From Bentley Springs to Freeland (Bentley rd. to Freeland rd.) – 5.16 miles (round trip)
🚗 Directions: to mile 15.5 Bentley Springs: take York Road north of Parkton (Exit 33 off I-83). Turn left (northwest) onto Kauffman Road. Follow Kauffman Road for less than 1 mile, and turn left (west) onto Bentley Road (make sure you don’t turn at the first left, which is Cameron Mill rd.! in this intersection of 5 roads) and drive until you see the parking lot on your right. (542 Bentley rd., Parkton, MD 21120).
“I will move with the wind.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
Even though I’ve managed to turn left too early and ended up at a secret parking area next to NCR towards the south (Walker rd.), we still arrived before noon to our original destination.
It’s chilly and windy but wow, what a beautiful day! Even though it’s only in the upper 30s the sky is full of fluffy white clouds while crystal clear blue is peeking through from beyond.
I usually like our NCR walks to extend from mile marker to mile marker but since they don’t align up with the parking areas many times we catch up with the next one at a later time. Yet again we were pretty close to #16, just up the trail from Bentley Springs.
After leaving #16 I let Mag off the leash because we have a really long straight ahead of us. I can see 1/2 mile in the distance. No one is in sight. After running back and forth for about a minute, guess what he does? He finds a raccoon in the bushes next to the river and starts barking at the poor thing.
Obviously I put Mag back on the leash after only a minute of freedom and leave the raccoon to catch his breath. We head down to Bee Tree run a bit farther up to take some pics and for some much needed rolling….
Mag doesn’t need to be off leash to find something silly to do.
Climbing back on the trail he keeps looking back to see about that raccoon we left behind. Now he thinks he’s the greatest raccoon hunter ever.
But it seems like we are being hunted as well….
….by these two cute kitkats. We manage not to scare them away by talking to them for a few secs.
We are up at Bee Tree road which is another parking opportunity. It’s a very secluded, dead-end road and parking is limited. We actually like to use it in busier seasons.
The river is always next to the trail just switching sides as we go.
Mag feels the need several times to drag me down to the water before we reach mile #17.
Long stretches of trail….
….wonderfully mossy stones….
….and wood debris in the Run makes the next mile eventful.
After I successfully pull Mag out of that pile we reach the enchanted forest. In the spring and summer it’s magical here. Even now, with all the nakey-nakey trees it looks wonderful.
The forest is so quiet today other than the water chiming and the wind wrestling between the branches.
At the next little bridge over Bee Tree Run we go down to the water yet again. Mag loves the water and also finds a fat branch to chew on.
While getting back up on the bridge we just miss a blue heron flying away after getting spooked by us. Gorgeous, beautiful, giant bird.
Another few hundred feet and we’ve arrived at #18. (The small bridge we’ve just crossed on is behind Mag in the distance.)
We hear gunshots while under the powerline even though I’m not sure if its caused by managed deer hunting or a gun-range. Either way I’m going to order a blaze orange vest when we get home just to be on the safe side so they don’t mistaken us for a deer or two. (Hunting season is from September through end of January.)
There is a Christmas tree farm on the right, up on the hill. Looks pretty, peeking through the trees.
We’re not going all the way to Freeland road because the house on the right has two dogs and I don’t want them to run out. Even though one is friendly and they have an electric fence. I just don’t want to disturb them for no reason. We turn back at the last little bridge at mile 2.63
On the way back Mag does one of his fave thing….sits on a bench (more Benched on magzilla.blog under Site Pages).
Today’s benched is brought to you by, courtesy of NCR Trail and Mag.
Our walk tracing back to the car is quiet and quick as usual.
Wonderful walk! I always recommend NCR to everyone and I hope that these blog posts help to show how nice this trail is.
Hope you all enjoyed.
Have a great week! And keep walking, hiking, running!
See you next week!
P.S.: I have to mention that there is a porta potty at Bentley Springs. Unfortunately within the 20 mile Maryland length I think there are only 4-5 of them on the trail.