Soldier's Delight East Loop, Soldier's Delight Natural Environmental Area

Owings, Maryland 20736

Soldier's Delight East Loop, Soldier's Delight Natural Environmental Area

Soldier's Delight East Loop, Soldier's Delight Natural Environmental Area Professional Review and Guide

"The 2,000-acre serpentine grasslands that make up Soldier’s Delight Natural Environment Area are the largest prairie ecosystem in the eastern United States. The soil, composed of green magnesium silicate, is so dry it supports only the hardiest of grasses and shrubs. A much larger area of northern Maryland once was covered in this unusual grass-and-pine vegetation. At first glance, the rock-strewn soil and short grasses might seem an unglamorous scrub forest, but a hike through the grasslands reveals a diverse ecosystem of hundreds of plant species. However, it is not the twisting grasses that give the landscape its name.

The dull green, mottled mineral that forms the underlying bedrock is serpentine. Special considerations: On a hot, cloudless summer day, the area heats to ten to fifteen degrees warmer than the hardwood forests only several miles away. Although the hikes pass into and out of pine groves, offering relief from the sun, it is a lot easier to enjoy the ecology of the area in autumn, winter, or spring. There are two hikes described below, one to the east of Deer Park Road in the flat- land and one white-blazed loop to the west that descends into the stream bottom."

Soldier's Delight East Loop, Soldier's Delight Natural Environmental Area Reviews

4
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon2 Total
11/30/2009
Nice trail, I walked it in the rain and had little problem with slipping or sticking due to most of the trail being rocky.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments
12/28/2007
The typology is very interesting -- makes you want to read up on geology when you get home, and we saw deer and fox as an added treat. The hike itself was pleasant -- the directions were a little outdated, but still easy to follow; just take a quick look at the trial map at the trail head and you'll be fine. If you go in the winter (particularly after a rain), wear hiking boots, rather than sneakers, because the trail is wet in places; it's also rocky.
0
https://cdn-www.trails.com/ui/images/userBlank.png
Comments

Soldier's Delight East Loop, Soldier's Delight Natural Environmental Area Photos

Trail Information

Owings
Nearby City
3
Distance
Minimal
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
January - April; October - November
Season
Soldier's Delight Natural Environment Area
Local Contacts
USGS Reisterstown, Maryland
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018