Local Events Planned in Celebration of National Trails Day on June 4

The St. Mary's Department of Recreation, Parks and Community Services has announced that several walking, running, hiking, and/or biking events are planned in St. Mary's County on Saturday, June 4, 2005 to celebrate National Trails Day. National Trails Day is sponsored by the American Hiking Society to promote the recreational and health benefits associated with the use of trails across the country. The St. Mary's County events have been organized through partnerships with Historic St. Mary's City and the Chesapeake Bay Running Club, Friends of Myrtle Point Park, Summerseat Sanctuary and Farm, the Friends of the Three Notch Trail and the St. Mary's County Department of Recreation, Parks, and Community Services.

Historic St. Mary's City 5K Fun Run/Walk - The Chesapeake Bay Running Club is sponsoring a 5K Fun Run/Walk, at 8:00 a.m., in Historic St. Mary's City. The course is a beautiful wooded trail on the banks of the St. Mary's River. Participants will receive two passes to the new climbing wall at St. Mary's College of Maryland (climbers must be 14 years or older). The first thirty registrants will receive a National Trails Day t-shirt. Plenty of post-run drinks and snacks will be available. Meet at the HSMC Visitor Center, on Rosecroft Road, off Route 5, 8 miles south of Lexington Park. Register at the Visitor Center, at 7:00 a.m., on the day of the race or pre-register by calling (240) 895-4964 or 4960 or visit the HSMC website at http://www.stmaryscity.org/. Other events going on at HSMC in celebration of National Trails Day include a bird walk with Dr. Ernie Willoughby; birders will gather at the Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. Visitors can also take a native plant walk at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., hike in a labyrinth, or walk back in time to HSMC's living history exhibits. Exhibits are open 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and are free of charge.

John Baggett Park Nature Walk - Join naturalist Mary Piotrowski and the Friends of Myrtle Point Park at 9:00 a.m. for an interpretive walk along the new nature trail at John V. Baggett Park at Laurel Grove. The one mile trail is filled with unusual plants, a magnolia bog and swamp and many migratory birds. The terrain is relatively level, but there are wet areas and the trail is heavily shaded. Dress for ticks, bring bottled water and meet next to the playground for the 1½ hour walk. The park is located on the southbound side of Route 235 in Laurel Grove. For more information, call Mary at (301) 472-4091.

Myrtle Point Park Hike - Bev Walker of the Friends of Myrtle Point Park will lead a hike at the park beginning at 9:00 a.m. This 250 acre nature park is located on the Patuxent River and has scenic views of the river and tidal wetlands. The trails are mostly level and the hike will last about two hours. Dress for ticks, bring bottled water and meet at the parking area on the left as you enter the park. The park is located at the end of Patuxent Boulevard, off Rt. 4 between the Thomas Johnson Bridge and the intersection of Route 4 and Route 235 in California.

Summerseat Sanctuary and Farm Walk - Come out for a leisurely walk and tour of Summerseat's grounds, English-style gardens, animal sanctuary (including buffalo) and wooded trails. Jean Campbell, a Summerseat Sanctuary volunteer, will lead the group walk which will take about 1½ hours (with an option for a shorter walk). Participants are asked to bring tick repellant and bottled water. Enter the main driveway, park in the designated area next to the vineyards and meet near the iron entrance gate at 11:00 a.m. Summerseat is located on the southbound side of Route 235 in Laurel Grove, near the intersection of Route 247. For more information on the walk, call Jean at (301) 373-5314; for information on the non-profit animal sanctuary and farm visit http://www.summerseat.org/.

Three Notch Trail Walk or Bike - Jim Swift of the Friends of the Three Notch Trail will lead a walk or mountain bike excursion along the County owned railroad right-of-way in the Lexington Park area, from Pegg Road to Chancellor's Run Road and back. Interested hikers/bikers should meet in the parking lot behind Damon's Restaurant on Route 235 across from the Patuxent River NAS Main Gate in Lexington Park at 1:00 p.m. For more information on the walk/bike, call Jim at (301) 862-1695; for information on the Three Notch Trial project, please visit the County website at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/recreate/facilities/threenotchtrail.

For more information on the events listed above, please call the contact person listed with the event description or call the Department of Recreation, Parks and Community Services at (301) 475-4200 ext. 1811.

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