Hike Report : Prettyboy Reservoir Area Hike Near Hemlock Gorge 11/1/2017

A seven mile hike with 22 people from the Mountain Club of Maryland.

Pictures can be found at this link:
Here are a few examples

(Click on pictures for enlargements)

Hike Report : Prettyboy (Blue) Trail – 10/25/2017

My wife and I joined another 19 other Mountain Club of Maryland hikers for a 4 mile walk at the Prettyboy Reservoir.

Pictures of the hike can be found at this link: https://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/Hike-With-Mountain-Club-of-Maryland-at-Prettyboy-Trail/. Here's one example:


MCM Completes New A.T. Moldering Privy

After 7 months of work, MCM has opened a new moldering privy at the Alec Kennedy shelter on the Appalachian Trail south of Boiling Springs, PA. The old compost privy, which was nearing capacity, was closed on October 22, 2017.

Since beginning work in March, MCM scheduled monthly work days at which 6-10 volunteers tackled major construction tasks, and in between these work days smaller groups of volunteers continued the work. Over the length of the project, a total of 33 individuals worked at least one day on the privy, including 23 MCM members and 10 nonmember volunteers. The volunteers devoted a total of 110 person-days to the project, including 684 hours working and an estimated 399 hours of travel time.

The new privy should provide service to Appalachian Trail hikers for decades. MCM salutes everyone who helped carry out this project!

(Click on the images below for an enlargement)



New Schedule Published – Over 130 Upcoming Events!

The new schedule has been published for hikes (and a few other events) through the end of February.

Between now and Feb, an impressive 138 events have been planned for hiking club members and guests!

Happy fall and winter.

Click here to view the version of the schedule that is only available to paid-up club members.

Click here to view the version of the schedule that is available to the public.

Hike Report : Catoctin Furnace To Catoctin Mountain – 13H

(Click on any of the photos to enlarge them)





It was more of an "S" than an "H"!

But it was a strong contingent of five ladies and two (lucky) men who joined Jim Koury's Frederick County hike last Saturday, so there were few complaints about the interminably long eleven-hundred-plus-feet of the Bob's Hill ascent, or the thousand-plus-feet return trip up the Cat Rock climb.

On the way to the lunch stop we bumped into Don Lears, who was hiking independently. Lunch was at Big Hunting Creek, a babbling brook that coursed through huge boulders on its way to Hunting Creek Lake, and prompted two of the hikers to compare it with similar streams on trails in the Magaliesberg in Africa.

The colors of an early fall were just beginning to show, yet it was hotter and more humid than usual which challenged my three-liter Camelbak.

Three of the hikers were visitors, one of whom was Luisa, to whom we owe thanks for these photographs - since yours truly brought a big boat-anchor of a camera ... and no memory chips.

It was a fun hike with great company, and the only down-side was that Sharon Koury, our usual sweep, wasn't able to join us. And remember: the next time Jim Koury offers you a 13 mile hike - brace yourself for a bonus 1.4 miles of hiking bliss! (See the stats in the accompanying photo.)

DNR Invasive Plant Training

DNR is hosting two session of training this summer for the Statewide Eyes Program to identify and map invasive plant species.

First session is Saturday August 26 at Robinson Nature Center in Howard County.
Second Session is Thursday September 14 at Cunningham Falls State Park (Manor Area).

Sessions run 9am to 4pm. Free but registration required on the DNR Statewide Eyes site.

Hike Report : Hike at Cromwell Valley Park 8/2/2017

Pictures from our hike today can be found at this link:

13 Magnificent Trails You Have To Hike In Maryland Before You Die

According to a recent article, you HAVE to do the following 13 trails:

1. Swallow Falls State Park

2. Calvert Cliffs State Park - Red Trail

3. Billy Goat Trail - Section A

4. Maryland Heights Trail

5. Rocks State Park - White Loop Trail to the King and Queen Seats

6. Patapsco Valley State Park - Grist Mill Trail

7. C & O Canal Towpath

8. Great Allegheny Passage

9. Battle Creek Cypress Swamp

10. Antietam National Battlefield - Bloody Lane

11. Rock Creek Regional Park

12. Backbone Mountain

13. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

There's a more complete article, along with pictures, here:

Cell Phone Hiking App : Diverge – Trail Maps and GPS Tracker

We've been contacted by the developer of a new hiking app, that might be of interest to club members. We are not officially endorsing this or any other app – but thought we’d let you know that it exists.

The "Diverge - Trail Maps and GPS Tracker" system only runs on Apple iPhones right now, though they plan to release it on Android soon. I asked them some key questions about how it works etc. See below for the description of the app, and scroll further down for their answers to my questions.

Bottom line:
- If you’re planning a hike – it may already have your trail, in which case you can use that as a planning tool.
- If it doesn’t have your trail – then your trail will be added to their list after you complete your hike. I.e. the list of trails grows organically.
- Either way – it records cool stats about your hike.


Per the vendor:

It is an interactive trail map and activity tracker for outdoor enthusiasts. Explorers like you are using Diverge to record awesome hikes, mountain bike rides, trail runs and other adventures to see where they've gone and to collect stats such as time, distance and elevation gain.

When you use Diverge on your next outing, it will overlay your progress on the trail map so you'll always know where you are and you'll never miss an important turn.

You can also compete with friends to be the first to record a trail that isn't already on the trail map. The new trail will automatically be added to the map and the first person will be awarded the First Ascent, which means that their name will be listed in the trail details.

By recording your activities with Diverge, you'll be contributing useful trail information to the outdoor community. As the trail map grows, it will become easier to explore new areas without the fear of getting lost.

(See full details here : https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/diverge-trail-maps-and-gps-tracker/id1049437208?mt=8 )

My questions:

How does it work?

When you want to go hiking or do another outdoor activity, you open the app and press the start button to activate the tracker. The tracker records your route and other stats such as elevation, speed, etc. When you save the track, you can name it, label the activity and give it a rating. The track will save to your history so you can see what you did later.

How many trails (especially in the Mid-Atlantic region and the Appalachian Trail) have been plotted?

Right now there are only a few sections of the Appalachian Trail but it is just getting started. There are a some new users hiking on the trail this summer. Right now people are recording trails and they're getting added to the map, so the map is growing.

How does it compare with similar apps – such as Strava, AllTrails, MapMyHike, Garmin Connect, and others? (E.g. – I hike with a Garmin eTrex, and load my hikes onto Strava. How would your functionality differ from that?)

A couple advantages: the tracker is in the app so you don't need a separate GPS tracker, and it uploads automatically when you finish. Then your route will get added to the accumulated list of trail maps, along with the trails other hikers are doing.

Does it work when hikers are out of range of any cell tower?

You don't need cell service for it to work. When you get home if you didn't have good service, if you open the app again it will upload automatically

What plans do you have for releasing it on the Android platform?

Android will be coming in the future


We will continue with graffiti removal on the trail in the vicinity of High Rock near Pen Mar. Expect 4 to 6 hours of moderate labor and some hiking. Bring lunch, hiking shoes, water. We will supply tools and supplies for the removal project. We need about 6 people to make it an efficient project but can work with as few as 3. There is one rock face on the trail that needs considerable work and many other small designs scattered on trees and rocks for a mile or more along the trail. We'll remove as much as is practical. The most difficult labor will be hauling 2 gallon containers of water for the pressure washer. Meeting: 9:30AM High Rock parking lot. Leader: Jerry Wright jwright@jhmi.edu 443-803-5416.