Outdoors

Diese Seite auf deutschDE Cette page en françaisFRĈi tiu paĝo en EsperantoEO

English VersionEN

Here I am at the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, in April 2009.
Close
Here I am at the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, in April 2009.18-Apr-2009 18:06, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80
 

Let me be your guide to hiking and nature!

Hiking

Hiking is one of my favorite hobbies, and it is easy to understand why.  It is my favorite way to escape from the drudgery and dreariness of my everyday life.  It is a way to get some fresh air and a nice change of scene.  Furthermore, it has been the basis of a number of my friendships over the years.  When I meet people from other countries, I often show them around my region, and that includes trips to the mountains and other nature spots.  My international friends are eager to explore a country that is new to them, and and I love sharing my home region with them.  My local friends mostly are not interested.  I have gone camping a few times over the years also, although I have not done that in many years.  The images on this page are ones that I have taken over a period of many years, from the mid-1990s to the Present.

Here are a few of my trips with friends from other countries:

Fialka Grigorova at the top of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  In front is a pot of coffee brewing.
Close
Fialka Grigorova at the top of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. In front is a pot of coffee brewing.18-Apr-2009 18:21, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 80
Fialka Grigorova, left, and myself, right, at the top of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, April 2009.
Close
Fialka Grigorova, left, and myself, right, at the top of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, April 2009.18-Apr-2009 18:07, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 80
 
Fialka Grigorova on the beach at Sandy Point State Park, with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the background, on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis.
Close
Fialka Grigorova on the beach at Sandy Point State Park, with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the background, on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis.26-Apr-2009 18:47, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 2.8, 7.4mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 100
Fialka Grigorova at the summit of Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, April 2009.
Close
Fialka Grigorova at the summit of Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, April 2009.18-Apr-2009 15:44, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
 
My friend Peter Philip on the Chesapeake Bay, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.
Close
My friend Peter Philip on the Chesapeake Bay, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.21-Oct-2007 16:34, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 8.0, 7.4mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
Tanja Vocke and I hiking through a crevice at Chimney Rock.
Close
Tanja Vocke and I hiking through a crevice at Chimney Rock.
 
My friends Bernd, Stefan, and Olli-Pekka.  At the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, October 1996.
Close
My friends Bernd, Stefan, and Olli-Pekka. At the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, October 1996.
Strolling through the forest in autumn, Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, Maryland.
Close
Strolling through the forest in autumn, Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont, Maryland.
 

First Row, Left to Right: Fialka Grigorova on the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia; Fialka Grigorova and myself on the Hawksbill Mountain Summit.

Second Row, Left to Right: Fialka Grigorova on the beach at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, Maryland; Fialka Grigorova on Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Third Row, Left to Right: Peter Phillip on the beach at Elk Neck State Park, Cheseapeake Bay, Maryland; Tanja Vocke and myself at Chimney Rock, Catoctin Park in Maryland.

Fourth Row, Left to Right: Bernd, Stefan, and Olli-Pekka on the summit of Hawksbill Mountain, Shenandoah National Park; Walking through the woods at Catoctin Park.

The nature spots in my region are in several categories…I invite you to have a look and explore!

Local Parks

The immediate area of where I live is all lowlands, with creeks and forests.  It is not very hilly.  However, there are some very nice trails which are close by and easy to reach.  In Maryland, my home state, there are no lakes in the usual sense (no natural lakes), but there are several reservoirs that are fed by local creeks.  Several of them have forests around them, and there are some nature trails that are easy and quite pleasant, and are well worth exploring.  Take a look at these places, and just imagine that when you explore them, you are only a few minutes away from the city   I have spent many days wandering around them, and my father used to take me to them when I was a child.  Great Falls Park, also shown here, is larger, more natural and is a National Park that includes the Potomac River and the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal beside it.

Along a lakeside path.
Close
Along a lakeside path.29-May-2011 19:40, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80
Gathering by the lake at sunset.
Close
Gathering by the lake at sunset.29-May-2011 19:36
Forest trail near Meadowside Nature Center in Rock Creek Park, Rockville, Maryland.
Close
Forest trail near Meadowside Nature Center in Rock Creek Park, Rockville, Maryland.
 
