New Germany State Park, MD Backpacking Trip

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This trip took place the weekend of April 17-18, 1998. Participants were leader Charlie Johnson, Doug Knowles, his nephews Josh and Mic, Bill Isham and Mike Calabrese. We met at the Grantsville, MD Burger King at 8am. Doug K and nephews Josh and Mic had camped out the night before at New Germany state park campground. The rest of us came from home. We ate, exchanged "long time, no see's" and then started off to the trail head at around 9am.
A group photo at the Monroe Run overlook


We assembled at the Monroe Run trail head. Doug K and Bill I drove their

At right, a group photo at the Monroe Run overlook.
By Charlie Johnson


trucks down to the Poplar Lick trail head. Everyone except myself and Charlie J were planning on doing 15 miles over 2 days and ending up at the Poplar Lick trailhead. We were going to go on and do the entire 25 mile route continuing across the Meadow Mountain Trail for a total of 3 days. We took pictures and started out around 10am.

Monroe Run was a great place to hike. We crossed the stream 27 times and walked along an old CCC built road. The weather was overcast and in the 70's. Good hiking weather. It was all slightly downhill. Some of the crossings were difficult but we survived. We were traveling in a southeastern direction and did about 5 miles.

We got to Savage River Road around 12 noon and took a slight break at the campground there. We then turned northwards along Savage River Road. It was not as nice as Monroe Run along this stretch. Alot of vacation homes and walking on an asphalt roadway dodging pickup trucks (no pun intended here). We did about 5 miles along this road. The high point was that we stopped at a country store along the way and got ice cream cones. Hm, mm good! Around 3:30 we turned left onto the Poplar Lick Trail. This was primarilly a gravel road that we were walking along. We were getting tired around this time and started discussing where to camp. It was getting late and we were starting to get cranky. We kept passing campsites that were occupied. AAAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! We finally got to a good site around 5ish. We were tired.

The end of a good day. We ate, sat around the campfire kabitzing and went to bed around 9ish. It must be noted here that our youngest Rag Tag Rangers, Mic, 7 and Josh, 12, did a great job hiking that day. They held their own and did not complain a bit. We did a total of about 13 miles that day. Good job guys!

Once we retired we heard drip, drip, drip. It was starting to rain. It rained all night long, very heavy at times. I stayed dry in my tent even though I made the mistake of pitching it in an indentation rather than on high ground. The indentation filled up with water and my tent was floating in it! Yuk!

Well, the next morning (Sunday), we decided to bag the rest of the trip. The rain was still coming down very hard and showed no sign of letting up. We were looking at about 5 more stream crossings and Poplar Lick Run was very swollen. So Doug K and Bill I walked the remaining 2.5 miles through deep stream crossings to get their trucks and come and rescue the rest of us. Good thing they had 4 wheel drive. We needed it!

So the trip was cut short, but was worth while. I know that I'm going back some day to finish the rest of this loop. It was a good hike. Even the stretch along Savage River Road was made worthwhile by way of the ice cream at the general store!

Mike C



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