If you are interested only in hiking trails, please see Hiking Trails and more trails.
Click on one of the below links to see trip reports of previous adventures.
Hiking Adventures 2017
Hiking Adventures 2016
Hiking Adventures 2015
Hiking Adventures 2014
Hiking Adventures 2013
Hiking Adventures 2012
Hiking Adventures 2011
Hiking Adventures 2010
Hiking Adventures 2009
Hiking Adventures 2008
Hiking Adventures 2007
Hiking Adventures 2006
Hiking Adventures 2005 and Before
The photo at the top left corner of this page is me in front of a giant sequoia tree in northern California on May 6, 2002. These trees are truly breathtaking. Photos don't do them justice. Though this tree was hollow in the center, it appeared to be quite healthy.
Big trees like this can be seen in some old-growth forests. Old-growth trees are ones that have grown, unimpeded by human activities, as a part of a naturally occurring ecosystem that has existed, undisturbed, since its inception. Some old-growth forests include:
Two tall trees, a birch and a beech, are growing in the woods. A small tree begins to grow between them. The beech says to the birch: "Is that a son of a beech or a son of a birch?" The birch says he cannot tell.
Just then a woodpecker lands on the sapling.
The birch says, "Woodpecker, you are a tree expert. Can you tell if that is a son of a beech or a son of a birch?"
The woodpecker takes a taste of the small tree.
He replies: "It is neither a son of a beech nor a son of a birch. It is, however, the best piece of ash I have ever put my pecker in."
Skills and Knowledge
Good Hiking Etiquette and Suggestions
Try to stay on the trail.
Step off the trail to let horses and bicycles pass.
Go far off the trail and well away from any water source to take a crap. Be sure to bury it and any toilet paper.
If going up a steep hill, stay far enough away from the person in front so you have time to react in case they dislodge a rock and it comes rolling towards you.
If going down a steep hill, stay far enough away from the person in front of you so you don't knock them down if you fall.
Stay far enough away from the person in front of you so that their walking stick can't reach you if they hold it horizontally behind them.
Be cautious of getting whacked by a bent tree limb.
Remain in visual distance of the person in front and behind you unless you have radio communication.
Tell the leader to stop or slow down if you start to lose visual contact unless you have radio communication.
If you have radio communication, perform regular radio checks. The lead person or the leader should have one radio and the sweep should have one also. If you lose radio communication, regroup.
Make sure someone is at any splits or turns in the trail so that others behind know where to head.
At least one person in the group should have a first aid kit.
If you have a first aid kit, make sure others know you have it and where it is should you become a casualty.
Make noise in bear country.
Take regular water breaks.
Bring more water than you need.
Drink before you get thirsty and put on sunscreen and/or insect repellent before you really need it.
Don't flip over large rocks and logs. That's where snakes often like to hike.
Allow yourself plenty of time to finish the hike before dark.
Check for ticks after the hike.
Suncreen and Insect Repellent
While there are currently alternatives to insect repellents containing N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), I have yet to test them out. DEET remains one of the most effective means of repelling unwanted pests...but that doesn't include the sleazy drunks at the singles bars.
If using DEET, look for repellents that contain up to 30% of this ingredient. Use less than 10% DEET for children. In high concentrations over several days' exposure, DEET can cause insomnia and mood disturbances. Spray on clothes and exposed skin, then wash off once indoors. One can also treat clothes with permethrin .
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't recommend combination products with both insect repellent and sunscreen because "sunscreen requires frequent application while DEET should be used sparingly." If you need both, apply your sunscreen first and allow it to dry before putting on the repellent. This reduces DEET absorption, though it may increase the passage of oxybenzone (a common sunscreen ingredient) through the skin .
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is reportedly the most effective natural mosquito repellent as of June 22, 2006 but for me personally, it isn't all that effective. But it is better than nothing and I think effectiveness may vary depending on the individual.
There are various insect repellents that are not advertised as such. Some of these are just things folks told me about and I have no data from scientific study to back any of it up. Feel free to send me your suggestions.