Lake Needwood at sunset, Rock Creek Park, Rockville, Maryland.
Close
Lake Needwood at sunset, Rock Creek Park, Rockville, Maryland.
Reflections, Lake Needwood, Rock Creek Park, Rockville, Maryland.
Close
Reflections, Lake Needwood, Rock Creek Park, Rockville, Maryland.
Rock Creek Park, the creek and bike path, near my house.
Close
Rock Creek Park, the creek and bike path, near my house.04-Apr-2009 15:46, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 9.855mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80
 
Evergreens, Seneca Creek State Park near Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Close
Evergreens, Seneca Creek State Park near Gaithersburg, Maryland.22-Oct-2007 16:39, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 100
Lake Clopper, Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Close
Lake Clopper, Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland.22-Oct-2007 14:52, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 80
One of the local residents of Seneca Creek State Park near Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Close
One of the local residents of Seneca Creek State Park near Gaithersburg, Maryland.22-Oct-2007 14:42, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.8, 44.4mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100
 
Great Falls, the rapids of the Potomac River, on the Maryland Side of the Maryland-Virginia border.
Close
Great Falls, the rapids of the Potomac River, on the Maryland Side of the Maryland-Virginia border.25-Oct-2007 02:50, Eastman Kodak Company Kodak CLAS Digital Film Scanner / HR200
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and towpath, Great Falls Park, Maryland.
Close
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and towpath, Great Falls Park, Maryland.25-Oct-2007 02:50, Eastman Kodak Company Kodak CLAS Digital Film Scanner / HR200
Great Falls Park in Maryland.
Close
Great Falls Park in Maryland.25-Oct-2007 02:50, Eastman Kodak Company Kodak CLAS Digital Film Scanner / HR200
 

First Row, Left to Right: Lakeside path, Black Hills Regional Park;  Sunset Gathering, Black Hills Regional Park; Forest Trail, Meadowside Nature Center near Rock Creek.

Second Row, Left to Right: Lake Needwood at Sunset; Lake Needwood at Sunset;  Rock Creek Park.

Third Row, Left to Right: Grove of Evergreens, Seneca Creek State Park; Lake Clopper, Seneca Creek State Park; One of the residents of Seneca Creek State Park at Lake Clopper.

Fourth Row, Left to Right: Great Falls Park-Rapids of the Potomac River on the Maryland-Virginia border; Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal and towpath at Great Falls Park; Boulders on the water, Great Falls Park.

Mountain Parks

These parks are larger, wilder, and more remote.  In my region, they tend to be found in Northern and Western Maryland, as well as the State of Virginia to the South.  Most of them are natural, although Rocky Gap State Park and Deep Creek Lake are reservoirs that are hidden among the mountains of more remote Western Maryland.  The Appalachian Trail goes through many of them (the trail that goes from Maine to Georgia), since it passes through Maryland and Virginia along the way.  These parks are my favorites and are among the most spectacular.  Have a look at these images!

The summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, near Barnesville, Maryland.
Close
The summit of Sugarloaf Mountain, near Barnesville, Maryland.
View from the parking lot, Sugarloaf Mountain, near Barnesville, Maryland.
Close
View from the parking lot, Sugarloaf Mountain, near Barnesville, Maryland.
The first Washington Monument, built to honor George Washington.  Washington Monument State Park, Boonsboro, Maryland.
Close
The first Washington Monument, built to honor George Washington. Washington Monument State Park, Boonsboro, Maryland.22-Mar-2009 17:36, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
 
View from the old Washington Monument, Washington Monument State Park, near the Appalachian Trail in Boonsboro, Maryland.
Close
View from the old Washington Monument, Washington Monument State Park, near the Appalachian Trail in Boonsboro, Maryland.22-Mar-2009 17:20, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 12.733mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 80
Sun bursting through the clouds, Washington Monument State Park in Boonsboro, Maryland.
Close
Sun bursting through the clouds, Washington Monument State Park in Boonsboro, Maryland.22-Mar-2009 17:09, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 5.6, 16.822mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80
Panorama, Sky Meadows State Park, Virginia.
Close
Panorama, Sky Meadows State Park, Virginia.04-Nov-2007 16:52, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 25.033mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80
 
Partly up the hill, Sky Meadows State Park, Virginia.
Close
Partly up the hill, Sky Meadows State Park, Virginia.04-Nov-2007 16:55, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 29.167mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 80
Stalagtites in Winter, Swallow Falls State Park, Western Maryland.
Close
Stalagtites in Winter, Swallow Falls State Park, Western Maryland.
Muddy Creek Falls, Swallow Falls State Park, Western Maryland.
Close
Muddy Creek Falls, Swallow Falls State Park, Western Maryland.
 
