While there are several different ways to hike to Chimney Rocks this trail is best if you want to hike there in the early morning to watch the sunrise from the rocks. The trail follows a wide forest road that alternates between strips of grass and sandy gravel before turning on a short rocky trail that leads to Chimney Rocks where the jumbled formation of large rocks rests on the side of the mountain.
Parking Lot GPS Coordinates: 39° 49′ 38.786″ N, 77° 30′ 10.058″ W
Trail Length: 5.1 Miles
Estimated Time To Complete: 2.5 Hours
Elevation Change: ~400′
Trailhead Location: The forest gate at the beginning of Tower Road.
Trail Type: Out & Back
Trail Blazes: Chimney Rocks Trail – Blue Rectangles (You’ll see no blazes until further along the trail when you leave the forest road), Appalachian Trail – White Rectangles
Trail Map: Michaux State Forest Map – Available at the District Forest Office on Route 30.
Recommended Equipment: Sneakers or Hiking Boots, Water, Sunscreen, Bear Bells
Optional Equipment: Trekking Poles, Camera, Flashlight, Head Lamp
- Appalachian Trail
- Beaver Trail
- Big Flat ATV Trail
- Pole Steeple Trail
- Caledonia State Park
- Pine Grove Furnace State Park
- Monument Rock
- Dark Hollow Vista
Start the trail at the 4-way intersection at the top of Snowy Mountain Road and head down the gated Tower Road (Chimney Rocks Road on some maps), pass through the second gate and continue until you reach a split in the trail at .6 miles where the left hand trail heads to a communications tower. Continuing down the right hand trail you’ll notice little reflective tacks in some of the trees, when you’re not expecting to see them and you’re doing this hike before the dawn they can look remarkably like an animal’s eyes.
As you continue down the trail at 1.12 miles you’ll pass Currans Road and then a pipeline at 1.6 miles. Keep following the trail until you arrive at a loop in the road with a grove of trees in the middle, on the left side of the road you’ll find a blue blazed trail that heads east into the woods on a narrow, rocky foot path towards Chimney Rocks. Soon you’ll intersect the Appalachian Trail which has been shadowing your route the entire way in the trees to the left of the trail, continue past the AT and shortly you’ll come up to Chimney Rocks from behind. Climb up onto the rocks and enjoy the view of the Waynesboro Reservoir, Hayes Run and Antietam Creek about 700′ down in the valley below. Directly across the valley from you lays South Mountain,one of many mountains that forms the western boundary of the Great Valley. The Great Valley, an enormous 1,200 mile long trough-like lowland, extends from Alabama northwards through the Mid-Atlantic States and New England and into Quebec.
The rocks here are also known as Buzzards Peak or Buzzard Park because of the number of Buzzard nests that used to be prevalent on top of the mountain. While not found in the same numbers they once were nests can still be found in the rocks which run roughly for a 1/4 of a mile in a north to south direction. Because the view faces due east sunrises can be seen at any time of the year here.