Swallow Falls/Herrington Manor SP, MD Camp and Hike

< Back

This 'Camp and Hike' took place the weekend of August 19-21, 2005. Participents were Bill Isham, Chris Isham, their Grand-daughter Madelyn and myself.

Friday, August 19, 2005- It was a rainy morning leaving Bristow, VA en route to Swallow Falls State Park, MD. People were calling me to say that they weren't going to show. I thought that I may be the only one there this weekend. However, I paid for the sites and I thought that, barring a hurricane or tornado, I was going to get my money's worth!

I took US50 W all the way from Gilberts Corner, VA to Red House, MD, then US219 north to Herrington Manor State Park. It rained on and off the entire way. It had just stopped when I arrived around 2:30PM. I hurredly put up my tent, then read, walked around, just chilled and waited for others to show up. No one did. So I spent the first night alone. I figured that if no one else showed up, at least I would have a good time.

Saturday, August 20, 2005- Got up early and drove south about 20 miles on US219 into WV and the spot where the trail back into MD and it's highest point was. It is tough to find, but it is about 2 miles south of Silver Lake, WV and 1 mile south of the Lady of the Pines Church, which bills itself as the smallest church in the east. It is worth stopping at as well. Anyway, when you see the letters 'HP' spraypainted in orange on the northbound guardrail and the letters 'MD' spray painted on the back of a sign on the northbound side, you are there.

The up to the high point was a 1.2 mile moderate up. The weather got threatening as I got towards the top but it did get sunny as I arrived at the high point marker. It took an hour to get up, I spent about a half hour on top, then it took about 40 minutes to get back down. The views were few since it was a cloudy, hazy day.

Next I wanted to find the headwaters of the Potomac. However, I could not find detailed enough maps to get me there, so I put this one off for another time, another adventure.

When I arrived back at camp, I found a note from Bill and Chris I and their grand daughter Madelyn. They had arrived and were down at Swallow Falls. There was a nice 1.2 mile loop trail that had great views of Muddy Falls, Swallow Falls and Tolliver Falls. I hiked the loop trail and eventually found Chris and Madelyn swimming below Swallow Falls. I told them that I would meet them back at camp. I went back to camp and relaxed and read awhile. Chris, Bill and Madelyn returned around 1ish. After we ate, Madelyn wanted to hike the 5.5 mile trail that connected Harrington Manor and Swallow Falls State Park. So we did.

We drove Bill's van over to Herrington Manor SP and hiked the trail back to Swallow Falls State Park. It was 5.5 miles, mostly level and had old park benches every mile or so to sit on. The benches were not in that great shape. We had to be careful how we sat on them. It was humid during the hike. It got cloudy and looked like it was going to dump during the last mile of this hike. However, the rain held off and we were able to cook dinner at our camp site and have a pleasant evening. We had campfires going at both campsites. Frank M would be proud of us!. All was well until right before we were going to retire around 10PM. All of a sudden, the wind started howling and thunder and lightening commenced. Then, after we got into our tents, it dumped! It rained hard for a few hours. But I had no problem falling asleep after our hike filled day.

Sunday, August 21, 2005-Nice night to sleep in a tent. It was in the 60's and the rain had stopped during the night. I got up around 7ish, got packed up and had some blueberry pancakes and sausage with Bill, Chris and Madelyn. Then I hit the road around 9ish. It was pleasant and peaceful driving east on US50 on a Sunday morning in WV. I may retire here some day. Anyway, it was a great weekend. I did 3 hikes totaling 9.3 miles while Chris, Bill Madelyn did 2 totaling 6.7 miles. And it only rained until mid day on Friday and a few hours Saturday night. The far western edge of Maryland is a wonderful place to spend a weekend doing all sorts of neat things. Especially hiking!

Mike C

More Pictures


MD highpoint certificate
  MD highpoint certificate.
  By Mike Calabrese
Campsite 47 at Swallow Falls SP, MD
  Campsite 47 at Swallow Falls SP, MD
  By Mike Calabrese
Beginning of MD highpoint trail
  Beginning of MD highpoint trail.
  By Mike Calabrese
Along the MD highpoint trail
  Along the MD highpoint trail.
  By Mike Calabrese
MD highpoint area
  MD highpoint area.
  By Mike Calabrese
iCloseup of MD highpoint marker
  Closeup of MD highpoint marker.
  By Mike Calabrese




< Back   |  The Rag Tag Rangers  |