Deer ticks transmit Lyme Disease, a potential debilitating illness. At the nymph state of a deer tick's life, it's abou the size of the dot over this i. This is when they're most likely to pass on the disease. In 2000, 17,730 Americans were diagnosed with Lyme Disease .
If you've been bitten by a tick, grasp the tick down near its "head," as close to your skin as possible, and gently pull straight out. Mark the date you got the tick bite on the calendar. Call the doctor is you develop a rash, fever, fatigue, aches, headache, or joint pain. These could be signs of several tick-borne infections. Should you develop any mysterious symptoms within a month of a bite, tell your doctor about the encounter. Lyme Disease typically produces a red bull's-eye rash at the site of the bite but a solid red or mostly red rash can also signal the disease .
The northeasten, mid-Atlantic (e.g. Maryland), upper-midwestern regions, and Northern California are known hot spots for Lyme Disease .
I've found the tick nipper tool particularly helpful in removing ticks. I carry one in my first aid field kit and have used it multiple times.
The Insect Repellent DEET
Map and Compass Basics
You've probably heard the term dead reckoning but did you know that it is short for "deduced reckoning?" Surprisingly, it isn't a last resort method of navigation where vultures start circling you .
Not all norths are equal
True north is the direction of the north star.
Grid north is the direction of the north pole. The difference between true north and grid north is very small and for the most part can be ignored. Many maps won't mention grid north.
Magnetic north and compass north are the same. They are the north as indicated by your magnetic compass. This value typically differs slightly from the true north  .
Peter North is a porn star and has nothing to do with navigation or hiking.
Some maps will show concentric circles with degree markings. The outer circle shows the true north and shows a star above the north indicator. The inner circle shows the magnetic north. Check the degree marking of the inner circle directly below the zero degree indicator of the outer circle. Account for annual increase over time. For Baltimore, this value is approximately 11 degrees of westerly variation as of the year 2000, with only 5 minutes of annual increase (a negligible amount for hiking or kayaking). The difference between magnetic north and true north is also known as magnetic declination or the G-M angle. If you are fortunate enough to live on the longitude line that passes just east of Florida or through Lake Michigan, then you live on the agonic line, which is where the variation is zero .
Given true north, ADD the variation to obtain the magnetic north.
Given magnetic north, SUBTRACT the variation to obtain the true north.
Given a true (grid) reading of 180 degrees with 11 degrees variation, the equivalent compass reading is 191 degrees.
Given a magnetic (compass) reading of 345 degrees with 11 degrees variation, the equivalent true (grid) reading is 334 degrees.
Sometimes, you won't have terrain features you can easily identify on a map. Or, visibility might be poor. So how do you estimate the distance you've traveled? The answer: pace count.
Measure off a distance and count the number of paces (counting each time the left foot hits the deck) it takes to walk that distance. Also, record your time. Walk at the speed you would normally travel on a moderate distance hike. A quarter mile track is a good distance that has been accurately measured. Wear the clothes and equipment you normally would wear while hiking. Ideally, you would want to measure your pace count multiple times and take the average. Record the conditions when you recorded your pace count and know that things like rougher terrain, very high elevation, and carrying more equipment will increase your pace count. Finish where you start to help normalize for elevation changes.
My pace count
As of summer 2006, my pace count with a light (20 pound) backpack on a flat, paved, road was 75 for 100 meters at a moderate pace. Interesting how it changes with time (I'm getting slow in my old age), terrain, weather, etc.
It helps to keep a log of various hikes so that you know your capabilities and limitations:
Date and time: 1745, March 31, 2005
Weather: 52 degrees Fahrenheit, 74% humdity, no noticeable wind
Equipment: 35 pounds of gear carried in an all-purpose lightweight carrying equipment (ALICE) pack
Terrain: Paved sidewalks in Arbutus. One small hill but otherwise flat.
Physical condition: Lifted weights at with legs 8 hours prior at moderate intensity but otherwise felt fresh.
