HIKES AND NATURAL PLACES IN THE METRO AREA
METROPOLITAN NATURALIST
WEST OF BALTIMORE
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Morgan Run Natural Environmental Area

I have never been here, so I will have to update this after I get around to
visiting. Here is some
information from Maryland Department of Natural
Resources.

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Liberty Reservoir

Liberty Reservoir was created by damming the North Branch of the
Patapsco River, creating an approximately 3000 acre lake. The dam was
completed in 1954. Over 9000 acres of land has been set aside to create
a buffer zone around the reservoir. The lake and buffer area provide
hiking trails, fishing, birdwatching, and herping opportunities. Wild
Turkeys have also been reintroduced here and seem to be doing quite
well. See the
Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for
information.

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Soldier's Delight Natural Environmental Area

Soldier's Delight and also the Bare Hills (see the description for Lake
Roland in North of Baltimore) are very interesting area geologically as
well as biologically. I highly recommend reading the descriptions on the
links below before visiting to help appreciate the unique features. These
areas are called Serpentine Barrens for the green mineral
Serpentine
found here, and for the sparse vegetation. There are only four
Serpentine Barrens in Maryland, two of these including the Nature
Conservancy's
Pilot Serpentine Barren, are not open to the public.

See here for information:
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/central/soldiers.html


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Catoctin Mountain Park

Managed by the National Park Service. This Frederick County park
has camping and cabin rentals and many hiking trails. I have not been
to Catoctin Mountain in years, but I do love the area. The forest here
is composed of northern plants including black birch, hemlock, and
sugar maple trees. Very colorful foliage in the fall and an excellent
place to look for woodland wildflowers such as dwarf ginseng, bluets,
and showy orchid in the spring. Adjacent to Cunningham Falls State
Park.

More information and directions can be found at the National Park
Service website.
www.nps.gov/cato/

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Gambrill State Park

http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/gambrill.html

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Cunningham Falls State Park

www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/cunninghamfalls.html

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