Event Category: Hike
Start Date: Wednesday, 1/15/2014
Start Time: 9:00 PM
Contact: Ed Campbell, 301-649-2713
Description: The hike for Wednesday, January 15 will be a circuit in the Sugarloaf Mountain Conservation/Recreation Area. On this approximately 10 mile hike with about 2500 feet of altitude gain, we’ll hike in a sort of lopsided figure eight. We begin at the parking area at the property entrance on Comus Road and head briefly north and then west to pick up the White Trail, which we follow gradually northward and upward until we reach a short spur trail just past the connector trail for the Potomac Overlook parking area. Here, we turn right and connect with the Green Trail which ascends sharply to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain (1282 feet). At the top of the Mountain, we turn right onto the Red Trail and descend the mountain until we come to the Blue Trail, where we turn right. We follow the Blue Trail a short way until we connect with the White Trail again. We turn left onto the White Trail and follow it a short distance back to the Blue Trail (yes, blue again!) where we turn right. We hike west and then northwest on the Blue Trail until we reach a gravel road (Mount Ephraim Road). After walking a hundred yards or so north on the road, we rejoin the Blue Trail and travel north until we reach the White Rocks Overlook. From just past the overlook, we turn left, northeast, on the Purple Trail, which makes a sweeping loop to the north and then back south to the Blue Trail on the east side of the property. We then follow the Blue Trail south to the junction with the White Trail near the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. Here, we turn left and follow the White Trail to the East View parking area, where we turn right and ascend Sugarloaf Mountain again via the steep Orange Trail. I’m not sure of the timing, but we’ll probably eat lunch at the overlook at the top of the mountain, although there are a number of suitable places earlier in the hike. From the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, we retrace our steps down the Green Trail to the White Trail and back to the parking area.
To somewhat alleviate all this color trail confusion, you can download a map at
http://www.sugarloafmd.com/images/maps/102709_trailmap.pdf. Maps are also available at the trailhead
Meet at Carderock at 7:45 a.m. The leader will not be at Carderock and will meet the group at the trailhead at 9:00 a.m. To reach the trailhead from Carderock, take the Beltway to I-270, drive about 22 miles north to Maryland Route 109 (Barnesville-Hyattstown Exit) and then go west on Route 109 about 3 miles to Comus Road. Turn right on Comus Road and drive about two miles to the five-way intersection at the entrance to the Conservation/Recreation Area. Park at one of the designated spaces outside the gate. Parking is somewhat limited, so carpooling is a good idea, but it shouldn’t be too bad relatively early on a Wednesday morning.