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Appalachian Trail: South Mountain

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

The South Mountain portion of the Appalachian Trail - right near Harpers Ferry!


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Map Key

13.4

Miles

21.6

KM

90%

Runnable

1,749' 533 m

High

374' 114 m

Low

1,679' 512 m

Up

2,303' 702 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

A great trail to run on and to see the valleys below from. The best light on the trail is at dawn and dusk if you really want to enjoy the scenery. You'll experience great views of the Potomac River throughout this trail.

Need to Know

Rocks can be hidden under foliage, so be careful. There are no water sources along this trail, come prepared.

Runner Notes

Rocks are dangerous on this trail. Rocks are mostly hidden during the fall, so be very careful.

Description

This section of the Appalachian Trail starts on alternating easy, groomed singletrack and paved fire road from the parking lot to the top of the mountain. From the top of Lambs Knoll, the trail becomes singletrack with lots of rocks and some roots, so pay attention.

In general, the trail is easy to follow from end to end. Just keep trucking south and enjoy it. You need at least 2 vehicles to leave at each end, or you're looking at a long out-and-back excursion.

History & Background

War Correspondents Arch:
The War Correspondents Arch is a National historic monument. Constructed in 1896, the monument stands fifty feet high and forty feet broad. The monument is administered and maintained by the National Park Service.

South Mountain State Battlefield:
Gathland State Park is located in Crampton's Gap, which witnessed a portion of the Battle of South Mountain, the first major battle of the Civil War fought in Maryland.

Contacts

Shared By:

Keith Rickett

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 10 votes

#1278

Overall
  4.5 from 10 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#9

in Maryland

#1,278

Overall
181 Views Last Month
9,392 Since Apr 7, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Welcome to the AT
Apr 7, 2015 near Boonsboro, MD
View of white rocks.
Apr 30, 2017 near Middletown, MD
AT South Mountain!
Jul 21, 2018 near Brunswick, MD
Sunrise on the South Mountain
Apr 7, 2015 near Middletown, MD
War Correspondents Arch
Apr 7, 2015 near Brunswick, MD
Follow the white Blazes!
Oct 10, 2016 near Brunswick, MD

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Jun 2, 2019
Damo Hallee