Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blue Mash Nature Trail

My sister introduced me to Blue Mash Nature Trail.  It's the perfect place for bird watchers.  You can park at the entrance on Zion Road, where they have a bird siting notebook in a wood box, which I assume fellow bird watchers contribute to.

This trail system is behind the Blue Mash golf course.  It travels through beautiful fields of wildflowers, woods, and around a pond.  There are bird houses in all the fields visible from the path.  I'm not a bird watcher, but I imagine this place as paradise to someone who is.

There is one confusing spot on the trail, if you start from the Zion Road parking lot, heading parallel to Zion Road, you come upon a long hill, where the trail turns left running along the hill.  But the trail hits a dead end and a trail sign looks like it's pointing at the hill.  So we walked up on top of the hill, which is actually bordering the pond and walked back in the direction we came from.  As we got to the point where the original trail comes in, we realized that this hill top path continues around the other side of the pond, so we follow it and realize that this is the right direction.  Just a heads up and hopefully my description of where to go helps.

The section of trail near Zion Road is for hikers only, but this trail system connects to a trail system open to equestrians as well.  This other section of trail leads behind an old land fill and connects to a parking lot on Route 108 at the Fieldcrest Road intersection.

The entire trail circuit runs 3.7 miles. There are a couple smaller loops you can complete.  If you want to do the whole entire trail, you will have to double back once you reach the end.

For more information, please visit this website:

Agricultural History Farm Park

My Dad and his dog Sammy

The Agricultural History Farm Park is actually my dad's favorite place to walk his dog.  The park has 4.7 miles of natural surface trails that wind around corn fields and grassy meadows.

The grounds have a historic farm house, several outbuildings and barns, as well as an activity center. There is plenty of parking and you 
can even park your horse trailer.  
Garden near the farm house

This park is also well known for their community events.  Every year they have a Harvest Festival in October where they display farm history and provide family fun events.  Also, in the spring they have the  Gas and Steam Engine Show for those interested in antique farming methods and tractors.  They have several other events throughout the year and you can get more information from the website 
listed at the bottom of this article.

Some Historic Machine for Farming
In general, it's a great place to take a walk if you like wide open spaces!  The fields are on gentle hills that keep you going so you can see what's on the other side.  Very relaxing place to take a walk and a great place if you don't like wooded trails.

For more information about this location and trail maps, please visit:

Seneca Creek State Park

Lake Shore Trail at Clopper Lake

In the Gaithersburg, MD area, we are lucky to have this massive park called Seneca Creek State Park. It consists of 6,000 acres of park land, all connected together by 16.5 miles of trail called the greenway. You may have visited sections of this park and not even realized it. The greenway starts at route 355 near Game Preserve Road and goes south west all the way to the Potomac River at Riley's Lock. The green way extends North East of 355 to Brink Road as well, but that's not included in the State Park section.

The park includes Clopper Lake, which is right on Clopper Road, go figure! This lake has a park entrance that charges on the weekends, but it's free on weekdays. There are loads of picnic pavilions available, as well as paddle boats, playgrounds, and disc golf. My favorite activity here is the Lake Shore Trail which does a 3.8 mile loop around the lake. I enjoy using this loop for my daily workout. I often see joggers and mountain bikers on this trail. I usually do a brisk hike as I'm not much of a jogger and this is a bumpy dirt path.
Map of Greenway Trail

The Park also includes Schaeffer Farm which you can access from Schaeffer Road near Darnestown, MD. The greenway trail crosses Black Rock Road next to Black Rock Mill and comes close to Schaeffer Farm. The Farm has a bunch of trails criss-crossing throughout. It's popular for mountain biking, but open to hikers and equestrians as well.

These are just a few examples of all that Seneca Creek State Park has to offer. In this new blog I've started, I hope to share my hiking experiences within this park, throughout Maryland, and beyond.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have a favorite park you'd like me to explore and write about. Happy Hiking!