I went out to explore the Bear Branch Nature Center in Carrol County, Maryland. The nature center is part of the bigger Hashawa Environmental Education Center. This was a day in which the temperatures and humidity level had started out rather nice so I was looking forward to good weather as I explored the trails.
Boomerang met me at the nature center with her kids around 3:45 pm. We began by following the white trail behind the nature center, with the hopes of looping down to the yellow for a distance of about 4 miles.
We passed by the raptors: owls, vultures and a bald eagle! Always a little unsettling for me to see these birds in cages. I know they would not be there if they were not injured…but it still feels strange when they meet you eye to eye. The kids loved them though and talked to each one before moving on.
As we continued, now on the yellow trail the clouds began to gather and the humidity was on the rise. I began to wonder whether this hike would end wet! We continued down the trail thinking we would be finished with our hike long before the storms rolled in.
The yellow trail skirts a cornfield then enters the woods and begins to go up and down several rolling hills. Boomerang commented that she thought this was a harder hike than going up Sugarloaf mountain had been! And it certainly seemed that way…for the heat and humidity was on the rise and it was plain wearing us out!!
We both had brought our dogs and had been hoping the creek that was on the map actually had water in it for them. Well, we kept descending but could not find any creek and then…BOOM! Thunder! Crap…here we were as far away from the nature center as we could possibly be and BOOM!
We hauled our butts back down the trail with renewed energy let me tell you!!! After about 10 minutes without any thunder or lightning we slowed a bit but continued to head for the nature center. We got back to our cars at about 6:30 pm.
I think I was cheated on this hike and will need to go back before passing judgement on the trail system. I know it butts up against the Union Mills Homestead trails, so I want to get a map for those and try to piece together a longer hike…possibly 8 – 10 miles.