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Arriving at the five-way near the foot of Sugarloaf about 9 AM, we found that every one of precious few parking spots had already been taken. Plan B was therefore executed and our caravan drove up the mountain to the "East View" lot. Although this altered our starting and ending points for the hike, we were nonetheless able to essentially cover the same trails as on last year's trek.
A number of new faces joined five returnees from last year's group. Indeed, the weather was quite similar to what we had in '04: temps in the 80s with fairly high humidity. This year's hike was accomplished in just a little over five hours.
Ten of us -- most of today's group -- opted for a late post-hike lunch at the "Cracked Claw". Although the food was by and large pretty good, the arrival times for our meals seemed strangely staggered. Perhaps the request for separate checks hindered things a bit, though I've seldom encountered this problem elsewhere with groups of 10 or fewer. We'd began to wonder if poor Sissy and John P would ever get their orders, but finally they did. After eating everyone parted company, and the 2nd Annual Sugarloaf event is now one for the books.
2nd Annual ODC Assault on Sugarloaf (MD)
7/31/2005 from N/A to N/A
in BUCKEYSTOWN, MD
Backpacking, Hiking, Camping
As promised, here it is: the 2nd annual ODC hike at Sugarloaf Mountain! Whether youâ€™re a repeat customer from last July or an ODC newcomer, come join us and experience one of the more interesting hiking spots in central Maryland!
Sugarloaf is an isolated monadnock with an unusual story. Tucked into the southwestern corner of Frederick county, it is a recreation/natural area administered by a private foundation rather than a government entity. Though not tall as mountains go, it is impressive as you drive toward it because it is surrounded by generally flat farmland and woods. We will be doing a circuit hike of approximately eight miles on the "northern peaks" trail. Although there are a lot of ups and downs and the cumulative elevation change is approximately 1700â€™, there are no really rough or difficult spots, and the trails are generally in good condition. Most of the hike is through wooded area but we will have a chance for some nice views.
What to bring: Two+ liters of water, hiking shoes/boots, sunscreen, bug repellant, rain gear (in case of surprise weather), snacks, and possibly a packed lunch. Why â€œpossiblyâ€? Since weâ€™ll be starting this hike early thereâ€™s a good chance weâ€™ll be done by and depending on interest we have the option of a post-activity lunch at a nearby eatery. This could be the famous (or infamous) â€œCracked Clawâ€ in Urbana, which a few of us checked out after last yearâ€™s hike. It doesnâ€™t exactly scream â€œclassâ€ ... itâ€™s an OTB establishment ...but their menu is pretty basic and non-threatening. The crab dip was actually quite good last year. We'll hash out the final details by the 31st.
One important note: Sugarloaf is very popular on summer weekends and there is limited parking at the foot of the mountain. For this reason, as well as to beat the worst of the dayâ€™s heat, weâ€™ll be starting the hike by
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