Distance: One mile
Pace count: 1005
Time: 17 minutes 53 seconds
Pace: 3.355 mph (moderate) Notes: Pace could easily be sustained for 5 miles
Date and time: 1930, August 30, 2005
Weather: 80 degrees Fahrenheit, 81% humidity, 12 mph wind from the southeast
Equipment: 50 pounds of gear carried in an all-purpose lightweight carrying equipment (ALICE) pack
Terrain: Paved sidewalks in Arbutus. Four hills of various sizes encountered.
Physical condition: Did a light leg weight training workout 24 hours prior and took an afternoon nap same day as hike.
Distance: 5.65 miles
Clothes: 7 pounds once completed. Soaked to the bone in sweat; cotton.
Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Pace: 3.229 mph (moderate pace)
Notes: Friction at the back of the foot just above the heel not noticeable with a lighter pack was felt with the heavy pack. Athletic tape placed over this area prior to walking prevented red spots. Soreness in neck encountered. Most likely need to exercise neck and trapezius muscles. Tighter pack belt could have shifted some of the weight in the pack to the hips thereby reducing weight on the shoulders.
Date and time: 2100, September 7, 2005
Weather: 64 degrees Fahrenheit, 66% humidity, no noticeable wind
Equipment: 42 pounds of gear carried in an external frame REI aluminum pack
Terrain: Paved sidewalks in Arbutus. Four hills of various sizes encountered.
Physical condition: No exercise for 2 days. Just finished a very long day at work.
Distance: 4.35 miles
Clothes: 4.5 pounds dry clothes.
Time: 1 hour and 14 minutes
Pace: 3.527 mph (somewhat fast)
Notes: Balls of feet sore. Faster pace really had an effect on foot comfort. Tight pack belt helped take weight off shoulders. Neck a bit sore though that was probably partly because it was dark and I often had to look down.
Date and time: 1345, October 9, 2005
Weather: 63 degrees Fahrenheit, 82% humidity, no noticeable wind
Equipment: 50 pounds of gear carried in an external frame REI aluminum pack
Terrain: Paved sidewalks in Arbutus. Four hills of various sizes encountered.
Physical condition: Fresh.
Distance: 5.65 miles
Clothes: No cotton.
Time: 1 hour and 43 minutes
Pace: 3.29 mph (moderate pace)
Notes: Pack with 30 pound weight, one Duraflame log, and 2 liters of water carried in a Camelbak nylon case totals 50 pounds. Boot insoles not providing as much cushion as when first purchased. Probably time to replace. Soreness at ball of right foot.
When hiking with a slower person or hiking for conditioning, you can add weights to your pack to get the desired effect. Iron weights will work but make sure they are wrapped in a towel before you place them in your pack. The last thing you want is the corners of an iron object rubbing up against and weakening the nylon of your pack. Throwing in a few extra water bottles is a great way to weight your pack. The large flexible bladders are best since they will conform to the shape of your pack and hence keep from sliding around. Best of all, if you decide you later don't want the weight, you can just dump it out. Another alternative is to use Duraflame logs. Their shape is perfect for carrying at the bottom of your pack. They are just the right width to keep from sliding and each weights about 5.5 pounds each.
If you, your pet, and/or your clothes are sprayed by a skunk, wash in the following formula to remove the scent:
Paraffin wax balls
Buy paraffin wax bricks at art supply store.
Melt the wax in double boiler.
Add a lot of dryer lint.
Spoon mixture into paper egg carton and let harden.
Remove/cut individual balls with paper from egg carton in tact.
To use, peel off a piece of paper or lint then set ablaze.
It should burn for up to 20 minutes.
Also consider adding piece of cannon fuse during the drying process to be used as a wick.
Miscellaneous hiking notes
35-60% of all runners and walkers have weak feet .
Approximately 15% of all people have unequal left and right legs .
Hiking on a rough but level terrain burns about 50% more calories than walking on a paved road. This is great for burning fat but possibly bad if you are trying to conserve your food .
