Wild and Secluded Gorman Stream Valley (South Area) in Howard County! An Easy Side of Moderate Hike
The Middle Patuxent River, mature mixed hardwoods, some interesting ruins, and even a small swamp are the highlights of todays hike! The palisades, too, offer a unique sight in Howard County. This is truly a hidden gem in Howard county and my favorite hike in the area. The concentration of thrushes during spring migration, especially among the hemlocks, makes this an attractive place to visit, but year 'round this is a fantasitc hiking venue. Habitats found along both sides of the river are highly varied, ranging from bottomlands and upland deciduous forest to a hemlock grove on a north-facing steep, rocky cliff overlooking the river, but today we will be hiking on the South side of the river and the next time we visit we will hike on the North.
You will soon forget you are anywhere near civilazation. Along the western third of the area, the trees are typical of river bottomlands, capable of surviving occasional flooding. In the central section, the main type of forest is upland deciduous, but there is also a hemlock grove on the cool, rocky slopes that rise abruptly from the river. Farther east, a drier deciduous forest is dominated by beech and oak. East of the power line cut which is close to our turn around point, the mature forest is again dominated by tulip poplars.
This area is mostly wooded, entirely undeveloped, hence a true hidden gem, and contains no active recreational facilities so be sure to bring you own water. Please wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes for this easy trek, yet, a hike with some areas of rugged trails. Anyone can do this hike, as it is almost all flat with one or two small and very short hills and.
Don't forget your camera for this hidden gem of a hike!
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Columbia, Ellicott City
Scenery: Stream, mature mixed hardwoods, and even a small swamp! The palisades, too, offer a unique sight in Howard County. This hike also features a small swamp as well as hemlock groves and mountain laurel along palisades.
Trail Surface: Packed dirt with a very wild feel
Length: 5 miles
Trail Type: Out and back
Skill Level: Easy to Easy Side of Moderate Due to the trails.
Trailhead Elev: 50 feet
Top Elev: 90 feet
This hike will be led at a moderate pace of about 2.5mph and the pace of most hikers.
We hike rain, snow, or shine! Click here for up to the minute weather information for the trailhead
To carpool, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations such as the DC area, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to the Trailhead
Click here for Directions to the Trailhead and where we meet.
Hike Meetup time is at 10:00 a.m.
Pease remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back to help make sure no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then please find another group! We are very supportive, encouraging, and focus on safety while getting and/or staying fit on the trail and practicing leaving no trace .
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!
Please take my number with you just in case...