Hike Report : Devil’s Racecourse To Cowall Shelter – 10-H

It wasn't too hot, but the humidity was pretty intense when 12 Mountain Club hikers met near the Devil's Racecourse for an out-and-back Jim Koury "10H" hike.

See below for a picture of the Devil's Racecourse. It's a barren half-mile long river of weverton quartzite boulders, sometimes described as an "upside down river" because a the Little Antietam Creek burbles unseen beneath the rocks. Hence the name: It seemed to early settlers that "devils", or unseen spirits, were whispering to each other under the rocks.

Half a mile later we hit the Appalachian Trail and went south for about 5 hilly miles to the Cowal shelter where we lunched and exchanged pleasantries with a trio of through-hikers.

On the way back, after crossing MD-491 (Raven Rock Rd.), Jim picked up the pace and raced up the final climb - and after the 3/4-mile 597-feet uphill slog it was apparent that he'd lost none of his HAM fitness.

10-Miles and 2,000 feet seemed easy - but my GPS (see below) indicated 10.7 miles and 2,516 feet of elevation, and my sweat-soaked shirt indicated severe humidity. And although my old knees indicated not a 10-H, but an 11-S hike, it was still a great way to spend a Saturday.

The pictures can also be viewed here.

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

Hike Report : Hike at Little Gunpowder from Harford Road

Our first hike since becoming member of the Mountain Club of Maryland with a group of 17 people along the banks of the Little Gunpowder River bordering Baltimore and Harford counties. A total of 8 miles.

Picture can be found at this link:

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

Hike Report : Vance Kopp Memorial Hike 5/17/17

Midweek Leisure Hikers pose beforehand at the Mt. Carmel P&R. We were pleased to have one of Dorthy Marvel's daughters join us. Co-Leaders: Anne Reinhart & Adriene Shriner.

Posted in Club News Or Announcements

New Playground Opens in Patapsco Valley State Park

Environmentally-Friendly Play Space Accessible to All

One of Maryland’s oldest state parks is set to unveil a brand-new amenity, a completely reconstructed playground with up-to-date features.

The new Hollofield Play Space at Patapsco Valley State Park will contain nature-based elements, such as simulated hollow logs, tree stumps, rocks and toad stools. The environmentally-friendly play area, constructed from recycled materials, is low-maintenance, permeable and sustainable.

More than just a traditional playground, the Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant play space is accessible by design. It provides children of wide-ranging abilities an opportunity to explore, play and reflect in a natural setting.

More details and the full story here :

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

HIKE LEADERS PLEASE READ – Changes To Scheduled Hikes

Hike leaders,

Change happens.

Up to now, the announcements of changes to the hike schedule have been somewhat informal. Some will contact the webmaster and ask for the change to be made on the web, some post messages on the list server, and some contact the web's content manager directly, etc.

We'd like to formalize this process.

Going forward, please feel free to send an email to the listserver - but please, always forward your changes to the schedule maintenance team, by sending an email to ScheduleChanges@mcomd.org.

If you forget that email address, don't worry - we've added it to the 'contact us' page, and we've published it at the top of the member's-only version of the schedule.

Posted in Club News Or Announcements

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