Marylanders Asked to Provide Recreation Information

Who: Open to the Public

What: Regional Stakeholder Outdoor Recreation Evaluation

When & Where:

  • Western Region ─ March 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Greenbrier State Park, 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro
  • Eastern Region ─  March 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Talbot County Community Recreation Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway (Rt. 50), Easton
  • Central Region ─ March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Howard County Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia

Cost: Free

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking citizens for their input on State outdoor recreation facilities and services in areas throughout Maryland. The Department gathered information from those in Southern Maryland earlier this month.

The recreational evaluations are the first step in a comprehensive statewide effort to enhance existing recreation areas in Maryland, these include; State parks, forests, wildlife areas and trails.

DNR will ask participants to assess the extent to which outdoor recreation facilities, programs and services meet the needs of the community and identify future demand and need.

The public input will help guide the update of the Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan, which will serve as a roadmap for future State outdoor recreation facilities and services.

The Department has hired a nationally-known parks and recreation management consulting firm, GreenPlay, LLC, to oversee the Recreation Component of this planning process.

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Exploring Maryland Trails Newsletter

Exploring Maryland Trails

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) maintains over 1,000 miles of trails located throughout the State’s parks, forests and wildlife management areas. They come in all shapes and sizes, and chances are you or someone you know have followed one in the past year.

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Biking the Great Allegheny Passage

A nice article and sample itinerary. I also want to give a special shout out to our friends at Grouseland Tours (<a href=""></a>; )

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Kamenetz Announces New Catonsville Bicycle Routes

State Grant Moves Trails Forward

Towson, Maryland (August 23, 2012) - Catonsville will have an expanded Short Line Trail and a new bike route from UMBC to the Frederick Road business district thanks to a $100,000 design grant awarded to Baltimore County from the Maryland Bikeways Program, part of the Governor's Cycle Maryland Initiative. Catonsville Rails to Trails will be providing in-kind services to support the planning and engineering needed to extend the bike trails network..

"In this era of high gas prices, traffic congestion and a renewed emphasis on physical fitness, bike trails really make sense," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "We thank the State for its support of Catonsville's growing network of trails and bicycle routes."

Short Line Trail to UMBC

With a new bike spur from the Short Line Trail to UMBC, the community will have safe bicycle commuting, more recreational options, and convenient connections to and from the university campus to the shops and restaurants along Frederick Road.

"Catonsville's bike trails are a wonderful way for neighbors and families to connect with each other," said Councilman Tom Quirk. "We're proud that Catonsville Trails to Rails has been a leader in bringing this wonderful amenity to our community."

The UMBC spur would tap into the existing Short Line Trail, which serves as the backbone of a growing network of trails and bicycle facilities that link educational, business and recreational destinations in the greater Catonsville area. Key destinations include:

  • Charlestown Retirement Community
  • Western High School
  • Bloomsbury Community Center
  • Catonsville and Paradise Village Centers
  • Maidens Choice Shopping Center
  • Catonsville High School
  • Lurman Woodland Theater

Rails to Trails

"Catonsville Rails to Trails is pleased to partner with Baltimore County and the State to build a network of trails to serve the residents of Catonsville and the entire county," said Thomas M. Ajluni, President, Catonsville Rails to Trails.

"We're pleased to be able to support Catonsville Rails to Trails through the state's cycling program," said State Senator Edward Kasemeyer.

 "Bike routes and trails truly add to our quality of life," said Delegate Jimmy Malone.

"Catonsville bike trails and routes help bring our community even closer together - while making our environment cleaner and safer," said Delegate Steven DeBoy.

Other Regional Projects

Other recently funded bicycle projects in the area include a signed bicycle route from UMBC to the Halethorpe MARC rail station, and bike lanes and routes on Frederick Road and Edmondson Avenue. Together with the existing number eight Streetcar Path connecting Frederick Road and Edmondson Avenue and the number nine Trolley Trail, which connects to historic Ellicott City, these projects will begin to establish a comprehensive bicycle network serving the region.

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Williamsport man the 'inspiration' for Big Slackwater restoration

By DAVE McMILLION, Herald-mail

WILLIAMSPORT — Tom Perry has packed nature, faith and music into his 77 years.

Perry and his wife, Linda, are trained to remove an invasive plant along the Chesapeake &amp; Ohio Canal known as garlic mustard, and he volunteers to take church groups and others on guided bicycle rides on the towpath.

He has been described as “the key person” who made the restoration of the Big Slackwater section of the Chesapeake &amp; Ohio Canal National Historical Park a reality, and he was honored for his efforts recently during a ceremony hosted by the Berkeley County, W.Va., Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America.

The Big Slackwater section of the C&amp;O Canal was closed after flooding along the Potomac River in 1996. That 2.7-mile section was closed for about 10 years, and was the only broken link in the popular hiking and biking path, which stretches 184.5 miles from Cumberland, Md., to Washington, D.C.

Not only did Perry believe it was important to restore a part of history that led to Washington County’s prosperity in the 1800s and early 1900s, but he wanted Big Slackwater restored for safety reasons.

Because of the closed Big Slackwater section, hikers and bikers were forced to take a hazardous 4.5-mile detour along Dam 4, Dellinger and Avis Mill roads, which have no shoulders. Two years ago, the National Park Service determined that over a five-year period, there were 35 accidents along the detour in which someone was taken to a hospital.

As a member of the Big Slackwater Restoration Committee, Perry and others sought support for the restoration of the deteriorated section of the canal. Organizations were asked to support the restoration, and Perry and others contacted homeowners in the area and users of the towpath to get their input.

In August 2006, Perry and others organized a boat ride on the Potomac River to take elected officials and others down to Big Slackwater to show them the damaged sections.

“That really caused it to sink in,” recalled former state Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, who was on the trip.

Munson said he had been pushing for two bills in the Maryland General Assembly that would have set aside roughly $800,000 for the restoration of a railroad lift bridge and Lock House 44, which are two historic C&amp;O Canal structures in the Williamsport area.

Munson said Perry’s passion for the restoration of Big Slackwater convinced him to instead seek the $800,000 for Big Slackwater.

Funding for the restoration of Big Slackwater came together. The bulk of it — $12.8 million — came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the stimulus package.

The State of Maryland provided $4.4 million through its Transportation Enhancement Program, and the C&amp;O Canal Trust and the C&amp;O Canal Association also contributed.

The new Big Slackwater stretch of the park now has eight wide bridges, or elevated walkways, along a 1.5-mile stretch, anchored by 121 columns bolted into rock. A ribbon cutting at the site has been scheduled for Oct. 13, Perry said.

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Trail Towns Flourish in Economically Challenged Southwestern Pennsylvania

by Dawn Bonsell, Pennsylvania Rural Development Public Information Coordinator

The trail affects the local economy in many ways, including an increase in property values, jobs, investment and general consumer spending. According to the Great Allegheny Passage Economic Impact Study, approximately 800,000 trips are taken on the GAP annually, 76 new trail-related businesses have opened and over 93 new jobs were created. In addition to the economic impact, trail towns are vibrant places where people come together. Some travelers pass through on short day trips and others are on multi-day trips, including a bicyclist from Vancouver who shouted, “Hello” to O’Brien as he headed South on the GAP toward Maryland. A cycle shop in Confluence proudly displays the hometowns of cyclists who stop while travelling through the small town. For several years, a U. S. map display worked, but now the shop uses a globe adorned with thumb tacks representing world-wide visitors.

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