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Hiker Comments for the Annapolis Rock/Black Rock Cliff Hike - 1 to 23 of 23   
Average Rating:

By: Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 15, 2019
When we returned to our car after the hike, part of the exterior front door handle and the lock cylinder fell right out into the parking lot when we opened the door. (2016 Honda CRV. We never use key to open the door, so no wear and tear). Dealership said someone had tried to break into the car. Not sure exactly what happened, but beware of this parking lot seeing that other people have warned of break-ins too. (The lot was almost full, so we parked in the part close to Route 40 which is clearly visible from the road).

The hike itself was very nice after getting away from the noise of the highway. Accidentally misread the sign to Annapolis Rock and ended up at Black Rock Cliff. Great view! Another high point was seeing a copperhead on the trail.

By: Peter F Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 31, 2019
Wary of Brad's experience, we left nothing visible inside our car and parked amidst 40+ other vehicles. So many taking legal/illegal spots that we waited until a climber exited the trail to take her spot once depated. No damage done to any vehicles before and after trail hiking, 4 hours later.

Trail is well marked and was heavily populated, half of climbers came with a dog. Great vistas from Black Rock and Annapolis Rock. Only saw squirrels and spiders all day.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Itís a great view and the perfect length and intensity for a last minute half day hike. BUT beware of the parking lot. Do not leave any valuables in your car. We and several other folks had windows smashed and bags snatched.

By: Henry Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
This was an incredibly amazing hike! With a group of people, I hiked up to the Annapolis Rocks campsite and was astonished by the view. The campsite was well-maintained and has a fantastic spring with delicious palpable water (though I would recommend filtering it). I camped here for two days and went rock climbing on Annapolis Rock and another one further down called Black Crack. Overall, I would highly recommend it to anybody seeking a hike for a view. However, camping here for a night is ideal, as the sunset is absolutely beautiful over the mountains in the distance!

By: Hiking Family Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Right now the trail is 10% rocks 30% deep mud and 60% ice. That fact slowed us down quite a bit. I would imagine this hike would be perfect for a spring summer for my family. Or alone. Family= 1,3,5,7,36, "29"yr olds

By: Lyn Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 22, 2017
This is a very nice hike. You have to walk a little bit to get away from the freeway/noise, but the views and hike itself are nice.† A few other comments, for whatever they are worth,,,, We managed to overshoot the Black Rock Cliffs turnoff.† There is admittedly a sign - that is quite obvious when you are looking at it - but it's sort of high and easy to miss at eye level.† The steep descent down that tells you that you have gone too far, really isn't THAT steep.† Also, the start of the hike is a little odd - follow the signs to the trailhead and then you sort of wind down the only path there is for a few hundred yards maybe before you get the AT turn off.† Overall, I'd recommend the hike!

By: Susanna Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 16, 2017
This was a beautiful (albeit crowded) hike -- not very strenuous at all. There is one "steep" section but it does not last very long. The most of this is a meander and a beautiful one at that (parking was very tricky, however). The one thing of note was that on our way down we came across a rattlesnake (there are signs posted for these and coppherheads) who was crossing the trail. Folks coming towards us were closer and saw it first, the snake did move over to the side but he didn't stay too far off of the trail while resting in the sun so just a heads up, keep your eyes on the trail. Overall, I highly recommend this one!

By: Peter Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 30, 2017
Holy erosion logs! I hiked this last fall and it was not nearly so bad as this trip. The views from Black Rock cliff are as always, spectacular to the west. But this hike is now a little more difficult than it used to be. I counted the number of erosion logs I had to step over on the way back from black rock cliff. There are (give or take a few) 180 erosion logs in the 2.5 mile stretch between tge exit to Annapolis rocks and the US 40 parking lot. 360 for a round trip, on a relatively flat hike. The tallest brick lighthouse in North America, Cape Hatteras, has 268 total steps, so take that into account when you consider doing this hike. By the way, the count did not include rock barriers. I just thought I would post this because I actually got tired on this hike this time and that's not normal for me.

By: Terri V Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 10, 2017
This is a very pleasant hike - not overly strenuous, and some very nice views. I got to the parking lot by 7am on this Saturday, and there were already several cars there. By the time I finished, the parking lot and the shoulder of Route 40 were jam packed. I wanted to get a bit more of a workout, so as I got back near the parking lot, I opted to continue South on the AT, crossing over I-70 and trekking 3.0 miles to Washington Monument State Park. You get a great view if you climb the tower! The final statistics for my hike were 13.4 miles and 2270 ft of elevation gain (per my Ramblr hiking app).

