TRIP IDEA

Eastern Continental Divide Loop

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

Stunning view of cascading blue mountains enveloped in fading mist on a sunny morning
Duration Multiple Days
Topic(s) Trails, Deciduous Forests, Mountains, Night Sky, Scenic Views, Coniferous Forests, Headwaters, Lakes, Water Trails, Dams, River and Riparian
Activities Biking, Backcountry Hiking, Kayaking, Paddling, Whitewater Rafting
Type Active
Parks Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

Do the Loop!
  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

    Paddle Savage River Reservoir

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Paddling
    • Pets: Yes
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    bow of a kayak on flatwater surrounded by forest

    This is a quiet, flat water paddle, approximately 2.6 miles end-to-end. To understand this trip in the context of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop, take note of the southern terminus of the Big Savage Mountain Trail below the dam and see Day 1 of "Do the Loop" on the Garrett Trails Web site.

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  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

    Hike the Monroe Run Trail and Meadow Mountain Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Backcountry Hiking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Eastern Monroe Run Trailhead
    • Duration: 4–7 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk

    Beginning at the western end of the Savage River Reservoir, this 9-mile hike ascends approximately 1900 feet, includes numerous creek crossings, and ends at a viewpoint above State Route 495 on the Meadow Mountain Trail. Part of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop, visit the "Do the Loop" section on the Garrett Trails Web page for detailed information.

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  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

    Paddle Hoyes Run to Sang Run on the Upper Youghiogheny

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Kayaking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Hoyes Run launch area on the Upper Youghiogheny River
    • Duration: 2–4 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    river with trees on both sides

    A mostly easy paddle--kayak, canoe or raft--on upper Youghiogheny River and important to check water levels. Outfitters serve this area, offering shuttles and boats. Part of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop, see the "Do the Loop" section of the Garrett Trails Web page for details.

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    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Whitewater Rafting
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Sang Run Launch
    • Duration: 3–5 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    view of river through forested bank

    Considered on the best whitewater sections of river in the East, this section of the Yough drops 520 feet over 9 miles. Unless you are an expert paddler, it's best to contact one of the outfitters in the area and to go with a guide. This trip can be combined with a 2.5-mile section from Hoyes Run to Sang Run. Part of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop, see the "Do the Loop" section of the Garrett Trails Web page for details.

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  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

    Paddle Friendsville MD to Confluence PA

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Kayaking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Town of Friendsville Park, MD
    • Duration: 4–6 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    view of lake with trees on all sides from cockpit of a kayak

    Launch at Friendsville, Maryland, and paddle 13.5 miles to Confluence, Pennsylvania, taking out above the dam. Best paddled with a touring kayak, you initially navigate some small rapids on the Youghiogheny River before entering the still water of the Lake. Outfitters in the area rent boats and offer shuttle services. Part of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop, see Day 4 in the "Do the Loop" section on the Garrett Trails Web site.

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  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

    Bicycle Confluence to Big Savage Mountain

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Biking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Confluence trailhead along the Great Allegheny Passage
    • Duration: 1–2 Days
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    family of bicyclists at the Eastern Continental Divide on the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail

    The Great Allegheny Passage is a 150 mile rail-trail between Cumberland, Maryland--terminus of the C & O Canal Towpath--and Point State Park in Pittsburgh. To complete part of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop, bicycle 41 miles from Confluence to Deal, then 8+ miles on-road to the northern trailhead for the Big Savage Mountain Trail. Continue past Deal on the GAP to cross the Divide and to visit the Big Savage Tunnel. Outfitter shuttles and lodging in Meyersdale available.

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  • Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

    Hike the Big Savage Mountain Trail

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Backcountry Hiking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Northern Trailhead for the Big Savage Mountain Trail near Saint John Rock
    • Duration: 1–2 Days
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    a rock outcropping in a deciduous forest with ferns along a blazed footpath

    The Big Savage Mountain Trail, managed by Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources, is an 18-mile footpath providing outstanding views of the high points in western Maryland. Best traversed north to south, the Trail is a challenging one-day hike or can be an overnight; a permit for backpacking is available from the Forest office. The Trail is part of the Eastern Continental Divide Loop, a multi-modal adventure recognized as a segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

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Last updated: February 28, 2018