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Hiking trails in Washington County

July 18, 2011

Greenbrier State Park, off U.S. 40 east of Hagerstown, offers many hiking trails with varying degrees of intensity.
The half-mile Yellow Trail is rated as “easy.”

The Water Tank Trail and the Copperhead Trail are both about a half-mile and are rated as “moderate.”

The one-mile Snelling Fire Trail is rated as “moderate.”

The 1 1/2-mile Camp Loop Trail, which provides easy access to the lake as it parallels all four camping loops, is rated as “moderate.”

The 1 1/2-mile Red Oak Fire Trail travels through a hardwood forest of oak, maple and hickory. It is rated as “moderate.”

The .6-mile Bartman Hill Trail is rated as “difficult” and was built by the Maryland Conservation Corps and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club in 2003. The Bartman Hill Trail provides access to the Appalachian Trail from the park visitors center.

The 4.5-mile Red Trail is the longest in the park. This “difficult” trail forms a loop and can be accessed from several locations.

Other trails in Washington County:

Near Burnside Bridge in Antietam National Battlefield, the Snavely Ford Trail is a 2-mile loop that meanders along Antietam Creek and through parts of the battlefield.

Near the town of Clear Spring, Indian Springs Wildlife Management Area offers a self-guided nature trail.

Within Fort Frederick State Park, near Big Pool, the 0.3-mile Wetlands Trail travels along a wetlands area behind the campground.

The 215-acre Prather’s Neck Wildlife Management Area is on the end of a small peninsula of land surrounded by the Potomac River. Mostly a forest habitat, with several old fields, Prather’s Neck WMA offers hiking along the several old roads and trails.

The Overlook Cliff Trail and The Stone Fort Trail are in the Maryland Heights section of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Both trails are extremely difficult and should be attempted only by people in good physical condition.

More than 75 miles of the C&O Canal National Historical Park are in Washington County. The canal towpath is level and mostly shaded, with many historical features such as lift locks, lock houses and aqueducts.

The Appalachian Trail in Maryland runs 40.4 miles from the Maryland end of the Goodloe Byron Memorial Footbridge over the Potomac River to the Pennsylvania state line near Pen Mar, with many access points (Crampton’s Gap, Fox’s Gap, Turner’s Gap, U.S. 40, Wolfsville Road, Md. 77 and Md. 491). The trail provides many hikes of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty, from the gentle two-mile, round-trip from Turner’s Gap to Reno Monument Road and back, to the very challenging climb up Raven Rock from Md. 491.

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