Hiking at South Mountain


Yesterday afternoon as we tackled our weekly grocery shopping trip with two rambunctious kids in tow, we talked about what we wanted to do this weekend. The forecast called for rain but it seemed to be holding off until Saturday afternoon. Since Sunday seemed pretty unpredictable weather-wise, we knew we wanted to get outside Saturday morning to beat the rain and expend some pent up energy (endless energy, where do those kids get it from??).

Bry really wanted to go hiking again. I really wanted to get in a run sometime before the weekend was done but knew I could do that in the rain if I needed to. I was kind of over the hiking trails we’ve already done and felt fairly unenthused about heading back out to trails we’d just hiked the weekend before. So to Mr.Google I went. I searched for great hiking near us and found so many places. We really are lucky to live in such an amazing area. Most we’ve already explored but I found a few we hadn’t.

Enter: South Mountain. Bry has a lifelong dream of one day hiking the Appalachian Trail. Part of it snakes through Western Maryland, including South Mountain. We’re heading out of town next weekend and I wanted to make sure we weren’t forcing the kids in the car too long right before next week’s 6 hour car ride. Luckily, South Mountain was less than an hour away.

Jackson has been waking up at the absurd hour of 4:30am this week. It’s been torturous. But it also meant we were able to get everything packed and ready to go by the time baby brother awoke at 6. We headed out and stopped along the way for breakfast at Cracker Barrel then parked at the trail head.

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The trail we set out for was 2.5 miles and went to Annapolis Rocks, a really beautiful overlook. Jackson walked the first mile, all uphill with a lot of scrambles, by himself!

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We eventually put him in the Deuter to complete the ascend so we weren’t spending all weekend out there.

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We reached the summit and were greeted with absolutely breathtaking views.

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They were seriously surreal.

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There’s another overlook at South Mountain called Black Rocks Cliff. It’s only a mile further up the AT from Annapolis Rocks so we decided to continue on to see what that had to offer.

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Amazing.

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We stayed for awhile and rehydrated while the boys snacked. By this point we’d been hiking for about 2 hours and both boys were DONE. It was nearing naptime and with Jackson’s early wake up time he was fading fast so we bee-lined it back to the car. Both boys ended up crashing on the way back and we ended the trip in 3 hours having covered 7.5 total miles.

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We debated heading straight home but having seen a sign for South Mountain Creamery on the way to the trail we made the wise decision to drive a few miles out of the way to stop for the freshesh ice cream. Jackson loved seeing the farm’s tractors and we enjoyed our ice cream outside under the sun. The ice cream itself was incredible! The best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever had.

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It was a beautiful day that made us even more excited for hiking season and hopefully a trail camping trip in the near future!

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