Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area: In Search of the Chromium Serpent

"Chromium Serpent" would be a great name for a heavy-metal rock band. In this context, however, it refers to a combination of geologic properties that I had no idea were sitting just outside Baltimore in Owings Mills, Maryland. Chromium mines? Oak savannas? Serpentine barrens? This is the stuff of fantasy novels - except it all … Continue reading Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area: In Search of the Chromium Serpent

Patapsco Valley State Park – Pickall Area: Art on the Trail

Amid the urban sprawl that surrounds the city of Baltimore is Patapsco Valley State Park. Slicing through suburbia from Liberty Reservoir to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay, the Patapsco River passes through the quaint town of Ellicot City before widening dramatically between South Baltimore and Brooklyn. (Yes, there is a Brooklyn in Maryland.) … Continue reading Patapsco Valley State Park – Pickall Area: Art on the Trail

Mason-Dixon Trail, Otter Creek: Trail(or) Trash

I don't want to dissuade you from hiking this trail; there was a lot to love about this route. The overlook, and much of the Otter Creek stream valley were lovely. It's just that there was a lot of trash. Much of it was along Otter Creek and looked as if it had been washed … Continue reading Mason-Dixon Trail, Otter Creek: Trail(or) Trash

Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area: Rivers and Ruins II

I had a plan. Was my plan exhaustively researched? Of course not! Lisa, the research department of our hiking duo, was away on business, and I was trying to explore some new trails that weren't too far from home. I picked Elk Neck State Park at the northern tip of the Chesapeake Bay. In my … Continue reading Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area: Rivers and Ruins II

Lums Pond State Park: The Bridges of New Castle County

I'm gonna cross that bridgeWhen I come to it "Diamond Bridge" - Blondie I've been looking for new hikes within an hour or so of my home. I found Lums Pond in Northern Delaware. I pulled into a small lot off of Buck Jersey Road, paid the automated meter, and headed down the trail that … Continue reading Lums Pond State Park: The Bridges of New Castle County

Gifford Pinchot State Park: Am I Unbalanced or Is It Just That Rock?

Lisa was out of town on business and I was free. My side-squeeze is always a beautiful tramp - on a trail of my choice. I chose the Lakeside Trail at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Lower Warrington Township, PA. I arrived at the Pinchot Park Conewego Day Use Area to find a packed parking … Continue reading Gifford Pinchot State Park: Am I Unbalanced or Is It Just That Rock?

The Mason-Dixon Trail, Lock 12: Hiking in Lockstep

It was another strangely mild August day in the mid-Atlantic. Like my Fair Hill hike the previous day (read here), the high for this atypical summer Friday was in the low eighties. What to do with such a pleasant day? I think you know. This time, Lisa joined me. Lock 12 on the Susquehanna and … Continue reading The Mason-Dixon Trail, Lock 12: Hiking in Lockstep

Mt. Equinox: Encyclopedia Rob and the Case of the Blue Summit Trail

Another dip into the archives for a great pre-pandemic hike in Vermont! The plan? Climb Equinox Mountain in southern Vermont – in the dead of winter. The forecast? Partly cloudy and 36°F. Perfect. Those were the stats on Thursday, January 22 before we left to drive north. Lisa had Friday meetings in New York, and … Continue reading Mt. Equinox: Encyclopedia Rob and the Case of the Blue Summit Trail

Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area: Rivers and Ruins

I had been mountain biking at Fair Hill once many years ago but had never hiked there. I aimed to correct that. Fair Hill is in northeastern Cecil County, Maryland and is the former playground of William du Pont Jr, a member of the Delaware du Pont family. William Jr. was a distinguished figure in … Continue reading Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area: Rivers and Ruins

Switchback Jacks, Trail Hogs, and Trash Trolls

I'm Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirtI like to have a good time, and I don't care who gets hurt"Mr. Bad Example" - Warren Zevon A lingering frustration with how people treat the amazing and beautiful world around us came to a head this summer as we traveled. Switchback cutters, trail hogs, and trash … Continue reading Switchback Jacks, Trail Hogs, and Trash Trolls