Outdoors Girl: Circuit hikes eliminate shuttle hassle

February 28, 2010|By Candus Thomson

Madeline Lenox of Baltimore County writes: I like to hike, but I hate the hassle of having to put a car at the trailhead and a friend's car at the end to create a shuttle. It takes up valuable outdoors time. I'm also not a fan of out-and-back hikes - too boring. What should I do?

Outdoors Girl replies: How about a stroll around the world? Just walk out your front door and keep going until you get back. Seriously, though, the answer is a circuit hike. The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club just released the eighth edition of its paperback guide, "Circuit Hikes in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania" (116 pages; $9). It gives detailed descriptions and thumbnail maps of 25 hikes, including six in Maryland, that begin and end in the same place. The closest is a 10.4-miler in Patapsco Valley State Park that clings to the river before rising to the lip of the valley. Two shorter options are outlined as well. Other Maryland hikes are at Calvert Cliffs State Park in Calvert County, Catoctin Mountain in Frederick County, the C&O Canal National Historic Park along the Potomac River in Montgomery County, Sugarloaf Mountain on the Montgomery- Frederick county line and Maryland Heights just outside Harpers Ferry. The book can be ordered at patc.net.

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