National Park Access Free

2014 National Park "Free Entry" Dates!! January 20th Martin Luther King Jr. Day; February 15-17th Presidents Day weekend; April 19-20th opening weekend of National Park Week; August 25th National Park Service Birthday; September 27th National Public Lands Day; November 11th Veterans Day

Monday, May 5, 2014

#18 - Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain
I should start off saying Sugarloaf Mountain was not on my "to do" list of areas to hike. Rather, I took advantage of a situation that presented itself; and the opportunity to visit a place I have not been since I was a small boy.

I had come to the area on an email invitation. To attend a dedication at a family cemetery near Brighton Dam. I have come across a number of family cemetery's during my hikes and have always found them interesting. Little did I know the next one I would visit would be within my own family; one that I did not know existed, dating back to the early 1800's. It was heartwarming to visit where Samuel (1787-1866) and Susannah Nichols (buried here along with other family members) raised their 10 children; as I am a descendant of their son Robert (1825-1889).

Nichols family grave sites - 1800's - near Brighton Dam

It was a wonderful few hours spent, meeting other descendants, hearing the stories of the times. Afterward, as I departed, I stopped by Brighton Dam, as it had been many, many years since I had been there.

Brighton Dam - Tridelphia Reservoir
Brighton Dam - Patuxant River
Now, off to find a place to hike. Looking at a map, there lies Sugarloaf Mountain. I can recall going to Sugarloaf Mountain on a few occasions as a very young boy. Picnic's with my Mom, Dad and brother. Field trips from elementary school. In fact, I guess you could say I got started in hiking at the ripe old age of about 21 months.

My Mom and I - Sugarloaf Mountain - Oct 1965
Luckily for me, Sugarloaf has a series of trails that allow for anyone to get 7-8 miles in relatively easily. My recommendation is is to hike the "Blue Trail" if you are looking to get some distance in. All are in very good shape, though some have rock formations that require attention.

The views both near, and at, the summit make it all worthwhile. I got to experience a decent climb, a spring shower or two, and a setting sun.

East View

West View - Incoming Shower

McCormack's View

Summit looking South

Sugarloaf Mountain offers a fun day to be outside. Combine some trails, add some side excursions, and enjoy an extended hike and the beauty of the area. I ended up with about 6 miles here, and many good memories of my family and my childhood as I hiked along.

Keep hiking friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment