Saturday, November 1, 2008

A New Place to Hike

What?!? We hiked somewhere besides Sugarloaf Mountain? Yes, it's true. We went on an adventure and headed to the Catoctin Mountains, a few miles north of Frederick, Maryland. There are two parks there, but since the national park had several areas closed for "security reasons" today (?), we visited Cunningham Falls State Park. I read online that the state park has the tallest waterfall in Maryland (78 feet), so that was our goal for the day.

When we started our hike, we had two trails to choose from to get to the waterfall: an easy one or a difficult one. Since we've tackled a seriously tricky trail on Sugarloaf Mountain, we went with the challenging trail to get to the falls. In our opinion, it wasn't all that challenging. But it was very scenic, and hardly anyone else was on the trail. That always makes for a nice hike. Here's a picture of Evelyn, our trail guide for the day, helping us find the yellow rectangles on trees that marked the Cliff Trail.
After traversing through the forest, we made it to Cunningham Falls. Evelyn was excited to see the waterfall, but Troy and I were a little disappointed. When you visit a waterfall in autumn, there's not much water, and that's a bit of a downer. Troy and I have seen some impressive waterfalls in Yellowstone, so this Maryland waterfall paled in comparison. We will come back in the spring, when snow-melt will (hopefully) make this waterfall bigger and better.

Wherever there's a waterfall, there's bound to be a stream close by. It didn't take long for Evelyn to be drawn to the stream at the base of the waterfall. After letting Evelyn play for a bit, we headed back to the trailhead and parking lot via a different route - the easy Falls Trail. It was a scenic hike, but not as adventurous as the Cliff Trail.
After hiking for over an hour and a half, we found a picnic area that was perfect for eating snacks and playing hide-and-seek. Evelyn had a blast running through the crunchy leaves on the ground while trying to hide and escape from Troy. We're glad we took advantage of today's beautiful weather and explored a new park.


k. said...

That sounds so awesome! I wish we had hiking around here. I went hiking near Germantown one time and it was a lot of fun. I can't remember where we went. Before I left Maryland I also went for a hike and swim somewhere south of Baltimore. I wish I'd found that place a couple of months earlier. We used to go to Pedernales Falls when I lived in Austin. I'm disappointed that I didn't get to go natural water swimming this summer. Maybe next year...