Thursday, March 27, 2008

A stroll with Daisy along the Gunpowder River

One our favorite local sites to hike is the Gunpowder Falls State Park here in Maryland. The other day I took our Beagle Daisy for a hike along one of the many trails here that follow the course of the Gunpowder River as it makes it way to the Chesapeake Bay. The boys used to come here with me when they were much younger and thought a day on the trails with Mr. Joe was a fun thing to do. Now I leave that to Daisy, as to her, a walk along the trails is her "Disney World"
Here's the sign at the park entrance just off Route 1/Belair Road.
For the last couple of years, Daisy and I have always taken the same trail, out of four or five available, but as they say "Variety is the spice of life" and I wanted to see what I was missing on the other trails. As for Daisy, she is perfectly content to sniff along any trail, walk through any patch of mud or climb over every fallen log I bring her to.

Here's a view of the Gunpowder River at the beginning of the trail and as we cross the walkway on the Belair Road bridge.
As you look at this picture, we will be taking a trail on the right bank of the river, heading towards I-95 about 3 miles away. Even at this height, you can see the clarity of the water in the river.

Below is a view from that trail, looking at the river. On the other bank is another trail, while on the other side of the bridge are trails heading West. That's the direction we usually head.
And here is my scout dog Daisy, leading the way up the path.

The river is pretty shallow here, fast moving one moment with calm pools the next. Daisy and I like to stop along the way and get down to the waters edge. Here's some shots from the waters edge, showing the dual nature of this river.

Of course a hike in the Gunpowder Falls State Park is not just all water views. On the other side of the trail, you have deep forest, that is just starting to bloom with Spring. Crocus flowers dot the landscape as do interesting rock formations, many types of trees and plenty of deer and other wildlife.
The Gunpowder can run high at times, especially in the early spring, as evidenced by the drift wood balanced on top of the boulder in the middle of the river.

In the following photo, you can see the white rectangular trail marking and one of the many little watercourses/creeks that Daisy and I crossed as we hiked along. Always a good opportunity for Daisy to pad along the stream bed and take a quick sip of water.
I'm careful to only let Daisy lap up moving water and not give her time to take a long drink even at that. Although she herself never does take more than a few sips.

One neat spot to see is a section called "Pot Rocks", so named after the holes or pots worn away in the stones by centuries of swirling water. If you look at the two following photos you can see the "pots" in the rocks.

Meanwhile the woods and hills have some pretty unique rock formations themselves as you can see in the photo below.

After Daisy and I had hiked for an hour and a half, I decided to turn around and head back.

Daisy grabbed a stick from the souvenir stand and we made our way back to the parking lot.

Meanwhile I had been picking up litter in the form of bottles, cans and food wrappers as we walked along the trail and came away with a plastic bag full of disposable goodies myself.

All in all a good day for me, Daisy and Mother Nature.

Mr. Joe

1 comment:

Darlene said...

Joe, thanks for sharing. This looks like a comfortable and pleasant walk. Jealous of the flowers as we had snow again today!