Ascending a 14 degree slope requires almost 4 times the effort as traveling on flat terrain. Similarly, every 15 meters of elevation gain takes about as much time as running 100 meters on level ground. Use this rule of thumb to estimate if it is faster to go over or around a hill .
At 10,000 feet above sea level, the blood may carry as much as 15% less oxygen than normal. This may result in headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath .
You undoubtedly know the importance of wearing a hat in cold weather. The reason is that at least 40% of body heat eascapes through the head .
Honeybees are attracted to perfume, yellow and orange colors, and flowered patterns .
To keep yellow jackets away from a picnic area, try sharing. Set a plate of food scraps and a cup of soda away from your table .
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac contain an irritant called urushiol. Tecnu is an anti-poison ivy lotion. A recommended product for drying up blisters resulting from urusiol is Derma Pax .
 A 2005 class taught by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 12 called "GPS for Mariners."
 "Chesapeake Bay Chartbook, 7th Edition" by ADC
 "Orienteering: The Sport of Navigation with Map and Compass" by Steven Boga. Published by Stackpole Books in 1997.
 "Tug Hill: A Four Season Guide to the Natural Side" by Robert McNamara. Published by North Country Books.
 "Splat!: How to Beat the Bugs of Summer" by Ingrei Chen. Published in Reader's Digest, July 2002.
 "The People's Pharmacy" by Joe and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., Spectrum, July 5, 2005
It's easy to forget things when you're packing. That's why I like to keep a checklist for various occassions. These are just ideas to keep you from forgetting things you might need. Don't think I'm suggesting you need to bring everything I list.
Day Hike: Anywhere from a stroll in the park to a 20+ mile forced march.
Water: This is just a rule of thumb for me only. It will of course vary for individuals. Better to carry more than needed if uncertain.
Good socks along with a spare if going on a long hike. Wool or wool/blend socks are best. I prefer SmartWool brand socks. If hiking in wet conditions, consider wearing waterproof socks, or at least bring them along in case your waterproof boots prove unreliable. Having cold feet really sucks ass.
Sock liners. I prefer Feelmax Toe Socks. They give each of my toes an individual compartment to prevent them from rubbing together.
Long trousers if moving on a poorly maintained trail or going off trail.
Boot bands/springs for your long trousers and tall boots if moving in tick country. Gaitors work if you don't have tall boots but they tend to look silly. Better to look silly than to get lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Speaking of gaitors, they often come in handy for stream crossings or when hiking through wet grass. Easy stream crossings might only need waterproof boots. More difficult stream crossings are aided by gaitors. Even more difficult crossings may require sandals or a change of socks.
If you have big thighs, consider wearing spandex or Under Armour under your trousers/shorts to prevent unnecessary friction between your thighs.
For cold/wet conditions, avoid cotton. Remember that your insulation is useless if it is wet unless it is neoprene. Similarly, while cotton is cool, it also takes a long time to dry which could make it less than ideal in hot, sweaty conditions where you want to dry off quickly.
For wet conditions, Gore-Tex or one of the similar waterproof/breatheable products is good. Regular plastic (or otherwise unbreatheable) raingear may make you sweat so much that you might just as well get wet from the rain. But in heavy rain or cold conditions, the unbreatheable raingear is sometimes best. The breatheable stuff loses its waterproofness once it gets old or if it isn't maintained proprerly. Be sure to care for your breatheable fabric properly. See How to Take Care of Gore-Tex. For a light rain, I've known people to hike with an umbrella.
Wearing Under Armour exposed is fine as long as you are on a clear trail. Under Armour snags easily.
A hat keeps the sun out of our eyes, provides sun protection to our face, and helps retain heat.
Sunscreen. Doctors recommend at least SPF 30. Don't forget the tops of your ears and the part in your hair if you don't wear a hat.
Insect repellant. In Maryland, you should at least bring this during daylight savings time. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. If you don't want to bring a whole bottle, bring Off Deep Woods Towelettes.
Gloves or mittens in cold weather. A waterproof shell with a liner works best. If these two parts are separate, then you can throw the insulation in the washing machine while preserving the durability of the shell.
