Dans mountain overlook

Dans mountain overlook DEFAULT

Remembering the Poor Man's Friend – A Winter Hike On Dans Mountain

A note about COVID and visiting parks: Help stop the spread of COVID and follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials about wearing face masks and physical distancing.

Standing on top of the million-year-old rock at Dans Rock Overlook in Allegany County, Maryland, on a cold, but crystal-clear, winter morning, the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” came to my mind.  It wasn’t because of the panoramic view – few would question its attractiveness – but rather, the rock itself is a subject of fierce debate.  Like High Rock (the highest point on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland at 1, feet), Dans Rock (at 2, feet) is covered in what appears to be modern graffiti, standing in sharp contrast to the pristine natural woodlands it overlooks.  But on closer examination, one might notice that defacing at this site dates back to   The oldest writing is painstakingly etched into the rock, while that created after WWII is typically spray painted.  During my visit, a light dusting of snow sank into some of the carvings, making for some easy and fascinating reading.

Historic carving at Dan’s Rock reads “T.S. PRESTON | 11 | HELEN | STRICKLAND”

Along with Wolf Rock (2, feet) and Fairview Hill (2, feet), Dans Rock is part of the mile-long Dans Mountain range, designated an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society.  This area contains a globally significant population of cerulean warblers, along with various bird species that are at risk in Maryland: wood thrush, worm-eating warbler, and Kentucky warbler.

Dans Rock is also the highest point on Dans Mountain and Allegany County, with the overlook managed by the latter.  Its elevation makes it an ideal location for forestry and communication towers, which dot parts of the skyline.  Fortunately, the degree view looking southeast is unencumbered, and on a clear day, one can gaze across the North Branch of the Potomac River into West Virginia or southwest towards the 9,acre Dans Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Dans Mountain WMA includes the largest contiguous state-owned forest in Maryland.  Although hunters love it for its large turkey population, they can also pursue white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, and gray squirrel.  Hikers and mountain bikers appreciate the variety of trails and old roads that wander through the woods.

Slightly west of Dans Mountain WMA, the acre Dans Mountain State Park is popular among locals for its heated Olympic-sized swimming pool and giant water slide.  Those preferring solitude may want to explore during the colder months.  Starting at the trailhead just off Recreation Area Road SW, I walked a short circuit hike on Dye School Trail, which follows the clear waters of Hill Run to the ruins of Dye School.  Used by local families in the 's, this one-room schoolhouse accommodated about 25 students in first to eighth grade.  Winter is an ideal time to view the ruins, often overgrown with foliage in the warmer months, and to appreciate the old stone wall which connects with part of the trail.

Dye School trailhead

Dye School ruins

At the edge of a small pond in the state park, I saw what looked like white toy jacks.  It turns out I stumbled across a remarkable winter phenomenon that occurs only when a variety of conditions align.  The water’s surface was barely frozen, and bright morning sunlight penetrated the clear layer of ice.  With little wind, the water vapor, relatively warm in comparison to the air temperature of around 14 degrees Fahrenheit, created just the right environment for the growth of hundreds of frost flowers…something more commonly seen in polar regions.  It was truly an amazing spectacle to witness.

Frost flower on frozen pond

Daphne with frost flowers

The only wildlife I spotted that day was a fish swimming under the ice in the pond.  Perhaps it was one of the fish that is stocked there annually.  The ice actually provides some insulation that helps the pond retain its heat, especially in the deeper sections.  Although some fish will go dormant after burrowing in soft sediment, most, like the one I saw, simply slow their metabolism, in part so they will use less oxygen which may be in short supply due to the ice forming a barrier between the water and air.

However, I saw signs of other wildlife.  Fresh, virgin snow displayed the tiny footprints of a hopping songbird.  A vacant bird nest lay on one of the stone supports below the roof overhang of a pavilion for rent near the pond.  Perhaps its builder will reclaim the location in a few weeks once the spring thaw arrives, though if it does, it will likely recycle the nesting material or start fresh, since most nests are seldom used more than once.

