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Sugarloaf Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.5 ( 2 ) Favorite

Trail

7.6 mile 12.3 kilometer loop
89% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,180' 360 m
Descent: -1,187' -362 m
High: 1,254' 382 m
Low: 523' 159 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 60% (31°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

A challenging loop of Sugarloaf Mt., starting with a strenuous climb to the summit followed by a gradual, wooded tour.

Zander Göpfert

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Open year-round, sunrise to sunset.

Overview

This loop makes for a great workout with rewarding visits to a few of the best viewpoints in the area. Luckily, this route, which combines the White Trail (Mountain Loop Trail), Blue Trail (Northern Peaks Trail), Orange Trail (Sunrise Trail) and Red Trail (Monadnock Trail) front-loads the biggest effort within the first mile and a half with a tough climb up to the summit.

From the high point, the loop continues gradually downward to the northern end of the property through secluded woods. After a visit to the White Rocks, the loop heads around the western boundary back to the main entrance and parking area.

Need to Know

Entrance gates are closed during off-hours so plan accordingly if you've parked within the property. Trails are open to equestrians. Sections can be fairly rocky and require careful footing - trekking poles or high-ankle boots may be helpful.

Runner Notes

Great area to run with a good amount of elevation.

Description

There are multiple parking areas in the southern half of the property, some closer to the summit, but this run shows a complete loop from the main entrance at Comus Road. From the entrance gates, head north on the road toward the White Trail (Mountain Loop Trail). This marks the start of tough but relatively short climb to the summit.

At the first intersection, turn left onto the East View to White Trail connector to find the Orange Trail (Sunrise Trail), which continues to climb north. The next intersection is just below the high point. Turn left (west) onto the Red Trail (Monadnock Trail) as it heads the last few hundred feet toward the rocky crag at the summit. Given the breathtaking views and nearby parking, don't be surprised or discouraged when you find a good number of people here. The beauty of this run is that the most challenging and busiest section is now over.

From the summit, head back the way you came, this time continuing on the Red Trail (Monadnock Trail) (stay left) to the north. You'll be heading north/northeast down the ridge past a couple of intersections. Once you're on the Blue Trail (Northern Peaks Trail), though, you should be able to follow the blue blazes for the majority of the loop to the north. Check the Trail Run Project mobile app for navigation help.

Around the three-mile mark, you'll arrive at a five-way intersection with the Yellow Trail (Saddleback Horse Trail), Blue Trail (Northern Peaks Trail), and Purple Trail. Stay on the Blue Trail (Northern Peaks Trail) to head west over a brief climb to the White Rocks. This is a great spot for a snack or lunch break as the crowds you may have encountered at the Sugarloaf summit should have dissipated. At White Rocks, you're well over half way.

Continue south on the Blue Trail (Northern Peaks Trail) with a bit more of a gradual descent before making the final up-and-over climb around the countors of Sugarloaf on the White Trail (Mountain Loop Trail) back to the start.

As all trails at Sugarloaf Mountain can be traveled in either direction, this run can be done in reverse or adapted to accommodate groups of different ages and/or abilities.

Flora & Fauna

Oak, tulip poplar, eastern hemlock, deer, fox, rabbits, raccoons, owls, turkeys, hawks, songbirds. Be cautious of copperheads and timber rattlesnakes.

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History & Background

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Contacts

Land Manager: Stronghold, Inc.

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes

#2477

Overall
  4.5 from 2 votes
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Featured Run Rankings

#19

in Maryland

#2,477

Overall
57 Views Last Month
86 Since Nov 6, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Blue Trail headed west
Oct 24, 2019 near Urbana, MD
The summit of Sugarloaf Mountain offers spectacular views of rural Maryland.
Jan 17, 2017 near Urbana, MD
Sugarloaf Mtn Saturday
Nov 6, 2019 near Urbana, MD
White-breasted Nuthatch
Nov 6, 2019 near Urbana, MD
Sugarloaf Mountain Vulture
Nov 6, 2019 near Buckeys…, MD

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