Sunglasses. Recommended on a bright day but required in snow country on a sunny day.
Bandana to keep the sweat out of your eyes and to look cool (required for me but optional for everyone else).
Snot rag (handkerchief).
Hair ties if you have enough to tie back. Always bring a spare.
Map of area you are hiking and a waterproof map case if it might rain.
Other waterproof bags as needed.
Notepad and pen for taking notes.
Global Positioning System (GPS) and spare batteries. Don't let having one substitute for basic map and compass knowledge.
Walking sticks/poles. These take some of the weight off your legs and feet and can help provide better stability.
Keys to your car if you drove to get where you are. DON'T forget these.
Money to make an emergency phone call, a cell phone, or a calling card.
A first aid kit if you are leading the hike.
Ivy Block to create a barrier between your skin and poison ivy/oak/sumac. Be sure to bring this if there is any chance you will be bushwhacking. Also bring appropriate protective clothing. Be sure to wash off with Zanfel, Tecnu Extreme, or at least a strong detergent (e.g. dish soap) immediately after. And clean anything that might have come in contact with the poison ivy/oak/sumac.
White athletic tape to cover high friction areas on your feet BEFORE they turn into blisters.
Camera. Bring a waterproof bag or other suitable storage device depending on the weather conditions. Don't forget spare film and batteries too.
Toilet paper in waterproof bag.
Small shovel to bury your toilet paper and number 2. A plastic shovel is fine sometimes but in many climates, the soil will be dense with roots and rocks, making digging with a plastic shovel impossible. Buy a metal one instead.
Don't forget about Fido. If you have a dog, bring a water bowl, food, a leash, and whatever else you may need. Make sure the place you are hiking allows dog. Also, be sure to maintain control over your pet so he/she doesn't disturb wildlife...or become a victim. You can't always count on events such as those documented in the following photos. It was reported that the polar bear returned every night to play with the huskies.
Trash bag. Don't even think of littering.
Binoculars if you think there might be something interesting to look at from afar.
Secure water shoes in case you need to cross a stream that is deeper than the tops of your boots.
Extra shoelaces. If you're carrying parachute cord, that will work too.
Two way radio if you expect the groups might start to split up.
Also keep in mind the journey home. If you're smelly, sticky, and sweaty, you may not want your skin or clothes touching your car's upholstery. Bring a clean towel and/or a change of clothes for the ride home, especially if you caught a ride with someone else. Doing so will increase your chances of being invited back. If it is a long drive, consider bringing a pillow and snacks.
If you caught a ride with someone else, be sure to compensate them for gasoline plus a little extra for auto maintenance/repair. Or, at least offer to pay for their meal if stopping to dine.
Car Camping Trip: This assumes you will be camping a short distance from your car and hiking during the day. Plan to pack your food, trash, and toothpaste in your car if you are in bear country. Even if you're not in bear country, it is a good idea to pack away any food since rats will go so far as to make a hole in your pack to get at any munchies. Sleep with a long sleeve shirt and long trousers during warm weather to prevent that uncomfortable sticky feeling. Don't operate zippers near an insect net. An insect net gets easily caught in and ripped by a zipper. Include everything from the Day Hike checklist plus the following.
Change of clothes: Check the weather and plan for at least 15 degrees colder than the coldest prediction and 15 degrees warmer than the hottest prediction. If there is any chance of rain or snow, expect it.
Tarp roof covering for the common area. This provides shade and a dry area in very light rain.
Hammer for tent stakes.
Tent footprint; that's the plastic sheet that creates a waterproof barrier between the bottom of your tent and the ground. Make sure this does not extend beyond the edge of your tent. If it does, it will only draw water to rest under your tent when it rains.
Sewing/repair kit. Keeps small problems from becoming big ones.
Extra blankets if the nights will be colder than your sleeping bag rating.
Chair. Mine is a folding tripod chair. If going ultra-light, bring a therma-seat cushion.
