Lambs Knoll is a peak of South Mountain on the border of Washington County and Frederick County in Maryland. Lambs Knoll at 1,758ft.(536m.) is the second tallest point on South Mountain in Maryland behind Quirauk Mountain (2145 ft).
The peak is located to the south of Fox Gap and north of Crampton Gap, and marks the beginning of the change in South Mountain from a solitary narrow ridge to a broad highland plateau, as it nears the convergence with Catoctin Mountain .
The Appalachian Trail passes just to the southeast of the summit but a spur trail leads from it to the crest near an old fire tower and communications towers. There are no views from the summit but just south of the peak the AT passes by White Rocks which provides very good views from the mountain. The only other views are from a powerline cut on the north side of Lambs Knoll just south of the Reno Monument area, and a few views through the trees along the ridge aproaching from Gathland. The hike is relatively easy but is steeper when approaching from the north. The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club maintains the trail through Maryland.
Access to Lambs Knoll is via the Appalachian Trail. The shortest route is from the north via parking on Reno Monument Road in Fox's Gap, where a hike of 2.5 miles leads to the high point.
From the south the hike begins at Gathland State Park in Cramptons Gap where a hike north leads 3.8 miles to the high point.
To reach Fox's Gap turn south from the Old National Pike (Alt 40) just east of downtown Boonsboro. onto Rt. 67. Reno Monument Rd will be on the left a few minutes down the road. Turn left and drive to the top of the hill where the Appalachian Trail crosses. A small parking area will be on the south side of the road.
Cramptons Gap and Gathland State Park can be reached by following the same Rt 67 south until you come to Gapland Road where you would turn east. Follow the road to the top where you will find parking on the north side of the road in the park.
Once at a parking area you simply follow the Appalachian Trail to the top of Lambs Knoll.
Cival War History
Fox's Gap is the site of one of the battles in the Battle of South Mountain. The battle here was fought on September 14, 1862. The Federal Army was lead by Major General Reno and the the Confederate right flank was lead by Brigadier General Garland. Both were killed during this battle and there are monuments near the parking area to honor them. Also in the battle and wounded was future President Rutherford B. Hayes.
In Cramptons Gap another battle during the Battle of South Mountain also took place. Here the Federal Army lead by Franklin greatly overpowered the Confederates lead by McLaws in a very heavy fight. This location is most commonly known for its War Correspondants Memorial. The only such memorial in existance. It was built by George Alfred Townsend, a Cival War journalist who used the name "Gath". On the hill to the south is Gath Hall, the estate of Townsend. Which is now a museum.
The Confederates losing the battle retreated to Sharpsburg ( a few miles west of South Mountain) and prepared to defend there as the Federal Troops advanced on September 17,1862. The battle at Sharpsburg or the Battle of Antietam as called by the north was the bloodiest battle in American History with approximatly 23,000 soldiers killed in the 12 hour fight.
Camping can be found at the Cramptons Gap Shelter .4 miles north of Cramptons Gap along the Appalachian Trail or at the Rocky Run Shelter at .9 miles south of Fox's Gap. Camping is allowed only at these locations. One note, the original Rocky Run Shelter is closed, while a new one is being built, so currently there is no shelter available at that location.
On a side note.... if you are scared of camping areas, Crampton Gap is about 1 mile west of Burkettsville MD the home of the "Blair Witch", you never know she may be staying with you too!!
External LinksGathland State Park
History of Fox Gap
Antietam National Battlefield
Patomic Appalachian Trail Club
Appalachian Trail Conservancy