Monthly Sierra Club Meeting:
When: 3/1/2014 ~ 10:00 am - 12:15 pm
Where: Thurmont Library, Frederick County
76 East Moser Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
Contact : Dan Andrews at 410-857-4129 or dooze[@]qis.net
The Sierra Club Catoctin Group
The Sierra Club Catoctin Group encompasses Carroll, Frederick and Washington Counties in Maryland. The geography of the region and the area these counties cover offers many opportunities to explore nature. But it presents a challenge to organizing our over 1,000 members, as it can take up to an hour to travel from Carroll and Washington counties to Frederick City, our historically central meeting place.
Carroll County lies in the Piedmont region of north-central Maryland between Baltimore and Frederick Counties. Just under 456 square miles, it is about 27 miles in length and width at its greatest dimensions. Its elevations range from 300 feet above sea level in the southeast to 1,080 feet in the northeast. Home to forests, farms and wetlands, Carroll County sits in two major drainage basins: the Monocacy River to the west, which flows into the Potomac River, and the Patapsco or Gunpowder rivers to the east and south, all of which lead to the Cheasapeake Bay. Bear Branch and Piney Run nature centers and Morgan Run, a designated wildlands area, offer many recreational opportunities to the counties' approx. 170,000 residents.
Bordered by the Potomac River and Pennsylvania, Frederick County is a transition county from the Piedmont in the east to the first ridges of the Appalachians to the west. Rolling hills of mostly farmland and small communities dominate the east. The county boasts a population of 220,000 residents. At the center is Frederick City, Maryland’s second largest city with about 59,000 inhabitants. To the west and north are the Catoctin Mountains, which are protected by Gambrill State Park, the Frederick Watershed, Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain National park. These parks offer numerous hiking trails, including the 28-mile Catoctin Trail, the longest in the region. Fifty-eight miles of the Monocacy River, nearly its entire length, is in Frederick County and is navigable when water levels are sufficient. The C&O Canal National Park parallels the Potomac River through the county, and the old C&O towpath has been preserved as a hiking and biking trail.
The South Mountain ridgeline forms the border between Frederick and Washington Counties. The Appalachian Trail winds its 40 miles through Maryland along this ridgeline.