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 26, 2017
Veiws at Annapolis Rocks /Black Rock Cliffs are worth the trip alone. Trail is pretty easy hiking and very we'll marked. The trail from parking lot on 40 and along rt 70 is noisy and pretty trampled and trashed-but once you turn uphill and north all is good. Recommend this hike for sure. Get to parking on 40 early, fills up quick.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 29, 2017
Needed to get out and do some hiking today and chose Annapolis Rock as my destination. As noted by others, the parking area was full by the time I arrived at approximately 11 AM. The trail is pretty straight forward as you are on the AT for basically the entire length. The ratings are accurate and there is no solitude along this trail. I can only imagine all the hikers in the spring and summer.

Camp spots are plentiful up around the look outs since this is on the AT. I'd love to come back in the late winter and do some camping.

I'll certainly be back again! There is a spring at the Annapolis rock look out area.

By: Peter Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, September 5, 2016
Holy hikers, Batman! Never hike Annapolis rocks on a major holiday. I hiked it today, arriving at 8:30 a.m., and there were already 40 or so cars parked in the parking lot. That said, I only passed people returning from their hikes this morning on the way out.

A couple of things to note about this hike: 1. There are 3 ascents, the first snd third of which are short and easy, the second is moderately long. I see people stopping on the way for breathers all the time on the second ascent.

2. The logs they use on this section to combat erosion are unusually large. Try to go around them as opposed to over them on that second ascent and you'll have an easier time.

3. After the second ascent, the difficulty level of this hike is a max of 2. It's almost entirely flat, with miniscule hills here and there.

4. Because of the popularity of Annapolis Rocks, there are a lot of exposed roots. There are a few places where a foot can get caught under one, and the your hike's over. 5. Annapolis rocks may be the most popular, but Black Rock cliff is much better. The view is much better and there are a lot fewer people. 6. Black Rock cliff is marked on the left side of the trail on a tree. It's not that easy to see sometimes. The way to know you've gone too far is if you start going substantially downhill. The view at Black Rock is an unobstructed view due west, whereas at Annapolis Rocks half the view is that of another mountain in front of you. 7. I have a hard time believing this hike is 7.9 miles. Hiking at my top speed with two 10-15 minute breaks at Black Rock and Annapolis Rocks, I completed the whole hike in 2 hours and 15 minutes. By the time I left this hike today at 10:45 a.m., there were no fewer than 300 cars there, parked up and down both sides of the road. This is not typical for a normal weekday or weekend, but expect it on holidays. If you want good solitude on this hike, I would suggest doing it in the winter. I have on occasion been out there all by myself.

By: Sean Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 29, 2016
A pleasant hike overall once one gets away from I-70. I should have thought a bit more about the weather. There were a few showers, which didn't bother me, but cooler temps meant fog as well. I didn't get good views from Annapolis Rock or Black Rock, except down. The rock formations are among the most striking I have seen anywhere. Lost count of the number of people on the trail -- 12 or so, most through-hikers doing a 15 mile or so segment of the Appalachian Trial. Most everyone using two hiking poles (should I?). I met one of the two caretakers and chatted with him for a bit -- this is a great program supported by PATC. He says it's a lot more crowded on the weekend -- come early then, especially in better weather. The trail was in generally good condition with comfortable elevation changes, so comfortable I thought it was a much shorter hike until I double-checked the distance.

By: Alex Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 11, 2015
We got to the trail around 10:30. Overall, the hike was a good time. Most of the path was fairly even and easy to hike, which would make this a great spot for beginners. Even for those with hiking experience, there were some great views to make for a worthwhile trip. We didn't partake, but there were several rock climbers in the area who seemed to enjoy their time as well. Many families brought dogs along with them, both large and small - most of the terrain seemed fine for them. The only downside was near the beginning of the trail - there's a very rocky and uneven path. Walking up it wasn't too bad, but coming down put a lot of strain on my feet. I saw another group of hikers trip and fall, which wasn't too bad but it was an annoyance. I'd also be cautious of dogs walking on the uneven portion. Overall, it was still a good time.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 15, 2014
This is nice beginners hike. The trails are wide and well worn since youre on a popular section of the AT. The only climb is during the first mile or so. After that, the trail is relatively flat and easy. Both vistas offer a pretty view and some fun climbing on the rocks. We got there early so we had both spots to ourselves which was nice.

By: Brent Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 15, 2013
We hiked this right after the snow storm. There was 3" of snow on the ground. This made the hike for us. This hike would have been a breeze otherwise. The trail is even and most of the trail is fairly easy. I suggest this hike for winter time when there is hardly anyone out and it isn't so steep that you are sliding down the mountain. It is also nice that if you are tired after the first overlook you could turn back. Some locals also come from the opposite direction for a shorter but steeper climb. Would be great for hikers with dogs. With the wind after the first half mile we never heard the highway at all. Overall great hike with good views.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 7, 2013
My teen-aged daughters, husband, and dog did the 5.8 mile round trip from the parking area to Annapolis Rock a second time in two weeks we liked the first experience so much.††On a hot day the woods were cool and shady, and we enjoyed the short climb and then the longer, mostly†level walk to lunch on the rocks.† One downer - somehow my small Nikon binoculars, which I have had for ~35 years, got left behind at the parking lot very near the trailhead.†I know it's†a long shot, but if anyone finds them and sees this message, please†let me know.†I can't give up on the idea that I might somehow get them back!

