Log Roll Trail

Orange blazes and stream crossings

Orange blazes and stream crossings

Log Roll Trail is a 4.5 mile long path that runs from Route 51 (near the Town Creek Aqueduct) to the overlook off of Green Ridge Road.  There are several trails in Green Ridge State Forest, two of which (Log Roll and Long Pond) have a terminus on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.  This makes for several interesting shuttle hikes or a 40+ mile loop that takes advantage of four Adirondack-style shelters in the forest and three primitive hiker/biker campsites along the canal.  Today, however, we did an up-and-back, concentrating on Log Roll.

Following Big Run

Following Big Run

From the start, the trail is well-marked with orange blazes.  For the first two miles, the path meanders through the narrow Big Run valley, and we lost track of the number of stream crossings.  I would guess that there are at least twenty.  Not long ago, we attempted the trail while the stream was higher than usual, but even after the water level dropped, we were both glad that we brought a pair of hiking sandals along.

Shelter one mile from Md. Route 51

Shelter one mile from Md. Route 51

Log Roll Trail is considered moderate in difficulty, mainly because there is a change in elevation of roughly only 700′ over its course, and much of this occurs as the path leaves Big Run and heads uphill toward Green Ridge Road.  The trail crosses the road and runs parallel to it for approximately 1.5 miles.  We wandered around at the crossing because this is the one spot along the way that is poorly marked.  In this case, look for a white blaze.

Sloped trail!

Sloped trail!

The last mile heading toward the overlook runs crossways along a steep incline on what Louis L’Amour might call a “ghost” of a trail.  The faint path was covered in last year’s dead leaves, and footing was treacherous in a number of spots.  In fact, Candee had to adjust her hiking poles to two different lengths.  My lone pole saved me from a couple of long slides into who-knows-where as well.  We’ve done a few day hikes along the AT that were labeled as difficult, but Log Roll left me hurting in places that I’d never been sore before.  Go figure!

Looking down at Town Creek

Looking down at Town Creek

Far below, Town creek meanders through a sharp bend shaped like a horseshoe, and logs were once rolled off of the hillside to the stream below.  From there, they were floated to a sawmill–hence the name of the trail.  The hike isn’t terribly difficult, although at different times of the year high water, snow, and briars can add to the excitement.  Nevertheless, the trails of Green Ridge State Forest and the C&O Canal combine for a nice long walk through both the woods and history.  Enjoy!

Log Roll Overlook, partial view

Log Roll Overlook, partial view

Be Sociable, Share!

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by pzd on May 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Hi! Thanks for your post! Quick question in response to “This makes for several interesting shuttle hikes or a 40+ mile loop” : Are these trails easily identified on the Green Ridge Forest Maps? Do you have to stitch any other trails (other than Log Roll and Long Pond)? I’m wondering because that could make for a great 3-day backpack trip. Thanks!

    Reply

  2. Posted by LevelWalker on May 9, 2014 at 7:26 am

    There is a $6 map at the headquarters just off of exit 64 on I-68. All of the trails are marked and described, and the four shelters are pinpointed. Actually, Log Roll and Long Pond aren’t connected directly, but they are linked by Deep Run/Big Run Trail. The other trails are Pine Lick and Twin Oaks. One possibility is to start on Pine Lick near the Pennsylvania line, then one can head down Deep Run to Log Roll. From there, a twenty (or so) mile hike on the C&O leads to Long Pond (at Lock 58), That trail is approximately nine miles and will take you back toward the park headquarters, which can be reached from a spur trail off of Pine Lick. There are shorter hikes available. There are 4 shelters in the park and (I believe) 3 hiker/biker campsites along the C&O. That sounds like a good time! Bring sandals–there will be stream crossings in the forest.

    Reply

  3. Posted by pzd on May 21, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for the info! I ordered and received a map of the Forest. I’m thinking about doing this as a 40 mile loop over 3 nights, with one other person. A good bailout point could be the Great Eastern Trail, to meet the Deep Run/Big Run Trail again, and shorten the trip. Any recommendations on which direction to hike it? I was planning on starting on the Big Run/Deep Run trail, headed south, in a counter-clockwise direction, but after analyzing the maps, it looks like going clockwise and spreading the C&O portion over the end of the first day and into the second day may be better instead of just the C&O all on the second day. Thoughts?

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on May 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      That sounds like a good idea. There’s a shelter on Log Roll about a mile from the C&O near Town Creek. There are a couple of campsites on the towpath that would fit your plans too. Heading back up Long Pond Trail on day three would finish it up. You may want to call ahead and see if you could park at the forest headquarters lot while you’re out hiking. It sounds like a great trip. I would love to hear about it when you’re done!

      Reply

  4. Posted by pzd on May 21, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Will do! I was looking on google maps and there appears to be a railroad track (active or inactive, I’m not sure) between lock 61 and lock 60, near Kasecamp Rd (http://goo.gl/maps/Wr2Ey). I was thinking this could be a shortcut to cut out 4 miles of C&O towpath along that river bend, and just go straight across the (presumably) abandoned tracks to the other side. Do you know anything about them?

    Reply

    • Posted by LevelWalker on May 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Yeah…that’s the old Western Maryland Railway. The abandoned Stickpile Tunnel is just past the lower end of Carroll Road. That’s the right-of-way that was going to be used for the extension of the rail trail, but that has kind of fallen through. Maybe you can even use Carroll Road or Mertens Avenue as a shortcut.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>