Sugarloaf came by its name because its shape reminded early hunters and pioneers of the sugar loaves common in those days. A Swiss explorer, in 1707, sketched the earliest known map of the mountain. A written account, penned five years later, described a plain atop the mountain and the delicious chestnuts grown by the trees on its flanks. General Braddock, commander of Brittish troops during the French and Indian War, marched his men past the mountain in 1755. Northern and Southern forces alternated in posting lookouts at its summit during the Civil War. Brave wounded and dying soldiers were hospitalized in a log cabin that still stands at the mountain's foot.
Another unique aspect is the fact that it's a privatly run entitiy and not part of the State or National Park System. This was made possible by the vision and persistance of a remarkable couple, Gordon and Louise Strong. For years prior to their deaths, they purposefully gained ownership of the many tracts making up the present property. They created a private organization, Stronghold, Incorporated, in 1946, to ensure that the mountain would continue to serve their purpose of making natural beauty available to all.
Gordon Strong believed that "... those who appreciate natural beauty will be better people, people who treat each other better." I certainly get that feeling standing at the summit and savor the view of the Monocacy Valley and the mountains to the West.
Directions from Washington -
Go North on Route I-270 to the Hyattstown exit, circle under I-270 and continue on Route 109 to Comus, then right on Comus Road to the Sugarloaf Mountain entrance.