A hike to the highest point in Maryland can be a rewarding experience. The trek to Backbone Mountain offers views of West Virginia while avoiding a lot of the typical hiker tedium.
The highest point in the state of Maryland is Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain, a natural high point located within the county of Garrett. It rises to an elevation of 3,360 feet, and is named for Captain Charles E. Hoye (1876-1951), who founded the Garrett County Historical Society.
Its summit is easily accessible from logging roads off of Route 219 south of the picturesque hamlet of Silver Lake, West Virginia. A short, rocky trail leads to a small obelisk that marks the state line.
From there, follow a series of switchbacks and cairns up through rocky terrain until Hoye-Crest comes into view. This notch in the ridge is where the high point in Maryland rests, and it offers a great look at the North Branch Potomac River valley to the east.
A drive to the top of Hoye-Crest isn’t difficult at all, but it’s important to keep in mind that the trail to the top is mainly on private property (the West Virginia side is national forest). If you plan on doing this hike, please respect the owners and don’t leave any trash or deface their land.