Description - At the inspiration of U.S. Forest Service planner, Benton MacKaye, the Appalachian Trail Conference began establishing the footpath which today spans from Springer, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine. MacKaye's 1921 idea began to formulate officially in 1925 and over 40 years later in 1968 Congress passed the National Trails System Act. Countless guides, maps and Internet websites are dedicated to experiences, suggestions and guidelines for hiking the scenic multi-state route. Forty miles travel through Maryland.
Copyright: Patty Elton-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Native Pink Phlox
- Hikers traveling Maryland's segment of the approximate 2,150-mile Appalachian Trail will find this state to be one of the easiest; the other is West Virginia. There are no elevation climbs more than 1,000 feet; therefore, it is a good state for testing your ability of the trail. The AT ranges from 230 feet above sea level along the C & O Towpath to 1,880 feet at Quirauk Mountain. Many people enjoy hiking in the spring and fall. Summer's heat can be too oppressive. The heaviest usage area is Annapolis Rocks.
The trail in Maryland runs just north of the trail's headquarters in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, along the Potomac River to South Mountain where it encounters a number of state parks located along the ridge: South Mountain State Park, Gathland State Park, Washington Monument State Park, and Greenbrier State Park. The trail exists Maryland at Pen Mar, Pennsylvania.
Recreation - Hiking and scenic viewing are the two main recreations enjoyed on this multi-state National Scenic Trail.
Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.
Maryland's segment of the AT travels between Pen Mar, Pennsylvania and Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.