Route: Big Savage Mountain Trail (MD)

Maryland, US
27 km
Vertical Gain
630 m

This is a challenging 17 mile mountain-top trail which travels over steep and rocky terrain with significant brush on the trail. Backpacking & primitive camping permits are available at Savage River State Forest Headquarters.

Use: Hiking Only

Difficulty: Difficult

Directions: Northern End - Take exit 29 off I-68 and head south on Beall School Road for 1.25 miles. At the T-intersection, turn left and continue on this road for 1.25 miles to trail sign. South End - Turn north on Savage River Road and go approximately 4 miles. Turn right into a primitive camp area where trail can be located.

GPS Track


Hello! I ran this FKT when 15 miles were covered in snow and at a time when the trail had roughly 204 fallen trees covering the 17 miles. I'm guessing it will remain in this state for some time but hopeful I/we/anyone can help out by raising awareness and doing trail repairs. Years of storm damage cover the trail, and it requires keen attention and navigating. The blog will tell you everything you need to know, with an elevation profile, mile-by-mile details, and photos. Feel free to contact me with questions and comments - I'd love to run it again without snow and hear about your adventures if you attempt it! I want the trail to get used so that we can save it :)  . Blog:


Your FKT is safe! I just missed it by 3 and a half minutes!  Crazy!


Really enjoyed the rugged terrain.  I thought I had it at the halfway point but realized I needed to pick up the pace at the 13mi mark...just wasn't enough.   

User Picture
Profile picture for user Donnie Orr

Hey All, 

I may go after this route sometime this month.

You all went from the southern trail head north, right?

Andrew, how was the trail two weeks ago? Overgrown Yet?

Thanks in advance, and great work out there!

5-16-20-Headed out to attempt the south to north FKT. I will report back with the results.

Hey, Donnie! How did your FKT attempt go? And yes, I ran south to north. 

Hey Brynn, 

Great training run. Very overgrown. Got turned around atop the climb and ended up 1/2 way down it and decided to descend and restart watch. Unfortunately I UberEd from the north trail head so I used a good bit of my fuel and water on that first climb so by mile 10 on the second attempt I was completely out of everything and bonked hard. Climbing the first 2.5 miles twice gassed me and I had nothing to refuel. I’ll go back when there is less growth. Awesome trail much respect for your effort!

Wow, Donnie, great effort! I can imagine how overgrown it was. It's a rugged one for sure! Let me know how your next attempt goes. Happy running :) 

User Picture
Profile picture for user csalsgiver007

Anyone been on here lately? I would like to go check it out. Also, has anyone seen bears on this trail? I came upon a black bear on Massanutten while hiking solo and it really scared me as it was coming down a tree maybe 15 yards away. It turned away and ran over a ridge but now I have a little anxiety towards bears while doing solo stuff. I guess if I try this route I'll bring the bear bell