At another section of the state park, I learned about Dans Mountain’s namesake, Daniel Cresap.  He was born in near Havre de Grace, Maryland and became one of the first settlers in Allegany County.  The nearby town of Cresaptown was also named after Daniel and his family.  Though known for his service during the Revolutionary War, Daniel was perhaps best remembered as being the “poor man's friend.”  According to John J. Jacob’s A Biographical Sketch of the Life of the Late Captain Michael Cresap, Daniel "was proverbially the poor man's friend, and has been known, in scarce times, to refuse to sell corn to those who had money, that he might have enough to supply those who had none."  Perhaps it was Daniel’s kind heart that left fond memories with the people that knew him best, inspiring them to name the land in his honor so that he would not be forgotten.

For more information, see
Maryland Geological Survey – Dan’s Rock, Allegany County
Maryland Historical Trust Determination of Eligibility Form – Dan’s Rock
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – Dan’s Mountain WMA
Audubon – Dan’s Mountain
Maryland DNR – Dans Mountain State Park
Damngynrfam - Dan's Mountain Hike - Dye School Trail
Wikipedia – Frost flower (sea ice)
Dickinson County Conservation Board – How Fish Survive in Frozen Lakes
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds - Do birds reuse old nests from year to year?


Dan's Mountain State Park
Dan&#;s Mountain State Park

Dan's Mountain State Park serves as a day use seasonal recreational facility that covers acres and offers a wide variety of wildlife, mountain streams, overlooks, and scenic beauty.

Sours: https://www.findyourchesapeake.com/trip-ideas/article/remembering-the-poor-mans-friend-a-winter-hike-on-dans-mountain

The views are beautiful. On a clear day you can see four states: Maryland of course, but also Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.

What makes Dans Rock unique is that the history of this overlook is told in graffiti art on the rocks. In fact, even before you see the awesome view, you'll notice the bold and colorful graffiti on the rocks, stairs, and platforms. If graffiti on rocks upsets you, skip it.

And apparently, it's not a new tradition -- if you look closely, you&#;ll notice engraved inscriptions in the rocks from , , and ! People have been coming here to leave their mark for generations. 

Just be careful as you cross the bridge off Rt 51 to watch for the tiny little sign pointing you up the mountain -- we missed it the first time past. 

Nearby but separate from the overlook is Dans Mountain State Park, which offers a heated swimming pool, picnic tables and pavilions, a recycled-tire playground and a pond that offers great fishing.

Still no word on who Dan is.

Since you're in the area, after you see the amazing view, head on over for a little bit of America's industrial history at the Lonaconing Furnace, which dates back to to , employing local men. This was America's first iron furnace to successfully create pig iron -- the raw ingredient for creating steel -- using coal and coke, in lieu of charcoal. Unfortunately, the furnace was abandoned because of the expense of transporting the pig iron. In , the furnace was listed on the National Historic Register, and after an old high school was torn down in the late s, a town park was created, with the furnace as its focal point. 

Getting there: Dans Rock Overlook --  Old Dans Rock Rd SW, Rawlings, MD ; Lonaconing Iron Furnace -- Main St, Lonaconing, MD

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Sours: http://www.midatlanticdaytrips.com//11/a-four-state-vista-from-dans-rock.html
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The Breathtaking Overlook In Maryland That Lets You See For Miles And Miles

Posted in MarylandNature August 07, by Jamie Alvarenga

Love a good scenic overlook? So do we, which is why we&#;ve featured a few in the past, including the King and Queen Seat and the view from Washington Monument State Park. Today, we&#;re highlighting a Maryland gem that&#;s mostly known to those in western portion of the state. We recommend everyone see it however, because the mountainous sights really are spectacular.

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

Google Maps

Find directions on Google Maps by clicking here.

Flickr / Jon Dawson

Google / Chuck Taft

Flickr / Erin Eve

Flickr / Javcon*

Flickr / Erin Eve

Google / Jeffrey Pawlak

NOTE: Don't get too close to the edge and avoid climbing on rocks especially when wet or icy.

Flickr / Jon Dawson

Flickr / Erin Eve

Google / Tegon Worges

Address for parking:

Old Dans Rock Rd SW

Rawlings, MD

For another western Maryland gem, read all about Sideling Hill by clicking here!


