Thursday, May 26, 2011

Prince William Forest Park

Hike Date:  May, 8th, 2011

Pink Lady Slipper
If I (Ann) had to pick my favorite place to hike in the area for the shear pleasure of feeling the ground beneath my feet, this would be it.  Not only does it provide a great hike, there are many opportunities to view wildlife and wildflowers.

Prince William Forest Park is a National Park located in Southern Prince William County, Virginia, adjacent to Quantico Marine Corps Base.  It covers over 15,000 acres and is the largest preserved area of Piedmont in the National Park System.  With 37 miles of trails to choose from,  beautiful streams, and interesting geology we couldn't have been happier.  If you want to make a weekend trip out of it, there are numerous campsites and a few cabins available to use.

Monday, May 23, 2011

North Chagrin Reservation: Cleveland Metroparks - Ohio

Hike Date:  April 24, 2011

In all of our excitement to get outside and hike, we have gotten a bit behind on writing and posting about our adventures.
Cleveland Skyline
I (Ann) went home for a weekend to visit the family and decided that since I rarely hike when I visit, that I was definitely going to get out there this time.  Among the many things to in Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs, great hiking can be found in the Cleveland Metroparks and Lake Metroparks, both of which I spent a lot of time in while growing up.  While I was home I visited Lake View cemetery and the Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Rerservation.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Catoctin Mountain Park

Hike Date:  April 14th, 2011

A short drive away from the Frederick county water shed is Catoctin Mountain and Cunningham Falls State Park.  Today we only visited Catoctin since we had a limited amount of time in the afternoon.  That is one great thing about the trails here.  Most are easily accessible by road and if you want to keep it short and sweet you totally can!  With our limited time we hiked up to Cat Rock and let me tell you this is one heck of a leg work out, especially if you are trying to shake the wintertime blues and haven't been hiking for a while! 

Frederick County Watershed

Hike date:  April 3, 2011

Rock Structure in the forest
If you are looking for a little variety in terrain look no further because the Frederick county watershed has it for you!  This place, aka the Frederick County Municipal Forest, offers everything from trout fishing, mountain biking, hunting, and hiking.  This location is extremely popular to all types of cyclists so if you are headed out on a weekend expect to be sharing trails with bikers.  On some occasions I have run into groups of 30 or more people out biking here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp to Calvert Cliffs State Park

Hike Date: Sunday May 1st, 2011

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp
Cypress tree base with knees showing
Today our first stop brought us to Battle Creek Cypress Swamp.  This small sanctuary is devoted to the preservation of one of the few remaining cypress swamps in Maryland.  It is a nice place to visit, but for you avid hikers, there isn't much here to hike!  A short boardwalk through the swamp and a few small trails around a field are all that is here.  It is a neat place to visit but not a place you can spend a day at.  An important thing to remember is the areas limited hours so plan accordingly.  We slowly enjoyed the area and had walked from the front to the back within an hour.  Since this area was quite a drive from home we had a back up plan already planned out.

More C & O Canal Adventures: From Point of Rocks, MD to the Lander Lockhouse

Hike Date:  Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Todays hike took us up to the Section of the C & O Canal towpath from Point of Rocks in Frederick County up the the Lander Lockhouse.  Hiking this time of year gives you the opportunity to see wildflowers blooming, and listen to all the frogs and toads calling.  Parking was minimal along train tracks so be prepared to parallel park.  As with all of hour hikes on the towpath, remember that you must walk back to where you parked.  Our hike was three miles each way.

Lander Lockhouse
Along the hike there are two lockhouses.  These served as homes for the lockmasters and their families.  They had to be available at all times to open locks for boats passing through.  While the C & O Canal was only operated between 1831 and 1924, many of the lockmasters families continued to live in the houses well into the middle part of the 20th century.  These lockhouses are now rented for overnight guests.
Trout Lily

Friday, May 6, 2011

Monocacy NRMA Civil War Trails

On Sunday, March 20th, we headed out to do some hiking in Frederick County, MD on some of the famous Civil War Trails in the area.  Our destination was the Monocacy NRMA.  The trails were a bit muddy, unmarked, and there were also some creeks to cross so boots are recommended on this one.  We walked around for a while and discovered an old lime kiln along the trail. After a quick look at this piece of history we continued our adventure along the trail.