With most Thanksgiving traditions disrupted this year, it was nice to keep one of my traditions – hiking on #optoutside day (check out my thoughts on what opting outside meant to me in 2020). I hiked to Annapolis Rocks this year – a challenging hike, close to home and brought back fond memories of my Appalachian Trail thru hike.
The 5.1 mile, out and back hike on the Appalachian Trail got my heart and leg muscles pumping. The first 1.5 miles is a steady uphill and parts of it are rocky as well. Once I crested the climb, the remaining part of the hike was gentle. The last quarter mile to Annapolis Rocks is through a side, blue-blazed trail, which will come on the left and is clearly marked.
This is also a popular camping area with 16 no-fee, no reservation spots and a campground caretaker on site, but is likely closed for the time being for COVID. In case you need it, there is also an outhouse available for use by the camping area.
The rock outcroppings that is Annapolis Rocks offers unencumbered views of the forest area below and the valley ahead. On Friday, I even spotted a bear and couple of cubs in the forest. The beautiful views offer lots of opportunities for eye catching pictures!
This is a very popular hike in normal circumstances and the traffic has only increased during the pandemic. To safely social distance and grab a parking spot, I got to the trail by 8 AM. A note of caution – there are no parking spots outside the parking lot and the chances of getting a ticket and/or being towed are very high for parking in an unofficial spot.
The hike is extremely dog friendly, but there are ticks so make sure to check your furry adventure pal for the critters after the hike.
If you decide to tackle this hike, enjoy the challenge and beauty, and maybe even be inspired to hike other parts or the entire Appalachian Trail!