No need to hibernate; go out for a winter hike


Madison Elliott, News Editor

As temperatures drop, many people decide to stay indoors. Although it is getting colder outside, going on winter hikes is one of the best ways to enjoy the day.

Hiking is a great way to get exercise during the winter months and gives plenty of time to enjoy some peace out in nature. The best part of hiking is to get a breath of fresh air while looking at so many beautiful views.
There are plenty of hiking trails all around Maryland, but there are also plenty of local trails, too. The most important part is to remember to stay safe and make cautious decisions while hiking.
Things that can be done on any hike to keep you safe include wearing proper clothing, having no distractions to keep you focused on your surroundings, having fully-charged cell phones, taking it slow, and never going on hikes alone. Proper clothing can be tennis shoes or hiking boots, making sure you don’t have loose clothing to trip on, and things to keep you warm while outside.
Also, it is important to go slowly and focus on your surroundings so that you don’t trip on anything or end up somewhere where you don’t intend to be. Going with other people is important so that in case someone gets injured or lost, you have company. Make sure someone always knows where you go in case of emergencies.
One of my personal favorite trails is the Kilgore Falls Trail. This is a trail that is not too long and is in Pylesville, Maryland. This is a trail that is great for any time of the year, but the winter allows for beautiful sights at Kilgore Falls.
The path is built up and walks through trees with some land off to the side and a river flowing through. It is a clear path and stays relatively flat throughout.
This is a short hike that leads to a waterfall by the end. The best part is when the water freezes over. This view is so beautiful because the water turns to ice, and that ice builds up into incredible formations. It builds and freezes to become a winter wonderland. It is so magical as you look around and listen to the water flow.
This trail is open each day of the week from 10 am to sunset from November to February.
Another wonderful hike is called, “The King and Queen Seat” in Jarrettsville, Maryland. This hike has two entrances. One is at that bottom of the mountain that has a path to follow and hike up to reach the top. The second entrance is around the other side of the mountain that people can drive up to avoid the hike. Either way you enter, the major focus point is when you reach “The King and Queen Seat” at the top.
This hike is one to be especially careful and cautious while there. It is very high up, meaning it is important to watch your step and only go as far as you are comfortable. The length of and difficulty of this hike is right about in the middle. This hike is mostly an incline while going up.
This view is off a large rock looking over a beautiful environment filled with trees all around.
The feeling a person gets at the top includes feelings of a full accomplishment and that you are the “king” or “queen” of the world. It is a beautiful spot for pictures with all the trees, sky, animals, and water around.
The final hike I suggest is a one that is on my bucket list to travel to called “Battle Creek Cypress Swamp.” This hike is in Calvert County, Maryland. After looking through many pictures, it seems as though this is a hike through a beautiful forest. It seems that a wooden path is laid out through the hike. The end leads to a swamp.
This is a beautiful sight where you are completely engulfed by nature. It seems so beautiful and peaceful to go on this hike with all the green and the water around. It seems mystical and mysterious.
There is also a Nature Center, but that is currently closed. As of now there are certain trails open at this location and no pets allowed. It is open every day of the week at their normal times seen on their website with a few guest number restrictions. There is construction going on at this location, so be sure to follow all the trail restrictions set in place during this time.
No matter what trail you go on or where it is, always be careful. Be sure to watch your step, take your time, and know your limits. There is never pressure to do anything you are not comfortable with. Stay safe and enjoy your trails!