Sugarloaf Mountain to reopen: Has been off-limits since August burglary attempt

Sugarloaf Mountain, known for its hiking trails and natural beauty in Frederick County, Maryland, will reopen to the public on Tuesday, according to the private nonprofit organization that owns and maintains the park. It had been closed since August after a burglary attempt at a mansion on the property.

Stronghold, the nonprofit owner of the property, announced on its website that Sugarloaf will reopen Oct. 10, with what it calls “notable changes” in the park, which shares a border with Montgomery County.

Security cameras have been installed in various locations.

“Photos will be captured of all vehicles that enter the Stronghold property, including tag numbers,” according to the nonprofit. “Directional traffic control spikes have been installed to prevent vehicles from traveling the wrong way up the mountain exit road.”

Visitors will no longer be allowed to park in crossroads, or along the roadside, to keep the area “clear of inappropriately parked vehicles, eliminate late night loitering, and stop after hours entry onto the Stronghold property,” the nonprofit said.

The park hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset, with the front gate closing at 4 p.m.

“If you are on the Stronghold property after sunset, you have overstayed your welcome,” according to the nonprofit’s website.

Vehicles parked on the property after sunset will be towed, said Stronghold.

For the past few years, the Frederick County government has been working on the Sugarloaf Area Plan to limit development.

That plan states that pressure to develop the land “can be expected, simply because of their natural beauty, proximity to the greater Washington-Baltimore region, and general population growth in Frederick County.”

In general, property owners have said public access to Sugarloaf could be limited, depending upon county zoning decisions.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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