Take a hike: Sugarloaf Mountain

The forecast is calling for an unseasonably warm weekend, so you may want to celebrate by going for a hike and/or picnic up at Sugarloaf Mountain, in Frederick County. It is not too far (under an hour from the District) up I-270 and just over the Montgomery County line, so you can get the hike in and still be home in time to watch your favorite football game.

Sugarloaf, elevation 1,282 feet and about 800 feet above the surrounding farm land, is great for a day hike with a handful of trails that are up to five miles long. If you just feel like picnicking, you can drive up to a few of the overlooks and park. A few weekends ago, my wife and I choose the hiking option and enjoyed our counter-clockwise climb up the white trail, which is short but steep.

The three overlooks offer good views, including distant skylines. We could not determine specifically which skylines we were looking at from the eastern overlook, but the Web site below says it includes Rockville.

To get there; take I-270 NORTH to EXIT 22 MD 109 Hyattstown/Poolesville. Take MD 109 WEST to Comus Road and follow signs for Sugarloaf Mountain. At the Comus Inn, located at an awkward four way intersection at the entrance to the mountain, there is limited street parking. There is also some parking along some of the side roads and on the mountain. The ride along MD 109 is through bucolic rolling hills and is almost worth the trip itself.

More from Potomac Appalachian Trail Club where you can learn that Sugarloaf is a monadnock and what monadnock means for that matter.

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