7, Smithsburg, Maryland

Hike to Devil's Racecourse on the Appalachian Trail

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

Originally 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. 

Read More

Tags

Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

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.

Stay Nearby

Sabillasville, Maryland

Owens Creek Campground

Sabillasville, Maryland

Adirondack Shelters

Sabillasville, Maryland

Poplar Grove Youth Group Campground

Thurmont, Maryland

Camp Misty Mount

Nearby Adventures

Hike to High Rock on the Appalachian Trail

6 Miles Round Trip - 2000 ft gain

Hike to Cunningham Falls

2.8 Miles Round Trip

Hike the Cunningham Falls Lower Trail

1.2 Miles Round Trip - 226 ft gain