10 Easy Maryland Hikes

We all know about some of these, but many of us won't know about several of these hikes. They aren't all withing easy reach of Baltimore, but the list seems to be worth a look.

The article:

10 Easy Hikes To Add To Your Outdoor Bucket List In Maryland

Warmer days are approaching and you may be itching to get outdoors and explore all that the state has to offer. If you’re looking for hikes that are big on views but require little effort, check out the following spots. These trails can be appreciated by any age, young or old.

The full story here: http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/maryland/easy-hikes-bucket-list-md/

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

Hike Report : Loch Raven – Poplar Hill Trail

Article by Rick Royer, pictures by Rose Johnson

Diane Novak, Caryn Joachim, Margaret and Ron Wilson, David Yanosik, Donald Kempel, Rose and Peter Johnson, Jay Gordon, Rick Royer (trip leader) 2nd part of hike, we were joined by: Marcie Schubert, Diane Gallop

Saturday started as a cold and breezy but sunny morning, with temps in the mid-20's. Nine of us met at the Park'n'Ride and headed towards the trail head, when I realized the tenth person who signed up late was almost forgotten. I used the website document repository member directory to find his phone number and direct him to the trail head.

We hiked up the less used but scenic Poplar Hill trail from Warren Rd to Paper Mill Rd. We hiked down to the old Paper Mill Road bridge and read the nice descriptive signs describing the Loch Raven watershed and the history of the bridge. We then hiked back towards the cars, stopping for a snack break, then having a planned meeting with Marcie and Diane at the cars.

I distributed grocery bags to collect trash for the second portion of the hike. We hiked down by the Warren ruins where Margaret and David did a stellar clean-up job as "sweeps" picking up all of the trash in sight filling their bags. At Warren Road, we were able to deposit the trash in a can so we could pick up more trash in the reused bags as we continued. As temperatures warmed, we headed to the peninsula south of Warren Rd with beautiful views of the reservoir. Fortunately, someone in the last week had picked up most of the trash but David scoured the water's edge collecting more.

We returned to the cars where the trip officially ended. I then took Marcie and Diane on a short continuation hike on the Sherwood trail side of the reservoir.

See below for a few pictures. (Click on each picture to see it in full size.)

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

Shenandoah National Park Announces Ride the Drive Car-Free Day in North District of Park

Luray, Virginia: On April 23, 2017

Shenandoah National Park will open the north district of Skyline Drive to non-motorized vehicles only to celebrate National ParkRx Day and National Park Week. During this event, Skyline Drive will be closed to motorized vehicles from the Front Royal Entrance Station at mile 0 to the Thornton Gap Entrance Station at mile 31.5. The rest of Skyline Drive will remain open to all vehicles. In honor of National Park Week, April 22 and 23 are fee-free days and all entrance fees into the park are waived.

“Ride the Drive” is a pilot event to promote opportunities for alternative modes of transportation and recreation, promote health and well-being, and enhance the visitor experience by providing an opportunity to access the Park in a unique way.

”Ride the Drive” is open to bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles. Registration opens March 10 and is required but does not guarantee a parking space. Registration information can be found on the Park website at www.nps.gov/shen/ride-the-drive.htm. The event begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Parking will be in Front Royal at Skyline High School (151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal). There will also be limited parking at Panorama Comfort Station (mile 31.6 Skyline Drive) with overflow at Hearthstone School (11576 Lee Highway, Sperryville). The Park will not be offering a shuttle service.

To ensure a safe event, all participants will obey the rules of the road, maintain control of their bicycle or non-motorized vehicle at all times, abide by the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit, stay in their lane of traffic, and follow all other Park regulations and policies (i.e., lights in foggy and rainy conditions, etc).

...the rest of the story - here:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

MD Department Of Natural Resources – Upcoming Events

3/2 Trail Workshop in Cambridge
3/4 Hooley Plunge at Rocky Gap
3/5 Building for Bees at Seneca Creek
3/7, 9 Mallows Bay Public Meetings in La Plata, Arnold
3/11-12 Tubman State Park Opening in Church Creek
3/11, 18 Maple Syrup Festival at Cunningham Falls
3/13 Trail Workshop in Hagerstown
3/25 Maryland Day
3/26 Wildflower Walk at Gunpowder Falls

Full details here:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

Maryland Department Of Natural Resources Annual Photo Contest – 2017

The 14th Annual Photo Contest Runs Now Through Aug. 31

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is accepting entries for its annual photo contest now through Aug. 31, 2017. Photographers – from novice to professional – can enter online or by mail for the chance to win cash and other prizes.

