For those of you who know me, you know that I am very much an early morning person. It is truly my favorite time of the day. To me, mornings gives me a sense of renewal and hope for the day ahead. Whatever happened the day before doesn’t matter anymore and all that I see in front of me is the many possibilities that the new day will bring.
Morning people are a special breed in my book. You are either a morning person or your are not. As a morning person, there is nothing more exciting than getting outside, in nature, first thing in the morning. It is a true indulgence. Although I mostly like to experience that moment alone, there is a certain thrill in crossing paths with someone (clearly another morning person!) during that time. There is a special exchange that occurs during that time that I never see during other parts of the day. You and the other person share a connection, a bond, a smile, a nod, a simple recognition that makes it clear that the both of you are enjoying something truly special. It is, in my opinion, the unspoken and quiet recognition that… well… you are awesome! Well, that is at least what I secretly tell myself anyway...
I also feel that I often get rewarded for being a morning person. In addition to enjoying a beautiful sunrise and cool temperatures, it always feels like time stands still for a moment. Mornings are forgiving. Although it rained pretty much all day long in my part of Maryland this morning, I was able to get a shorter hike done very early with my favorite hiking partner. Although I have been having foot issues for the past week, we managed to do 5.37 miles on a brand new trail. I thought that I would share our experience with you since this new trail was absolutely wonderful.
We parked our car at the Montevideo road parking lot at the Seneca Bluffs Trail trailhead and started our hike south towards River road. This was an out and back hike, so if you are looking for a longer hike, you can add on mileage by starting higher on the Seneca Bluffs Trail. The Seneca Bluffs Trail itself is about 5.3 miles and the new extension will add almost 2.5 miles towards the historic Poole’s General Store, now named Seneca Store. You can take a look at the Seneca Creek State Park map to see where the other trails and parking lots are.
The trail was truly one of the nicest trail I have seen in a long time. It is most likely due to its newness and the fact that it has not been officially opened to the public yet. The trail itself is brand new and no branding is found on trees. It is quite easy to find your way on the trail since it is the only trail created in the woods at this point. There are also small orange flags along the way.
The trail stays relatively close to Seneca Creek and there is an occasion to get quite close to the creek. In the map picture above, you can see our waypoint where we did a creek detour. Compared to some of the other parts of the Seneca Bluffs Trail and the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail, it was quite refreshing to find a trail without any trash to pick up. The area was really clean and very quiet. We did not encounter one hiker or biker on our trip although we could see evidence that horseback riders had been on the trail a few days earlier.
Our naturalist activity of the day was the identification of multiple feathers we found on the ground. The feathers seemed to be coming from the same bird, but were very different from one another. This made things confusing at first. After a bit of research on the internet, however, we quickly came to the conclusion that the feathers were probably from wild turkeys. I had never come across wild turkey feathers before and never knew that they could be so diverse and beautiful.
Have you visited a new trail recently? Please share!
Resources and notes:
- MORE mountain bicycling club article announcing the extension of the Seneca Bluffs Trail
- Visit the Friends of Seneca Creek State Park website for volunteering opportunities and the latest development for this trail
- Check out the most comprehensive Seneca Creek State Park trail map
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Feather Atlas can help you identify the feathers you find on your outing!