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.