Rocks State Park White Trail Hike Report

Hike Summary

This hike was performed by members of Pack 802 as a summer outing in July 2020.  We hiked the white trail as a loop hike starting at the parking area on Rocks Chrome Rd. Adjacent to the park office.  The primary destination for this hike is the King and Queen Seat observation area, which is a rock outcrop rising nearly 200′ above road level that offers spectacular views to the East.  We hiked the white loop in a clockwise direction because that leaves the King and Queen seat toward the latter quarter of the hike and the remaining hike back to the parking lot is predominantly down hill from there.

It is important for scout leaders and accompanying parents to understand that the rock outcrop at the King and Queen seat can be very dangerous and several people have died from falling off of the rocks.  Our unit had a safety discussion before we started the hike and made a rule that no scouts were permitted to walk out onto the outcrop without their adult partner.  We also took turns letting small groups of scouts and their partners go on the rocks to see the view and take some photos and avoided other visitors.

The Trail is a reasonably moderate hike that should be possible for nearly all ability levels.  The first portion of the hike from the parking lot ascends approximately 300′ over 0.7 miles.  This is the most challenging part of the hike so it is best performed with fresh legs.  There are several interesting rock formations along this early portion of the hike so we took a few short breaks to take some pictures and give people a rest.  The middle portion of the hike descends approximately 250′ through some rocky and technical trail before gradually climbing back the same 250′ to arrive at the King and Queens seat.  Scouts or adults that want to avoid the second climb can bypass it by taking the red trail East across the ridge to the King and Queen Seat.  This trail is nearly flat and is the more direct route to the observation area.  The final leg of the hike from the King and Queen Seat back to the parking lot is an approximate 250′ descent over 0.4 miles with a few switchbacks to make the down-hill hiking easier.

This trail also offers a great alternative option for any scouts or adults that want to visit the overlook with their peers but cannot complete the full hike.  There is a parking lot at the Rock Ridge Picnic Area directly adjacent to the King and Queen Seat that is accessible via St Claire Bridge Road.  The King and Queen Seat observation area is approximately 0.1 miles level walk from the parking lot.

This is a fun hike with a great view and also is the perfect length to fulfill the Webelos Walkabout 3 mile hike requirement.

Hike Stats

Hike Distance:  3.29 miles

Time:  Approximately 2 hours including stop at observation area

Total Elevation Gain:  561 feet

Rating:  Moderate.  Acceptable for most hiker ability groups.  Easy alternative available.

Hike Location

Parking Address:  3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Rd, Jarrettsville, MD 21084

Picnic Shelter Address:  3900 St Clair Bridge Rd, Jarrettsville, MD 21084

Facilities:  Restroom available at Rock Ridge picnic area.

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