Gathland SP to Weverton Cliffs

Description: This is a relatively easy shuttle hike on the AT. There is a minor elevation gain at the beginning and then the hike is mostly flat until you reach the descent near the cliffs. I believe there are 14 switchbacks involved to get back down to your cars. The views from the cliffs above the Potomac are outstanding. On a clear day you can see Harpers Ferry beyond the U.S. 340 bridge that crosses the Potomac. Gathland SP is the site of the home of George Townsend, a civil war correspondent. There is a huge memorial erected to war correspondents near the road. This was also the site of an important civil war battle that culminated in the Battle of Antietam some 3 days later. For more information go to This MD DNR site.



Google Custom Directions to Weverton Car Drop-off

Google Custom Directions from Weverton to Gathland SP



Printable/Downloadable Map!

Printable/Downloadable Map!

View 3-D Map!

Zipped National Geographic. TOPO! GPS and Universal GPX Files

GPS Text File for Non-TOPO! Users



Trail Notes: This is probably the easiest hike description Iíve had to write. Find where the white blazed Appalachian trail crosses the road and follow it south past the rest rooms and then the brick building on the left. The AT will weave behind an old flower garden and climb a hill to gain the main ridge. From there follow the white blazes.


In about4 miles, come to a spur trail to the left that leads to the Ed Garvey Memorial AT shelter. Iíve only hiked small portions of the AT in VA, MD and PA but have seen several shelters. Believe me when I say this one is the Taj Mahal of them all. It even has a sleeping loft with plexiglass windows facing east to catch the morning sun. The privy is equally impressive.


From the shelter continue south to the junction with the blue blazed Weverton Cliffs spur trail. This may not be signed but should be obvious none the less. Follow it down to the cliffs for a short distance and enjoy the view.


Return to the AT and descend via 14 switchbacks to a road below. Cross the road and follow the white blazes on the telephone poles along Weverton Rd. back to your cars. Return to Gathland SP to pick up the rest of the cars.

Printable/Downloadable Directions and Trail Notes!

Critique this outing!



Outing Critiques

Name: John M. Pugh                                                                                               Hike: Gathland SP to Weverton Heights
Date: 9 Oct 2010                                                                                                     Rating: 5

Critique: This was exhilarating to say the least. First, a misconception to clear up in the initial description of the hike. Though certainly not strenuous by experienced hiker standards, it is none the less a taxing hike due to the extreme rockiness of the trail and is by no means a flat walk (less than 1/2 mile in total is flat); especially if you do an out and back from Gathland SP. There are several moderate hills in both directions, but your knees and ankles will pay the price if you aren't prepared. Not everyone is a seasoned trekker!

That said, wear a sturdy pair of hiking boots/shoes and enjoy. The entire trail is secluded and quiet with excellent scenery all along the way. We stopped at the Ed Garvey Shelter (very nice), but unfortunately, we were swamped by this year's Stink Bug invasion. Never seen anything like it!

Reaching the Weverton Cliffs and looking out over the Potomac Valley was nothing short of spectacular. It was a perfectly clear day and we could see all the way to Harpers Ferry! Definitely recommend this hike to everyone!


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