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Wincopin Trail

  • Habitat: Mostly dry upland deciduous or mixed woods on a rocky substrate at the Fall Line along the Little Patuxent and Middle Patuxent rivers; some steep slopes; narrow floodplain.
  • Best Months: Mid-April through October
  • Coverage Time: One hour to one-half day depending on walking speed and number of trails covered.
  • Trails/Paths: Portions of the Wincopin Trail (Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow) are marked with colored blazes on trees. These trails total 3.73 miles. Initially, all trails follow the paved Red Trail south out of the parking lot. Other trails branch from this main stem; the intersections are marked by square wooden signposts. Some trail segments are level and relatively easy walking; many portions are rocky; all contain steep slopes—some more than others. Users need to be in reasonably good physical condition, and sturdy footgear is recommended. The trails are heavily used by joggers and dog walkers.
  • Notable Birds: Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-winged Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Hooded Warbler.
  • Amenities: Portable toilet in paved parking lot; orienteering course.
  • Handicapped Access: Extremely limited due to rocky trails and steep grades. To sample the site, take the initial short paved section of the main stem. Beyond that, it continues for several hundred yards as a wide packed-earth trail with a gentle grade and a minimum of rocks.
  • Operation and Hours: Howard County parkland; dawn to dusk.
  • Special Attractions: Trails follow portions of two of the county's major rivers to their junction. A state-rare dragonfly has been found along the rivers; spring wildflowers, including perfoliate bellwort, early saxifrage, and wild sarsaparilla, can be found in specialized habitats; pawpaw stands increase one's chances of seeing Zebra Swallowtail butterflies in season, and fall can be good for fungi study. Trout are stocked. Varied topography, whitewater along the rivers, and historic ruins relating to the Savage Mill and quarrying make hiking attractive. Traffic noise from I-95 is the biggest drawback, especially from late fall until early spring.
Wincopin Trail thumbnail
Compilers: Tom Miller and Joanne Solem

© 2009