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:
https://jimmylegs.smugmug.com/Nature/Hiking/822017-Mountain-Club-of-Maryland-Hike-at-Cromwell-Valley/

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:
http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/maryland/bucket-list-trails-md/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=maryland&utm_campaign=newsletter

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

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.

MORE DETAILS

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

Posted in General Hiking Or Environmental News

SATURDAY – AUGUST 12 – GRAFFITI REMOVAL AT HIGH ROCK

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.

Posted in Club News Or Announcements

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 :
http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2017/05/19/new-playground-opens-in-patapsco-valley-state-park/

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