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This day hike is an easy loop best enjoyed in spring and fall. Open meadows provide little to no shade during hot summer months.

The Schaeffer Farm Trail is a mixture of field and forest where hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and bird watchers can enjoy a more remote area of Seneca Creek State Park. Mountain bikers are the most prevalent users. Wildlife thrives in the field and forest habitat. Stealth visitors are likely to see white-tailed deer, gray and red foxes, wild turkeys, beavers, groundhogs, squirrels and chipmunks. Birdlife is plentiful, too. Binoculars enhance the sight of warblers, vireos, meadowlarks, woodpeckers, and owls.

Begin the trail from the back of the parking lot following the white blazes. The 3.5-mile makes a continual entrance and exit amid woodland and open field, paralleling Black Rock Road on the east and a utility row on the west. Several easy creek crossings add interest to the well-worn path. A slight change in elevation brings a change in plantlife. You'll see red maples, white oaks, red oaks, white pines, ironwood, and even mountain laurel.

Directions: From Gaithersburg, MD, Take Interstate 270 to exit 11. Take State Route 124 south a very short distance. Turn right onto Clopper Road. The park entrance is within two miles. Continue past the entrance and through the intersection with Germantown Road. At the next intersection, make a left onto Schaeffer Road. Travel 2.5 miles turning left into Schaeffer Farm. Parking is to the left. You will find the trailhead at the back of the lot.

Elevation: 500 feet

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Difficulty: Easy

 
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Address:
Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland


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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.

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