Friday, August 22, 2014

Backbone Mountain, Maryland (State High Point #16), June 27, 2010.

Backbone Mountain (Hoye Crest), Maryland (3360') via hiking trail June 27, 2010.

Mileage2 miles (RT)

Elevation gain: 600'

Trailhead: (from From I-68, get off at exit 14, take US 219 South. Once you pass the junction with US 50 at Redhouse, MD, continue 4.3 miles to the village of Silver Lake, West Virginia (yes, you're in West Virginia; not Maryland anymore). In Silver Lake, WV, State Route 24 junctions to the west. From the junction, continue following US 219 South for 1.1 miles. On the left side of the road you will see some trees with orange blazes. There was also a small, rough sign indicating the trailhead to the MD highpoint. There's parking on both sides of the road. 

Hike BMS (by myself) to this state highpoint as part of a highpointing "hat trick" (Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia).  This was destination #2 (see PA and WV reports).  Many highpointers choose these three in one day as each are an hour apart from the other.  I flew in from Pittsburgh for a conference a day early to explore the region's highpoints and hopefully check three off my list.

It's a little unsettling for me to be hiking in a strange area alone. I never hike alone in familiar woods.  I parked in West Virginia! - next to a little cottage across the street from the road that is the trail and followed the blazes up to the top.  It didn't take long.

I had a small backpack on - with a whistle (just in case).  A couple on their way down from the peak were the only people I saw.

My whistle would jingle and I would swing around - thinking I would find a hermit or mountain man following me.  (Sheesh, mind can play tricks on you!).

Top of the highpoint of Maryland. Peaceful. 

View from the cairn (there was also a picnic table).

Sitting on the old picnic table at the top, I called Rich.  The view was serene and aside from a bee and a few birds, the woods were quiet. 

Headed down - it took no time. Soon I was on my way to my final high point of the day: West Virginia (what a beauty!).