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Monocacy Natural Resources Area Trail is a 3.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Dickerson, Maryland that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, bird watching, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 3.1 mi Elevation gain 170 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Kid friendly Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips Bird watching Forest River Views Wild flowers Over grown
Description
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Getting There

This hike can be an adventure in finding your way around. However, you can gain a great sense of accomplishment if you can cover all the trails shown on the map. The trails are unmarked and appear to be maintained only by the passage of feet, hooves (shod and cloven), and water. Some of the trails are the 200-year-old remnants of wagon trails. The quarry and lime kiln are reputed to be over 200 years old and were used for construction of the Monocacy River Aqueduct which is nearby and worth a side trip. The Monocacy NRA is a hunting area in season. Check the Maryland Dept of Natural Resources for info. Some low-lying trails can be muddy and the numerous crossings of Furnace Creek can be wet in high-water conditions. Unsuitable for bikes.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources, (301) 924-2127 or 1-(800) 825-7275

From the Washington, D.C. area take I-270 north toward Rockville and exit at Route 28 west toward Frederick County. Approximately one mile after crossing the Frederick County line you will see the main parking area marked before reaching the Monocacy River Bridge.

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Reviews (23)
Photos (27)
Recordings (19)
Completed (40)
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Thomas Kelley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyOver grown

Currently (late June) highly overgrown. Spider webs all over thin trail path. Prickers. But isolated.

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Jaron Williams
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HikingOver grown

From the trailhead pass back underneath the bridge. Eventually this would link up with a better managed series of plots (at least in the Fall/Winter). My four year old had enough, so we went back to throw rocks into the river.

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Patrick Simoneau
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MuddyOver grown

easy but rugged little hike. muddy with a good bit of trash laying around. wish it was just a bit more maintained.

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Colin Pears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 24, 2020
HikingOver grown

Overgrown, Hogweed... It’s the end of May and the trail is getting a bit overgrown. There are several places on the trail where hogweed is growing. Anyone walking or riding on the trail should be very careful, especially if you’re with younger children.

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Todd Anderson
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HikingMuddy

The trail was really muddy for long stretches, and we had to cut it short once we realized there was no end to the mud. It might be a nice trail in a drought but I wouldn't recommend it otherwise.

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mari mcd
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Muddy

Did this hike with 2 three year olds May 2, 2020. The bridge over RT adjacent to parking lot is closed for work and the parking lot half taken over by the construction. Was a great place for social distancing - only saw two other families and people were careful to move off the narrow path to let people pass. It was MUDDY after 3+ days of rain but lovely and we found little banks to scoot down to the large stream and throw rock in, look for salamanders, etc. Overall very pretty and worth the 50 minutes out of DC!

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Janelle Stewart
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HikingMuddy

The trails are better maintained now than they have been in years, but still not well marked, and very muddy stretches. There isn't much exciting here, the big selling point right now is solitude. Watch for poison ivy if you track left going uphill after you cross the bridge. There are maps available online if you google Monocacy NRMA trail map, and multiple options for parking. Plenty of wildflowers in the spring, (bluebells, trillium, trout lilies, violets, may apples, jack-in-the-pulpit.) Bridge construction on rt 28 will be ongoing until fall 2020, weekends only (or so I was told.)

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joseph byrne
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Hiking

Lots of bluebells and swamp. Proper trail development would eliminate the swamp. Better trail development could, I think, eliminate two creek crossings. (The trail appears to cut across a horseshoe bend vs going around. As of 2018, the trail is now blazed dark blue. The eastern half of the lollipop is hard to find because it connects to the rest of the trail at sharp angles at both start and finish of the loop. The lime kiln is a little tail off the end. If you see private-property and beware-of-dog signs, you've gone too far. The lime kiln, as far as I know, is the end. See my track for details.

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James Hersey
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Nature trips

Delightful display of bluebells and trout lilies beside a pretty stream in mid-April. Wear rubber soled footwear and corduroy because lots of mud and briars. Please clarify to privacy status of the top loop.

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Meredith Larson
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Trail was swampy and overgrown. At top of loop, lots of "Private Property" and "Beware of Dog" signs, and we were chased out of completing it by two large dogs. Multiple creek crossings required going off-trail to locate passable points. A lovely, easy stroll, but the trail needs some work (and some policing of local pets!).

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Rachel Bix
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Hiking

Did this a few weeks ago, definitely under used and overgrown. Very peaceful! To get to the kiln, I believe we kept right every time the path forked. You will have to make a few creek crossings, but rocks are well placed. It was very overgrown and we didn't realize we had found the kiln until it was right there.

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Ken Baker
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Walking

A good vigorous walk from the parking lot on Rt-28, but I didn't know where I was going, so I had to limit my distance so I wouldn't get lost. There were no trail markers. I asked a question a few weeks ago for a trail map of the area, but no one has responded or maybe I don't know where to find the response. Years ago I found the kiln. I thought I was on the right trail this time, but was stopped by creek and saw no way to get across it. Ken Baker (I would appreciate a response, but if I get one, I probably won't be able to find it)

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James Mark
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Hiking
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Shaun Burke
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Hiking
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Jennifer Bryan
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Hiking
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Amy Brown
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Hiking
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Allison Druckemiller
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Hiking
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Amy Brown
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Hiking
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Destiny Johnson
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Hiking
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Blaze Dimov
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Hiking
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Maninder Chopra
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Hiking
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Anita Centofanti
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Hiking
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Jeremy Arnold
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Hiking
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