Originally Posted by qpens
Much closer is the AT in MD. I haven't hiked on it in many years, but I remember a beautiful overlook called Annapolis Rock. The first Washington Monument is along the trail, as well.
I understand that this area may be overused, but if you are hanging, you can see this nice overlook and hang somewhere else. It's probably less than 2 hours from DC. Just a thought.
Another nice hike is the Maryland Heights Trail. Again, it has been many, many years since I backpacked on it. It is a circuit trail so you wind up back from where you started. As I recall, it took two days or so. You get to it by climbing up Weverton Cliffs down near Harpers Ferry. That was the hike that did my ex-wife in and ended my backpacking until very recently. It was much less used than the AT in MD back then. I remember getting to the top of Weverton last time I was there and saw a hat move. Turned out it was on an 80 year old woman's head. We chatted for awhile and I learned that she was the head of a group called the Wanderbirds and she was clocking the place out for a future hike for this group of senior citizens. You can google it and probably get more info. I remember going into a clearing and seeing hundreds and hundreds of butterflies. Don't remember what month that was since it was so long ago.