College Mountain resides just within the northern border of the great state of Maryland. Not known for its' huge mountain peaks, Maryland, like the other mid-atlantic states has many rolling mountains which offer hundreds of hiking and climbing opportunities. College Mountain is a part of the Blue Ridge
which runs south into Virginia and creates the notorious Skyline Drive. This less dramatic summit offers wonderful views, history, and a lot of solitude for those of us seeking a more backcountry experience. One of College Mountain's most famous attributes is the college at its' base. Mount St. Mary's College
is a division one school and will be seen by anyone travelling to this mountain. Another more historical part of the mountain, which involves religion, is the Elizabeth Anne Seton Shrine
located on the bottom half of the mountain. She was the first catholic saint in the United States and you can visit the beautiful grotto on the mountain side, along with what used to be her home. The mountain is also very close to the attenative towns of Gettysburg and Emmitsburg
which from a historical standpoint, puts this mountain in a very strategic location. The geological features of the mountain include two knobs with a connecting ridge that runs east to west. The southern summit, Round Top
, is higher by seventy feet or so. The mountain also provides excellent views east and west along the route to the summit. Vistas show the beautiful rolling farmland of northern Maryland and stretch into Pennsylvania.
Access to this mountain is via Route 15 from Gettysburg, PA and Fredrick, MD
. From just south of the Mason-Dixon Line follow the signs for Mount St. Mary's College. Eventually, by following the signs, you'll end up on the south end of the campus heading west. Once you reach the top of the hill just below the base of the mountain, turn left and look for the Elizabeth Anne Seton signs. Once you find the road up to the Grotto, turn onto it and continue up it for just under a half mile where you will see an old dirt road heading up the mountain. This is the trailhead.
There are no permits required for hiking up this mountain and the only seasonal closures would be for snow. It would have to be a really bad snow storm though to have the road shut down. For conservation, follow the "Leave No Trace"
program and you'll be fine. Parking is available across the road from the trailhead, but you shouldn't have too much competition for a spot. You could also park in the Grotto parking lot which is less than a half mile away.
When To Climb
This mountain is climbable all times of year.
There is no camping on this mountain.
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