Join Us for an Easy Side of Moderate 5 Miles in American Chestnut Land Trust: South Tract Area with an Optional Post Hike Meal!
The American Chestnut Land Trust (ACLT) is a local land trust located in Calvert County, Maryland and is an hour's drive from both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
Distance from Washington, D.C.: 49 Miles
The south tract, covering old family farms, cemeteries, and a burgeoning beaver community, has its own special character as you explore muddy footpaths along Gravatt Stream and Jett Stream. There is a massive beaver dam as well the remains of an ancient but massive American Chestnut tree (it succumbed to the chestnut blight that affects all American chestnut trees; suckers, root shoots, now stem from the rotted trunk. A marsh boardwalk extends out for several hundred feet over ground that is knee-high in water in spring but considerably less wet come late summer and fall.
This is a rare place of mixed hardwoods, bottomland swamp, and creeks making their way to the Chesapeake Bay. The land is privately owned and permanently protected by the American Chestnut Land Trust. There is indeed a mature chestnut tree on the grounds. The American Chestnut Land Trust is a moving story of community-inspired conservation. Working in partnership with the State of Maryland and The Nature Conservancy, ACLT owns or manages some 3,000 acres of public and private land in Calvert County, Maryland. In addition to preserving the ecologically important lands of the Parkers Creek watershed, the group has had a major impact in preserving cultural resources, such as old farmsteads that tell the history of Chesapeake Bay settlement. This hike explores upland forests, old fields, and marshlands as the trail weaves among the remains of early homesteads. The landscape and hiking trails here are a real marvel of private initiative on the part of the American Chestnut Land Trust.
This hike will be led at a moderate pace of about 2.5mph (most common pace and that of an average hiker).
Nearby City: Prince Frederick
Length: 5.1 Miles
Elevation Gain: Vertical Up is 282 feet and vertical down is 449 feet. This hike is only moderate and not rated as easy due to a couple of hills. Our newbie paced group stops for everyone to rest at the tops of hills so don't let hills ever stop you from coming on a hike. We are all in this together!
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Easy Side of Moderate due to the short distance, minimum elevation gain, and wide, easy-to-follow paths. Would be rated is easy other than some rolling hills which earns it an easy side of moderate.
Trail Surface:Old dirt farm roads converted into nice wide hiking paths characterize the upland paths for a short section. In the stream valleys, along Gravatt Stream and Jett Stream, narrow footpaths have more woodsy and scenic character. There is also a section of the longest boardwalk I have ever seen that goes out to where there is a huge beaver dam.
Local Contacts: American Chestnut Land Trust
Local Maps: USGS Prince Frederick
We hike rain or shine! Click here for the forecast of the area we will be hiking.
There are 2 carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.
DC Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, meetup at the Centerville Park and Ride. Click here for informationand directions to the Centerville location. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.
If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location in the comment section below. Click here for suggested carpool locations complete with directions. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!
Directions to Where We Meet for This Hike
Click Here for Directions to where we meet for this hike.
Meetup time is at 11:00 a.m.
Carpool meetup time from Savage Station is 9:30 a.m.
Carpool meetup time at Centerville Park and Ride is 9:45 a.m
Fido is Welcome on This Hike!
Please 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 and guides/sweepers which helps ensure that 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 or staying fit on the trail and practicing Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
See you there and please take the hike leaders number(s) with you just in case!