Friday, March 9, 2012

Trail Discovery for Kids: Muddy Branch Trail, Montgomery Co.

Wood Frog

Muddy Branch Trail – River Road to Esworthy Road section
Darnestown, MD

Hike Information
ü  The Muddy Branch Trail is 9 miles long from River Road at Blockhouse Point to Route 28.
ü  The River Road to Esworthy Road section is a 3.4 mile out and back hike.
ü  The trail meanders through park land along the Muddy Branch and up and down the stream valley.
ü  The hike’s gentle elevation gain and lose is 175 feet.
ü  The trail crosses two Muddy Branch tributaries without bridges or stepping stones.
ü  This trail is NOT jogging stroller passable.
ü  Use the Blockhouse parking lot on River Road. The Muddy Branch trailhead is across River Road to the right of the gas pipeline right-of-way.
ü  Link to the trail map.

Age Appropriateness
ü  This hike is best for children six years or older due to the hills and stream crossings.

What is fun for kids?
ü  The trail sits just above the Muddy Branch flood plain which has many vernal pools. Hiking this trail in March and April provides a great opportunity to see and hear many kinds of amphibians. Dawn and dusk are the best times to sit quietly and take in the action.
ü  Multiple opportunities to play in or alongside the Muddy Branch and its tributaries.
ü  About halfway, there is a great spot with some large boulders along the Muddy Branch to sit and have a picnic or a snack.

ü  Gas pipeline is adjacent to the parkland.
ü  No bathrooms or trash cans; pack-in, pack-out your trash.
ü  Feet may get wet during the two stream crossings.