From the couch to the trails

Tag Archives: Maryland Hiking

So we left Prettyboy’s nontrail and headed for a “walk”…..

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So Jim parked on the side of S. Rolling Road right near the intersection for 195.  After parking we walked down and made a left onto Foxhall Farms Road there was a sign that said PRIVATE ROAD.  But Jim assured me that the private part of the road began about a mile down and we would not be walking down that far.  We walked down and darn if there was not an entrance for trucks and hunters.  This started out as a nice flat open field and a very easy walk….

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Jim told me that he had seen a Bamboo forest here and it was a nice windy day so I would love the sounds that the bamboo made.  We walked up a bit to find this….

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😦 no more bamboo!

We kept walking among the butterflies…

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On a little side note…. let’s chat about these butterflies.

Had you ever heard an Irish saying that refers to the symbolic meaning of butterflies. This saying is: “Butterflies are souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory” Butterflies also symbolize: Resurrection, Transition, Celebration, Lightness, Time, Soul. There is a small town in Mexico that also associate butterflies with souls. It is to this town that Monarch Butterflies migrate every year, around the holiday known as the Day of the Dead. The people of this town see these butterflies as the returning souls of the deceased.

Well the end of the July and beginning of August is a tough time of the year for me.  Our hike two weeks ago where we came upon the puff of butterflies was the 1 year anniversary of my mother’s death.  I have never seen so many butterflies in one place.  How could I not see this as a little hello from momma?

Well just five days later is the anniversary of my fathers death… quickly followed by his Birthday.  Well this weeks hike was just a few days after daddy’s birthday.  And what do I see a butterfly couple.  These two butterflies were sticking together.  They would not leave one another.  Even when we were probably too close to them, for their comfort.  While my parents probably would not hang out together after life (the had gone their separate ways before they passed)  I can totally see them hanging out together just to say hi.

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Both butterfly interactions could totally be just a coincidence but I chose to think that mom and dad stopped by to say hi and to tell me to keep my head up.

ANNNNNY WAYYYYYY….. back to the hike……

After walking through the field we eventually ended up in the woods.  Nice old woods with tall trees.

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Then we walked through a field that had electrical towers.  We straight across the field to where another set of woods started.  We saw a stack of rocks that seemed to be a trail marker.  While it looked a little overgrown we decided to go in a bit to see if it opened up and it did.  We followed this trail down until we started seeing orange trail markers.  We decided to follow these trails to the right.  The orange trail lead us down hill and along a stream.  The trail lead us across a few stream crossings but they were not very deep.  I did not even have to change into my water shoes.

The orange trail lead us down into an opening.  We exited the opening to find the Patapsaco State Park picnic area.  It was here that we turned around.  We followed the purple trail markings back away from the picnic area.  There was a split fork in the trail.  We could either bare left on a more flat trail or bare right on a steep hill.  After the 2 miles at Prettyboy and the 3 miles on these trails this last assent seemed like it was Mt Everest.  But it was a pretty short assent and it was over before it started.  Well not really with out a few stops along the way to grab my side and catch my breathe.  We came out of the woods on the other side of our car and just had a very short walk up the road to our car.

This is a very nice day hike.  You can skip the walk through the open field by entering the trails on S. Rolling Road.  You will see other cars parked there.  This is a popular spot for mountain bikers and hikers alike but we did not find it to be crowded except right by the road where we parked.

If you decide to go down Foxhall Farm Road beware that this is an area used by hunters so I would not recommend this hike during hunting seasons.

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I don’t know, it’s like we just can’t seem to get these hikes right.  HA HA!  This week we set out to do a 10 mile hike around Prettyboy Damn.  All of our hiking info so far has come from the internet.  Well this hike info must have been posted n 1992??  We arrived and the route suggested was not even close to a trail.  There was however a trail just steps away from were this one started so we followed that one, thinking that they could possibly join once we got there.  Yeah, no such luck.  We hiked for about 2 miles down to and along the Reservoir.  (MapMyHike lost us for a bit on its GPS so it reads a little less) Then we attempted going through the forest trying our very hardest to make a path to where the other trail was said to begin.  We ended up with lots of scratches and thorns on our legs and a dead end to our trail.   I will tell you I am PRETTY sure that you burn more calories and work up more of a sweat trying to get through that brush.  I would have sworn that we climbed much higher and for longer than the MapMyHike recoreded.    I was super tired any my heart rate was definitely up.

This small hike was a bit of a tease.  A tease because first of all the trail no longer existed but also because the second trail we found lead us down to the water which was beautiful and blue and deep.  PERFECT water for swimming in but it is protected.  It is one of the water sources used to hydrate and bath us Baltimorians.

For all of you Ideal Protein dieters I had an egg before setting off as well as a dash of Vanilla shake in my coffee and a Blueberry Cran Protein drink.  I did not feel very strong this hike.  I felt tired almost instantly and my heart was pounding on the inclines which were very manageable.  I think the difference for me this week and last week was that I made sure to hydrate a LOT the day before last week and this week not so much.  I only added a few ounces to my daily dose of about 80oz.

