Have you been dreaming of hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail, but you just cannot see yourself carrying a heavy pack and sleeping in shelters without a hot shower? We have the perfect solution- slackpacking! Hike a new section every day and get picked up at the end for a hot meal, shower, and a comfortable bed and spacious solitude at the Blue Mountain Retreat. The retreat center is owned and operated by Beth Ehrhardt, a skilled massage therapist who can put your tired hiking muscles at ease! Blue Mountain shares 27 acres with the Ehrhardt Family Organic Farm, and hosts numerous yoga and wellness retreats throughout the year. Slackpacking Maryland is our latest addition to our slackpacking trips and covers all 40 miles of Maryland, from Pen Mar Park to the Potomac River. This section travels along the backbone of South Mountain, a north-south ridge that extends from Pennsylvania to the Potomac River and is considered easy by A.T. standards but is still a good place to find out if you're ready for more rugged parts of the Trail. Maximum group size: 12
|October 17 to October 22, 2023|
|$1995.00 - FULL|
This trip is rated a 4 because you will be hiking from 7.5 to 11.5 miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) four days in a row and requires being in excellent physical condition. You can always choose to stay at the hostel for the day, which is a pleasant 3-mile walk from the town of Harpers Ferry. A rating of 4 requires aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week with additional endurance exercise (e.g. going for a 2-hour hike with elevation gain once a week) and strength training. Going for longer hikes before the trip is recommended if you want to hike the entire 40 miles. This is an ideal first slackpacking trip for anyone who wants to see what they're like but with a shorter commitment and for any woman who is interested in section hiking the Appalachian Trail. Rating: 1 2 3  5.
This is a hiking trip through the state of Maryland along the legendary Appalachian Trail. You will be hiking in the mountains with constant elevation gain and loss on a trail that is very rocky at times. We're staying just outside the historic town of Harpers Ferry, although there will be limited time to visit it.
We will be staying in the lovely Blue Mountain Retreat for the week. It is a private, spacious house with ample parking space. There is a wraparound deck with a dining area, and a living room full of comfy chairs to relax in after a long day of hiking. The lodging has 9 bedrooms 4 bathrooms, 2 living rooms and 2 dining rooms. Some bedrooms can accommodate up to 4 people, but we will have a maximum of 2 people per room. Please note: Single supplements refer to your own bedroom only. There are 2 larger single rooms and 2 smaller single rooms used for single supplements and are priced accordingly. All bathrooms are shared.
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
lodging accomodations difficulty matched description kind guides I would consider including more time at Harpers Ferry in this trip. both days we stopped by for very quick runs through the town but not to enjoy- and the trail actually goes right through! Great way to get to the ATC. The description lists Friday am as an "optional hike" so we understood it as such when in fact it was very much part of the plan. That could have been more clear- that it was part of the trip or not. not realizing everyone woudl be going, a friend and I had made alternate plans- we opted out of the maryland heights hike to loop in the AT in WV and harpers ferry. I would love to see Maryland Heights as well as walk on AT through harpers with a little time be included
The ladies on the trip as well as our 3 guides made the trip wonderful. Our accommodations were lovely and we saw deer each morning. Our meals were excellent. I would only recommend adding an extra day for hiking the West Virginia section of the AT since it is only 4 miles.
The retreat house was rustic and cozy, the guides Lanie, Danya and Haley were great and the hiking through the Maryland AT was beautiful.We had ample time to explore the historic part of Harper's Ferry and visit Civil War sites along the hiking routes.
Completing the entire state of Maryland on the AT was a personal achievement. When we needed to go a bit slower, we did just that. The 3 Guides worked really well together to cover all of the bases. Transportation was there when we needed it, the food was amazing, attention to any potential issues with blisters, etc was offered, anyone with motion sickness issues was accommodated toward the front of the van. I felt well cared for.
The women who participated seemed very much open and looking forward to connecting with other women hikers. It was a fun group!
The guides definitely made the trip!
First and foremost the guides, Lainie, Danya and, Haley!! They ran a VERY well organized trip from start to finish and are each amazing cooks! 😋 The pure pleasure and enjoyment of meeting other incredible women who share the same passion for the outdoors.
the guides, the people, the hiking, the amazing weather! i wont fill out the rest of the boxes but everything was truly top notch. amazing guides. felt very cared for. the only thing was the house had a couple of broken shower issues and too much dry air/heat so was a bit dehydrating. otherwise very comfortable. this was my first AGC trip and i will 100% go on more in the future. the guides in particular were so excellent. so happy with the trip!
The guides were amazing.
The route, the people, the accommodations and most of all the guides.
Claire, Danya, and Mel were excellent guides. Claire especially is extremely capable. Lodge was very comfortable. Hiking all of Maryland AT was terrific.
This was my first trip, I finished the 40 miles with out a problem. I met some very nice women & the weather was great
Yes it was amazing. I was looking forward to it since March hoping that it would happen. I'd say it exceeded my expectations.
Consider offering to hire us a local guide (at our expense) for an hour tour of Harpers Ferry on the last day to enhance the experience. It’s always fun to have a mother/daughter team on the trip. I’ll never forget Laura Roth saying she’d chosen this Slackpacking Maryland because “my mom can do this trip”. Patty Burrow was able to hike through her injury because Karen Abis offered Patty her extra pair of hiking shoes, just another example of what makes AGC participants special. And Shiela and Nicole’s brought a selection of local adult beverages, which was especially fun and thoughtful.
It actually exceeded my expectations.
A good time was had by all! Delicious cooking, good strong coffee in the mornings by 6, dessert every night and a fun dinner out on the last night. What more is there?
What a delightful walk in the woods!
Meeting all the great women and realizing that I can hike 10 miles a day for 4 days in a row!
It is a wonderful trail and will become a very popular trip.
These trips are always excellent!! It's what keeps me coming back. Highlights: Everyone on the trip Finishing all of Maryland on the AT!!! The day when we almost beat the rain I love coming "home" to a meal each night. Its such a nice break for me.
I enjoyed hiking with other women in such an historic area of the Appalachian Trail. The guides were great.