My summit of High Rock on Big Savage Mountain in Garrett County, Maryland
I actually planned this trip after reading about it on Summitpost. High Rock is a peak on Big Savage Mountain which is located in the Savage River State Forest in Garrett County, Maryland. High Rock's elevation is 2,991 feet, however there are higher peaks slightly over 3,000 along the ridge line of the mountain. The Savage Mountain Hiking trail is a 17 mile trail that covers the mountain ridge beginning at the North Trailhead called St. John's Rock and continues to the South Trailhead at the Southern SRSF Campground at the Savage River Reservoir. My original plan was to hike all 17 miles from South to North, however after visiting the SRSF Ranger Station to purchase a map, I was convinced by the friendly Ranger that I would probably be finishing in the dark if I wanted to do the entire 17 miles. Another option which I settled on was to start at High Rock and go North thus shaving off 3 miles of the Southern tip of the trail. After parking my Nissan Xterra at St. John's Rock, my wife shuttled me to the nearest location along Westernport Road where I could begin my ascent to High Rock. I started at 9:06 AM; 43 degrees, very foggy and damp. I reached the summit at 9:40 AM after an elevation gain of about 640 feet. After taking some photos and scrambling around the rock formations, I started on the 14 mile trek to St. John's Rock at the North Trailhead. Along the way I saw a huge buck that came out of nowhere as he jumped over the trail, several chipmonks and a large red-headed woodpecker, but no humans for the entire day. I made it to St. John's Rock (elev. 3,000 ft) at 3:30 PM. All in all a very nice adventure, however I would have liked to have completed the entire trail. The map that I purchased from the Ranger Station for $6 was a great asset. It also covers other trails and peaks which I plan to complete in the future in the Garrett County area.
Sign marking the beginning of the Savage Mountain Trail at St. John's Rock on Big Savage Mountain.
Is the lookout tower still there on High Rock! It has been a little while since I have been there. I do plan on going back when I visit my old professors at Frostburg State University. Good TR and photos. The last three miles has most elevation gain or loss depending on which way you are going. I remember those switchbacks down to the Savage River.
Yes, the tower is still there, although some of the wooden steps are missing and others don't seem to be of load-bearing quality. I started up the tower, but thought twice about it since I was out there by myself.