Wanderbirds Hiking Club

Hike Schedule Winter 2018

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All outings depart 17th & K Streets at 8:00 am sharp unless otherwise noted. VA=suburban pickup in Virginia; MD=suburban pickup in Maryland (see maps of pickup points). Hikes marked MD & VA will pick up at both suburban locations. Hikers should be at suburban pickup points by 8:20 am.

You don't need be a WB member to join us on a hike!
FIRST-TIME HIKERS: PLEASE PHONE a leader at one of the telephone numbers listed at the end of the hike description.
ALL OTHERS: By email or phone. It is club policy that hikers new to the club will take the moderate hike. If you sign up for a hike, don't be a no-show! (click here for no-show policy).

Please try to sign up before 4:00 pm Friday afternoon before the hike! Otherwise the hike may be cancelled due to low number of sign-ups. And PLEASE don't call leaders after 9:00 PM!

Rating of hikes based on elevation and terrain. Easy: less than 1,000 ft elevation gain. Intermediate: less than 2,000 ft elevation gain. Strenuous: 2,000+ ft elevation gain. Rating may vary with weather and terrain. For advice, consult the leader at the phone number provided.

January 7 Wheaton Park Regional Park, Rachel Carson Greenway Trail and Northwest Branch, MD. (Carpool hike) Drive to Brookside Gardens or carpool from Grosvenor Metro at 9 am; arrive at Brookside Gardens by 9:30 am. Please notify leaders if rides are needed. Both hikes start at the Brookside Gardens Visitor Center and proceed through the Gardens to the Wheaton Park Nature Center. From there the moderate hikers take the Equestrian Loop Trail to the intersection of the Northwest Branch Trail. They will follow the west side of the Branch downstream to Route 29 (Colesville Rd.), turn left on the Road and then left onto the Rachel Carson Trail following the east bank of Northwest Branch upstream, joining the Wheaton Park Equestrian Trail and route back to the Brookside Nature Center. Long hikers follow the moderate route except at the Nature Center they take 3.5 miles of assorted wooded trails through Wheaton Park before joining the Northwest Branch Trail. Est.: 11 miles, 300' elevation and 8 miles Map:http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/trails_MAPS/trailmap_pdfs/ NWbranch_trail.pdf. Fee: $5. Leaders: Kiko Alvarez, kiko_a_c@yahoo.com, 607-279-3455 and Susana Mendez, susaname@yahoo.com, 607-279-4363 (MD). After the hike you are invited to a social at the leaders' house.

January 14 Patapsco State Park: Orange Grove, Avalon, and Hilton areas, MD. This trail takes us down the Patapsco River with its many pools and cascades, and through mature beech-oak forest. The hikes start and end at the Orange Grove area of Patapsco State Park on River Road near Elkridge, MD. Moderate hikers make a counter-clockwise loop by taking the Cascade Falls, Morning Choice, Rockburn, Valley View, and Ridge Trails. Long hikers start at the same place, but cross the Patapsco at the Swinging Bridge into the Hilton Area, which has a 4.5 mile loop that uses a variety of trails and passes by the historic Bloede’s Dam. Long hikers then re-cross the Swinging Bridge and follow the moderate loop through the Orange Grove and Avalon areas. Est.: 11 miles, 1700' elevation and 6.5 miles, 1400' elevation. Park map. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Josh Silverman, betula54@msn.com, 703-582-3456 and Debbie Wallace, deborahawallace@hotmail.com, 301-318-1526 (MD).

January 21 Sky Meadows State Park, VA. Long hikers will hike up the North Ridge trail to the AT where they will do an out and back to Dicks Dome. They will then hike the old AT, new AT, Ambassador Whitehouse, North Ridge, South Ridge and back to the bus. Moderate hikers will hike up the North Ridge trail to the AT turning north on the AT. They will then hike the old AT, new AT, Ambassador Whitehouse, North Ridge, South Ridge and back to the bus. Est. miles: 13 (strenuous) and 8.2 (intermediate). PATC Map 8. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Jim Fitzsimmons, jlafitz@verizon.net, 703-465-9022 and Roslyn Rubin, roslynva@gmail.com, 703-812-4855 (VA).

