Afternoon Delight! A Newbie Friendly and Very Scenic 2.5 Up to 4 Miles in David Force Stream Valley Park with Optional Post Hike Meal!
Come discover the little known but absolutely wonderful David Force Environmental Area. This is one of those areas that will make you think you are far, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The area is great for birdwatching, especially woodpeckers. Known as the Turf Valley Overlook, this is a great short hike, but don't expect to see an overlook; as instead you are treated to a river walk!. The walk follows the Little Patuxent River for the most part along a nicely maintained trail. There are several well groomed but very little used trails back this area that I have put together for about a 2 miles hike which is perfect for newbies with an option for you to join for a couple or so more miles of exploring! This is a fantastic hike for those desiring a beautiful stream hike away from everything. There is a lot of wildlife on this trek!
Optional Exploratory Hike
For those interested in going further, join us to explore beyond the 2 mile trail as we have an exploratory prehike for future hikes. We plan on staying out about an hour after the 2 miles to see what we can find. There is supposed to be a very pretty waterfall we have yet to locate... So, if you are up for an adventure, stick around after the hike!
What is an Designated Environmental Area?
Are you aware that Howard County has a number of sites designated as environmental areas? These are sites where no sports or organized athletic activities are allowed. They were set aside for the purpose of protecting and conserving the natural resources and are there for the enjoyment of those who take pleasure in passive recreational activities such as walking/hiking, bird watching, plant and animal identification, photography, etc. They all feature walking paths or trails and offer a broad variety of habitats and ecosystems for your viewing and hiking pleasure.
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Ellicott City, MD
Length: 2.5 total miles with optional exploratory time of up to a couple of additional miles for up to 4-5 total miles if you desire.
Elev. Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Lollipop with Modified Loop
Pace: We divide into smaller groups based on interest and abilities
Scenery: Middle Patuxent and Little Patuxent River; Savage Mill historic sites
Exposure: Mostly shade
Trail Surface: Packed dirt and in some places rocky
Skill Level: Easy and Newbie Friendly.
We break down into groups no larger than 15-20 hikers per leader/sweep team for a more enjoyable experience for all of us and is better for the environment. Large groups really take away from the hiking experience for everyone on the trail and not just our group. For this particular hike you have 2 to choose from so you can hike with others of a similar pace. Paces should be based on your preference but also please know your limitations.
Pace Option 1: A "walk in the woods" or "social" pace which is great for those who want to soak up the nature and will be about 2.0mph and great for people who take tons of pics.
Pace Option 2: A moderate pace of about 2.5mph and the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books. (most common pace).
PLEASE put your pace preferences in your RSVP (distances can be chosen while on the hike).
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
If you can drive or want to carpool from any location, 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 where we meet for this hike.
Hike Meetup Time is 1:00 p.m.
Please remember we hike the pace of the group and it can vary. We take breaks as necessary. 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 and encouraging with no pressure on speed but focus on safety while leaving no trace.
FIDO Is Welcome on This Hike!
See you there for good times out on the trail!
Please note that our holiday weekend hikes are not refundable due to too many people backing out of the at the last minute before the refund cut-off and keeping others from being able to go. Sorry, but this is the only way to help make sure that there is a good turnout and our leaders not offer to lead a hike on their holiday weekend and day in vain...or they might be burned enough that they will no longer offer to lead them. Since we have made holiday hikes non-refundable it has boosted attendance rate significantly and often have perfect attendance, yay! Please note that our refund policy is always listed just beneath the price, and you are required to check a box that you agree to it before you can pay, so I put it in three places to avoid any issues. Thanks so much for your understanding and have a great time.