Sugarloaf Mountain: another Maryland winner
Sugarloaf is a small mondadnock, or standalone peak amidst land that has eroded around it. It is not as dramatic as the eponymous Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, reportedly one of the most climbed peaks in the world. This peak has a different feel, due partly to some Civil War history in the area and partly due to a road that comes within a quarter mile of the summit at the lookout areas. While my wife was teaching a seminar an hour away, I took a morning to try some more Maryland hiking. I wasn’t disappointed.
Getting close to the top is not an issue, but the paths are still steep enough that they are not suited for somebody with bad knees or cheap flip flops.
A thorough trail system drapes over the upper half of the mountain. From the East Lookout area, with a nice lookout and picnic area, two trails duck into the woods. The Orange, or sunrise trail, heads towards the summit. A connector trail goes downhill towards the white trail, which is curving around the mountain’s eastern flank at this point. There are no views, but the woods are still lovely.
The white trail eventually connects with the blue trail, which does more climbing. From a broad notch near a nice rocky lookout, the red trail heads to the summit from the north .
Since I was visiting the nation’s capital, the combination of white, blue and red trails struck a nice chord. At times, the final climb seemed steep, but it was short enough that the sweat I broke mostly came from heat and humidity rather than exertion.
The summit area is wide, and there are a few great views, mostly to the south. A slow but steady stream of hikers passed over the top. I didn’t stay long.
On the way down, I noticed some rock climbers along a few cliff bands.
I descended the rock steps on the steepest trail, ending up near the western lookout.
Four tenths of a mile on pavement connect the two lookouts, making a nice loop a little under two miles.
The hiking at Sugarloaf Mountain is good, and the drive through the bucolic countryside is a bonus. Clearly, Maryland has some great hiking. Stay tuned for a write up on my next stop at the famed Paw Paw Tunnel with my wife and family.
Posted on June 29, 2013, in Climbing, Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Historical sites, Outdoors and tagged Easy Maryland Hikes, Maryland, Maryland Hiking, Mount Monadnock, Sugarloaf Mountain Maryland. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.