Isomat, therm-a-rest, or foam cushion to place between your sleeping bag and your tent.
Clothes line and clothes pins so you can let your clothes air/dry out.
Laundry soap, brush, and/or coins if you plan to wash your clothes.
Towel and washcloth, preferrably one of those ultra-light, super absorbent camp towels.
Flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries.
Lighter or matches.
Firestarter (such as magnesium) to get a stubborn fire going. Lint also works well.
Light stick (e.g. Cyalume) or at least something reflective so you can mark your tent and get back to it easily in the dark.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss.
Shaving cream and razor. Bring a fresh razor and possibly a spare if you expect to be gone for several days.
Water bowl, tub, or collapsible tub.
Proof of auto insurance. On a long trip, you may be asked to drive someone else's car for awhile. Be prepared.
Alarm clock if you're on an early morning schedule.
Glasses, glasses case, spare contact lenses (mark left and/or right), contact lens case (mark left and/or right), and contact lens cleaning fluid. Renu Multi-Purpose Solution by Bausch and Lomb with a contact lens case will take up less space and weight than packing saline, contact lens cleaner, disinfectant, and catalyst. If camping someplace cold, be sure to keep solution someplace where it won't freeze. Clean and air out the case once you get home.
Wet wipes or moist towelettes (same animal).
Shampoo, conditioner, and detangling comb.
Dirty laundry bag.
Dry bag or some other large waterproof bag to keep your dry clothes dry when it rains.
Book to keep from getting bored.
Earplugs, so the fellow in the next tent or those drunk college kids don't keep you awake.
Cash and credit card in case you need supplies, gasoline, or car repairs. Bring auto club card if you have it.
Prescription medications if you are taking any.
Feminine hygiene stuff if you're a chick.
Afterwards, be sure to air out your tent, boots, and sleeping bag when you get home.
Backpacking Trip: Be sure to let someone know where you are going, when you will return, a description of the car that takes you to your embarkation point, any special medical conditions of you and people in your group (e.g. epileptic, asthmatic, or diabetic), and any other important information. See the Day Hike and Car Camping checklists and add the below.
Backpack, preferrably internal frame if going up steep terrain.
Tie down straps and/or bungee cords.
Carabiner(s). Not sure what you might use it for but I always seem to end up using them for one thing or another.
To reduce the weight of extra clothes, bring not more than two pairs of trousers/shorts and shirts. You can wear one pair while the other dries at night or on the outside of your pack while on the march. Trousers with zip off legs are great because they double as shorts. On unmaintained trails or trails on which you are unfamiliar, be sure to at least bring a pair of trousers to protect your legs from brush and insects.
Airtight bag for storing food, trash, toothpaste, and anything else that might attract animals when you are sleeping. Also a rope for tying it up where animals can't get it, a good distance from your tent. We call this a bear bag. When hung, it should be at least 100 feet from your campsite, high enough so a large bear standing upright can't get to it, and hanging from a branch weak enough NOT to support the weight of a small bear...and if you think a bear can't climb a rope, click on the thumbnail below.
Signaling and survival gear if you are really out in the boondocks.
Lightweight food. Consider how long you will be gone. While MREs are a great source of energy, they are also heavy. If you will be near a stream and have a water purifier, it will probably be most efficient to bring some dehydrated food and a stove if you will be out for more than a couple of days.
Afterwards, be sure to check your scalp and body for ticks and have someone check where you can't.
Some people believe in bringing all kinds of backups and spare this and that. There are two rules I like when it comes to backpacking. Both are military but each has opposing views.
I also recommend you consider bringing spare water, socks, pen, lighter, film, food, batteries, toilet paper, earplugs, an extra water purifier filter, and iodine pills in case the water purifier breaks. If there will be several people in your group, consider assigning people to bring items that everyone can use. For example, consider bringing two of the following for the whole group: stove, water purifier, shovel, toothpaste, tent stake hammer, athletic tape, camera, and knife. I say two so you'll always have a backup though some people will consider this overkill.
