Sunday, November 30, 2014

High Trail from Brice Run Over and Around the Dorsey Tunnel

Hiked this afternoon along Alberton Road, past the dam and around to where Brice Run goes under the Old Main Line and into the Patapsco. Just past Brice run, heading west is a high through trail that goes up, over and around the Dorsey tunnel. I took it as far as the electric high power lines right of way that crosses the river at the eastern end of the Eureka Bridge on the approach to the Davis tunnel. I took the low trail on the return trip. I figure about six miles round trip.

           Looking back to the east from the ascent on the trail to bypass the Dorsey tunnel.

This fireplace was about 20 yards off the trail on the highest ridge maybe a half mile west of Brice Run. It would be easy to miss in the green season. No sign of a building foundation, and it is situated on slightly sloping ground. Odd even for a hunting cabin, if that was what the fireplace was for. Some nice pink granite granite is prominent just below the mantel shelf. Also saw two deer and three deer hunting tree stands in this area, which borders on private property adjacent to the Patapsco Valley State Park.

                                                Electric right of way, looking north.

                       Electric right of way looking south and across the river at the Eureka Bridge.

                       Two views looking east along the tracks and the river on the return hike.

                    And the closest thing to flowers you will see in the valley at this time of year.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Peaceful Waters on the Patapsco

A beautiful fall day for hiking along the Patapsco as Thanksgiving approaches. This section is just upstream from the site of the old Union Mill Dam where the US Route 40 bridge crosses the river from Baltimore County to Howard County, near Ellicott City, Maryland.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jerusalem Mill and Jericho Covered Bridge, Kingsville, MD

Yesterday's job cancelled and that was great, because it was a perfect fall day. I went up to the Little Gunpowder Falls at Jerusalem Mills on the Baltimore - Harford County boundary and hiked, Beautiful!

                                                       Jerusalem Mill, Harford County, MD

                                                                Jericho Covered Bridge

                                               Little Gunpowder Falls, near Jerusalem Mill

                                                              Ready for winter

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

There and Back With the Elf Lord Christopher

I have ventured far from my usual Patapsco Valley haunts, abroad to Hibernia with the Elf Lord Christopher.

        We trekked the rocky Burren Way, the windy Cliffs of Moher, the soft valleys. It was glorious!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Intrepid Trekkers

                        I encountered the lowly and the high and mighty on the Daniels trail today.

                                                            Gotta give credit to this guy.

                                                           The family circus.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Daniels to the Davis Tunnel

With temperatures still below normal for August, hiking is still good in the morning. Did five miles today.

Looking west in the Davis tunnel.

                                   Westbound train about to come out of the Davis tunnel.

The Patapsco river beside the Davis tunnel.

                               Looking east on the trail between the Davis tunnel and the river.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Down Alberton Road, through the Dorsey Tunnel, over the Eureka Bridge, to the Davis Tunnel

Hiked about seven miles this morning from Alberton Road to the Davis tunnel and back, along the Patapsco river. Another mountain  bike event was in progress, the Patapsco Epic. The Dorsey tunnel was leaking. The interior brick masonry was crumbled in several areas from water damage. I was surprised by that and the banged up condition of many of the ties on the Eureka bridge over the Patapsco.

Looking west in the Dorsey tunnel.

Again looking west out the western portal of the Dorsey tunnel.

Looking west across the Eureka bridge toward the Davis tunnel.

Looking east, back toward the Dorsey tunnel, from above the eastern portal of the Davis Tunnel.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hike the High Ground - Woodstock - Howard County Side - Patapsco Valley State Park

It is hard to believe how much natural beauty can be found so close to home along the Patapsco Valley and how so many miss most of it because they never hike the trails up the slopes above the valley floor. Today I hiked for four hours, covered about 10 miles and never saw another person. Only the horse shoe tracks along the bridle paths indicated anyone else travels there. But I didn't see a single rider either. All the local horsewomen must have been on the other side of the river.

  The high ground fields in the photo above and below have been planted with hardwood, broad-leaf trees protected from foraging deer by plastic tubes.

     The barn below is one of several ruined outbuildings of the farm to which the fields above once belonged.

                                       Below is a pipeline right of way, looking north.

More photos from today's hike can be seen at this link.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Woodstock Section - Patapsco Valley State Park

On Saturday July 5th I hiked a 9 mile loop of the Baltimore County side of the Patapsco Valley State Park Woodstock Section. From Old Court Road I followed the Patapsco River up to the confluence where the north and south branches form the main stream of the river. From there I circled to the right and back around to the my starting point. It was about a three and a half hour hike, mostly in the shade, over variable terrain on dirt trails that are also bridle paths. Very pretty and peaceful. Saw deer and an old granite quarry filled with water to form a lake, among other sights. The hike was so pleasant I did it again the following day with my brother Chris. The Woodstock Inn is nearby the trailhead and a great place for refreshments after a good stroll in the forest.

More photos can be seen at this link.

Brice Run

On July 4th I hiked the Alberton Road section of the Patapsco, then up past the Daniels dam on the Baltimore County side of the river. About a mile above the dam Brice Run feeds into the Patapsco as it passes under the railroad tracks. I hiked along Brice Run to Wrights Mill Road and back again. There is a small falls on the stream. On my way to Brice Run I saw people tubing below the dam, some funky fungi on a fallen rotting tree branch, and I observed what appeared to be a mother and daughter pair paddleboarding above the dam. About a five mile hike, round trip.

                                         More photos can be found at this link.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Terrapin Park, Kent Island, Maryland

Terrapin Park is a small wetlands, meadow and beach front park on the shore of Kent Island, directly across Chesapeake Bay from Sandy Point State Park. It is operated by Queen Anne County. There is a parking permit fee, and big fines for violation, but it is nice. The shot of the Bay Bridge was taken in the afternoon when a storm was on the western shore and moving across the bay. The other shots were taken in the early morning and are just a few examples of the wildlife I saw.

                                                  Bay Bridge, looking southwest..

                                     Horsehoe crabs spawning on the bay shoreline.

                                                                    Blue Heron

                  Deer in the meadow. We stared at each other for several minutes from about ten yards.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Loch Raven

                  A perfect, cool, partly overcast, spring day for hiking the shore of Loch Raven.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Susquehanna State Park - Rock Run Mill to Conowingo Dam

Rock Run Mill

Looking south toward the Susquehanna bridges at Havre de Grace.

The Conowingo Dam

The hike was about 3 miles in each direction, from the Rock Run Mill to the Conowingo dam and back. The path started along an abandoned rail bed with tracks still rusting and ties rotting in place. Then along a riverside trail and back up onto a graveled rail bed without the old rails and ties. The rail bed was originally an early 19th century canal tow path that was converted to a railroad in the early 20th century and used to carry equipment and materials to the construction site of the Conowingo dam. It was a beautiful day for hiking. More photos can be seen here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Eerie Aerie

I have seen a good deal of carnage during my hikes along the Patapsco river, but usually along the railroad tracks. Today I was hiking on the other side of the river and encountered this surreal sight: a dead hawk resting in the crook of a sapling as if he had made a dying crash landing there. There were no signs of trauma or foul play that I could see.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lake Roland, Winter Walk

Took a walk at Lake Roland yesterday with my brother Mark. The weather kept the crowd down. Along the western shore there is still a section of the abandoned Western Maryland RR Green Spring Branch. On inspection it appears that the rail shown below was rolled at Maryland Steel, Sparrows Point, MD, a hundred years ago in 1914. Maryland Steel was at the time a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel. It was absorbed into Bethlehem Steel in 1916. More photos from our walk can bee seen at this link.