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Good Hot Summer Day Trails in PA/MD

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  • Good Hot Summer Day Trails in PA/MD

    Does anyone know of any nice trails for summer riding in south-central PA or northern MD (around Westminster or Frederick in particular)? Places with creeks/lakes/other bodies of water for the horses to walk into and drink and also shady wooded trails. My friends and I are located around Gettysburg, and we are trying to think of some different places to ride this summer. We were down at Liberty Reservior a few weeks ago. Codorus is a regular place for us. I know of a few trails that I want to try out at some point, but I don't know if they have good water access and shade. Around 1 and a half hours (maybe a little further depending on the trails) would probably be the max that we'd want to drive.

  • #2
    Gunpowder State Park, we used to park on Bunker Hill Road off York Road, and pick up the trail.

    Patapsco St. Park, which unfortunately is out of commission after Fri's storms.

    Union Mills, near Westminster, a Carroll County Park.
    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


    • #3
      A good choice would be Patapsco Valley State Park, the McKeldin area of the park. The Patapsco River runs the length of the park and you can take a route that allows you to cross or enter the river repeatedly. There are also several smaller creeks that feed into the river that you can cross at various points. The parks trails are mostly in the shady woods. Much of the park is hilly but nothing hard. The area is semi rocky so you will find some rocky trails.

      This park is quite close to Liberty Reservoir and has better water access. There are a lot of trails but riding with someone who can show you around would be helpful.



      • #4
        Governor Dick at Mt. Grenta on the Lancaster county/ Lebanon county border is really nice. It is almost enitrely shaded, but the only problem I have is that there is no water on the trail- no creeks at all. You can ride for 3-4 hours without crossing the same trail plus it ties into the Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails and the Horseshoe Trail.
        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


        • Original Poster

          Thanks everyone!

          I've been to Union Mills. Nice trails and one of the closer places for me to ride.

          Gunpowder and Patapsco are two parks that I've wanting to try. I believe that I have maps of both places that I bought from Maryland's parks department last year.

          I've never heard of Governor Dick. Thanks for suggesting it. Is there a good place for horse trailers to park?

          Has anyone ridden at Patuxent River State Park? My friend and I rode down there last year. We only were able to be there for an hour and a half but we really liked the trails that we were on. We, however, never crossed any water during our ride. Is there any water access on the trails?


          • #6
            Governor Dick does have a good sized multi-use parking lot on the west side of Pinch Rd at the State Gamelands sign. You can get a fair amount of trucks and trailers in the lot if the hikers and bikers cooperate. I pull a 4 horse trailer with living quarters with a crew cab, long bed truck, so if I say there is plenty of room, there is!
            "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


            • #7
              In conjunction with another thread about riding the Michaux...

              You can park at Long Pine Lake ...and ride out the milesburn road, which has more water and is very shady...to the firelane which takes you up to the Ridge Rd/ crossing it and back down to the Big Flat lane...\

              1. you can then take the dambreast rd and ride down behind the dam and back up the trails to the lake, again, water everywhere on this trail...

              2. or ride the big flat lane back to the lake area, also shady with water along the way.

              Stoney Valley Rail Trail:
              Not only the rail trail, but there is a loop around the northern mountain for more excellent riding. The rail bed is at the base between 2 huge ridges, its cool, and has stoney creek running alongside it.

              SOON: The Swatara State Park Rail Trail will be open. This rail bed runs along the Swatara Creek, always access to ride in ...its shallow, and especially so in the summer.
              That would be exit 90 off rt. 81 / east of harrisburg @ Lickdale. Plenty of parking at many areas.
              Swatara Rail Trail is ten miles in length--- Plus; A ten-mile loop can be completed by using Swatara Rail Trail and Bear Hole Trail and crossing the creek at the Waterville Bridge and the Swopes Valley Road.
              IN GOD WE TRUST
              OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


              • #8
                Evansburg State Park

                This is probably a bit too far east for you but we were just riding in Evansburg State Park yesterday. Trails across, next to and through the water, ,lots of shade, and good footing. The trailer parking area has no shade to speak of but there is a bit around the edges.

                Just between collegeville and norristiwn, pa.
                Mighty Thoroughbred Clique - has a Facebook Page!!!http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mig...80739235378806


                • #9
                  Have you considered Grifford Pinchot State Park? It would probably take you about an hour to get to the riding area from Gettysburg. Also check out the State Game Lands many of them have trails open for riding.

                  I live in northern Berks County, about a two hour drive from Gettysburg. You can ride the State Game Lands that run along the Blue Mountains. Also riding trails at Lake Ontelaunee and Blue Marsh Lake. If you come this way you can even visit Cabela's. They have a few small pipe corrals for horses.


                  • #10
                    I frequent Patuxent River SP as well as Patapsco.
                    Patuxent has the best trailer parking off of Old Annapolis Rd. There are trails that access the Patuxent river, several feeder streams and at least one pond. You can ride for hours and cross no water or you can be near it all ride. Just depends on your route.

                    I agree with everything said about Patapsco, great shade and tons of water access.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brightskyfarm View Post
                      SOON: The Swatara State Park Rail Trail will be open. This rail bed runs along the Swatara Creek, always access to ride in ...its shallow, and especially so in the summer.
                      That would be exit 90 off rt. 81 / east of harrisburg @ Lickdale. Plenty of parking at many areas.
                      Swatara Rail Trail is ten miles in length--- Plus; A ten-mile loop can be completed by using Swatara Rail Trail and Bear Hole Trail and crossing the creek at the Waterville Bridge and the Swopes Valley Road.
                      That sounds very promising Please keep us up to date for when it opens
                      "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                      So you might as well have a good time"


                      • #12
                        I second Patuxent Park, maps available via the TROT website, www.trot-md.org
                        There is also a TROT person who is a guide in case you don't know the trails, also listed on the website.
                        Appy Trails,
                        Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
                        member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org


                        • #13
                          pretty boy resevoir is very nice


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks everyone for getting some more replies and options in. It's great having some reviews on places by people who ride there.

                            I love TROT's website and the list of trails they have linked there.

                            Gifford Pinchot is also already on my list of places to try. I think we were going to go there for the last ride we planned but it ended up being a little too ridiculously hot that day. There are state game lands about 20 minutes away from my barn that I haven't ridden at yet. Maybe sometime when I need to go out for a shorter ride.

                            I've heard of Pretty Boy before. I need to go back and look up info on it again. Is there good trailer parking there? I feel like I've been told before that there isn't really a good place to park.

                            My friend and I loved the little bit of Patuxent we rode. And we did park off of Old Hundred Road. It sounds like we are good to go back this summer instead of waiting until it cools down.

                            It sounds like I need to check out Patapsco. Everyone seems to love it there!

                            The rail trails sound nice if I feel like some exploring on the other side of Harrisburg. It's great that there's an option or two for loops.

                            Evansburg looks to be a little too far me for a day ride. It sounds nice though!