 Miles
1500 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

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