Getting out and about in Frederick County, with Envision Frederick County

Last Saturday, nineteen people…and one dog…took short walk and a enjoyed a picnic lunch at a beautiful waterfall in the forest on the western slope of Catoctin Mountain!

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The event served as the kick-off of Envision Frederick County’s commitment to organizing a wide variety of nature-focused outings in and near Frederick County.

This outing was limited to a maximum of 20 people (with a late cancellation, we had 19…if you don’t count the dog!). After meeting where there was ample parking, we carpooled to the privately-owned site, and walked a fairly short trail through the woods to one of the most beautiful natural features in Frederick County that you may not know about.

Thank you to John Zuke for this lovely photos of the waterfall,

Thank you to John Zuke for this lovely photo of the waterfall,

Frederick County has a substantial array of natural areas protected in public parks and other public preserves. But most of the county is private property, and those lands, of course, include an abundance of beautiful places that are not well known. They include mountaintop outcroppings with spectacular views, mature woodlands along quiet stretches of the Monocacy River, secluded stream valleys, wildlife-rich wetlands, patches of rich forests with older and taller trees that can be found in most of the county, and more.

More often than not, our outings will be at more familiar publicly-owned or accessible parks and preserves, such as the C&O Canal towpath, the trails on Catoctin and South Mountain, the Monocacy National Battlefield, Sugarloaf Mountain, and so on. But we will include a good mix of outings to special places that are not generally accessible for public use.

Our primary goal here is simply to encourage folks to connect with and learn about the rich and diverse nature of our lovely county, but also to connect with each other.

Some of these outings, however, will be narrowly-focused on specific subjects like spring wildflowers or migrating birds or forest ecology or local geology, led by local folks with that expertise, and planned for the right place at the right time!

In addition, some outings will be specifically oriented for kids and their families.

We are excited launching this local outings program, and thank the folks who joined us last Saturday and help kick things off!

Please note that, we will publicize the outings in various ways, but will always post about them on our Facebook page. And, in most cases, there will be no fee for participating in these outings.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions or questions, please let me know at