Swallow Falls, Swallow Falls State Park in Garrett County, Western Maryland.
Close
Swallow Falls, Swallow Falls State Park in Garrett County, Western Maryland.
Thick virgin forest in Swallow Falls State Park, Western Maryland.
Close
Thick virgin forest in Swallow Falls State Park, Western Maryland.
Trail on the ridge, Massanutten Mountain, George Washington National Forest, Virginia.
Close
Trail on the ridge, Massanutten Mountain, George Washington National Forest, Virginia.
 
Autumn colors at sunset, Green Ridge State Park in Western Maryland.
Close
Autumn colors at sunset, Green Ridge State Park in Western Maryland.
Autumn in Green Ridge State Forest in Western Maryland.
Close
Autumn in Green Ridge State Forest in Western Maryland.
Annapolis Rock, near the Appalachian Trail by Myersville, Maryland.
Close
Annapolis Rock, near the Appalachian Trail by Myersville, Maryland.
 
Weverton Cliffs in Maryland, by the Potomac River.
Close
Weverton Cliffs in Maryland, by the Potomac River.
Wolf Rock, Catoctin Mountain Park, near Thurmont, Maryland.
Close
Wolf Rock, Catoctin Mountain Park, near Thurmont, Maryland.
Chimney Rock, Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland, in wintertime.
Close
Chimney Rock, Catoctin Mountain Park near Thurmont, Maryland, in wintertime.08-Mar-2009 16:19, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100
 

First Row, Left to Right: From the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain in Barnesville, Maryland; View of the valley from the parking lot, Sugarloaf Mountain; The very first Washington Monument, Washington Monument State Park in Boonsboro, Maryland.

Second Row, Left to Right: From the top of the monument, Washington Monument State Park; Sun bursting through the clouds, Washington Monument State Park; Panorama, Sky Meadows State Park in Virginia.

Third Row, Left to Right: Partly up the hill, Sky Meadows State Park in Virginia; Frozen solid, Swallow Falls State Park in Western Maryland; Muddy Creek Falls, Swallow Falls State Park in Western Maryland.

Fourth Row, Left to Right: Swallow Falls, Swallow Falls State Park; Virgin forest, Swallow Falls State Park; Massanutten Mountain, George Washington National Forest, Virginia.

Fifth Row, Left to Right: Autumn colors at sunset, Green Ridge State Forest in Western Maryland; Top of the mountain, Green Ridge State Forest; Annapolis Rocks (near the Appalachian Trail in Maryland.

Sixth Row, Left to Right: Weverton Cliffs, Potomac River, near the Appalachian Trail in Maryland; Wolf Rock, Catoctin State Park (near Camp David, in Maryland); Chimney Rock, Catoctin State Park.

Seventh Row:  Rocky Gap State Park in Western Maryland.

One of the parks, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, deserves special attention.  Skyline Drive, goes through the mountains for 105 miles (about 170 km), going up and down, and has many scenic views along the way.  It is a long drive but well worth it.  Take a look at these!

Sunset over Hawksbill Mountain, highest point in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Close
Sunset over Hawksbill Mountain, highest point in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.18-Apr-2009 18:47, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 100
Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Close
Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.18-Apr-2009 18:08, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.5, 36.781mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 80
 
Sunset View from Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia at 4050 ft (about 1350 meters).
Close
Sunset View from Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia at 4050 ft (about 1350 meters).18-Apr-2009 18:44, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 400
View of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge from Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Close
View of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge from Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
 
Near the summit of Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Close
Near the summit of Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Little Stony Man Cliffs, Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Close
Little Stony Man Cliffs, Stony Man Mountain, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
 
Big Meadows, just off Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Close
Big Meadows, just off Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Shenandoah River in Virginia.  Taken from Massanutten Mountain, George Washington National Forest, Virginia.
Close
Shenandoah River in Virginia. Taken from Massanutten Mountain, George Washington National Forest, Virginia.
 

First Row, Left to Right: Sunset from Hawksbill Mountain, the highest point in the park at 4050 feet (1350 meters); Old Rag Mountain.

Second Row, Left to Right: View from Hawksbill Mountain; Skyline Drive from Little Stony Man Cliffs, Stony Man Mountain.

Third Row, Left to Right: Trees at the summit of Stony Man Mountain; Little Stony Man Cliffs.

Fourth Row: Isolation and desolation at Big Meadows in the middle of the park. Note: this place is right next to Skyline Drive, but it feels like it is extremely remote; View of Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah River, from the other side of Shenandoah Valley.

