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Several spur trails including Canyon Overlook and Evitts Homesite are worth the effort.

Begin this trail from the nature trail parking area, about a mile beyond Rocky Gap Lodge. Hike the gated paved road several yards to a wide footpath marked Evitts Homesite Trail. Follow the white-blazed route at the fork making a sharp descent over the next 75 feet. You'll have to scramble down the rocks. Stop a moment and enjoy your beautiful surroundings that include specimens of azalea, rhododendron, hemlock, and pignut hickory. As the trail reaches its lowest level, you'll see a short spur trail. Take it for a sight of Rocky Gap Run. More sights of rhododendron are offered in addition to geological views of the Allegheny layers. Take the main trail into the depths of the canyon crossing a small footbridge over Rocky Gap Run. From here, the trail makes a continual ascent reaching Evitts Homesite Trail; bear left and continue the gradual ascent. The trail winds northeast reaching another short spur trail, this time leading to Evitts Homesite, where only a crumbling rock wall and fence remain. Incidentally, Evitts was an early 1800 settler who chose a lifestyle of seclusion due to personal defeats. From the main trail, ascend another half mile or so to the aviation signal tower and Mason-Dixon marker. Views of nearby Pennsylvania, the surrounding Alleghenies, and the city of Cumberland are yours on a clear day. Retrace your footsteps back to the nature trail parking area.

Directions: From Cumberland, MD, Take Interstate 68 east about 10 miles to exit 50. After entering the park, continue straight following signs to lodge. Bear left at the lodge and proceed 1 mile to trailhead parking.

Elevation: 2,500 feet

Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet

Distance: 5.2 miles

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Rocky Gap State Park, Maryland

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.