DNR Promoting “First Day Hikes”

First Day Hikes Offer Healthy Start to New Year

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites everyone to welcome in the New Year with a First Day Hike!

Maryland Park Service rangers, staff and volunteers will lead more than 30 hikes on public lands and state parks New Year’s Day, as part of a nationwide event sponsored by America’s State Parks.

These hikes will provide a wide array of outdoor adventures and experiences for every level of hiker and walker, providing unique access to Maryland’s cultural, historical and natural resources and treasures. Some are even pet-friendly!

Numerous state forests and wildlife management areas will also be open Jan. 1 for self-guided treks.

“Taking part in a First Day Hike is my favorite way to start the New Year,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and experience the beauty of nature and our state parks while taking in some fresh air and camaraderie. It is a great way to get some exercise after the holiday season as well as spend some quality time together with family and friends.”

In 2017, more than 2,000 First Day Hikers logged more than 4,000 miles statewide.

Full story here:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

Governor Announces Military Veterans to Receive Free Admission to Maryland State Parks

In honor of Veterans Day, Governor Larry Hogan announced that all military veterans, including residents and nonresidents, will be granted free admission and entrance to the network of 72 state parks managed by the Maryland Park Service.

The governor’s announcement directly impacts over 414,000 veterans living in Maryland with the highest concentrations residing in Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Montgomery counties, and Baltimore City, and the region’s more than 1.4 million veterans.

“We can never thank our brave servicemen and women enough for what they have done and continue to do for our citizens, our state, and our nation,” said Governor Hogan. “By providing veterans this complimentary benefit, which encourages them to access and enjoy our great outdoors, we hope to express our sincere appreciation, gratitude, and respect for their service.”

Effective immediately...

Rest of the story here:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

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)

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

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:


Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

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)



Posted in Club News Or Announcements

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.

Posted in Club News Or Announcements

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.)

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

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.

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

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

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

Posted in Mountain Club Of Maryland HIKE REPORTS

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:

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News