Weverton to Gathland State Park on Appalachian Trail


Appalachian Trail Weverton Cliff

I decided to go on a 10-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail in Maryland just north of the West Virginia border near Harpers Ferry, WV. I started off by parking at Weverton Road at 10:15, a parking lot with about 30 spaces, and located about a hundred feet away from the trail. I started north along the trail. This is a very heavily traveled section of the Appalachian Trail because it’s located close to a few big cities. This area of the trail contained many large rocks to hike over and some of the steeper areas that I would encounter during my hike. Once I climbed to a higher altitude I came to the Weverton Cliffs / Appalachian Trail North sign. I continued north on the trail towards Gathland State Park.

Ed Garvey Appalachian Trail Shelter

About an hour into the hike after the Weverton Cliff sign, I saw a sign for the Ed Garvey Shelter. The Appalachian Trail has hundreds of shelters all located within roughly 10 miles of each other but this one was particularly nice. I decided to check it out and ran into someone who stayed there the night before. After hanging out for about 5 minutes I decided to go back onto the trail and continue on.

Appalachian trail mushroom

Now along this section of the trail, as I mentioned there are many rocks. This makes hiking the trail more difficult than if it was all dirt. Along the rocky trail, I saw some things I don’t see every day. I found a couple of different species of mushrooms growing along the trail, some red and white and others all white. I also saw some interesting species of bugs. While walking between the Ed Garvey Shelter and Gathland State park, there are some pretty cool boulder formations along the right side. There is also a clearing which I thought was a fire break in the mountain but was actually a clearing made by AT&T where they laid underground fiber-optic cable.

Gathland State ParkI finally reached Gathland State Park around 1:00 and was greeted by some buildings and structures owned by George Alfred Townsend, a Civil War journalist in the late 1800’s. There’s also a large stone monument dedicated to the memory of Civil War correspondents. It was a good place to eat lunch and relax for a few minutes before I decided to head back onto the trail. In the park there is a picnic area with a roof in case of a rain storm which is where I ate.

At this point it was time to start heading back down south. Going back south on the trail, the time went by a lot faster. Why is it that the trip going back is always faster than the trip there? I decided to check out Weverton Cliff before I went back down the mountain which is just a short blue blazed trail that goes a few hundred feet East. Weverton Cliff features gorgeous views of the Potomac River just south of Harpers Ferry. The snapshot below was taken by a nice lady that I met there.

Waverton Cliff

I finally reached my car around 4:25. The hike was a little over six hours, ten miles and I had some achy feet. Overall I felt very accomplished and can’t wait to get out there again.

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