Sunday, June 5, 2016
On Sunday we walk from Turners Gap to the Maryland/West Virginia border at Harpers Ferry. Distance hiked: about 17 miles.
The hike begins with the ascent of Lambs Knoll, the highest spot on the AT in Maryland. The ascent is a bit strenuous; but the trail is not too rocky. There is an overlook to the east, toward Middletown and Burkittsville, Marylang, called White Rocks, near the summit of Lambs Knoll.
Just after noon we arrive at Gathland State Park in a pass through the mountain called Cramptons Gap.
Gathland Park is a major highlight of the weekend. It’s here that we enjoy a catered picnic, including fried chicken, fruit salad, potato salad, deviled eggs, and more-–all brought to us just in time for our arrival.
When we leave Gathland, we ascend again to the ridge at the top of the mountain until we reach Weverton Cliffs, with views of the Potomac River upstream all the way to Harpers Ferry. Leaving the cliffs, we descend on multiple switchbacks to the level of the Potomac, then follow the C&O Canal towpath for a little less than three miles to the footbridge across the Potomac. We’ve finished walking all the way across Maryland.
In Harpers Ferry, we start our celebratory meal with dessert first: ice cream cones, sundaes or floats. Then we stop at a restaurant with outdoor seating for a wrapup dinner with appropriate cold drinks. We generally get back to our parked cars at Turners Gap by about 8:30 in the evening.
9:00 am. Leave Turners Gap.
12:15 pm. Arrive at Gathland State Park for picnic lunch (address: 900 Arnoldstown Road, Burkittsville, MD 21758).
1:30 pm. Leave Gathland.
4:30 pm. Support cars at Weverton road crossing.
6 pm. Arrive at Harpers Ferry.
8 pm. Shuttle cars leave Harpers Ferry to return the hikers to their cars.