Winning entries will be posted online and featured in an issue of the quarterly Maryland Natural Resource magazine and adorn the 2018 wall calendar.

More information here:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

Hike Report : Wed. Morning In Centennial Park **EDITED**

What was the weather going to do? It rained all night, and the forecast gave a 100% probability of rain at noon – so do we hike, or do we sleep in?

Hike leader Deborah Flint made a decision at 8:00 and said “I’m coming!”. Eight of us met her though three of us were at the boat ramp, and five were at the boat house, but after a quick call and a short walk to meet up, we set off, clockwise, around Centennial Lake. There wasn’t much wildlife, though there was a good sighting of an Eastern Painted Turtle and a hawk – either a Sharp-Shinned, or a Cooper’s. (See the picture below - separating Sharp-Shinned Hawks from Cooper's Hawks is one of the classic birding challenges.) The hike was almost all on blacktop and the group maintained a surprisingly spry 3.0mph moving average with almost no stops.

As it turned out, the weather decision was a good one because the hiking conditions were perfect, yet within an hour of us finishing, the heavens opened and I drove home through one of the heaviest downpours I’ve experienced.

See below for a few pictures. (Click on each picture to see it in full size.)  Also see the club's gallery page for a few more pictures.


Above I said:
...either a Sharp-Shinned, or a Cooper’s. (See the picture below - separating Sharp-Shinned Hawks from Cooper's Hawks is one of the classic birding challenges.)

I asked an expert, who said:
...Juvenile Cooper's Hawk. Rounded tail, white terminal band on tail, large head (as compared to SSHA). Adult would have rufous streaks on the chest and a dark cap on the head.

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

Hike Report : Catoctin Mountain Park – 10H

Under Bill Saunders's leadership, 25 hikers set off from a makeshift parking lot in the elbow of MD-77 and US-15. It started with a steep climb that seemed to go on forever. Bill's original plan was for 3,000 feet of elevation in 10 miles. My GPS measured 2,000 feet, but my legs agreed with Bill's 3,000 foot estimate. There was a quick stop at Chimney Rock and the park's visitor's center, and lunch was at Hog Rock. The weather was overcast but unseasonably warm for February, maxing out at 70-or-so degrees. Marcie's hiking poles had been left behind at one of the "separation" points, and she and Jim Koury did an extra 2 "bonus miles" and many hundreds of feet of elevation by going back for them, and moving like the wind to catch the group just before the end.

See below for a few pictures. (Click on each picture to see it in full size.). Also see here for a few more pictures.


Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

Hike Report : Catoctin Mountain Park – 8H

Mike O’Connor, Jim and Sharon Koury, Bill Saunders, Mary Thayer, Ann Roberts and I parked in a friendly park Catoctin Mountain Park ranger’s driveway, and in typical Mountain Club style the hike started with a steep climb. Hike leader Mike had promised a total of 1,300 feet of elevation, but my Garmim measured 1,711.

We enjoyed swishing through thick, slippery piles of fallen leaves that disguised the newly-blazed Gateway Trail. It connected with various park trails, and via some of those 1,700 feet of endless climbs, we went by Thurmont Vista, Wolf Rock, and our lunch location, Chimney Rock

See below for a few pictures.  (Click on each picture to see it in full size.).  Also see here for a few more pictures.

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

The Most Epic Long Hiking Trails In the U.S.A.

Per Backpacker magazine, these long, scenic trails cover anywhere from 100 to nearly 7,000 miles

CLICK HERE to view a map of almost 50 trails - it's interesting to see how they span right across the USA.  The trails mapped include:
- Appalachian Trail
- Pacific Crest Trail
- Continental Divide Trail
- Tahoe Rim Trail
- North Country Trail
- Pacific Northwest Trail

The full article:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

The 50-Mile Kennedy Walk (A Possible HAM Training Event?)

Background on the 50-Mile Walk

On February 9, 1963, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy walked from Great Falls, Maryland to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The journey was initialized by his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who had reiterated an earlier 50 mile military walking challenge of President Teddy Roosevelt.

Now, we've recreated the same walk at the same place and roughly the same time each year. This event is organized by the FreeWalkers, a social network of long distance walkers, that hosts spectacularly challenging national and international walking events. This event is a special one since it commemorates the significance of the "50-mile hike" started in 1963.

Bobby, ever the spark plug in an active administration, decided to take the challenge himself, long before the troops. So, three days after the initial idea was set in motion, the Attorney General set out with his staff on the most natural long trail in the area, the C&O Canal Towpath, and headed north to Harper's Ferry. It was more than they bargained for, and only one would make the distance. In dress Oxford shoes, no less. Guess who?

Thr full story here:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News