By: Nichelle Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 23, 2013
This is a very good hike for beginners. I went with a group of my friends and we were able to complete it (to Annapolis rock and back to parking) in about 4 hours and we all had little to no physical endurance training. There are a lot of families on the trail and everyone is relatively nice. We brought two dogs as well. If you want to bring your furry buddy its best if they are accustomed to other dogs. My boyfriends dog was primarily a house dog and was not accustomed to the close encounters with the many other dogs on the trail. In some parts the path is narrow so its a tad hard to walk around another group but overall its a nice hike. At the beginning and at the peak it is its coldest, but when you are on the forested trail it actually felt 10-15 degrees warmer. One note, DO NOT LEAVE ANY VALUABLES IN YOUR CAR IF YOU PARK OFF OF ROUTE 40!! Coming back the jeep parked next to our car had its back windows busted in and there was glass everywhere.

By: Lauren Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 28, 2012
My two friends and I hiked Annapolis Rock and Black Rock cliff on Memorial Day. One of us was not as experienced a hiker, but found the pace pleasant and not too challenging after one or two intense inclines. The vista from Annapolis Rock is fabulous, but agree with other reviewers about the interruption of the noise of the interstate. We overshot Black Rock by a good 4 miles, due to lack of good signage there--be careful! Continuing on the AT up to the summit isn't recommended for casual day hikers, and we came across a mean looking Northern copperhead snake lazily sunning itself on the trail rocks with not very much room to maneuver around it. This trail has nothing on Old Rag or the Piedmont!

By: Robert B. Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, August 8, 2011
Not a bad day hike (pretty easy actually) but you can hear the interstate almost the entire hike, there was an accident on the interstate today and we could hear sirens for about 30 minutes.† We didn't see too many other hikers but it was a Monday and it was pretty hot outside.†

The views are nice but there are better outlooks in the Harpers Ferry, Loudoun County and George Washington National Forest areas.†

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 31, 2011
As HU observed, definitely not for anyone who wants solitude. Otherwise, though, a nice hike. Up to Annapolis Rock, the trail is a tad rocky. Between Annapolis Rock and Black Rock Cliff, however, the trail is mostly dirt and a pleasant stroll through the woods.

By: John Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 18, 1914
This is a good hike for kids who can walk a few miles and like to climb rocks. The hardest part is the first 3/4 - 1 mile which is not that bad, but a steady up hill climb. It was a little muddy in spots today but usually it's dry the whole way. Nice place to sit back and enjoy the views for as long as you can. I've hiked this trail several time and it's a nice a pleasant walk to a good view that can be done quickly. Plenty of camping spots along the way, with springs, privy's Pine Knob, at Annapolis Rocks, Pogo? (just after Black Rock). No campfires allowed at Annapolis Rocks. Parking can be a problem, especially in the Fall. The best alternative for parking is to go to Greenbriar State Park and take a connecting trail that starts from the visitor center. It's about a mile from the parking off of Rt 40.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, July 22, 1912
Sunday, starting at 0825. Hike time. including 39 min at Annapolis Rock and Black Rock, was 05:11. After reading some of the posts, I considered an alternative trip but decided to give it a try anyway. I'm glad I did. I'd like to add a few things. Trash. I found the trail to be clean. Someone must have done some cleanup of the trail because I saw no trash. I did see people. 27† in all. 9 going up and 18 coming down. I can't say it detracted from the enjoyment of the hike. I think hikers have a lot in common. They share the environment of the woods. On the sound, I measured 68-85 decibels at the Trail head, just next to the pedestrian bridge. Naturally, the high numbers came with the passage of big trucks. At Annapolis Rock, the sound meter registered 43-46 decibels. At Black Rock, the sound meter registered 46-49 decibels. In comparison, At the Raven Rock Overlook on 6/24/12, the reading was 40 decibels. The trail head along Rte 7 on that Sunday Morning was 54-71 decibels, On another hike on 5/6/12, a Sunday, The Bull Run Conservancy Overlook registered 40 decibels. At the trail head along Rte 66, the reading was 60 decibels. Readings were with Smart Tool App on my Motorola phone. There were 3 hikers in our group. All agreed it was a worthwhile hike and would hike again some day. My reason for rating 3 stars instead of 4 was that I preferred a bit more a challenge. The weather was overcast.

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