A Shorter Loop at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland

Rain, muggy, then rain again! My last week before returning to teach summer classes was less than ideal. While I got out for a few spins around downtown Frederick, I was missing the woods.  Sunday came with the gift of opportunity!  I chose to go to Sugarloaf Mountain!

Sugarloaf is a classic place to go hiking…translation…it can be super crowded and the port-a-potties always smell…

However, there are times when introverts like me can actually enjoy the mountain.  Go early and preferably on a weekday, although super early usually does the trick.  Park behind the mountain on Mt. Ephraim road and head up the Blue or Yellow trails.  It is a gravel road, but well packed down.  In addition, improvements have been made so the creek now flows underneath the road bed!

I was out the door with Sidekick Pauli at 6:30 AM, and after a few stops, was on the trail at 7:20 AM.  There was not a soul around!!! Yessssss!!!!

Mt. Ephraim Road

Mt. Ephraim Road

I parked at the usual spot on Mt. Ephraim road and headed up the Blue trail to White Rocks. The whole area was fogged in leaving the woods with mist hovering in the branches of trees and spider webs glistening with water droplets. Very moody, like something out of a BBC period production.  Too bad it doesn’t come out well in the photos because it was pretty outstanding!

Starting the Blue Trail just off Mt. Ephraim Road

Starting the Blue Trail just off Mt. Ephraim Road

It was also incredibly humid. Cool, but humid! Sidekick Pauli was delighted to find a spring dumping out directly onto the trail.  I was delighted to find a few stepping stones so I could hop over said spring!

Arriving at White Rocks, we found we were still fogged in.  We sat for a few minutes becoming part of the quietness that surrounded us.  When we got going again the birds were beginning to chatter to each other.  Ahhh, can’t beat being out here in the early morning!

No view at White Rock so Sidekick Pauli is searching for...?

No view at White Rock so Sidekick Pauli is searching for…?


Foggy Woods

The Blue trail winds down, then up to one of the lesser summits at 1015 feet (Mt. Ephraim road is at 500 feet).  The summit is marked by a big rock pile.  I added a rock to the pile and kept on.

Lesser Summit 1015 feet

Sidekick Pauli at the Lesser Summit of 1015 feet

Coming down the mountain, it looked as if the trail has been rerouted to accommodate new switchbacks! Nice!  Soon after the switchback I spotted a dog barreling down the trail.  “I have a dog.” I called out in a stage voice that hasn’t gotten much use since high school.  The owners, thankfully, were able to call back their dog and get him on a leash. Sidekick Pauli is not fond of people or animals that intrude into her personal space without invitation!  Crisis was averted and we continued down the trail once the dog and its owners passed by.


Having limited time and I chose to take the yellow trail back down to Mt. Ephraim Road.  A new trail to explore, a welcome change!  A nice trail too!  Even though this is the “Horse Trail” it was wide and easy to walk.

Great Trail! Just for horses? Looks like cars too.

Great Trail! Just for horses? Looks like cars too.

No obvious pock marks, not a lot of horse poo, but occasionally there was a disgusting, muddy puddle of water.  This was not unexpected after the rain in the area this week!

Yuck, Yuck, Yuck!

Yuck, Yuck, Yuck! Sidekick Pauli…DON’T even THINK about it!

The complete loop, Blue from Mt. Ephraim road to White Rocks, then to the Yellow trail back to Mt Ephraim road, was about four miles.  Long enough to get your mind in the right place, but short enough to not wear you out (just in case you have to go home and help with housework…)!

Grab the dog in your life and hike on! 🙂

About BoobOnARock

Hiking, the woods, books, my son, my cats and dogs, math, hanging with my sweetie and making fires. what else is there? oh yeah, falling in the woods every once in a while...it is a talent of mine.

9 thoughts on “A Shorter Loop at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland

  1. How fortunate for you and Pauli to encounter such high ranking and important people of the class to which the rules do not apply. Do you feel privileged?

    • BoobOnARock says:

      What do you mean?

    • BoobOnARock says:

      oh…right! Yeah, I always keep Sidekick Pauli on a leash. It is a little unnerving to have an unknown doggie charging down the trail towards us!!!

      • Sorry, I still have bundles of unused sarcasm left over from my previous life. The Child Bride was out for a walk a while back with our wonder dog, Annie (small white Maltzu), on a leash. From across a busy street, two large barking German Shepherd type mutts, unleashed, charged her and Annie. One was struck and killed by a truck and the other roared up but fortunately backed off when faced with momma tiger protecting her baby. A shame but some people have little or no sense when it comes to their animals.

      • BoobOnARock says:

        Oh, that is awful. I just will not take the chance on the trail. At the river, all Sidekick Pauli wants to do is swim and retrieve sticks. But I am ever vigilant and if I notice anyone or see her even flinch, the Deer treats come out and she gets back on the leash. However, I do have a friend who has put an enormous amount of time into working with her dogs and they occasionally hike off leash with no problems. But I can’t hike with them if the dogs are off leash because it would stress my dog out! 🙂

  2. Sounds like it turned out a nice day for a nice hike. We have gone on 3 hikes now, but have, unfortunately, not been able to take our poopers because it’s been to hot for them. And we have no ac in our vehicle so that’s doubly bad for them. So they have had to stay home. I don’t like cold weather but I do look forward to it cooling down some so they can come along. They’d so love it! Enjoyed your post and the pictures!

  3. I love Sugarloaf! Used to hike there regularly growing up, and have been back a few times since moving out of state. I used it as a test subject back when Kodak infrared 35mm film was still available. https://lowellsilverman.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/sugarloaf-banner.jpg

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