January 28 Tuscarora at Fetzer Gap to Racer Camp, GWNF, VA. Both hike groups will cover a significant portion of the southern part of the Tuscarora. Moderate hikers will start at Fetzer Gap and continue west to Cedar Creek, with multiple excellent views along the way. At Cedar Creek hikers can turn right and follow the road to the bus or do an extra loop of one mile and return to the bus via Rte. 1725 and 713. Long hikers will exit the bus at the intersection of Rte. 603 and 713, take Little North Mtn. and Three Pond to Racer Camp, and complete the loop by ascending Old Mail to Little North Mtn. Trail. They then will backtrack to the bus. Long hikers will have the option of a view from White Rocks Overlook (1/2 mile out and back). Est.: 14 miles, 2600' elevation and 8.5 miles, 1400' elevation. PATC Map F. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Kay Weston kweston70@gmail.com, 240-381-7845 Lindsay Dudbridge, lindsay.dudbridge@gmail.com, 703-731-2070 (VA).

February 4 White Oak Canyon, Central SNP, VA. Excellent views of the waterfalls in the canyon (if we are lucky, we may see ice formations). All hikers start at the parking lot just inside the park near route 600. All hikers will take the White Oak Canyon trail. Moderate hikers will split from the long hikers at White Oak Canyon Fire Road and follow it to Cedar Run Trail, which they will take back to the bus. Meanwhile, long hikers will continue up the White Oak Canyon trail, crossing Skyline Drive to the A-T. Long hikers follow the A-T to the Hawksbill Gap parking lot where they will meet the Cedar Run Trail and follow it until they meet the moderate hikers. All hikers continue together to the waiting bus. Less strenuous hikes can be taken from the nearby Old Rag parking lot. Est.: 11 miles, 2300' elevation and 8 miles, 1850' elevation. PATC Map 10. Fare $20/$25. Long leader: Mike Ollinger, edward_ollieollie@yahoo.com, 301-933- 2196. Moderate leader: Anna Oldak, anika_o_99@yahoo.com, 301-933- 2196.

February 11 Catoctin Mtn. Park and Cunningham Falls State Park, MD. Long hikers begin at the Park Headquarters on Rte. 77 and ascend to Wolf Rock, Thurmont Vista, and Hog Rock, before descending to Cunningham Falls. Moderate hikers start at the Visitor Center and proceed along the Cunningham Falls Nature Trail to the point near the falls where they pick up the route of the long hikers. After admiring the majesty of the falls, all hikers climb to the nearby Catoctin Trail and follow it to the end of the hike at the Manor Area. Est. miles: 10 and 7. Map: Catoctin Mtn. Park Map. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Liz Festa, twodecks@comcast.net, 202-491-1115 and Michael Roehm, miroehm@gmail.com, 301-223-7385 (MD).

February 18 Little Bennett Regional Park, MD. Little Bennett Regional Park contains a trail network that spreads over 3700 acres and includes several sites of historical interest. Our route begins at the Hyattstown parking area and takes the Western Piedmont, Bennett Ridge, and Beaver Valley trails. Returning to the Western Piedmont trail and turning right, hikers go on to the Hard Cider, Pudrum, and Browning Run trails. Returning again to the Western Piedmont trail, hikers take the Wims Meadow loop (where a local African-American baseball team was formed). Moderate hikers will then turn right and go via the Western Piedmont Trail to the Kingsley parking area. Long hikers will turn left on the Western Piedmont and take an additional loop consisting of the Pine Grove, Dark Branch, Timber Ridge, and Tobacco Barn trails. Returning to the Western Piedmont Trail, long hikers will turn left to go to the Kingsley parking area. Est. miles: 11 (intermediate) and 8 (intermediate). Park map. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Bob Malkowski, bmalkowski@cox.net, 703-731-9983 and Jeannie Fauntleroy, jeannie.fauntleroy@outlook.com, 703-851-6592 (MD).

