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Hiking

20 miles of trails

Sturdy footwear is recommended due to the rocky footing on most trails.

Trails are well marked, but taking a trail map on your hike is strongly recommended. Maps are available at the trailhead parking areas and the center office.

Trail Difficulty Ratings:

Ratings are based on technical challenge, not physical exertion.

Easiest: Elevation gain or loss is minimal, less than 5 percent slope, maximum 20 percent up to 100 feet

More Difficult: Elevation gain or loss is moderate, 12 percent slope, maximum 30 percent up to 300 feet

Most Difficult: Elevation gain or loss is usually severe, less than 18 percent slope, maximum 30+ percent up to 500 feet

Trails

The numbers below correspond to the numbers on the map.

Distances listed are one-way.

1. Pine Plantation Trail

0.6 mile, easiest hiking

This loop trail on soft pine needles has exhibits to explain management techniques used to thin trees within the 42-acre coniferous plantation.

2. Whispering Pines Trail

0.3 mile, paved, easiest hiking

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. This ADA accessible trail loops through the interior of the pine plantation.

3. Rock Scree Trail

1.9 miles, more difficult hiking

This linear trail connects the Pine Plantation and Mansion areas by crossing over the ridge and rocky outcrop where Antietam quartzite was quarried to construct the mansion.

4. Ridge Overlook

0.8 mile, most difficult hiking

This linear, ridge-top trail with boulder outcrops and a view of the valley below presents a more challenging hike. Rock Scree and Kings Gap Hollow trails provide access to Ridge Overlook Trail.

5. Forest Heritage Trail

1.8 miles, more difficult hiking

This loop trail passes several charcoal hearths, unused for over 100 years. Maple Hollow and Rock Scree trails provide access to Forest Heritage Trail.

6. Maple Hollow Trail

1.3 miles, more difficult hiking

This loop trail traverses a hollow with rich soils, plentiful water and resulting maple forest.

7. Woodland Ecology Trail

0.6 mile, easiest hiking

Exhibits help hikers identify forest plants and interpret the ecology of a chestnut oak forest on this quiet, mossy loop trail.

8. Scenic Vista Trail

2.5 miles, more difficult hiking

This linear trail offers rolling terrain on the way to a pleasant overlook. Benches are strategically placed to relax and enjoy the surrounding view of unbroken forest.

9. White Oaks Trail

0.3 mile, paved, easiest hiking

This activity or structure is ADA accessible. This ADA accessible loop trail has exhibits to interpret the ecology of a deciduous white oak forest.

10. Watershed Trail

1.9 miles, more difficult hiking

This loop trail encompasses the headwaters for Kings Gap Hollow Run, including a rocky portion beside the stream with its many small pools and cascades.

11. Boundary Trail

1.5 miles, most difficult hiking

This linear trail travels through an oak/pitch pine forest and blueberry/huckleberry understory.

12. Kings Gap Hollow Trail

2.8 miles, more difficult hiking

This linear trail winds along its namesake stream as it follows the gap though the mountain.

13. Locust Point Trail

1 mile, most difficult hiking

This trail loops off of Boundary Trail and then travels to a clearing created by fallen, dead locust trees that presents a view of Kings Gap Hollow.

14. Buck Ridge Trail

6 miles, most difficult hiking

This linear trail links Kings Gap to Pine Grove Furnace State Park through Michaux State Forest using a network of rocky footpaths and old logging roads. The trail begins at the mansion and follows Scenic Vista Trail before heading into Michaux State Forest.

15. Black Gum Trail

1.1 miles, more difficult hiking

This linear trail with an abundance of black gum (tupelo) trees follows the southwestern contour of the mountainside near the Mansion Area. Kings Gap Hollow and Forest Heritage trails provide access to Black Gum Trail.

16. Nature Trail

0.2 mile, easiest hiking

This loop trail by the education building guides walkers through open forest on a safe and level circuit around the education building.

17. Cold Spring Overlook Trail

0.04 mile, easiest hiking

This broad trail ends at a view of the Cold Spring Run Valley.