South Branch Patapsco river

9/22/19 Sykesville – River rd. – side of street parking – 6 miles


“Sometimes you need to get lost to find your way.”


I was on the way to look at some properties around Damascus and looked for a suitable park to do our daily walk. After 2 detours we got to this location. We had to park on the side of the road since River road was closed from both directions. I ended up just ignoring the road closure sign from Sykesville rd. and drove in anyway. Parked at one of the off branches of the trail.

I am glad I wasn’t discouraged by the closure! Wonderful trail!

0.4 trail on this pic is not our actual trail!

We’re heading to East following the trail next to the river.

South Branch Patapsco river is about 20-30 feet away from the road making it easy for us to access the wonderfully cool liquid. Mag off course had to take a dip right away.

As we climb back on the narrow trail, zig-zagging through the woods we encounter our first human of the day on a bike. Stepping aside on the foot wide path we let him pass. Keep following the big right bend we start climbing upwards, looking down on the river in the distance now. The ground-cover is some sort of grass, reminding me of short bamboo. However, these have millions of tiny seeds, covering Mag’s face after dashing through it. They are making sure they’ll be carried far and away to be spread.

This is such a wonderful change to our regular trails. It is definitely more of a hike. Ups and downs. Loving it!

Obviously after heading up we also have to descend. At the bottom there are several smaller creeks feeding into Patapsco river. Since it’s pretty warm we turn left and visit the water so Mag can cool off again.

I would love to cross to see the pebbles on the other side but the water is too deep and I don’t feel like taking off my boots. Maybe next time.

Interesting objects always captivate me. Like this cracked rock within the vegetation.

Getting back to our planned trail, we walk away from the river for a few minutes until we meet again.

I have barely missed tangling up this beautiful orb weaver’s masterpiece in the middle of the trail. Took me about ten minutes to take this photo thanks to the light breeze.

The trail continues next to the river but we have to turn right on another path to make our loop back to the car. Following the forest trail we must cross this off branch creek, feeding into the main water.

Small mushroom colonies are easy to spot within the forest’s ground cover. They love mossy, wet, dead tree trunks.

I feel like a have won the lottery when I come across this horse shoe! Carefully attach it to Mag’s treat bag since it still has all the nails. Will be cleaned and I will hang it in the kitchen for good luck.

Being in the woods is greatly appreciated when we hit the clearing I thought will be just another perpendicular trail. It is actually an about 50 feet cut through the trees for fiber optic lines. And man! it’s hot out on the sun! I feel like we are climbing a mountain even though it’s probably barely a 3% elevation. Dragging my feet, looking for our trail to appear on our right. When it finally does appear, Mag runs into the welcoming shade like there is no tomorrow. Few minutes later he is laying in an inch deep tiny creek, trying to cool off.

After a few minute break we continue on our quest and I feel like getting rewarded because the trail turns into a well kept, mowed, 8 feet, shaded highway. On one side the forest, the other side lots of milkweed. Seeding off course….

Mowed highway on right

Who ever lives out here….Thank you for maintaining this part of the trail so beautifully! For about a half a mile it’s such an easy walk. We needed this short break from hiking through the woods and then climbing Everest.

When we spot the start of a fence up ahead it’s time to jump back into the woods towards the right. Walking just a for a few minutes we come across another feed creek and then we are back to our original trail close to the pebbled beach.

Privet Hawk-moth caterpillar

We keep to the left following back on the trail, going through yet again the seedy grasses. I am glad the river awaits us at the end so Mag can wash himself off. As we ascend, I grab my hoodie I left on a tree when all the sudden it got hot at the beginning of our walk. Thankfully it’s still here. Along with some critter that stings me in the middle of my back! Ouch!

We come across 3 – YES! three more – people before getting back to Patapsco river, where Mag joyfully takes yet another dip.

As you can see the difference between the two Apps is almost 0.8 miles! In my humble opinion that’s a lot. So I am drawing a line in the middle, estimating this hike 6 miles long. Wonderful six miles!

We have truly enjoyed this hike! Hope you’ll try it too.

Have a wonderful week folks!

Published by magzilla44

Magzilla, our AMSTAFF has rescued us in 2017 on a rainy day in May. It was a rough start because we didn’t know anything about him after him walking up on our property. But he has showed us what an amazing person he is and things became happily ever after pretty quick. He is very social, both with people and other pets. He loves his cat sisters and brothers and off course walking.

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