Update, March 20, 2008:
I have notice a heck of a lot of hits to this blog regarding this trail. This blog is not one of those informative trail sites but there seems to be an incredible lack of information on the Internet about this place. I was shocked and horrified to read that someone else is actually charging money for information regarding The Big Savage Trail. So I have created a hand drawn downloadable map that is not exact, but exact enough for hiking purposes. I have also created 2 maps to the termini of the trailheads. This should clear up some confusion and hopefully save somebody some money.
Map to north trailhead:
Map and directions to southern trail head, I'm doing this from memory:
Go to the campground on north side of Savage River Road. Drive into campground and head west (left) as far as you can go on the campground loop. Looking west along the Savage River you will see a gate, I think it is yellow. Park your car. Beyond the gate is a road. Stay on the road and when you get near the Savage Dam you will see a sign for the trail.
This was a hike hosted by The Outdoors Club led by your's truly. You can find a good trail description for the Big Savage Hikiing Trail on Big Savage Mountain near Frostburg, MD in this PATC book. However, let me add some additional comments. Due to what looks like a serious gypsy moth infestation, the tree canopy is pretty shot leaving some serious undergrowth. A good portion of the 17 mile trail is overgrown with briars so wear thick long pants or bring lots of bandaids. I would not attempt this trail in the summer. Sometime between the last time and time2 I was on this trail and now a kind soul took a great deal of time and effort and marked this trail very well, so at least you will know where you are going. The trail marking was a pleasant surprise.
This time I was determined walk the entire trail end to end. Thankfully I had all these unsuspecting people to help out with transportation and logistics. On the hike were Tuna, Hungry Ted, Keith, Lisa, Kisses and Jada. Since we were 4 days away from the shortest day of the year we were forced to put more than a little spring in our step. We started at St. John Rock and headed south. The book said there would be good camping on the ridge at mile 11, all we found were a lot of briars and undergrowth but we were successful finding enough space directly on a logging road.
I know that many of you who know us have come to this site to get the dirt on what happened. Unfortunately too many of the participants have significant others so I am forced to keep my mouth shut. I will say that I have never seen so much alcohol brought for a one-night backpack, things got rolling early due to the 5PM sunset.
The next day we visited the High Rock Tower.
I managed to climb up to level 2 and then refused to go any further, the tower seems more than a little dangerous. Lisa was the only one who made it all the way to the top. At the bottom I made another video interview with Keith, a trail overseer with the PATC Cadillac Crew. If you want to learn about being a trail overseer take a look.