The backbone of my communication, internet, and mapping needs on the Appalachian Trail was, not surprisingly, my iPhone 6s.
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One of the reasons I joined MAHG was to let other people do the work of finding hiking trails and mapping out routes. This works out especially beautifully when they find a hiking spot I didn’t even know about, almost in my own backyard.
Today’s hike was along the Middle Patuxent River near Columbia, MD, in in an area MAHG calls the “Gorman Stream Valley”. Various mapping services call the area “Gorman Park”. Howard County, in which the area is located, doesn’t even appear to have a proper name for it, not listing it in its parks directory or hiking trails list, and refers to it only as “an undeveloped area called ‘the Gorman Area’” in a news release for its deer management program this winter.
Whatever the proper name for this area is, I’m still happy to discover a new place to hike, especially one that's only 15 minutes from my house. So I signed up almost last minute last night, after waiting a few hours for someone to drop out of the full RSVP list and open up an empty spot.
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Going for a new record of three hikes in a week since I returned home from the Appalachian Trail, I got up at 4:30 am (annoyingly, half an hour earlier than I had set my alarm) and set off shortly before 6 am for a “very strenuous” 12.3 mile hike in Shenandoah National Park with MAHG.
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Although I grew up not terribly far away from Maryland’s Patapsco Valley State Park, I’ve actually done relatively little hiking in this expansive and non-contiguous park that stretches along 32 miles of the Patapsco River.
In 2011, I did a 17 mile hike that included a six mile stretch in the park's Hilton and Glen Artney areas, and in late October and early November, finally returned to the park to do two hikes in the Pickall and Hollofield areas, through which I’d driven through hundreds (if not thousands) of times.
Today, I joined a MAHG hike in a section of the McKeldin Area of the park, near Henryton, MD. In the low 40s and partly cloudy, it was another great day for a hike.
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