Parks on the Seashore

Obviously, these parks are completely different—they are in the Eastern part of Maryland, and are directly by the seaside and are flat.  They are on the Chesapeake Bay, which divides Central Maryland from the Eastern Shore, and on the Atlantic Ocean.  I go to them less often, but they are a very welcome change of pace.  Check out these places!

Sunset over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, from Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, Maryland (by the Chesapeake Bay).
Close
Sunset over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, from Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, Maryland (by the Chesapeake Bay).25-Apr-2009 18:41, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 200
Trees above the Chesapeake Bay, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.
Close
Trees above the Chesapeake Bay, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.21-Oct-2007 17:39, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 80
Turkey Point Lighthouse, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.
Close
Turkey Point Lighthouse, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.21-Oct-2007 16:55, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 8.0, 7.4mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 80
 
On the Chesapeake, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.
Close
On the Chesapeake, Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland, near the border to Delaware.21-Oct-2007 16:33, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 8.0, 7.4mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 80
View of the water from Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland near the border to Delaware.
Close
View of the water from Elk Neck State Park, near North East, Maryland near the border to Delaware.21-Oct-2007 15:38, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.8, 44.4mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 80
Ponies in the marsh, on the Virginia side of Assateague Island, on the Atlantic Coast.
Close
Ponies in the marsh, on the Virginia side of Assateague Island, on the Atlantic Coast.
 
Pony on the beach, Maryland Side, Assateague Island, Atlantic Coast.
Close
Pony on the beach, Maryland Side, Assateague Island, Atlantic Coast.
 

First Row, Left to Right: Sandy Point State Park, on the Cheseapeake Bay near Annapolis, Maryland, with the Bay Bridge in the background; Elk Neck State Park, Cheseapeake Bay, northeastern Maryland near Delaware; Turkey Point Lighthouse, Elk Neck State Park, on the Cheseapeake Bay, Maryland.

Second Row, Left to Right: Chesapeake Bay, Elk Neck State Park, Maryland; Cheseapeake Bay from Elk Neck State Park; Assateague Island (Virginia side).

Third Row:  Assateague Island (Maryland side), indigenous pony.

Note: the ponies on Assateague Island are a unique species found only on that island.  How they got there and where they came from is a mystery!

Cross-Country Skiing

In my opinion, cross-country (nordic) skiing is the ultimate winter sport, and I enjoy it more than I enjoy downhill (alpine) skiing.  It combines the best elements of skiing and hiking, and I find it easier to deal with than downhill skiing in terms of managing my fear of heights.  Once you know how to move on skis, you can move more quickly and efficiently than on your two feet alone, and cover a lot of ground.  The images and I have here are from Canaan Valley, West Virginia, which is one of the best areas to go cross-country skiing here.

My friend Mason Callejas putting on his cross-country skis, at Whitegrass, in Davis, West Virginia, December 2008.
Close
My friend Mason Callejas putting on his cross-country skis, at Whitegrass, in Davis, West Virginia, December 2008.07-Dec-2008 12:58, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
Cross-Country skiing at Whitegrass, Davis, West Virginia.
Close
Cross-Country skiing at Whitegrass, Davis, West Virginia.07-Dec-2008 13:17, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 5.0, 7.4mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
 
Cross-Country ski trail at Whitegrass, near Davis, West Virginia.
Close
Cross-Country ski trail at Whitegrass, near Davis, West Virginia.07-Dec-2008 14:20, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.0, 7.4mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80
Snowscape at Whitegrass Cross Country Ski Area, near Davis, West Virginia.
Close
Snowscape at Whitegrass Cross Country Ski Area, near Davis, West Virginia.07-Dec-2008 14:19, Canon Canon PowerShot G9, 4.5, 7.4mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80
 

Top Left to Right:  My friend Mason Callejas dons his ski equipment at the start of the trail; View of the parking lot and lodge at the bottom of the mountain, from the trail.

Bottom Left to Right:  On the ski trail at Whitegrass; Panoramic view from the trail at Whitegrass.

Here is a video of my friend Mason Callejas, from when we went cross-country skiing together in December 2008.

If you want to go cross-country skiing or hiking with me, please do be sure to contact me!  Also, I have more photos and videos of hiking and nature in my online galleries of YouTube, Google Picasa, and Ipernity.  You can also view the Picasa and Ipernity galleries as slideshows if you want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *