If you are looking for a nice weekend overnight trip on the Appalachian Trail, the section of the AT in Maryland is a good choice. There is nothing too wild or steep and the viewpoints are nice. Not only will you get to cross a whole state in just one weekend, you will also get to see the original Washington monument and historic Harper’s Ferry. Shelters on this section are numerous and well maintained.
|Trip Summary||Hike the 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maryland over a weekend.|
|Where||We parked in Harper's Ferry, at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Visitor Center, West Virginia and hiked Northbound to Pen Mar on the border with Pennsylvania.|
|Duration||Three days. We started hiking Friday around 4pm and finished Sunday around 11am. It could also be done over two days with just one night on trail.|
● Park at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. You will have to pay the access fees in order to park your car there but it will be much safer than in other parking lots around the area. From there you can join the trail in about 15 minutes on foot.
● Cross Harper's Ferry, WV. While you are there, you can also visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy offices.
● Cross to Maryland over the Potomac river on the pedestrian bridge.
● Hike all the way to Pennsylvania! (There are many shelters and campsites along the way which are all marked on the map or in the app, we stayed at Crampton gap shelter the first night and at Ensign Cowall shelter the second night.)
● From the end of the trail you have a couple options. You can pre-arrange for a shuttle from Harper's Ferry to pick you up. Check Facebook groups "Halfapp Trail angels" for more information on shuttles.
We tried requesting Uber from PenMar but no one would pick us up. We ended up hitching to Hagerstown and requesting Uber from there.
● Same information as for Northbound in reserve order, plus:
● You can park at the Pen Mar County Park. You should park in the gravel lot across from the park. In addition, there is 2 parking spots where the Appalachian trail crosses road 550.
|Maps||● I had the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club map that covers the Maryland portion of the AT. I have to admit that we mostly looked at the "AT Hiker" on my hiking partner's phone; he had purchased the maps for Maryland.|
|Tips||● Don't count on a spot in a shelter: Carry a tent!
● All shelters in Maryland are equipped with some sort of pole or rope to hang your food and keep it from bears, use it!
● Please don't set up your tent in a shelter, it uses a lot of space and is annoying for other users.
● If you plan on using the shelters in the summer, plan on using something to keep the mosquitoes away from your face while sleeping, such as this.
|Useful links||● Appalachian Trail Halfapp Harpers Ferry Facebook group|