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Lostland Run is a very scenic day hike offering sights of a waterfall and plenty of quiet locations where wildlife abound.

Begin Lostland Run Trail along Potomac Camp Road just south of the forest headquarters where trail maps and overnight primitive camping permits may be obtained. Enter the hemlock-laced forest and immediately descend paralleling an oftentimes dry creekbed. The first half of this hike is all downhill. (Save some energy for the return trip which thankfully has a gradual rise.) At about the 0.5 mile point, several shallow pools offering a summer swimming hole. A number creek crossings are encountered with one such crossing being the contribution of the 1994 Conservation Corps of young Marylanders. You'll want to stay alert to the white-blazes that periodically wane. As you approach the falls, the trail becomes a bit more rocky and rugged while you hug ledges and cross several knobs. You'll reach the observation platform at 3 miles. This is a wonderful place to spend sometime particularly midweek when fewer hikers are out. Upon departing, climb away from the falls reaching a rise where you'll pick back up the white blazes, avoiding the blue-blazes heading left to Lostland Run Road. Immersed in rhododendron you'll soon come to a footbridge over Lostland Run. From here, the trail divides and you will want to bear left reaching a parking area at 4 miles. Head west along Lostland Run Road making a 4-mile gradual ascent back to the headquarters / parking lot.

Directions: From Oakland, MD, Take MD State Route 135 east about 2 miles. Turn south (right) onto MD State Route 560. Travel 2 miles, turning left onto Bethlehem Road. Travel 2 miles on Bethlehem Road bearing right at the fork. Travel another 1.4 miles turning left onto Combination Road. Travel a very short distance making a left onto Potomac Camp Road. Travel one mile to reach the park headquarters and parking area. Hike across Potomac Camp Road to find the trail marker about 75 feet from the direction in which you arrived (south).

Elevation: 2,400 feet

Elevation Gain: 650 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

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Potomac State Forest, Maryland

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

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