Diane Baker and I climbed Backbone Mountain as part of a one-day, three-state
highpoint swing, which also included West Virginia and Pennsylvania. We
managed to find our way back to the trailhead after driving by it on the first
attempt. There is no parking area as such, just an apron where a logging
road intersects Route 219. This is approximately 1.1 miles south of Silver Lake.
The route to the highpoint is marked with neon-orange spray painted blazes.
Basically it follows a logging road for one mile to near the top of the
mountain, then veers left onto a footpath. The footpath climbs to the ridgeline
and follows it to the highpoint.
The logging road passes through recently disturbed areas of the forest and
is lined with slash and debris --
very unattractive. Once you get to the footpath the scenery improves
considerably. On the ridgeline you pass over some rocky outcrops and by a
concrete marker that denotes the Maryland-West Virginia boundary.
In a small clearing is a large plaque on a metal post marking the
highpoint. Also in the clearing are a camera stand and a picnic table.
The area is heavily wooded and there is no view from the top.
Gene and Lillian Elliott have "adopted" this highpoint. The primary
access route to this highpoint was closed a few years ago. The Elliots
are responsible for the blazes that mark the new route described
above and for the picnic table and camera stand. They
are trying to get the state of Maryland to purchase the highpoint and a
right-of-way so that a permanent access route can be established. Many
thanks to the Elliots for their efforts on behalf of state highpointers.
When visiting the Maryland highpoint, there are some other nearby
attractions that are also worth a visit. I recommend Blackwater Falls
State Park in West Virginia, and the Fairfax stone, a survey mark of
major historic significance, which was possibly placed by George