Feb 19, 2007 - 3rd Training Hike (Solo)
Patapsco Valley State Park, MD - Orange Grove
Time of Hike: 10:00 AM
Distance Hiked: 6.5 Miles
Temp During Hike: Low 23.0 °F High 32.0 °F
Elevation Change: 350 Ft
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to join the rest of the Hike For Discovery team on Saturday for the group event; an urban hike from Fort McHenry to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Luckily though, February 19th was President’s Day and I had off work so I was able to do my own solo hike to keep up on my training.
I returned to Patapsco Valley State Park, but to yet another area of it so I could continue work on my
Ruins of Patapsco Valley State Park
project while I was training. It’s great to have a park this close to home with this amount of quality hiking trails and history available. I mapped out a route that would take me past
, which I was sure would be frozen, and then on to the ruins of an old house.
The snow from the past week was still on the ground and was frozen into a hard sheet of ice at least 3 inches thick. I didn’t even leave foot prints as I walked on top of it but getting down into the valley from my parking spot was no problem since previous hikers from a warmer day had left now frozen footprints I could use for traction.
I got to the bike trail and crossed the suspension bridge and started heading up the other side of the valley to the falls. Once there I was rewarded with a spectacular view of the frozen falls. I set up my tripod and waited for the sun to rise a little higher in the sky to illuminate the ice.
After taking several photos I worked my way farther up the hillside and continued on my planned route. I quickly realized that I had waited too long. The sun that so nicely illuminated the frozen falls had also started to make the icy snow very slippery and this time there were no previous footprints I could use for traction. I checked my map and decided that it would be much safer to head back down to the level trail along the river to Bloede's Dam.
The trip back down was not easy. At one point I slide 30 feet towards a rocky ravine but was able to stop myself at the last minute by running into a small tree. My left shin took most of the force of the hit and I have a nice bruise and some scrapes to show for it. After that adventure I was perfectly happy to spent the rest of my hike on the level (but still slippery) trails along the frozen Patapsco River.
About Patapsco Valley State Park, MD
8020 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, encompassing 14,000 acres and five developed recreational areas. Recreational opportunities include hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park's many popular pavilions.
For more information visit: