Sunday, September 22, 2013

On the Road Again - Sykesville to Woodbine

On the rail road that is. Picking up where I left off in June on my quest to hike the B&O Old Main Line, I hiked from Sykesville to Woodbine, or at least to Morgan Road, about a mile from Woodbine. Four and a half mile each way. Nine miles in four hours with time to stop and smell the creosote and snap a few pictures. It was a perfect day for hiking; cool and partly cloudy, temperature in the mid 60's. Beautiful! Saw lots of wildlife:  at least a half dozen deer, hawks, geese, a blue heron, cattle, horses, bright colored song birds and even a box turtle trying to figure out how to get over a rail to cross the tracks. After a train passed over him, he turned back the way he came. Here is a view of the old Sykesville yard looking back toward the east.

I parked beside Baldwin Station in a lot on the old Sykesville freight yard, which has some old rail cars. It also serves as a staging area for Maintenance of Way vehicles for CSX. The 29 mile marker is about a quarter mile from Baldwin Station just around a bend heading west. The short Sykesville tunnel is another quarter mile down the tracks. It has two bridges over the Patapsco River, one on each approach. The river makes a sharp bend to the north around the ridge that the tunnel goes through. So, between the two bridges the track is in Howard County for a few hundred yards, then back into Carroll County. After the tunnel there are four at grade road crossings in the next four miles: Gaither Rd., Hoods Mill Rd., Rt 97 and Morgan Rd. about a quarter mile past the 33 mile marker on the approach to Woodbine. I encountered two eastbound trains during my hike and heard the whistle of a third train, headed west, as I drove out of Sykesville at the end of my hike.

I have posted more photos of today's hike at this link, but the pair of geese below, cruising the Patapsco, were too beautiful not to include here.