Much of my equipment is inexpensive or old. Hence, it isn't lightweight. For me, full backpacking gear weighs 50 pounds. Day clothes with boots weighs another 5.5 pounds. This includes 3 quarts of water, water purifier, 6 MREs, full change of clothes (not counting footwear), tripod chair, Teva sandals, thermal underwear, tent, sleeping bag, isomat, tent hammer, toiletries, first aid kit, waterproof pack cover, parachute cord, dry bag, glasses, bug spray, towel, fire starter, knife, and light. This would be fine for a 2 day backpacking trip in Maryland in spring or fall near a fresh water source. If you're willing to spend money on good equipment or sacrifice some comfort, you can easily get your pack much lighter than mine.
I've made quite a few changes in the last year and a half. I've got a new backpack, tent, and sleeping bag. I don't usually carry MREs anymore. I traded the tripod chair for a Therma-seat. Instead of Teva sandals, I carry Crocs. I'm older and my body doesn't like carrying as much weight anymore. It was time to upgrade.
One Day Hike
How difficult can a one day hike be? Well it can be a lot tougher than anything I've ever done. The longest hike I did is about 23 miles carrying military weapons over hilly terrain at Camp Pendleton, California. But I think this "One Day Hike" is more challenging. Thanks to Carmen for telling me about this and keeping me humble.
Outward Bound delivers high quality educational wilderness expeditions throughout the world. Their trips expose you to adventure, challenge, and the thrill of the unknown - a chance to get out on your own and taste what it feels like to be alive.
Hike, cycle, paddle, trek, climb, cruise. Call 1-800-622-2236 for a free REI adventures trip catalog.
Backpacking locations in or near Maryland
Green Ridge State Forest
Savage River State Forest
This place may have considerable regulations.
Camping links not listed above
Bears Den Trail Center
Maryland Campgrounds and RV Parks
RV Park Reviews
Even if you're not into recreational vehicles (RVs), you might find useful campground info here.
Virginia Campground Association
Hiking trail links probably not listed in hiking trails
American Discovery Trail
Civil War Trails - Maryland
Columbia Association (CA), Maryland - Trails
Dog Hike Map, Baltimore/Washington Area
Fat Man Walking
Hiking on the Appalachian Trail
Hiking in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland
Howard County Recreation and Parks - Trails Maps
Massanutten Mountain Trail, Virginia
North Country Trail Association
Piney Orchard Nature Preserve: Where I saw my first beaver in the wild on May 6, 2007. Very short trails suitable for taking small children.
Ramsey's Draft Hike
Tahoe Rim Trail
Tahoe Rim Trail - GORP
Trail Head Finder
Adventure Medical Kits
Back Country Gear
Bergans of Norway
Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS)
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Hours: Monday through Saturday 1000 to 2100, Sunday 1100 to 1800
Directions: From the Baltimore beltway (highway 695), take highway 97 south to highway 50 east.
Take exit 22 to Aris Allen Boulevard (route 665) southeast. Stay in the left lane.
Turn left into Annapolis Harbour Center.
EMS is on the left as you enter Annapolis Harbour Center.
Enertia Trail Foods
What makes this so good is that they come in pouches that you can add boiling water to so you don't have to get your pots dirty.
Hudson Trail Outfitters
Long Life Food Depot
Lets you pick your favorite MREs when ordering
Possum Fur Products
Recreational Equipment, Incorporated (REI)
Columbia, Maryland 21045
Phone: (410) 872-1742
Hours: Monday through Friday 1000-2100, Saturday 1000-2100, Sunday 1100-1900
Near the northwest intersection of Dobbin Road and Snowden River Parkway.
Directions: From highway 95, take route 175 west. Follow for one mile.
Turn right on Snowden River Parkway. Follow for 0.25 mile.
Turn left (west) on Dobbin Road. Follow 250 meters then turn right (north) into the parking lot.
