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.
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.
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.