Summit of Backbone Mountain on the crest of the Eastern Continental Divide
Garrett County, western Maryland 6 miles southwest of Redhouse Latitude 39 degrees, 14 minutes North; 79 degrees, 29 minutes West USGS Map: Davis, WV (7.5 Minute)
The Elliott's Pages
Hoye-Crest, Backbone Mountain,
Maryland, 3,360 Feet
I climbed Backbone Mountain on September 7, 1996
Since that time the summit has great benefitted from being informally "adopted" by the Elliotts who have built a mile long trail through National Forest property on the West Virginia side and on to the coal-company owned summit.
The Elliotts are working with the State of Maryland to get the state to formally buy the summit.
A jeep trail (probably but not necessarily accessible to regular cars) now goes to within 100 yards of the summit. However a sign at the entrance to the Estates (on the south edge of Silver Lake across the border from Redhouse in West Viriginia) warns you that this is private property and that specifically access to Maryland's highest point is via the trail head a half mile south on Route 219.
The official hiking trail head is marked by a large red sign and a tiny parking area a half mile south of the Estates (an even more intersting landmark is the smallest church in the lower 48 states which is located directly west across the road from the Estates. This six-pew church which generates huge crowds and national attention at Christmas is situated on a story-book pretty manicured grounds and is definitely a must see.
On our trip, we did not run into any other high pointers. But maybe that was because the area had been inundated with 5 inches of rain from Hurricane Fran earlier in the day.
Trail Update (courtesy of Rod Bourn (email@example.com)
Maryland's trail has recently been
made much easier to follow.