North of Greenbelt Road (Route 193) and south of highway 95/495
Hours: Monday through Friday 1000-2100, Saturday 1000-2000, Sunday 1100-1900
Directions: From where highway 695 (Baltimore beltway) meets highway 95, take highway 95 south for about 19 miles.
Take the highway 495 (Washington D.C. beltway) exit (exit 27) west, toward Silver Spring for 0.6 miles.
Take the highway 95 south exit (exit 25) on the left toward route 1 (College Park) for 1 mile.
Take the route 1 south (Baltimore Avenue) exit (exit 25B) toward College Park for 1.1 miles. Make sure you are in the left lane by the signal light.
Turn left onto Edgewood Road, a left oblique turn at the signal. Follow for 0.3 miles.
Turn right onto Rhode Island Avenue. Follow for 0.1 miles.
End at 9801 Rhode Island Avenue on the left.
Notes: About 30 minutes from Arbutus.
Timonium, Maryland 21093-4102
Directions: From where the Baltimore beltway (highway 695) and highway 95 meet, take highway 695 clockwise (north). Take exit 24 to highway 83 (Harrisburg Expressway) north. Take exit 16A to Timonium Road. Turn right at end of the ramp, heading east on Timonium Road. Cross over the railroad tracks.
Turn right (south) on Aylesbury Road.
REI is on the right.
Notes: About 28 minutes from Arbutus in light traffic.
Rite in the Rain
All weather writing paper.
Track 'n Trail
Department of Natural Resources - Maryland
Fish and Wildlife Service
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Local outdoor clubs/organizations in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. area
Appalachian Mountain Club
Capital Hiking Club
Center Hiking Club
Columbia Ski Club
They do some hiking, biking, and other activities in addition to skiing
Maryland Outdoor Club
Mid-Atlantic Hiking (Meetup) Group
Mountain Club of Maryland
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC)
Quantico Orienteering Club
Sierra Club - Maryland Chapter
U.S. Hiking Clubs Link
East Coast Greenway Alliance
This 2950-mile off-road trail system, the urban sister to the Appalachian Trail, will be a pathway to adventure for walkers, cyclists, skaters, skiers, equestrians, and persons with disabilities.
Food Storage Chart
So you'll know how long food will last out of the fridge
Frisky's Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary, Inc.
Tours open to the community in Woodstock, Maryland
Leave No Trace: Center for Outdoor Ethics
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac Information Center
Mike J.'s web page; links to local hikes. In my opinion, this is the most valuable hiking resource for anyone that lives in the mid-Atlantic region.
Mid-Atlantic Hikes Forums This is Mike J.'s forums page where you can post hike related information or ask question.
Make Your Own Insect Repellent
SummitPost: Message board for outdoorsy people
Trail's End Restaurants
Recommended restaurants for after the trip
Watkins Nature Center
Family oriented nature activities
Non-local outdoor clubs/organizations
American Hiking Society: The national voice for America's hikers. Mission: protecting and promoting foot trails.
Pacific Crest Trail Association
Park information probably not listed in hiking trails
Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia
Cedarville State Forest
False Cape State Park
Primitive camping in one of the last undisturbed coastal environments on the East Coast
Fran Uhler Natural Area
A little over 5 miles of trails along the Patuxent River near Bowie State University.
George Washington Memorial Parkway
Great Falls Park (National Park Service)
Also see Chesapeake and Ohio Canal/Towpath then scroll down slightly to Great Falls
Live Once Live Wild
This website has some great photos and brief descriptions of outstanding natural areas in the United States worth visiting.
Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge
Good for seeing bald eagles
Mason Neck State Park
Kayak and canoe rental available
National Park Foundation
The Nature Conservancy in Delaware
The Nature Conservancy in Maryland
The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania
The Nature Conservancy in Virginia
The Nature Conservancy in West Virginia
Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority
Pohick Bay Regional Park
This website also lists a multitude of links to nearby campsites, parks, and white water paddling sites
Prince George's County Parks and Recreation
Rosaryville State Park
Savage River State Forest
Virginia State Parks
Wilderness First Aid Classes
Sunrise and Sunset Times