February 25 Buzzard Rocks, Massanutten Mtn., GWNF, VA. Both hikes start at the Massanutten Mtn. East Trailhead parking area off Rte 619 and end at Signal Knob, but follow somewhat different routes. All hikers ascend the Massanutten Mtn East Trail to the top of the ridge, and turn southward, soon passing along Buzzard Rocks Cliffs. Long hikers continue to the Sherman Gap Trail, onto which they turn and follow it and the Botts Trail to Elizabeth Furnace, then continue along the Massanutten Trail to the Signal Knob parking area. Moderate hikers leave the Massanutten Mtn East Trail earlier, descending to Elizabeth Furnace from Shawl Gap on the Tuscarora- Shawl Gap Trail, then continue along the Massanutten Trail to the Signal Knob parking area. Est.: 10.5 miles, 2000' elevation and 7.5 miles, 1500' elevation. Map: PATC Map G. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Annetta DePompa, hikerfool@yahoo.com, 410-535-5171 and Chris Bublitz, cbublitz4@comcast.net, 240-687-3390 (VA).

March 4 Tuscarora Trail, Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area, WV. Sleepy Creek is a remote West Virginia wildlife management area teeming with small game, pheasant, grouse and turkey. Moderate hikers start at the Pack Horse Trail Parking area and take the Pack Horse Trail north to the High Rock Trail to the Tuscarora Trail, then hike southward and descend by the Millrace Trail back to the bus. Long hikers follow the same path for the first few miles, but halfway up High Rock Trail take an Equestrian Trail north to the Tuscarora Trail. They then hike south on the Tuscarora Trail and after two miles rejoin the moderate route. Est.: 11.5 miles, 1500' elevation and 8 miles, 1300' elevation. PATC Map L. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Robert Holley, reilex@yahoo.com, 571-247-2172 and George Saxton, george@saxfam.net, 703-855-0876 (VA).

March 11 Gunpowder Falls, Hereford, MD. (REMEMBER TO SET CLOCKS FORWARD ONE HOUR FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME) Enjoy the winter scenery as we hike along a picturesque stream in this nearby MD state park. All hikers will start and finish at the parking lot on Bunker Hill Rd and take the Gunpowder South Trail, ascend on Panther Branch Trail and descend back. Then they will cross the river on Big Falls Rd bridge and hike on the Gunpowder North Trail back to the Gunpowder Fall South Trail and Highland Trails, to the parking lot. Moderate hikers will follow the path of the long hikers but will shortcut the hike by crossing the river on Masemore Rd. Est.: 12 miles, 1400' elevation and 9.5 miles, 800' elevation. Park Map. Fare $20/$25. Leaders: Jesse Buckwalter, JXJunkMail@gmail.com, 443-852-4094 and Pat Fairfax, pafairfax@aol.com, 703-328-1501 (MD).

March 18 AT, Keys Gap to Snickers Gap, VA. Enjoy springtime along this beautiful section of the AT. Long hikers start from Keys Gap, and follow the AT south to the Blackburn Trail Center. They continue through the Devils Racecourse and Crescent Rock before reaching Snickers Gap and the bus. Moderate hikers begin with a walk on the Appalachian Trail Road to the Blackburn Trail Center, ascend to the AT, and proceed south along the path of the long hikers. Est. miles: 13.4 and 9. PATC Map 7. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Kathryn Good, , 571-218-9225 and Laura Heaton, lauraheaton41@gmail.com, 571-212-2592 (VA).

March 25 C & O Canal, Paw Paw Tunnel, Paw Paw, WV. This hike includes a visit to the Old Town Aqueduct, a fascinating walk through the 3100 foot historic Paw Paw Tunnel, and a jaunt up the Tunnel Hill Trail overlooking the Canal and the town of Paw Paw, WV. All hikers start near the Old Town Aqueduct (Rte. 51) and hike east on the towpath towards Paw Paw. Just past Paw Paw hikers make a strange loop, first hiking up the Tunnel Hill Trail (over the tunnel) for a magnificent look at the town and the bends of the Potomac and then returning through the tunnel (bring a flashlight). This portion of the hike is 8 miles; more distance can be added by hiking out-and-back on the canal towpath. PATC Map L. Est.: 8-13 miles, minimal elevation. PATC Map L. Fare: $20/$25. Leaders: Mike Ollinger, edward_ollieollie@yahoo.com, 301-933-2196 and Michael Roehm, miroehm@gmail.com, 301-223-7385 (MD).