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Seneca Creek Trail Series: Part 4 of 5 - Clopper Lake! An Easy-Side-Mod 6 Miles
Seneca Creek Greenway Hike Series: Part 4 of 5 — The Beautiful and Peaceful Clopper Lake Area! An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 6-Mile Hike with Optional Post Hike Meal This hike is 15 miles from DC and about a 45-minute drive from Baltimore. This five-part series takes you along the entire length of the 25-Mile Seneca Creek Greenway, the Schaeffer Farm Trails, and around Clopper Lake for a total approximately 30 miles. Description for Seneca Creek Greenway Hike Series Part 4: Just South of and Including Beautiful Clopper Lake This section of the Seneca Creek Greenway is a 6.1-mile, modestly hilly waterside excursion with about only 550 feet of total elevation change. It passes through oak and hickory woods that also harbor dogwoods, redbuds, pines, and mountain laurels. It offers excellent lake and creek views, plus a multi-hued array of wildflowers and birds. Seneca Creek State Park, composed 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, where we are hiking today. The lake is surrounded by very scenic 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 fields and woodlands along Seneca Creek. Opened in 1980, the ribbony, creek-valley park winds across the county for roughly 16 miles 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. 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, 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! Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group's Seneca Creek Greenway Hike Series Information and Details Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group's five-part series of day-hikes takes you along the entire length of the beautiful and very biodiverse 25 mile-long Seneca Creek Greenway, Schaeffer Farm Trails, and around Clopper Lake (within Seneca Creek State Park) for a total distance of approximately 30 miles. Dividing the long trail into more doable sections helps make this a more inclusive hike versus only offering it as one very long day-hike. Also, it provides an opportunity for more people to enjoy the plentiful bounty of health benefits of hiking by encouraging participation in part of a series of hikes offered with as close to equal intervals as reasonably possible. NOTE: Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group will issue a certificate of completion to hikers who complete all five parts of the series! Part 1: May 26 — Seneca Creek Greenway: Southern Terminus to Black Rock Mill. We start from the beginning of the trail and follow it to Black Rock Mill. A Moderate 6.5 Miles. Part 2: June 3 — Seneca Creek Greenway: Starting where we ended part two of the series (Black Rock Mill), we continue along the trail that takes us to/near the Schaeffer Farm area. An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 4 Miles. Part 3: June 9 — Seneca Creek Greenway: Hiking from where we left off in part two, our trek along the trail continues as it approaches Seneca State Park. An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 6.1 Miles. Today's Hike! Part 4: June 17— Seneca Creek Greenway: Starting where we left off the trail in the previous section (part 3), we continue hiking along the trail as it enters Seneca Creek State Park and then we enjoy a jaunt around beautiful Clopper Lake. An Easy-Side-of-Moderate 6.1 Miles. Part 5: June 23 — Seneca Creek Greenway: Northern Terminus. Beginning from where we left off in part 4 of the series, we complete our 5-part series upon reaching the Northern Terminus of the Seneca Creek Greenway! Clopper Lake/ MD 117 to Huntmaster and Davis Mill. A Moderate 7 Miles. Trail Information Activity Type: Hiking Nearby City: Gaithersburg Scenery: Woodlands, Stream Valley, and Lake Views Length: 6 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 length and Hills Season: Year-round Exposure: Mostly shady, but less so in wintertime 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 Fee There is no park fee for this hike. Gear Suggestions Click Here ( for suggestions regarding what to wear and what not to wear for hiking the trails. Weather Information We hike rain or shine. Click Here ( to view the forecast for the area where we will be hiking. Hike Pace This hike will be led at a moderate pace of about 2.5 mph (pace of an average hiker) unless otherwise posted or options are available. Our RSVP Policies and Group Etiquette Click Here ( to review our RSVP policies and group etiquette. (Beaver Dam photo, above, and top and mid-page fall foliage photos credit courtesy of “”) 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 unfamiliar with a particular hike or venues location. Please use the Comments section below, or reach out via 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 ( for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Savage Station location. (Metro) VA East Area Carpool Suggestion - Vienna/Fairfax Area METRO Station To carpool or caravan from Vienna/Fairfax area, people can arrange to meet at the Fairfax Area METRO Station. Click Here ( for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Vienna/Fairfax Metro Station location. If you can drive or want to carpool from any particular location, please post your offer to help those in need of a ride, and those looking for a ride, in the comment section below. Click Here ( for a list of suggested carpool locations, each complete with a physical address, GPS coordinates, driving directions and additional 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 ( to Where We Meet for this Hike Meet & Greet and Sign-In — 9:45–9:55 a.m. Hike is at 10:00 a.m. Carpool Time from Vienna Metro — 9:15 a.m. Carpool Time from Savage Station — 9:00 a.m. Please remember we are a volunteer supported organization that values fellowship and camaraderie while practicing good hike etiquette ( 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. 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] ( A Well-Mannered, Leashed Fido is Welcome on this Hike! Let’s have fun out on the trails and see you there! Seth:[masked] • Please Click Here ( Chip-In to Help Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group in Serving our Mission ( • Donations to Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group are Tax Deductible: Tax ID[masked] ( 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. • 100% of Every Dollar Goes Directly to the Expenses of Meeting our Mission.

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Series: Hike 4 of 5 — Clopper Lake with Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group! An Easy Side of Moderate 6 Miles

Directions: Click the link under “Directions to the Trailhead” located near the end of the event listing. The linked page has location/direction details, driving/parking info, including where to Meetup after you arrive. · , MD

Respond by: 11/17/2018

What we're about

- 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 ( to serving our mission ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 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 ( nonprofit charitable organization. Click Here ( 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 ( (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 ( MAHG participates in the "Adopt and 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

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