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Hikes in the Washington Region Part A: Northern Maryland Counties
The latest edition of Hikes in the Washington Region Part A from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club adds coverage of Washington County to trails in Maryland's Montgomery and Frederick Counties.
(6th edition, 2013) Trail builders in Maryland counties northwest of Washington have been busy. So have the PATC volunteers who produce the pocket guides that are must-haves for new and experienced hikers alike. The new Part A, like its predecessors, covers Maryland's Montgomery and Frederick Counties, but this edition adds Washington County to the geographic coverage. The 2013 guide includes staples along the C&O Canal and other stream valleys that flow to the Potomac. It covers paths close to Washington, a few with segments on paved hiker-biker trails suitable for families and beginners, as well as challenging new hikes farther from DC. Among the more difficult: a circuit of Antietam Battlefield where Civil War buffs might linger for a full day; a 16-mile route in the Catoctin Mountains with a "short" option that still exceeds 10 miles (lots of climbing on both options); a short but tough circuit in the Monocacy NRMA, where trails are not marked in any way, may be seriously overgrown, and involve several stream crossings. (Good ability to navigate by the book's map is essential on this one.) An unusual number of parks and preserves closed or rerouted trails due to 2012 storm damage or erosion. New paths opened in their place, so an unusual number of old favorites have new maps and significant changes in the turn-by turn trail directions. As in all PATC pocket guides, the essentials are explained concisely and clearly to lead hikers from landmark to landmark. Maps by PATC's master, Dave Pierce, and lots of photos of the flora, fauna and landscapes make it all live. 4 ¼ x 7, 144 pages, 24 hikes each with two color maps, two color overview locator map, 25 photos