60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Baltimore
by Evan Balkan (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Evan Balkan/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
pretty decent trail. not too crowded (passed a couple of folks). takes a hour or two to make the full loop from the park office and back.
It's easy to follow, has slight elevation gains, and there are other trails that branch off into the woods - all clearly marked by color. If you are an avid hiker this trail is easy. The rocks are higher than they appear. The MD State Park staff at this location are VERY HELPFUL!!!
I went for an excellent hike on this trail. The weather could not be better for early November. I also had the opportunity to watch some climbers going up the King and Queens Seat. This is a shorter hike, but very fun. It is also a good trail to warm up for bigger backpacking trips where you know you will be doing a lot of altitude gain. All in all, a very fun place to explore!
This trail is a tough one, if you're not used to steep climbs. You start by rising up the side of the cliff, a 200ft ascent by a zig-zagging pathway made mostly of rocks of varying sizes. You need good knees for this one, especially as you have to come down the same way. The trail then goes off to the right ( leaving the King and Queen Rocks until last ) and is a very nice walk for a few miles, until you get to the final ascent that is. It's another climb of a couple of hundred feet, but this time much longer in distance than the first climb. The ground is mostly packed dirt with small rocks and tree roots protruding here and there, so care needs to be taken not to trip over these, as they are sometimes difficult to see until you have fallen over them.
However, once at the top ( after getting back your breath by utilising a bench near the top ), the views from the King and Queen rocks is absolutely fabulous. I think this would be a walk that would be more appreciated in the fall, firstly due to the amazing colours that would be present in the trees and secondly, once the leaves have fallen, to leave better unobstructed views of the valley below.
Once you have taken time to explore around the rocks, taken photographs if necessary and rested, you are ready for the descent down the same path that brought you to the top in the first place. Again, good knees are essential here as it seems a lot steeper going down that it did coming up, not a walk for vertigo sufferers.
Over all, a great walk with some fabulous views and one where, once down, you can cross the road and relax by the riverside, even take in a picnic.
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