What we're about


- Reconnecting People with the Natural World - for the Health of It -
Founded in 2007, Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group (MAHG) aka Outdoors for Health was inspired by a passion for promoting and providing low-cost opportunities for people to get up and outside to connect with the natural world and enjoy the health benefits it provides. Today, the organization has grown to become a very active 23,000+ member strong 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to serving our **mission **of providing education, awareness, and opportunities for people to experience the variety of health benefits provided by connecting with the outdoors, “just for the health of it!” Our organization has hosted over ~7000 events ranging from 2-mile newbie sneaker social hikes all the way up to 50+ mile one day fully supported hikes, educational/awareness offerings, paddle trips, and more. So no matter your preference, we should have something for you. We are a diverse organization filled with members who enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including - but not limited to hiking and educational opportunities related to the natural world. MAHG also promotes the importance of being good outdoor stewards through environmental awareness activities.
We enjoy exploring an incredible variety of locations throughout Maryland, DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group (MAHG) appreciates Mother Nature’s diversity and the diversity of people. ALL are welcome and encouraged to join. Whether you are a newbie or a very seasoned outdoor enthusiast, we are sure to have an event for you on our very active and varied calendar.
Our focus is on safety, camaraderie, and having a ton of fun while connecting with the natural world. So a sense of humor is a must with us! \

*** WARNING! — Our Calendar is VERY Active ALL Four Seasons and Can be Beneficial to Your Health ***
Today’s fast-paced and technologically dominated society can take a toll on a person’s psychological, physical, and emotional well-being. Many people are trapped within an indoor and plugged-in lifestyle that can be overwhelming and very stressful. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group promotes reconnecting people with nature by providing plentiful and varied opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors.
Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s activities are a healthy and fun way to relieve stress and “unplug” while enjoying the variety of what Mother Nature has to offer throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Decrease stress - get fitter - get healthier, and get nature empowered, all while knowing you are supporting an important cause with Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group.
Click Here for information about our current charitable initiatives and programs/studies serving our mission.
Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group offers many opportunities to give back by helping with maintaining trails throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and hosting in addition to participating in other environmental stewardship and community building events and workshops. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group offers educational classes and certifications in Leave No Trace outdoor ethics and our own highly regarded Outdoor Leadership Certification program. Additionally, MAHG has an active outreach program to help with educating others regarding the many health benefits of hiking and the importance of taking care of our trails and our overall environment.
Youth Education and Re-Connecting with the Natural World - We are currently preparing to expand our program that benefits under-represented and inner-city youth by combining connection with nature and education. Our solutions-based approach begins with a full immersion experience of hiking and other fun, unplugged, and screen-less outdoor activities. We combine the activities while educating tomorrow's workers regarding the abundant employment opportunities the natural world offers in the booming field of green-collar jobs. "For references and more, please visit our main website. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group provides opportunities for increased confidence, self-esteem, and hope for a better tomorrow. Today's youth will be the earth's stewards of tomorrow, so it is imperative that they become familiar with the world outside of their screens."
Why Hike with Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group? — As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit public charitable organization, when you hike with MAHG, you are also helping us with serving our mission to benefit the health of others! Every step you take with MAHG is also a step for recipients of our initiatives and programs. We bring people together to have fun and make friends while enjoying the many health benefits of the great outdoors in a safe and welcoming environment. Hiking not only connects people with the natural world but also fosters an appreciation and respect for the environment and an overall sense of community. Whether you are looking to lose weight, have never hiked a mile in your life, or are looking to rise to the challenge of hiking 30+ miles in one day, we have a hike for you, all seasons. Remember, we were all newbies once, and we enjoy introducing others to hiking and other outdoor pursuits - in fact, it is a core part of our mission to reconnect people with the natural world.
Who Can Hike with Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group? — Simply put, you! Whether you are young, old, working, single, in a committed relationship, retired, laid off, shy, talkative, energetic, geeky, lazy, recovering from an injury, social, or a competitive hiker, Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is for you. We do more than just embrace our diversity — we thrive on it! \

