Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The Appalachian Trail winds through Maryland for 41 miles, and the first stretch from the south travels through the southwestern part of Frederick County.

Hikers can expect a moderate hike through the area, as they transverse through Gathland State Park, near the small town of Burkittsville. Throughout the state, elevation never exceeds 1,880 feet.

Much of the trail snakes through Washington County, but it does hook back west of Catoctin Mountain Park, part of the U.S. National Park Service.

Those interested in traveling the trail should follow one of the Mid-Atlantic Trail Clubs, including the Mountain Club of Maryland and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.

The Mountain Club of Maryland plans hikes on the trail throughout the year. Carpool costs for the hikes are $5, and registration is required, unless specified on the group's website.

The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club has a map of cabins posted along the trail, including ones in the region. Bear Spring at Gathland Park; Highacre near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; Catoctin Hollow Ridge and Olive Green near Catoctin Mountain Park.

A popular spot along the trail is the Washington Monument State Park, right on the Frederick and Washington County borders. It is the first part to dedicate a monument to George Washington—the 40-foot structure was built in 1827, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

The entire Appalachian Trail is 2,190 miles long, and typically takes five to seven months to complete. For more information, visit

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

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