Severn Run Environmental Area Trail is a 1.2 mile out and back trail located near Millersville, MD. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking.
Hiking & horse trail. Easy
This is not a nature trail. This is walking through acres and acres of woods, not paths. Some places are so thick and overgrown that you could not get through without a machete, so you have to wander a bit - but this is what makes it enjoyable. It is nature as it is meant to be! It's fun to walk along the shoreline and there are places next to the water that are small sandy beaches and the water is very clear. It's fun to check out the animal tracks to see what has been down to the water. The deepest water I came across was about 3 feet in spots that the dogs enjoyed swimming in (the bottom was sandy). Pick a nice place to relax and if you are quiet and stay for a while you may see deer. There are many species of birds and I spotted raccoon and various bird tracks. In some parts there are also some feral cats living in colonies that buttress some of the businesses. If you like to be away from it all, and in seclusion, this spot is a gem! Will try fishing this spring and summer (lots of ticks in warm weather). Bring along a trash bag since some people evidently don't appreciate nature and leave their trash behind. Looking forward to the next excursion.
(There ARE "no hunting" signs along the perimeter of the land - so no hunting and there should not be any hunting blinds.)
I chose Nature Trips because there are no real paths. It's untouched.
A shame. This could be a nice short hike location, but there's clearly no upkeep or maintenance.
Continuing my quest to find some trail-running spots close to home, I went to check out this area this morning. Easy to find start - just park in the gravel spot just after you cross the bridge over Severn Run itself. Parking for about 3 cars - I doubt you'll ever have competition. Just back-track over the bridge and you'll see the gate to your left.
Less then a half mile in, the trail surrendered to overgrowth and became less distinct when you reach Severn Run. There are a few unclear paths through here, but they are difficult to discern. Suffice to say, it's easy to tell where people stop and turn around. I'm seriously tempted to rent a brush-cutter to go through and cut a trail.
I'll probably try exploring other starting locations to see if there are more established trails - though it seems unlikely from my research so far. It's a shame, because wildlife abounds in this area for sure. The area is very convenient to get to and has incredible solitude considering you can hear I97 howling by.
I love that people don't really know about this area, it was evident in the lack of trash. I was also using the 60 hikes of Baltimore book. I found a little place to park, not much room for more than two cars. I easily found the start of the trail and going out it wasn't so bad. The trails are not blazed at all. On the way back I ended up straying off the trail I had followed out. I had to bush wack back to my car. It was more annoying then anything since the area I was in was surrounded on all sides I knew I wasn't going to actually get lost. I walked out to the overgrown jeep roads mentioned in the book, which I am 99 percent sure are in the environmental area and found 3 or 4 hunting blinds in the trees, just a heads up for anyone going in the fall not expecting hunting to be happening (I didn't as the signs said no hunting.)
Unmarked, short, uninteresting, no parking. Not so much a trail as a place in the woods where teenagers go to get high and neck.
The natural setting of this trail and the peace and solitude that it provides are amazing. We found is there was all kinds of birds and deer in this kind of tranquil setting that is just so peaceful.
I did this trail because I am working my way through the 60 hikes in 60 miles of Baltimore which I have quoted below. As much as I like this book and think the author is probably a really neat guy, I did not like this hike very much and had trouble finding the trail that was advertised in the book.
The good: 10 mins from a major airport (reason I did it) and very secluded and undisturbed. Saw tons of deers, seemed like there was a lot of birds as well.
The bad: I could not complete the loop as mentioned in the book and ended up off trail. How could this happen you ask? The trail is poorly maintained and hard to follow in the summer. At the top of the loop when you are on the jeep trail, you are supposed to be able follow a loop back to the main path. However that part of the trail has a lot of evidence of humans as it is near a business park and there were several things that seemed like they could be a path (a path to a telecomm tower, paths to man-made holes and pipes of which the purpose of is unclear, etc). I started on several false paths including one which I took for a while. I tried to cut back to the path, but that was a dumb idea as I was still far away at that point. I should have just turned around at the top. Anyway if you are like me and using that book, this one is missable unless of course you like tics and spider webs and hard to find paths.
"Make your way around a little-known and underappreciated spot of beauty tucked between major highways. Even residents of the immediate area might not know of Severn Run Natural Environmental Areas existence, though they have no doubt driven right past it innumerous times. Thats because it straddles I-97, Veterans Highway, and other major roads. Its 1,600 acres follow the course of the protected Severn Run in six separate and not always connected tracts. Severn Run has no infrastructure, which might account for its relative lack of use."
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