Early this morning, Hubs and I set off on an hour drive to Maryland so that we could hike a loop on the Greenbrier State Park trails. We arrived at the park about 20 minutes before it opened and were greeted with a line of fishermen waiting outside the gate. We jumped in line and made our way in when the park staff arrived. As out-of-state visitors, we had to pay a $5 entrance fee, which is reasonable for the various amenities and trails. Of course, after the early morning drive, we stopped to use the facilities and parked near the boat ramp.
We had planned on hiking the Red Trail loop, but the forecasted rain (yes, another rain hike) included thunder and lightening when we reached the trailhead. After a short wait, we decided to do a shorter modified hike by combining the Red, Blue, and Black trails. I’m a total chicken-sh*t about storms and would have turned back, but Hubs talked me into using statistics. Which, by the way, is his way of getting me to overcome my fears and do things, lol. Due to the rain, I didn’t take that many photos along our route but have included a handful below.
Red Trail (Northwest/West)
From the boat ramp parking lot, follow the berm along the edge of the lake towards to forest. Once there, you will find the sign indicating the trailhead. We opted to head into the woods and follow the trail counterclockwise. We followed the Red Trail until it connected with the Blue Trail. Please be aware that the trail is really rocky in sections. This made it difficult for us to keep a consistent pace during this section. However, it was a nice trail that was wide enough for us to hike side-by-side for most of it. Overall, this section of the Red Trail had gentle slope increases and decreases. In fact, I would almost consider it “flat” if it weren’t for the last bit before it intersected with the Blue Trail.
Blue Trail (Southwest)
At the confluence of the Red and Blue Trails, we turned left onto the Blue Trail. Thankfully, this trail was far less rocky than the Red Trail. The majority of it between the Red and Black trails was made of large gravel or good old dirt. We didn’t stay on this section of the trail very long as we used it mainly as a connector to the Black Trail.
Black Trail (Southeast)
The trail map does not clearly show the Black Trail connecting directly to the Red Trail. However, we set out and decided that we would have to “make our own trail” in order to outrun the storm if needed. The Black Trail closely follows a creek that flows away from the lake. In fact, at one point you are required to cross the stream via a series of rocks. As the trail neared the lake, we realized that the trail ended at a large dam. There is no clear trail to hike up to the top of the dam, so we just went straight up the slope!
Red Trail (Northeast)
At the top of the dam, we were dropped back onto the Red Trail. From there, we followed the trail back into the woods until it connected to the berm. This section of the trail is more popular and we ran into several people fishing from the banks. Once again, we followed the berm to the parking lot near the boat landing.
Tips for Hiking in Greenbrier State Park
• The park is dog-friendly, but all dogs must be leashed.
• There are no toilets available at the trailhead, but restrooms are available in the large parking lot/picnic area near the boat launch.
• My recommended picnic spots for this hike are on top of the dam (Red Trail) or in one of the numerous designated picnic areas.
• Bikes are allowed on several of the park trails, so be sure you are aware of your surroundings.
• There are 160+ campsites within the park.
Post-hike 52 Hike Challenge Update
Today we completed Hike 10 in our 52 Hike Challenge quest. We created a loop hike by combing sections of the Red, Blue, and Black Trails in Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, Maryland. We hiked a total of 2.15 miles between hiking the Red, Blue, and Black Trails. After this hike, my challenge stats are:
• 10/52 hikes completed (19.2%)
• 2.15 miles hiked today, for a total of 23.28 miles hiked in the challenge
• 10 unique trails
• 9 companion hikes
• 1 solo hike
• 2 K-9 accompanied hikes
Learn more about the 52 Hike Challenge by visiting the official website.