The Annapolis Rock Hiker Campground and Trail is perfect for families looking to enjoy nature and outdoor recreation, or lone travelers ready to explore the wilderness. Part of the extensive South Mountain State Park that extends into Maryland, this campground is famous for its 2.5-mile backcountry trail.
Along the trail, campers and hikers will find multiple ways to stay busy. You and Fido can explore the scenic surroundings of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains while you hike and camp, if you choose to. Still, others come for the intrepid experience of rock climbing.
Because of the devastation that once was the hallmark of this area due to unmonitored heavy human traffic and unmaintained trails, campfires are prohibited and visitors are reminded to clean up after themselves and stay out of certain areas where vegetation is still regenerating.
The trail itself, the Annapolis Rock/Black Rock Cliff hike, is located on the Appalachian Trail system, an extensive compilation of trails that takes most people around six months to hike because it stretches through 2,200 miles. This particular trail, however, is popular with visitors and locals because of its panoramic vista at the summit of both Annapolis Rock and Black Rock Cliff. There are some areas of steep elevation, so keep Fido near you at all times.
While there is plenty of shade and a few natural streams that run through the trail, hydration is always a priority for you both. Poison ivy and oak are also found in the area, which can be deadly to our furry friends who need you to stay on the lookout for danger.
The Annapolis Rock hike is accessible from the campground, which is a non-fee, first-come-first-served camping area. Black Rock Cliff's trail is located at the end of Annapolis Rock's trail, so you can continue your hike if you want to explore the area further. If you decide to take this hike, you will find a connector trail at the 1.1-mile mark. Black Rock Cliff extends another seven miles.
This area has been recently restored due to overuse. Because of this, camping is only allowed in designated areas, and the entire park follows the "Leave No Trace" guidelines. Be careful when you visit, ensuring that you and Fido stay on the marked trails and do not tread on vegetation.