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Jug Bay Wetlands Natural Area! A Moderate and Mostly Flat 9-Mile Hike
Jug Bay Wetlands Natural Area! A Moderate and Mostly Flat Hike of 9 Miles The Natural Area is located in southern Prince Georges County, 20 miles east Washington DC and 18 miles south of Annapolis. The Patuxent River, Maryland’s longest in-state waterway, wriggles south for over 100 miles through woodlands, wetlands, and farmlands—and urbanized areas—to reach the Chesapeake Bay. Like the rest of the bay’s watershed, it suffers from poor water quality and other environmental ills. Even so, under a program launched in the early 1960s, much of its river valley is protected as publicly owned and limited-use open space. The program has also resulted in some fine hiking venues, such as Patuxent River Park. The park consists of several areas of great natural beauty dotted along the lower Patuxent. Of those, my choice is the delightful 2,000-acre Jug Bay section, some 20 miles southeast of Washington. These trails are often muddy but well worth it for the experience.© Copyright 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC Published by Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved. Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary comprises one of the largest freshwater tidal wetlands on the East Coast. Large stands of wild rice, cattail and other aquatic plants support a rich assortment of invertebrates, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. More than 250 bird species have been observed. Other habitats include hardwood forests, non-tidal wetlands, agricultural fields, year-round streams and temporary (vernal pools) ponds. A working farm with two well-preserved tobacco barns occupies 12 acres. Hikers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy seven miles of boardwalks and trails. An observation deck provides a panoramic view of the wetlands and the broad Patuxent River. Wildlife observation blinds reward the patient observer with close-up views of waterfowl, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, muskrat, beavers, and turtles. In 1991, the Sanctuary joined the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland. Trail Information Activity Type: Hiking Nearby City: Upper Marlboro Length: 9 total miles Elevation Gain: Minimal with undulating/rolling hills. Only one semi-steep hill within the first 2 miles. Trail Type: Loop Skill Level: Easy Side of Moderate and VERY FLAT Season: Year-round Local Maps: USGS Bristol, Lower Marlboro Topo Map: Patuxent River Park Topographic Map Park Fee There is no park fee for this hike. Gear Information Click Here for suggestions (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Gear_Information_and_What_to_Bring/) for what to wear and what not to wear for our hikes. Weather Information We hike rain or shine! Click Here (http://www.weather.com/weather/today/USMD0410) for up to the minute weather information for the trailhead. Hike Pace This hike will be led at an average hiker's pace, which is about 2.5 mph. Our RSVP Policies and Group Etiquette Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/RSVP_Rules_and_Etiquette/) to review our RSVP policies and group etiquette. Carpool Suggestions and Information Note that you are responsible for knowing how to get from carpool locations to the venue. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is not responsible for transportation to and from events or carpools. Suggested carpool times and locations are provided as a courtesy because many members are either new to the area or to a particular hike or venues location. Please Use the Comments section below this posting or e-mail to make arrangements for carpooling needs and/or offerings. Baltimore Area Carpool Suggestion - Savage Station To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore area, people can arrange to meet at Savage Station. Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Carpool_Directions_for_Savage_Station/) for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Savage Station location. Annapolis Area Carpool Suggestion - Starbucks To carpool or caravan from the Annapolis area, people can arrange to meet at the Harbour Center Mall Starbucks. Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/pages/Carpool%3A_Starbucks_at_Harbour_Center_in_Annapolis/) for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Annapolis area carpool location. If you can drive or want to carpool from additional locations, please post your location and needs in the comment section below. Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/pages/Suggested_Carpool_Locations/?name=Suggested_Carpool_Locations) for a list of suggested carpool locations complete with directions and other details including other carpool information. 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 (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/jug-bay---croom-airport-rd.html) 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. Savage carpool time — 7:45 a.m. Annapolis carpool time — 8:15 a.m. Please remember we are a volunteer supported organization that values fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/hike-and-trail-etiquette.html)and Leave No Trace (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/leave-no-trace.html) principles. Our hikes are led by generous, dedicated, and qualified MAHG members who volunteer (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/pages/9595722/How_To_Join_Our_Leadership_Team!/) as leaders for Mid-Atlantic Hiking Groups volunteer leadership team. Hikes also have a volunteer “sweeper” to help ensure that no hiker is left behind. MAHG volunteers and members are very supportive, 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. Tax ID:[masked] (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/mahg-charity.html). Fido is Not Allowed on this Hike Due to Park Regulations. Please take the hike leader's number with you and enjoy the hike! Christa:[masked] • Please Click Here (https://secure.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/contribute/)and Chip-In to Help Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group in Serving our Mission (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/index.html). • Donations to Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group are Tax Deductible: Tax ID[masked] (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/mahg-charity.html). Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charitable organization. • Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/about/) to Learn more about Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group’s Mission. • 100% of Every Dollar Goes Directly to the Expenses of Meeting our Mission.

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What we're about

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- Reconnecting People with the Natural World - for the Health of It -

Founded in 2007 by IT executive, Kellie Carlisle, 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, our organization has grown to become a very active 23,000+ member strong 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/mahg-charity.html)dedicated to serving our mission (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/index.html) of providing education, awareness, and opportunities for people to experience the variety of health benefits provided by spending time outdoors, “just for the health of it!” Our organization has hosted over ~6000 events ranging from 2-mile newbie sneaker social hikes all the way up to 50+ mile one day fully supported hikes, and educational/awareness offerings, paddle trips, and more. So no matter your preference, we 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 people 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 (http://www.meetup.com/Maryland-Hiking/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 is 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 (https://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/about/)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 (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org). 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 (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/mahg-charity.html), 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 it also fosters an appreciation and respect for the environment and 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+ or 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 embracing 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 20 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 (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org/index.html) nonprofit charitable organization. Click Here (http://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/about/) to learn about our mission, programs and initiatives, and our 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 regarding 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 (https://www.meetup.com/Mid-Atlantic-Hiking-Group/pages/9596032/Leave_No_Trace_Hiking/) (LNT), we 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 (http://www.americanhiking.org/). MAHG participates in the "Adopt and Acre" program by adopting land in the Appalachian Mountains to support The Nature Conservancy (http://www.nature.org/). 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 (http://midatlantichikinggroup.org) 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

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