Very Biodiverse Little Bennett Park! 12 Miles-Transition from Mod. to Strenuous

  • May 18 · 10:00 AM
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The Very Biodiverse Little Bennett Regional Park!

Transition From Moderate to Strenuous Hiking

A 12 Mile Trek with Post Hike Meal

This hike is only 20 miles from D.C. and about a 50 minute drive from Baltimore so is most convenient for more than half of our members!

Just a little northwest of Washington, Little Bennett Regional Park is a superlative hiking venue. It’s Montgomery County’s largest park, covering almost 3,650 acres (a small piece also juts into Frederick County). A park since 1975, it has the county’s largest expanse of continuous woodland, splendid scenery, much wildlife, a trail network, and few human users. This hike is a challenging 12-mile grand tour, with about 4,000 feet of elevation change. The mostly dirt trails are unblazed but we know the way by heart. Those west of Little Bennett Creek are quite well signposted and in good shape. Most of these trails are off-limits to bikers and horse riders. Those in the more rugged eastern area are twice as hilly (says my altimeter) and not as well signposted but no worries as we have it on our GPS's and know the way well. The trails in this section..well they’re muddy, thanks to equine hooves in parts after a rain although most sections do not allow horses, but a few areas do. But don’t be deterred. Mud washes off, and my irreverent eye sees a purpose in liquidity: fewer whizzing bikers making this a very secluded hike which is hard to find this close to civilization! Yes, good can come of brook water and mud.

Transition Hike!

This is an awesome transition hike for those interested in moving from moderate to strenuous hiking without having to drive hours out to the mountains to see if your are ready for it! It is not too long, but at 12 miles it certainly is not short. It also has plenty of rolling hills to help develop your hiking legs and about 4000 feet of elevation change!

Trail Information

Activity Type: Hiking

Nearby City: Frederick

Trail Traffic: Usually very light; light at its heaviest!

Trail surface: Mostly dirt, plus some gravel, grass, pine needles; rocky, rooty, muddy in places

Scenery: Wooded hills, meadow vistas, stream valleys.

Exposer: Shady, Less so in winter

Length of Hike: 12 total miles

Elevation Change: About 4000 ft

Elevation Gain: Minimal and only about 450 feet.

Trail Type: Modified Loop

Skill Level: Quite Hard

Duration: 7 - 8.5 hours

Facilities: None at trailhead; phone at Hawks Reach Activity Center, roadside toilets, water, phone near campground's loop C; toilets on Purdum Trail. Simply put, we pass bathrooms once close to the halfway point of this hike.

Trail Notes for Leaders

Weather Information
We hike rain or shine. Click here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking!

Carpool Suggestions

There are 2 recommended carpools for this hike!
Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, you can arrange to meet at Savage Station. Click Here for directions to Savage Station. Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

Annapolis Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area, you can arrange to meet at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click Here for directions to the Annapolis carpool. 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. 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 at 10:00 a.m.

Savage carpool meetup time is 8:30 a.m.

Annapolis carpool time is 7:45 a.m.

Park Fee
None, yay! This is always a good thing!

Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie . We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back which means that no hiker is left behind. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then 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.

Fido is Welcome on this Hike if Your Dog Can Go the Distance!

Let's Have Good Times!


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  • Elizabeth

    While we had to make a few adjustments for high water and boggy spots, it was a beautiful day and lovely setting for this hike. Thanks to Justin for leading us through it all.

    1 · May 18

  • Kellie C.

    Justin, thanks for leading this web and muddy hike!

    May 18

  • Betsy L.

    Fast-paced (not THE Justin pace, but definitely not a Betsy pace), very muddy, very wet hike, but a good and cheerful group (and that includes the two dogs). Beautiful day for this hike -- all the leaves, fresh and new, were out. Thanks, Justin, for a really good workout, and for waiting at all the crossroads for me (and for finding a path that avoided our having to swim a large river).

    1 · May 18

  • Kimberly M.

    Is anyone driving past a Metro station on your way to the hike tomorrow? I'm looking for a carpool & happy to share gas costs. Thanks!

    May 17

    • Emily

      Hi Kim- my phone is about to die but I am going to sign up for this hike and can give a ride if you can get to shaw metro as before. Can you check back after 1030 tonight and I'll confirm with time. Thinking 830 would give enough time to get there

      May 17

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