Now that Spring is here, I can stop at one of my favorite hiking spots along my daily Flint-Baltimore commute. This stretch of the Appalachian Trail near Myersville, Maryland is within reach of the truck parking lot at the Maryland Welcome Center on eastbound I-70 around mile marker 41. Following the route detailed on this map, I bike up the dirt road behind the Welcome Center to the trail. There, I hide the bike and hike. Bikes are not allowed on the trail, and much of it would be inaccessible to them anyways.
As much as I enjoy this part of the trail, accessing it at this point presents potential problems. First of all, you will need to leave the Welcome Center through the restricted access gate in back, passing the sign saying “Authorized Vehicles Only”. I don’t have a problem with this, but I sometimes worry that the open gate might someday close while I’m out hiking. I’m thankful that hasn’t happened yet, because while I’m willing to do what it takes in order to have a small adventure, I draw the line at hopping fences. I also draw the line at crossing private property, so I recommend sticking to the route on the map above.
Don’t worry about any of that though. Worry about your feet, and carry a bottle of water. Parts of the short road to the trail, and the trail itself, are steep, and a five mile hike seems much farther when you’re dehydrated and wearing bad shoes.
I don’t mean to scare you off of this trip. Even mildly dehydrated and sore, I always feel great after hiking here. I’m hoping to get back once the leaves return so I can take more pictures.