Tag Archives: Hiking

Sugarloaf Mountain

As the DC area prepared for Hurricane Sandy, this weekend, my husband and I decided to go for a hike on Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, MD (7901 Comus RoadDickerson, MD 20842) this weekend before the hurricane blew away all the pretty autumn leaves.  Unfortunately, most of the leaves on Sugarloaf Mountain have already fallen, but it was still a beautiful day for a hike and we both enjoyed spending the time outside.  We parked in the Westview Parking Lot and took the blue blazed Northern Peaks Trail until the intersection with the red blazed trail Monadnock Trail to go up to the summit.  We spent some time at the summit admiring the views and then we backtracked down the red blazed trail back to the intersection with the blue blazed Northern Peaks Trail and continued hiking along the 5 mile Northern Peaks Trail and ended right back in the Westview Parking lot.  Since most of the leaves have already fallen, it was difficult to see the trail at some points because the trails were entirely covered with leaves, which also made it slippery in some areas (there were some near falls).  There were several nice overlooks like the one at White Rocks along the Northern Peaks Trail.

I’veheard that the orange blazed Sunrise Trail to the summit was the most challenging, but we opted to go on a longer hike this time and will likely try the orange blazed trail next time.  The summit was very crowded with most people taking the steps (yes, actual stairs) up on the green blazed A. M. Thomas Trail.

View from the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain

On our way home, we stopped by Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard (18125 Comus Road Dickerson, Maryland 20842), which was also pretty crowded.  They have a nice outdoor area with tables and seating along with an indoor area for purchasing and enjoying wine and crackers and cheese.  For $10, you can sample 8 of their wines in the outdoor patio before going inside to purchase wine.

Next, we stopped by Comus Market (23830 Old Hundred Road Dickerson, MD 20842) to take a look at their many varieties of pumpkins and winter squash.  They had a large selection of different kinds of pumpkins including Cinderella pumpkins, sugar pumpkins, blue pumpkins, peanut pumpkins, Fairytale pumpkins and much more.  They also had a large selection of winter squash like butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, turban squash and much more.  We both had fun learning more about the different varieties of pumpkins and winter squash and how to cook them.  My favorite was definitely the Cinderella pumpkin because it was so beautiful and also because it has a magical quality for me since I’m still a big kid who loves Cinderella and hasn’t outgrown Disney.

Comus Market

Pumpkins!

Winter Squash

Cinderella Pumpkin

It was another wonderful autumn Saturday before Hurricane Sandy!

Harpers Ferry

Last weekend, my husband and I went to Harpers Ferry, WV for the first time. It was a beautiful autumn day and we were looking forward to hiking and enjoying nature for a few hours.  Harpers Ferry is located at the intersection of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and is well known for John Brown’s raid on the armory during the Civil War.  We decided to go on the popular Maryland Heights trail. We arrived in Harpers Ferry around 1:00 pm and parked in the main parking lot and took the shuttle down to historic Harpers Ferry. There was a $10 admission for a single vehicle. We walked through part of the town and crossed the footbridge, turned left and walked along the canal before crossing another footbridge to the beginning of the trailhead. As we walked across the main footbridge, we could see the old stone piers that contained a railroad and bridge. John Brown crossed this bridge for his famous raid in 1859.

John Brown’s Fort

Footbridge

Maryland Heights is made up of 3 trails: the Combined Trail, the Stone Fort Trail and the Overlook Trail. From the trailhead, we hiked along the Combined Trail passing the Naval Battery from 1862. Most people go directly to the Overlook Trail from the Combined Trail to the popular overlook over Harper’s Ferry, but we decided to first hike the Stone Fort Trail and then going to the Overlook Trail. The Stone Overlook Trail involved a steep uphill climb as we approached walls of the Stone Fort. There are some lovely views from the summit at the Stone Fort. Descending down from the Stone Fort, we passed the 100 Pounder Battery and 300 Pounder Battery.

Interior wall of the Stone Fort

View from from Stone Fort summit

As we walked down a pretty steep trail, we turned right and went on the Overlook Trail down to the popular cliffs to enjoy a beautiful view of Harpers Ferry where the Potomac River joins the Shenandoah River. Then we started hiking back down to the trailhead and went back across the footbridge to the town. The hike took about 4 hours including several stops to enjoy the view. Without stopping, the hike probably would’ve taken 3 hours. As a treat, we stopped by Scoops Ice Cream (173 Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry, WV).  where I had a delicious pumpkin shake and my husband had a hot chocolate. Then we went back to the parking lot via the shuttle. I wish we could have explored the town a little more, but it was getting late and we needed to start heading home.

View of Harpers Ferry from the cliff

Scoops Ice Cream

Pumpkin Shake from Scoops Ice Cream

It was the perfect way to spend a beautiful autumn day!