Boonsboro/ Williamsport, MD
It’s always a treat to make it out to western Maryland. Bit by bit, we’ve been tackling the sections of the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. This hike was another small section that took us to Washington Monument State Park. It was the perfect hike to get our blood pumping on a chilly morning. Afterward, we warmed up with a couple (okay, a few) brews at Homaide Brewing Company. This was a great start to our winter hiking season!
THE HIKE: Appalachian Trail: Turner’s Gap to Washington Monument
Length: 4.4 miles (Out and Back)
Elevation Gain: 950 ft
Time: 1.5-2 hours
Trail use: Hiking, leashed pets
Parking: AT parking at the Old South Mountain Inn. If full, do hike in reverse and park at Monument
The Appalachian Trail meanders 40 miles through Western Maryland. We’re not backpackers (yet) so we’ve been slowly working through small sections of the AT. Since this is a bit far for us to drive, we planned to stop for a hike along the way to our hometown for Thanksgiving. This section of the AT is only 2.2 miles (4.4 out and back) but it was the perfect way to start out a weekend of eating, eating, and maybe some more eating. There’s ample parking for AT hikers in the Old South Mountain Inn, especially when the restaurant isn’t open. Also this is very close to the Dahlgren backpackers campsite if you’d like to extend your hike!
I rated this trail as moderate since there are some elevation changes with a few rocky spots. I really liked all of these features since they kept the hike interesting! We hardly encountered anyone on the trail this crisp morning and before we knew it, we were already at the Washington Monument! We had the overlook completely to ourselves. The view from the top of the monument was utterly spectacular. Something about the brisk morning made the colors of the sky really gleam.
Okay so you’re probably wondering, isn’t the Washington Monument in DC? Well this is a different one! This monument was built by the people of Boonsboro in 1827, making it the first completed monument to GW. It was used as a signal tower by the Union in the Civil War too. After the war, it fell into disrepair and was eventually revitalized by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936. Now it’s maintained by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and is a popular hiking spot!
We really liked this trail and if we hadn’t been on a time crunch we probably would have done a longer hike. You can also park at the lot off Route 40 (same as Annapolis Rock parking) and take the AT going south to the Monument for a ~6 mile hike. The options are endless!
THE BEER: Homaide Brewing Co
Address: 10212 Governor Lane Boulevard Suite #1012, Williamsport, MD 21795
Distance from Trail Head: 14 miles, 23 mins
H&H Rating: 3/5
It had been a while since we were kicking around near Hagerstown. So long that a new brewery had popped up in the same plaza as Cushwa Brewing (from our very first Hikes & Hops post). Driving home for Thanksgiving was the perfect chance to stop along the way for this brewery. We’re starting to hit our limits of what we can drive to in a day. This is some serious commitment to our brews!
Homaide Brewing Company opened in 2020 and has established themselves as beer experimenters. I’ve never been to a brewery with such off the wall flavors! We seriously had to try everything. Don’t judge us, it was the day before a holiday. The beertender was fantastic, giving us a rundown of the flavors and offering us small tasters of everything. She really knew her stuff! While Homaide had a broad range of styles, I was really feeling their darker beers. Maybe it’s because we were just hiking in 25F or maybe because it was right before Thanksgiving, but I was really wanting some dark, cozy brews. My favorite was definitely the Down the Hatch Porter. Some of the other dark beers were a bit too barrel aged for me. I’m quite picky about my barrel-aged beers and I just can’t do rye flavors. So the French Toast and You’l be Smitten were out for me. Thankfully, the Down the Hatch rose to the occasion, giving me a nice bitter cacao flavor with the smooth, creamy taste. Also honorable mention goes to the Coattails. Will I ever get sick of Hazy IPAs? Maybe but this was not that day! Overall, J and I were impressed with the wide range of offerings at Homaide. If you’re looking for traditional beers, this might not be the place for you. But if you love trying new things, it’s worth the trek out to Williamsport.
Also shout out to Homaide for being one of the few breweries in Western Maryland to be open in the early afternoon on a Wednesday! Don’t these people realize we have hikes to plan around?!
- French Toast Nightman – Barrel- Aged Imperial Stout – 10%
- You’ll be Smitten – Barrel-Aged Milk Stout – 6%
- Down the Hatch – Porter – 7%
- Browned Out – Brown Ale – 5.9%
- The Chef – Smoothie Sour – 6.5%
- Doggo – Lager – 4.7%
- Honey Bunches of Beer – Cream Ale – 7.5%
- Coattails – Hazy IPA – 7.9%
SUM UP: Washington Monument State Park is a great day hike along the Appalachian Trail. There’s ample parking at the Old South Mountain Inn and it’s a 4.4 out and back trail from there. The hike has some elevation changes and some rocky spots. Spend some time at the Washington Monument, taking in the incredible views. You can actually see four different states from up there! After your trek, drive up to Williamsport to check out Homaide Brewing Co, a new nanobrewery who specializes in bold, unique flavors. The staff is very friendly and eager to talk about their brews. Right now, check out some of the dark beers, tis the season!