K9 Trailblazers Dog Hiking Club
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Our April 24th K9TB hike at
The morning started out a bit cool with a touch of fog in
the valleys as
With introductions out of the way and everyone raring to
go, we headed up the trail with
Our initial climb was rewarded as we came into view of Chimney Rock, the first of our scenic overlooks. The sky was blue, and the sun bright. We all soaked in the sun and scenery with dogs striking scenic poses on the rock outcroppings.
Our next stop, just down the trail, was Wolf Rock. Several hikers who had had enough rock scrambling at Chimney Rock, stayed back on the trail, while Shirley and Princess, Karen and Loki, and Jeff and Katy climbed up to see if they could get a look at the rock formation that gave “Wolf Rock” its name. The rock looks a bit like the profile of a seated wolf (or maybe a dog!). Unfortunately, the crags and crevices between us and our goal were a bit too much to navigate with our dogs, so we had to head back, just a bit disappointed.
From there the trail leveled out a bit, and became a bit
less rocky. The trails were lined
with mountain laurel, still a month or so away from blooming, and we could see
the dogwood just starting to flower. We stopped for lunch at Thurmont Vista.
The day had warmed up, and it was a bit hazy, but we could make out the
road and the town of
We had learned earlier in the week that our original plan
for an 8 mile hike had to be trimmed down to 5 miles.
When the President is visiting nearby
But with such a nice day, a beautiful trail, and good
company, no one complained about a shortened hike as we headed back down past
the Charcoal Trail toward the visitors center.
It did give us a chance to see some of the displays on charcoal
production that the Park Service has placed along the trail.
Logging and charcoal production were significant industries in the
Fortunately for we modern visitors, the forest has recovered from that extensive logging. Thanks to the work of the Civil Conservation Corps and the National Park Service, Catoctin is now an oasis away from the nearby hustle of urban life. It’s no wonder the Catoctin Mountains have been such a haven for our nation’s Chief Executives since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration! And as we reached the parking lot and headed back to our cars, we were all glad to have such a natural resource so close to home and welcomed the opportunity to come back again and see more of the park. Many thanks to Alice and Jenifer for putting together what we hope will be the first in a long line of excellent hikes!