At 1,282 feet in elevation, the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest spot in Montgomery County. The mountain and its surrounding property are privately owned and maintained by Stronghold Incorporated for the public’s “enjoyment and education and appreciation of natural beauty”.
Signage for parking at Sugarloaf Mountain was a little bit hard to find. When you arrive at the complex from Comus Road you have several options of where to park and hike. You can park in the bottom “square” to access the White Trail (7 miles round trip), you can head up the mountain past the long brown building to access the East View or West View parking areas or you can drive up Mount Ephraim Road for the shortest hikes to White Rocks. We drove up the road to the West View Parking. There were no signs for this from the bottom and no Visitor’s Center either so to help you decide the best parking area for your family take a smart phone with you for access to the trail maps or download the map off the website before you go.
Once at the West View parking lot, the trailhead was easily marked and trail maps were available for the taking. There are port-a-potties and picnic tables at the trailhead for getting ready to hike. Parking at the lot on a beautiful Saturday was plentiful and free. Our family of four decided to try out the Blue Trail, a 5 mile loop that connects to the White Rocks View. The trail was well maintained and well marked with trail markers by color on the trees and numbered sign posts every half mile. Sections of the trail were muddy so use caution hiking here soon after heavy rains. The blue trail was challenging but steady and very shady along the entire route. We made it through with only mild complaining from my 8 and 9 year olds. The views at White Rocks are more than half way and make a good place to stop for a short rest.
Other trails available at Sugarloaf Mountain include the Yellow trail which is a 7 mile loop around the base of the mountain (shared with bikes and horses), the 2.5 mile loop of the summit White Trail, and the shorter Green and Orange Trails. Our family really enjoyed the serenity of Sugarloaf and the views of rural Northern Montgomery County from the White Rocks view point. We will definitely be returning to this hidden gem. The park is open year round at 8am daily and closes one hour before sunset.
Know Before You Go:
- Bring plenty of water and some snacks for keeping kids and adults energized throughout your hike.
- Even though the hike was quite shady, sunscreen and bug spray are always smart to bring along with you in the outdoors.
- Wear sturdy shoes. The hiking here is over rocky terrain with elevation gains and losses.
- Consider adding on a side trip to the family friendly Sugarloaf Mountain Winery after your hike. We didn’t stop by but the people enjoying a glass of wine on their outdoor deck as we passed looked quite relaxed and happy!
Photos by Kim Engstrom.