Description - Visitors to the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center can view one of the best rock exposures in the Northeastern United States. This 340-foot vertical cut into the 350 million year old sedimentary rock reveals a vast wall of tightly folded syncline. For outdoor enthusiasts, this is a prime location for mountain scenery and wildlife, especially in the spring when the wildflowers of the forest floor and the mountain laurel bloom. The four story exhibit center features interpretive displays, an orientation program, and tourism information.
Copyright: Maryland State Forest and Park Service
Sideling Hill Exhibit Center and WMA
Sideling Hill has been a formidable obstacle to travel since the earliest days when settlers were moving west. Travelers formerly crossed the mountain about two miles to the south on U.S. Highway 40. A new route to the west was needed to meet interstate standards and construction of the road cut began in 1983. Excavation of ten million tons of rock were later used as fill to construct the inclined road grades leading up to the cut from the east and west.
- The 4-story Sideling Hill Exhibit Center was created to help provide the public with a better understanding of the geology of the cut. The exhibit center features interpretive exhibits, an orientation program and tourism information. It is open daily from 9 AM - 5 PM, except for major holidays. Restrooms are available 24 hours a day. School or group tours of the center to explain the basic geology of the area can be made by calling 301-842-2155. While there is no cost for the tour, there is a small reservation fee.
White-tailed deer, turkey, ruffed grouse and squirrels will challenge the forest hunter. Anglers will enjoy "put-and-take" fishing for stocked trout in the shallow creek. Canoeing is only possible during the spring melt, but canoeists will find the creek is at its most splendid at this time of year. Old logging roads are scattered throughout Sideling Hill WMA, creating both easy and challenging walks for hikers.
The exhibit center is accessible, as are the other levels of the building, by stairs or elevator, to view various geologic exhibits. Several exhibits are designed for the visually and hearing impaired. Wheelchairs are available.
Recreation - Picnicking, wildlife viewing, canoeing, concession, hiking and visitor center are offered.
Climate - Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.
Sideling Hill Visitor Center is located 33 miles west of Hagerstown, and 6 miles west of Hancock on Interstate 68.