Hiking The Gambrill State Park

The 19th most popular hiking trail in Maryland.

  Maryland, US


  July 28, 2016

West of Frederick near Thurmont, the 1,100 acre Gambrill State Park has over 16 miles of wooded trails. There are short steep climbs and descents with rocks and roots. Make sure to ride to the summit of Catoctin Mountain.

Gambrill State Park is approximately 51 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. and 53 miles west of Baltimore on Catoctin Mountain. From I-70, exit on to U.S. Route 40 at Frederick. Travel approximately six miles. Turn right onto Gambrill Park Road and follow it approximately one mile directly to the park. All trails begin and end at the Trailhead parking lot, which is located on the right-side of Gambrill Park Road, about half-way up the mountain between the Rock Run Area and the High Knob Area. Some trails can also be accessed from the Rock Run and High Knob areas, as well as from the North Frederick Overlook.

The parks trails are open for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding with the exception of the White Oak Trail, which is restricted to hiking.

White Oak Trail 1 mile - easy

This easy trail is open to hikers only (no mountain bikes), and is a good choice for families with small children.

Red Maple Trail 1 mile - moderate

Fairly easy to walk, this trail connects the campground with the rest of the park. One short section of the trail is somewhat steep. The Trail House, an outdoor store in Frederick, maintains this trail.

Green Ash Trail 2 miles - moderate

Visitors seeking an adventure love this trail. There are several steep slopes and very little level ground, making this trail a challenge. Wheel Base, a bike shop in Frederick, maintains this trail.

Black Locust Trail 3.3 miles - difficult

This trail truly showcases the beauty of Gambrill State Park, from its wooded slopes to the breathtaking views of both Frederick to the east and Middlwtown Valley to the west. The trail passes through the High Knob Scenic Area, mixing several steep slopes with fairly level areas. The Sierra Club Catoctin Chapter maintains this trail.

Yellow Poplar Trail 7.1 miles - moderate

The longest of the Gambrill trails, this trail is only moderately difficult. Visitors who have several hours can hike up the mountain and out into the far reaches of the park. Enjoy the view from North Frederick Overlook as you continue north along a moderately sloped ridgeline walk. The Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts maintain the entire Yellow Poplar Trail.

Catoctin Trail 3 miles - moderate to difficult

This trail traverses Gambrill State Park. For a longer hike, continue north 23.5 miles through the Frederick City Watershed, Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain National Park. The trail ends at Mt. Zion Road, 1.3 miles north of Owens Creek Campground in Catoctin Mountain Park. The Appalachian Trail may be reached by traveling west on Mt. Zion Road for two additional miles to Raven Rock Road.

Overall, Gambrill State Park is the 19th most popular hiking trail of all 20 hikes in Maryland.

Local Contacts:  Gambrill State Park (301) 271-7574; Maryland Visitors (800) MDISFUN or 543-1036.

Base Camp:  Rock Run Campground; High Knob Campground

Reference Source:  click here http://dnr.maryland.gov/

GPS:  39.46512, -77.49553

Date Published:  1/1/2016

Date Updated:  7/28/2016

ID:  17352

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