When We Hike? — We do it in the morning, afternoon, after work, evening, darkest of night, every weekend day, and all year round and average 10 times a week. Get your mind out of the gutter ‘cause we are talking about hiking, stewardship, and outdoor education here. Seasonally, we offer weekday day hikes in addition to our variety of after-work hikes.
Where We Hike? — We hike throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond! We visit Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, and the Appalachian Trail almost every weekend. We strive to offer at least one easy, moderate, and strenuous hike within 60 miles of Baltimore, DC, and Northern Virginia each weekend day. MAHG hosts cookouts, white water floats, hike out/paddle backs, cave trips, natural water slides hikes, hikes to view frozen waterfalls, Appalachian Trail section hikes, camping trips, volunteer offerings, and last but certainly not least, our very popular Monuments in the Moonlight hikes.
How We Hike — Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a mission-driven *nonprofit charitable organization. Click Here to learn about our mission, programs and initiatives, and accomplishments! We are committed to connecting people with the natural world, community building, giving back/stewardship, and providing educational opportunities. MAHG is a well-established and highly regarded organization well known for its excellent camaraderie — all with safety in mind while emphasizing having fun out on the trails! We limit our hikes to small groups for the comfort and consideration of others and to better enjoy and respect the environment.
We have many partnerships. A sample of a few and how we work with them - as a partner with Leave No Trace (LNT), w
e practice, encourage, and educate others about the importance of practicing proper outdoor ethics and teach LNT certification courses several times every year. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is also proud to be a Gold level Alliance Member of the
*American Hiking Society
MAHG participates in the "Adopt an Acre" program by adopting land in the Appalachian Mountains to support The Nature Conservancy. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group provides volunteer and trail maintenance opportunities and other community-building events throughout the entire Mid-Atlantic Region. Contact our office at 410.480.5000 or see our main website for more information regarding our cause and our accomplishments, initiatives, partnerships, and programs.
Our leadership team consists of qualified, dedicated, and very appreciated volunteers who are some of the best in the region!
We hope to see you on the trail soon for great times while enjoying all the health benefits of connecting with the natural world - remember to bring your sense of humor (a must with us) and be prepared to have a ton of fun!
Kellie Carlisle - Founder, MAHGs Board of Directors, and the MAHG Volunteer Leadership Team

Upcoming events (1)

Seneca Creek State Park: Clopper Lake Area! An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 6 Miles

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Seneca Creek Park: Clopper Lake Area Trails! An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 6 Miles with Optional Post Hike Meal


Mid Atlantic Hiking Group does not require proof of vaccination. Not all hikers may be vaccinated. No organized carpools, but Social Distancing at all times. Mask inside and in crowded places.

If you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 7 days, then please do not sign up. Also, inform the hike leader if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 within 7 days from the hike.


This hike is 15 miles from D.C. and about a 45-minute drive from Baltimore

The park, comprised of 6,300 acres, extends along 14 scenic miles of Seneca Creek, as it winds its way to the Potomac River. The Clopper Day-Use Area contains many scenic areas, including the 90-acre Clopper Lake, surrounded by forests and fields. What now keeps Gaithersburg and Germantown apart is the northern portion of Seneca Creek State Park. Starting in the 1950s, the state government slowly acquired 6,609 acres of old fields and woodlands along Seneca Creek. Opened in 1980, the ribbony, creek-valley park winds across the county for roughly 16 miles from North of Gaithersburg to the Potomac River at Seneca. Only the park’s northern section has been developed. Its centerpiece is woodland-enveloped, 90-acre Clopper Lake.

This hike is a 6.1-mile, modestly hilly water-side excursion with about only 550 feet of elevation change. It passes through oak and hickory woods that also harbor dogwoods, redbuds, pines, and mountain laurels.

Transition Hike
This is a great hike for those wanting to transition from easy to moderate hiking since the main difference is distance. The hills are, for the most part, are very short but a few are a little steep but even those are short. All the hills are in spurts followed by nice long flat segments for plenty of recovery time. Also, we stop at the top of hills for our rest stops. Nobody gets left behind!

Trail Information

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Gaithersburg
Scenery: Woodlands, Stream Valley, and Lake Views
Length: 6.1 total miles
Trail Surface: Mostly hard-packed dirt: very rooty only all around the lake
Elevation Gain: 550 feet
Trail Type: Modified Loop
Skill Level: Easy-Side-of-Moderate Due to overall length and rolling hills
Season: Year-round
Exposure: Mostly shady but less so in winter
Local Maps: USGS Germantown, Gaithersburg, Seneca
Topo Map: Seneca Creek State Park: Clopper Lake Section Topographic Map
Facilities: Toilets at the visitor center, off-trail at picnic areas.

Park Entry Fee
There is no park entrance fee based on where we park.

Gear Suggestions
Click Here for suggestions regarding what to wear and what not to wear for hiking the trails.

Weather Information
We hike rain, snow, or shine. Click Here to view the forecast for the park.

Our RSVP and Group Etiquette
Click Here to review our RSVP policies and group etiquette.

Directions to the Trailhead
Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for this Hike

Meet & Greet and Sign-In — 8:45-8:55 a.m.

The Hike is at 9:00 a.m.

Please remember we are a volunteer-supported organization that values:

  1. Fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette.
  2. Leave No Trace principles.

Our hikes are led by generous, dedicated, and qualified MAHG members who volunteer as leaders for Mid-Atlantic Hiking Groups volunteer leadership team. Click Here to become a part of the team! MAHG volunteers and members are very supportive, and encouraging, with a focus on safety while enjoying the excellent camaraderie and benefiting from the many health benefits of hiking and unplugging from the stress of day-to-day life. Sharing what we know and learning from each other is an important part of MAHGs core values, as is our dedication to the conservation of our natural resources and our commitment to the organization's mission.

Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a volunteer supported tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization and donations ARE tax-deductible.
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A Well-Mannered, Leashed Fido is Welcome on this Hike!

Let’s have fun out on the trails and see you there!


Donations to Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group are Tax Deductible.

Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charitable organization.
• Click here to Learn more about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission.
• Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/about/) to Learn more about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission.

Past events (6,844)

Photos (138,156)