Backcountry conditions change constantly. It is your responsibility to be prepared for the unexpected.
Report any adverse or dangerous Trail conditions you encounter by sending a detailed email to [email protected].
Click each update below for more information.
Temporary Closure of Shelters and Privies on APPA Lands – Maryland
(UPDATED 2/17/2021 FROM THE 02/16/2021 NPS APPA COMPENDIUM OF ORDERS)
COVID-19 Related Temporary Closure of All Shelters and Privies on APPA Lands
Effective March 30, 2020, the National Park Service is closing all overnight shelters (55 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office in the states of VA (10 shelters, 12 privies), MD (1 shelter, 2 privies), PA (8 shelters, 6 privies), NJ (1 shelter, 1 privy), NY (5 shelters, 5 privies), CT (7 shelters, 16 privies), MA (1 shelter, 4privies), and ME (22 shelters, 29 privies). These closures are consistent with and in concurrence of our state and non-profit partners. These modifications to operations are in support of federal, state, and local efforts to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, partners, and local communities. These closures will be in effect until further notice.
In the Maryland section of the A.T., this affects shelters and privies at the following shelter sites:
Ed Garvey Shelter
All shelters and privies will be closed to all use on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office lands to implement the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
(CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing and sanitation standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Closing shelters will prevent trail users from congregating in close proximity to one another and encourage proper social distancing recommendations. Overnight trail users are encouraged to use a tent, and tent usage is authorized in the area surrounding the shelters. Closing of privies will prevent trail users from entering confined spaces where disease spreads without proper sanitation, and will discourage visitors from using
facilities that do not meet cleanliness standards. With privies closed, hikers should dig a cat hole more than 200 feet from water sources and camping areas. The use of tents instead of shelters, and cat-holes for human waste disposal, is a reasonable mitigation to help protect our visitors.
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/appa/learn/management/upload/2021_APPA_Compendium_021621.pdf.
Maryland COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Individuals who travel to Maryland must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. This applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
Dahlgren Bathhouse – Closed For Renovations
(8/31/2020) Beginning September 9 the Dahlgren Bathhouse at the Dahlgren Backpacker Campground (mile 1043.3) will be closed for renovations. It will be closed until next spring.
Maryland Shelter Advisory
All shelters on Maryland DNR lands (all shelters on the A.T. in Maryland except the Ed Garvey Shelter) are open.
Hikers are advised by Maryland DNR to sanitize themselves after using privies, or avoid privies and follow Leave No Trace principles for this activity (dig a cathole 200 feet from water, campsites and the trail).
Parking Advisory for US 40 A.T. Trailhead (access to Annapolis Rock)
(5/21/2020) Due to extremely overwhelmed parking leading to unsafe conditions at the US 40 Appalachian Trail trailhead parking (used to access Annapolis Rock), the Maryland State Police and the Natural Resource Police will be present on Saturday and Sunday mornings from now and into the summer months to enforce the “No Parking” zone. Residents are encouraged to come early to find legal parking areas or pay to park in the neighboring Maryland Department of Natural Resources at Greenbrier State Park adjacent to the Appalachian Trail.
The Maryland State Police are encouraging visitors to park only where authorized to avoid receiving a citation.
For more information, click here.
Pen Mar County Park – Required Overnight Parking Pass
(Updated 8/26/2020) Pen Mar County Park requires a free parking permit for overnight parking on Pen Mar High Rock Road that must be obtained in advance. This permit can be obtained online at www.washco-md.net/parks-facilities/overnight-parking-pass/ or by calling 240-313-2700.
You will receive a “Do Not Tow” pass as an attachment that must be printed and posted in your vehicle so local police will know that the vehicle has been registered.
Sandy Hook Road Re-Opened Temporarily
(10/26/2018) Sandy Hook Road (which provides access to trailhead parking for the Maryland Heights Trail near the A.T./C&O Towpath Junction across from Harpers Ferry) has re-opened. Debris removal from a landslide that occurred above the road this spring has been completed, but slope stabilization will still be required. People traveling on the road adjacent to the landslide area should exercise caution. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/hafe/learn/management/md-hgts-landslide.htm.