Hike Through Maryland on the Appalachian Trail: From Mason-Dixon to the Potomac
Speak with local history experts, visit Harpers Ferry and learn about the region’s traditions and culture as you spend four days hiking the Appalachian Trail’s “Maryland Challenge.”
Rating (4.92)
Program No. 21357RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

Complete the entire Maryland stretch of the Appalachian Trail! Inspired by participants who took our popular program “Hike the Appalachian Trail in Four States!” (#18537), this hiking adventure takes on a different section of the trail — “The Maryland Challenge” — stretching 41 miles from the Mason-Dixon Line to the Potomac River. While some super-endurance hikers tackle all 41 miles in a single day, we will cover the distance at a more leisurely pace, spanning the state of Maryland over four days. Meet some knowledgeable locals and hear from regional experts on topics such as the geology of the Appalachian Trail, Civil War history and traditional healing plants and medicinal herbs.
Activity Level
Hiking up to 12 miles daily over varied terrain.
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Brave the steepest descent in Maryland down to a small tributary of Grove Creek and cross Little Antietam Creek on your way to summit Quirauk Mountain.
  • Meet a Civil War expert who transports you back the fierce fighting that took place at South Mountain.
  • Follow a portion of the C&O Canal Towpath along the Potomac River to historic Harper's Ferry.

General Notes

This program is based at Shepherd’s Spring, 15 miles from the closest AT crossing. Sag wagons transport cyclists to and from starting and ending locations each day.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Paul McDermott
Paul McDermott has taught geography and cartography at schools including George Mason and the University of Maryland. His research interests include the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, on which he co-produced a four-map series. Paul was the academic consultant for two US Postal Service Stamps — The Louisana Purchase and the Earth Day 1972. He has been a visiting scholar to the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division, and is a consultant to the Lewis and Clark Rediscovery Project in Montana. His current endeavors include an ever expanding list of award-winning books to which he has authored or contributed.
Paul McDermott
Roy Debski
Rayne Debski
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