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Topic: TR: Frederick Watershed, good as always< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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AegisIII Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 05 2012, 10:17 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Photos

This was a trip from early September.  Decided it was time to head to the watershed, visit good trails I've done, and trails I've not done, about nine miles.

I started at a parking area on Fishing Creek Rd, and started along a woods road.  It had rained plenty the day before, so the ground was slightly moist still, but conditions were otherwise fine and most of the hike you wouldn't have known there had been rain.  I then turned onto another woods road on a narrow low ridge, east of some ponds, to the good opine clearing, likely an old quarry.



From there two trials diverge going downhill, one east, one west.  These then continue to split up into more trails, sometimes rejoin, and split up more.  Thankfully, while you may not go the way you want, you will always get to the same place.  These trails all go downhill, dropping through random boulders along the slope.  First young growth, then heavy mountain laurel, finally some hemlocks.  Down the steepest boulders at the end, and I arrive at the sharp bend in Fishing Creek Road.



I chatted with some mountain bikers at the road (one of them has a photo gallery) , and when letting them go before me on the next trail.  This trail, known as Re-Animator, Rock City, or Full Yellow Jacket, winds down the slope above fishing creek, passing by many rock formations.  I climb a small spire to get a view into the Frederick Valley.  Further down, I take the "newer" branch, reaching Fishing Creek, crossing as an easy rock hop.  (If you are ascending the trail, this may appear as a wrong turn near the start of the climb, especially right after a holiday.)  I continued on a trail which follows Fishing Creek upstream, in the narrow space between the creek and the road.  This is also a nice area, the road being unapparent and the trail following below numerous rock ledges.  One final push gets me to Mountaindale Road.





I cross the road, turning onto an old gated eroded roadbed, and begin the long climb up the central ridge, heading north.  I guess because it had cooled down from the summer, but I found the climb to be less difficult than it normally is.  I continue on the level top, cross a rise, head past the nearly-perpetually wet section (almost totally dry that day), and reach the junction with the Catoctin Trail.  This was also a good time to stop and take my lunch on the conveniently located boulders.

After lunch, I headed south (cardinal northwest) on the Catoctin Trail, passing some coral mushroom, plenty of mountain laurel, and arriving at Left Hand Fork Road.  I cross, continue briefly on the Catoctin to its sharp turn, when I continue straight on an eroded roadbed, somewhat grown over.  Soon, the trail improves and I am next to the nice boulder field of the shed.





After the boulder field, I head uphill to the west on the woods road, the ascent again being easier than I remember.  At the top I reach a trail intersection with what I call the North/South Trail, for obvious reasons.  There was some early autumn color in this area.  I head south on N/S, soon passing through copious amounts of mountain laurel.  At the end of the trail I wind up back at the Catoctin Trail, at the top of the few-years old relo.



I head west on the Catoctin (trail south), but only briefly.  I am searching for a trail I had seen a couple times heading south.  It looks like either an old singletrack trail, or maybe a game path.  The bear scat and the lack of cut-throughs tell me this is a game path.  I follow it as well I can, then bushwhack a bit, finding the ribbons for a (hopefully) future Catoctin Trail relocation.  I follow the ribbon route, which is a full bushwhack, as well as I can spot the next ribbon.  After a bit I decide it'd be easier to do a free bushwhack, following the lay of the land and more undergrowth free areas.  I reach a dry ravine, follow it down, and find myself above a nice flowing secret spring.  After finding my way through the lush growth near the spring, I cross the outflow, and soon reach a dry boulder field, which sometimes is a stream.  I figure I am east of where I wanted to end up, so I head west, soon hitting an old woods road, which I take south briefly until it merges with the Catoctin Trail.





I head south on the Catoctin Trail, crossing Delauter Road and the house, up a short climb, and into the scrub land.  At a trail junction, I turn onto the oh-so-creatively named Trail #4.  This trail first winds among the laurel, then downhill among the boulders, ending back at the Catoctin Trail by heading down a steep rock face.



I continue south on the Catoctin Trail, passing two ponds, and then the woods road I had started out on.  Immediately past that, I find the trail I had seen before heading east.  Checking aerial photos, I expected this would take me the straight woods road south of the one I had started on.  Instead, I figured out this was a game path, which winded uphill, close to the first woods road, before depositing me onto it.  So to finish my hike I headed out the original woods road, and then back to my car, thankfully just a few minutes before it unexpectedly started to rain, fairly heavily.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 12:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

picture 1:  a campsite?  in the frederick watershed?
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 7:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you're ever headed there and want company, let me know.  I'd love to try those trails with someone that knows where they're going.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 9:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I suppose that would qualify as a campsite. Of course, camping and fires are not allowed there.  (And it's relatively close to a road, even if you cannot hear it.)

As for setting up a group hike there, I have no problem with that.  Though not in the near future, as I did go there twice in September.  (No report for the other hike.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2012, 8:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Is there a map available that has all of the side trails off the main Catoctin Trail?  My AT/Catoctin map does not include all the newer trails that the bikers use.  Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2012, 8:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Checkout some of the loops on my site. Aedis got me started with his data then I plotted these routes with my GPS.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 10 2012, 9:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Open Street Map has most of the trails shown.

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6 replies since Oct. 05 2012, 10:17 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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