If you are looking to get a pretty secluded glimpse of the reservoir this is a small hike that will allow that.

Directions:

On our GPS we plugged in the address

2230 Tracey Stores Rd, Baltimore MD

We followed Tracey Store Rd until we reached  Gate 5.  (There is an area where Tracey Store Rd meets Tracey Store Rd turn right and follow Tracey Store Rd to the dead end.   The path to the water is an easy cleared walk downhill and an uphill walk back but, like I said before very manageable.  I’d say it’s about .60 miles each way.   Once you get to the water there are only remnants of a trail.  But you can follows the waters edge for a bit.  We turned right at the water.  This right turn is what lead to the thorns and the scratched up legs so I don’t really recommend it unless you plan on wearing pants and feel like blazing a trail of your very own.  🙂

As we pulled away from this hike I was feeling itchy, tired and deflated.  First of all my son did not come along this week so I was bummed about that and then the trail did not really exist.  AND the part that did exist tuckered me out almost instantly!  I even said to my husband maybe I am not really cut out for this hiking thing.  So he says well you had another 8 miles planned into your day how about we just take a walk.  Little did I know what he was getting us into……

To Be Continued……………………………………….


It was my intention to post once a week but now I am all amp’d up ready to go!  Ready to blog, ready to hike, ready to climb Mt Everest…  Well maybe that is pushing it a little bit.  🙂

I was so afraid to start this blog because I was so afraid of not following through on reaching my goal of hiking once a week and then completing the Md section of the AP.  But if it keeps up the way that today has then there is no way I can not do this.  I appreciate all of you cheering me on, sending me hiking suggestions and just taking the time to read my silly little blog.  I don’t know how this whole blogging thing works but it is looking like if you “LIKE” this blog and “FOLLOW” this blog then I will be easier to find on the internet.  Which would make me famous and boy wouldn’t that be sweet.  I might finally get my dream job as a hip hop back up dancer or as Oprah.  Ha Ha!!

 


Hi everyone!  My name is Kaycie,  I am a city girl from Baltimore MD.  My husband is an outdoors man.   I, on the other hand,am more of a dinner, drinks and Starbucks kinda girl.   For years he has asked me to hike.  I have sometimes agreed but ONLY if it is on a paved road and not to hilly.  I mean I did not want to sweat and I did NOT want to get dirty.

Well then I earned a free trip to Hawaii through my Scentsy business.  And when I was asking around about what to see and do in Hawaii Hiking was always on the top of everyone’s list.  My friend Brooke was my own private tour guide.  She actually has a blog that tells all about her hikes in Hawaii… and her life too… she is pretty special  CoveredInGrace is the name of her blog if you would like to check it out.  So I thought okay well at least Jim (my husband) will like that.  We should for sure do it.  Little did I know that I was going to fall in love with the adventure of being off of the path and getting dirty.  My favorite trail to hike was Manawilli Falls.  It was a trail that started at the end of a residential neighborhood and one that you don’t really just find my accident.  Lucky for me I had Brooke .Image

So we started out on this trail all alone talking about what are the big scary predators in Hawaii.  Neither of us knew…. So of course we googled it…. More experienced hikers might have done that ahead of time, I guess.  Once we found that there were not really any we relaxed a little bit.  So this hike was about 1.5 miles each way but the amazing thing about it was that at the end of the 1.5 miles there was a super awesome waterfall with a small pool to jump off of cliff next to the waterfall and into the poll.  And believe me WE NEEDED THIS REFRESHING WATER!!!

When we got home everyone asked us what was our favorite part of Hawaii and we both said that it was this hike.  We both were sweaty and out of shape struggling up those muddy hills but we both felt sooooo  good doing it.  (Welllllll maybe not in the moment but once we finished)  And the reward of the waterfall was just amazing!! Image So here I am back in Baltimore in the middle of summer…. A hot muggy super humid summer… and I find myself wanting more.   Jim, Codey (my 17 yr old son) and I decided around the dinner table that we were going to do the Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail this November…..BUT MOM (me) quickly veto’d November and pushed it back to next Spring in May.  This is a four day hike, 10 miles a day and I just was not convinced that I would be prepared by November.

So now here we are with a goal of the Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail in May.  We decided to start a weekly family hike every Sunday morning in and around Maryland to get accustomed to the different terrains that we will run into on our BIG HIKE.    Our journey begins this Sunday!  We are going to start at Falling Branch Trail it Kilgore Falls in Pylesville Maryland.  The reviews say that it is an easy trail with a great reward at the end.  So I am hoping that Codey will enjoy this hike as much as Jim and I enjoyed Manawili Falls so that he is as enthused about this new adventure as I am.  I will report back with you guys on Sunday to let you know how it goes.   I am hoping that this blog will help me to stay dedicated to my weekly goal and also maybe I will be able to give you guys some tips on where to hike and where not to hike…and vice versa.