hiking, Maryland Parks

Maryland Hikes: Rocky Gap Canyon

View from the Evitt’s Mountain Summit in Rocky Gap Canyon Park

I recently found out that there are no naturally occurring lakes in all of Maryland!  Maryland does have a couple lakes and large reservoirs, but they are all man made. Rocky Gap Canyon State Park is home to one of those manmade lakes, Lake Habeeb.  Located just 10 minutes outside of Cumberland Maryland in Allegany County, Rocky Gap Canyon State Park features picnic areas, beaches, lakeside trails and woodlands. There is also a Casino in the park.

This past weekend, my sister and I hiked the Evitt’s Mountain Summit trail, and did a quick detour to Rocky Gap Canyon Overlook. The colors on the trail were past their peak, but still gorgeous! The trail took us by a beautiful stream, up a few rocky places, and through a mostly steady and slightly uphill climb to the top of the mountain. Just before the summit, where all the views are, we paused at a marker for the Mason Dixon line, and crossed the border of Maryland into Pennsylvania.

In order to get to the trailhead, we had to drive around the casino to the Touch of Nature Trail Parking Lot. We walked this paved road to the Rocky Gap Canyon Overlook Trail for a quick peak at the canyon. img_6239

Stairs leading to the Rocky Gap Canyon Overlook Trail.

img_6240From the road it took us about 5 minutes to reach the overlook. It was very pretty, but the views from the summit were even better!

Rocky Gap Canyon Overlook

After taking a few shots of the canyon, we started back up the road to the Evitt’s mountain homesite trail, which takes you all the way to the summit. The trail was a bit hard to follow at the beginning due to very poorly maintained trail markers and the leaves covering the path. It probably would have been easier to see the path in the spring and summer.img_6241We hiked up and down a ravine, and then crossed this beautiful little stream.img_6250Most of the trail was fairly easy to follow and well delineated for the rest of the hike. A few of the trees had some really vibrant colors.img_6315


Mason Dixon Marker- but don’t stop there! The views are a couple hundred feet beyond the marker!

img_6275The views from the summit.

img_6288img_6303We took the “Short Cut” trail on our way back and walked by Rocky Gap Canyon Gorge, which was used to form the dam that created Lake Habeeb.

img_6325Here’s Lake Habeeb! I definitely want to try the Lakeside Trail and the beach next summer!


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