My wife and I decided to hike a trail in our county that we have talked about for a while, but have never done – the Kendall Trail in Friendsville (Garrett County) Maryland. The trail head is located in Northern Garrett County about 5 minutes off Interstate 68 and is in the town of Friendsville (the far western exit of Interstate 68 in Maryland.) Parking is limited at the trailhead, but there are numerous spaces available in town, you may have to walk a little ways to get to the trail. We were lucky enough to get one of the 4 or 5 spaces at the trailhead.
We decided on this trail today because of the lower elevation of Friendsville in comparison to the rest of the area and a chance it would be a little warmer and the vegetation would be a bit further along. We were correct on both ideas. This trail also parallels the Youghiogheny River and is located in the Youghiogheny Corridor – a public access area. This is a beautiful wild river section of the county and this trail is a perfect example of a beautiful wooded walk along a clean and beautiful river.
The trail goes from Friendsville along the corridor for about 10 miles. The first two miles go to the old area that was the town of Kendall ( an old logging town), and is a very gentle and well maintained trail. We didn’t see any remnants of the town which is supposed to be on the other side of the river and you can only see a couple old foundations at best. You can definitely tell when you pass it though because the trail gets a bit rougher and is not as well maintained. This is an out and back trail, and overall we walked nearly 4 1/2 miles.
Once you get away from the highways ( you walk under two and they are very noisy), this becomes a very peaceful walk with only the sounds of the river and nature. We saw only three other hiker groups on our out and back trip. The maintained trail is wide and clear of obstructions other than some very small water areas and these are easy to walk around or even through as the trail is on an old railroad bed. In the warmer months the river is a popular one for kayaking but we did not see any on this April day.
This is a beautiful nature walk, fit for kids as well, and chances to see some interesting plants and animals. Other than birds we did happen on a snake I believe was a rat snake, but it was a few feet off the trail and I walked past it but my sharp eyed wife saw it. While there are snakes in the area, if you stay on the trail you should have plenty of notice before you would come upon one because of how well the trail is maintained. Now, if you decide to walk off trail, no promises! I would consider this a very safe venture.
Would I recommend this hike? Absolutely if you are looking for a kid friendly easy access trail without a lot of elevation. If you want a more difficult and longer hike, this trail offers that too after the two mile mark. It was a fun day for both of us!
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