Sours: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/maryland/breathtaking-overlook-md/
Dan's Rock on Dan's Mountain Slideshow

Dan's Rock on Dan's Mountain



Dan s Rock overlook

Dan's Rock ranks among the best summits with expansive views in the state of Maryland. This highly popular summit has great views of the south and east and fair to moderate views of the north and west (partially covered by trees). This mountain is a real classic stopping point for many who visit this part of Western Maryland. The views from the summit include the Potomac River into West Virginia and long the parellel ridges of the Allegany Mountain.

Dan s Rock Revisited

The mountain's first name is named after Daniel Cresap. Daniel Cresap who was the son of a pioneer was famous for climbing a tree while going after a bear. According to the story the tree fell on the rock, making the name become Dan's Rock.

Picture of Dan s Mountain

Dans Mountain represents the front section of the Allegany Plateau, which stretches through Pennslyvania and West Virginia and turns into the Cumberland Plateau to the south and the Pocanoes and Catskills up north.

Picture from Dan s Rock

There is a summit road to the top of Dan's Rock leaving nothing but a 50 ft. vertical rocky scramble to the summit. Unfortunately there are no hiking trails outside of the short scramble to the top. However there is a section around the other side of the rock where some great bouldering can happen.

Fall Countryside

There are also a number of cell phone towers as well as closed fire tower on top of the summit. This summit though tends to be very polluted with tons of graffiti on the top. Still this summit make a great stopping point for good pictures of the Potomac River Valley. It should be noted that in the past five years there have been a number of road improvements and signage improvements to the rocks.

Picture from Dan s Rock

Getting There

Dan s Rock Overlook Park sign

VIA TO SUMMIT ROCKS: Take I to Frostburg, Maryland. Get off on Route 36 and head south. At about 4 miles you will see signs on the right for Dans Rock. take a left on Old Dan's Rock Road. Stay on the road until you see the summit parking area. You will see the graffiti on the rock and the many towers on the summit to direct you to the summit.

Dan s Rock Revisited


Red Tape

No fees. Parks is a day use only facility though.

When To Climb

Anytime. The mountain is a drive up. This peak might make a good snowshoe after a blizzard or heavy snowstorm!


There is no camping on the summit of Dan's Rock. The summit is very overcrowded by sometimes a rough crowd. If camping I would advise going up High Rock located about 15 miles to the west or for a organized campground, head to Rocky Gap State Park 15 miles to the east.

Mountain Conditions

The weather is very similiar to Frostburg, MD.

For more information on conditions at Dan's Rock, contact Dan's Mountain State Park at

Summit Picture Log

Post your summit mugshot here.

External Links

  • Dan's Rock
    Provides a detailed history of the name of the rock as well as the history of the mountain.
  • Dans Mountain State Park
    Another page with the history of Dan's Mountain as well as activities that can be done at the park.


View Dan's Rock on Dan's Mountain Image Gallery - 34 Images

Sours: https://www.summitpost.org/dan-s-rock-on-dan-s-mountain/

Overlook dans mountain

Dans Mountain

Dans Mountain is located in Allegany County, Maryland, USA between Georges Creek and the North Branch Potomac River. The highest point on Dans Mountain is called Dan's Rock which has an elevation of 2, feet (&#;m). The mountain rises 2, feet (&#;m) above the town of LaVale and the summit is the highest point in Allegany County. Although there are higher points in Maryland, Dans Mountain has the most impressive escarpment of Maryland's mountains. It is essentially continuous with the longer escarpment that continues both north (into Pennsylvania) and south (into West Virginia) known as the Allegheny Front.[3]

Dans Mountain State Park is located along a mile (26&#;km) stretch of the mountain, 9 miles (14&#;km) south of Frostburg, Maryland. Dan's Rock Overlook is the highest scenic overlook in the park. The park also features a pond that is stocked annually, an Olympic-sized pool with a modern bathhouse, and concession stands.

Dans Mountain is named for Daniel Cresap, the son of Thomas Cresap and one of the first settlers in Allegany County. Cresap was known for being adventurous, often hunting with a Delaware Indian named Nemacolin. While pursuing a bear in a tree, Daniel fell and lay unconscious until Nemacolin found him, and dragged Daniel home to safety. Since that event, the mountain has been known as Dans Mountain.

Dan's Mountain Wildlife Management Area protects the mountain in an area covering 9, acres.[4]


External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dans_Mountain
Dans Rock

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