I was planning to hike Brooks Hill today – the other “half” of Ford Loop, but the gate was closed, so I went on down the road to Thomas Farm.
I wanted to do Brooks Hill because it was ccccccold this morning and pretty much the entire trail is sheltered from the wind. Thomas Farm is wide open and yes – it was very brisk indeed! This is the view across 270 to Worthington Farm, which is where the Ford Loop/Brooks Hill trail head is - and that's my shadow!
Bright sunshine and clear blue skies. The Thomas Farm trail is about 1.75 miles, mostly flat. It is a blue blazed trail. There is a little side trail with white blazes that takes you down to the river. I think it adds about another half mile. The path down to the river is a bit steep, but once on the river, it’s quite flat. Trail details here - http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM6BYT_Monocacy_NB_Thomas_Farm_Trail_Frederick_MD
It’s amazing how different the landscape is from Ford Loop, even though the two trails both border the river and are really close together. The trail today had almost no bluebells, but hundreds of Dutchman’s breeches – most white, some pink, tons of spring beauty and a bunch of another little flower that I don’t know the name of –will see if I can figure it out. I couldn't get good pics without lying flat on my belly and it was too doggone cold to do that - plus I would have had way too much "help" from my canine buddies!
Jason and Cam love it because they can really move out and also because there must be a million ground hog holes lining the trails that they can poke their noses into. This one was like a ground hog condo with several holes around the base of the little hill. I wish I could see a map of the interior – I wonder if anyone makes a cave drone?
Even though the vistas from the farm are beautiful, the downside to the farm is that 270 runs right alongside the trails and even on a Sunday morning, the road noise is a little intrusive. I just blocked it out and listened to the birds singing. I was surprised not to see any deer because I almost always see deer there. Maybe they were hiding out at a warmer locale! I did see a woodpecker, but it was elusive, so I don’t have much detail on it – it kept peeking around a tree at us – very funny! Also saw several bluebirds on the return trip along the trees/hedgerow. This is the treeline - the sun was so bright, it kind of burned everything out, but the beautiful pale sky and pale grass shows up. Gorgeous!
I don’t want to be unkind to Jason – I don’t always think of him as a rocket scientist type of dog – but every once in a while he surprises me. There are lots of small trees lining this trail and he managed to keep his leash from getting tangled about 95% of the time. He was definitely keeping an eye on where he needed to be.
I took a picture of Brooks Hill – that was where I was planning to hike this am – the trail tops out on the ridge and runs along the clear space for a short while before diving back into the woods. Maybe next weekend, although I am thinking of trying to get up to Gambrills for a hike early next Sat AM.