799 Washington Street
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
ONE OF MY INITIATION HIKES, TO GET REACQUAINTED WITH HIKING/BACKPACKING. ON A GOOD WEATHER DAY, THIS IS A VERY REWARDING HIKE WITH SOME MAGNIFICENT LANDSCAPE VIEWS.
Annapolis Rock Trail
Good location for day hikes or multi-day backpacking trips. Access to great views.
It is a short seven mile round-trip day hike on the AT to Annapolis Rock and Black Rock; a moderate trail that includes a short, but invigorating ascend that tested my still wobbly legs.
From the parking area on US.40, where it crosses the I-70, there is a short side trail that leads to the AT at a point where it crosses the Interstate via a footbridge. This leads to Washington Monument SP, about five miles to the South.
Just before the footbridge, I turn right and follow the trail North to Pine Knob Shelter, about 0.75 miles. Located 0.1 mi off the main trail, it is well hidden and offers a lot of privacy for the thru-hiker. Very basic shelter with a table to sit at and a roof to protect you from the rain. As local black bears frequent this area, separate bear poles are available at a little distance to store your food at night.
Returning to the trail, the only steep incline during this hike awaits you and takes away your breath during the next 15 minutes. The trail is mostly light on your feet, but during this ascend, a lot of small rocks cover the trail and can make it slippery under the right circumstances. The remainder of the hike is fairly flat and quite easy.
At 2.1 mi a 0.25 mi long side trail leads to Annapolis Rock where the outcroppings are accessible and where a fantastic view is offered of the surrounding landscape, when the sky is clear. I had to imagine those views during this foggy day.
This location is well visited and the campsites have recently been relocated and restoration of the entire area is in progress. One or two ‘managers’ are at this site during the hiking season to maintain the site and keep users in check. They also patrol part of the AT up to Pogo Memorial shelter. There is a spring for fresh water and privies for you to use.
I returned to the main trail to continue another mile to Black Rock, a similar site with an even better view. Today the view was the same foggy, drizzly wet lack of view, but I can imagine to sit here for a few hours and enjoy my surroundings. One exception was the spray paint on some of the rocks. After I made a short video and had a late lunch, I got back on the trail to return to my vehicle. The trees along the trail had protected me from most of the rain, but the rain became more persistent, while I hurried back.