If you’re looking for the perfect summer farewell, look no further. Sugarloaf Mountain, located a little over an hour from Charm City, offers just the right escape to get away from it all as sticky heat gives way to crisp breezes. It was beautiful on an August day, and I can only imagine the striking views as the leaves begin to turn with the arrival of fall.
Take the 1, 282 foot climb to the top of this Registered Natural Landmark and enjoy sweeping views of Monocacy Valley. (Sound like a lot? Don’t be intimidated – it’s an easy climb, a little over 1 mile to the top, on a wide road traveled by cars, hikers, and bikers alike.)
Once you arrive at the summit, check out the East and West overlooks–great places for a picnic on the rocks. After you’ve gotten some sustenance (and plenty of snapshots of course), you can hike your way back down via one of four trails, ranging from 1.5 to 7 miles in length. I opted for the Mountain Loop Trail, a moderate 2.5 loop, with a detour that leads to the Potomac Overlook. You can also challenge yourself with one of three summit area trails. The Sunrise Loop is especially popular, for obvious reasons.
Admission and parking are free, and it was relatively quiet on a weekday. This idyllic peak is appealing to all ages and abilities, and is a welcome respite as you transition from barbecues to bonfires. So pack your picnic and hit the trails!