As a mom to the male species, I am frequently involved in a myriad of outdoor adventures. It simply can’t be avoided.

In the Gerlock family, we’re very picky when it comes to the activities we chose to participate in during our spare time. (Hey, we are busy people!) When evaluating the possibility of a new experience, we ask five simple questions:

  1. Any dirt?
  2. Possibly mud?
  3. Rocks to throw?
  4. Wild animals about?
  5. Chance of death or dismemberment?

If it meets all of the above criteria, WE’RE SO IN.

The above criteria is why we spent our holiday hiking with two other families up a portion of TheAppalachian Trail to Annapolis Rock.

Even though I have lived in the surrounding area most of my life, I’d never experienced this hike. I was, um, unprepared.

Selfie - prior to sweatfest.
This is the part in the story where my hubris gets the best of me. You see, I figured that my current marathon training was enough to get me through a hike. Because, really? I ran 17 miles last Saturday. SEVENTEEN MILES, Y’ALL.

Surely that was enough conditioning?

Of course it wasn’t.

Annapolis Rock is a rock cliff that towers high above Cumberland Valley. It has an 840 elevation gain (gah!) with a total mileage of 7.9.

ELEVATION GAIN would be the operative word here.

Kicked my ever loving butt.

I was wearing a grey T-shirt. (Don’t ever wear a grey T-shirt when you are going to sweat. You’re welcome.) I was so dainty and lady-like. #notreally #hubris


PicMonkey Collage


Now, when you get to the top of Annapolis Rock, the view is breathtaking. Stunning and totally worth the hike.

Parents – another take your breath away moment will occur when one of your children decides to venture close to the edge of the damn rock formation. This is not an “if” situation. This is a “when” situation. Consider yourself warned. (Especially if you have a near paralyzing fear of heights, like me.)

Good times.

Oh, also, if you are the mom to boy children or adventurous gals, they will want to climb this:


Please discourage them. Or at least turn your head. Actually, discourage them. Or you’ll end up climbing it to save them. Not that I know from experience or anything. (This is where the whole death and dismemberment part of the equation comes in.)

Aside from the perching on the edge of death thing, the hike is absolutely lovely and I highly recommend it if you live near the area.

Plus there is a great bridge that runs over the interstate when kids can easily coerce truck drivers into honking their horns. (Why? Because they are kids. And it can be turned into a competition.)

Wanna visit? Here is some helpful info:

PDF of the hike

Weather radar loop

Bring: Lots of water. Snacks as a reward for reaching the top. And something for the kids, too. 🙂

For those of you unfamiliar with The Appalachian Trail, it is a footpath spanning 2,168 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridgelines from the state of Georgia to Maine. In Maryland, we have almost 40 miles of the trail. (Mostly along the ridgeline of South Mountain.)