Patuxent River Park

Yesterday Karen and I opted to go someplace that we hadn’t been before. We found a description of Patuxent River Park (in the Jug Bag Natural Area) in the book Washington D.C.: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles. The hike discussed in the book seemed too complicated. We thought we could follow the trails based on the map that we picked up at the Visitor Center.

All of the trails are blazed, and there are several trails, each with its own color. The difficulty for the hiker is that the trails frequently circle round and intersect. It would be easy to get lost or end up in a section of the park opposite than one intended. At each step, you really have to know where you are at in relation to the map, or else you probably will get momentarily perplexed.

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The trails are, for the most part, smooth, with few roots and rocks. (Just when I thought it was safe to look up, I stumbled over a root and ended up sprawled across the trail.) The brown trail enters onto a wooden platform that actually takes one out into the marsh. You won’t find this everywhere. We could hear the osprey out toward the bay.

The humidity was very high, and the air was stale and oppressive. With sweat running down our cheeks, Karen and I decided not to take the red trail out to the far end of the park. We wimped out and settled for 3 miles. In that short distance we twice crossed paths with deer and frogs, so we feel that our hike, short as it was, was by no means a total loss.

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