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Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area (NEA) is comprised of 1,900 acres of serpentine barren. The area has over 39 rare, threatened, or endangered plant species as well as rare insects, rocks and minerals. Rare grassland plant species are threatened by invasion of Virginia Pines. Currently, a five year effort of removing 1,000 acres of pines and prescribed burning are underway to return the area to natural serpentine habitat. Gnarled tree at Soldiers Delight There are seven miles of marked hiking trails. Equestrians and cyclists are prohibited due to the sensitive nature of the area. The visitor center has meeting rooms, a reference library and exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area. The visitor center is located at 5100 Deer Park Road in Owings Mills, Maryland. Call in advance to get current visitor center hours and upcoming events. Soldiers Delight has two areas (at Ward Chapel Road and Deer Park Road) open for bow hunting from November 15, 2008 to January 31, 2009. A valid managed hunt permit is required. In addition, a Patapsco Valley/Soldiers Delight annual bow hunting parking permit is required. This permit is valid at Patapsco Valley State Park, Soldiers Delight NEA and Morgan Run NEA only. For further information, please refer to the hunting guide (see below).

My first time here and I was very thankful that it wasn't very hot out. Thank God for a breeze. When you see my recording you will see two problem areas. One split on the Choate Mine Trail was so overgrown I missed it. I also took the wrong turn were the Serpentine Trail connects with the Almart Trail. If I didn't have All/Trails I would have been messed up even worse. This whole area is very, very rocky and mostly a wide open plain. Some sections is like being in the High Sierras or a desert full of rocks. If I return I will indeed wear hiking boots and not shoes. I recommend hiking in the morning hours or the evening. I am sure this place will get very hot in the mid-summer heat. Overall, I would come back when the season changes to see the beautiful landscape.

Trail could have been blazed better in some sections, otherwise it was a nice day hike. Even found some blueberries!

This is the closest trail to our home, but not a favorite. Many of the trails are through grasslands, and our preference is more wooded. However, the Nature Center is nice, and the history is interesting.

Beautiful and unique trail for Maryland. Prairie was gorgeous

I wasn't sure what to expect with this trail and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. The way in goes behind some apartment buildings and under a bridge, but once you get past that you're surrounded by nature. There's a nice stream, trees, rocks, an open field, wild flowers and more. We saw deer, tons of butterflies, cool insects and cardinals. The trail really takes you through some different scenes. We extended our hike a couple miles by just doing the marked loops and turn offs. It's a nice trail and very light traffic. I'd love to see it in autumn with the changing leaves.

Where are we suppose to park? and just after the bridge I see no trail?

First off, AllTrails says this whole thing is the Serpentine Trail but actually, the ST is just the beginning 2.5 miles. When you get back to the start, cross the road and go around the barrier to continue this loop. This part of the trail includes the Choate Mine, Red Run, and Dolfield Trails.

These trails are very runnable and pretty easy to navigate. Very very rocky, as the whole area is on serpentine bedrock. Nice mix of grasslands and forests, easy inclines, easy stream crossings, overall runnable and gentle trails that are good for getting miles in on varied terrain without exhausting yourself.

hiking
1 month ago

You have to walk a little up a private drive, but as the other post said- across the bridge on the left is the start of the trail. If you walk and can see the private house you've gone too far.
Also, if you take the split to the right the trail is not very well marked so you will need this app to figure out where you are going.
Other than that it was a great hike and there was a nice little waterfall and old wheel house where the stream and the reservoir meet on the top side of the hike.

An easy, relatively short hike showcasing an environment that has largely disappeared from Maryland. The area's interesting geology has essentially turned it into an island for rare and threatened plant species. The Sepretine Trail is the more popular of the two loops there, passing through a grassy 'savana' that unfortunately is bisected by high-tension power lines. The Choate Mine Trail is more forested, but contains some lovely open patches of grassland. For this loop, I suggest sticking to the mine Trail and Red Run Trail instead of taking the Dolfield Trail, which runs too close to a nearby suburb for my liking. The trails are a nice change of pace from other Maryland trails, but are probably more rewarding for people interested in ecology and geology than scenics.