Witness the blooming of the mountain laurel, the botanical event of the year at Sugarloaf Mountain, and see and learn about the mountain’s other heath family members. We will hike to the summit of Sugarloaf at a leisurely pace, stopping to identify and admire native plants in the heath family: blueberries, huckleberries, mountain laurel, pinxter, trailing arbutus and wintergreen. The heath family has been expanded to include striped or spotted wintergreen and Indian pipe, which we are also likely to see. Other woody plants along the trails and at the summit will be noted, including black jack oak and table mountain pine. We will also see some early summer wildflowers and ferns.
Field Trip Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Online Registration is required. Please register by May 31st. Trip limited to 25 participants.
Directions: Meet at the West View parking lot on Sugarloaf Mountain.
From the Washington Beltway (I495) Take 270 past Gaithersburg, Germantown, and Boyds/Clarksburg. Take the Route 109 exitundefinedBarnesville/Hyattstown (exit 22 but the numbering skips). Go south (right) on 109 for three miles to the intersection of Comus Road, just after the Comus Inn. Turn right on Comus Road (west) and drive just under 2 ½ miles to the base of Sugarloaf. Turn right at the mountain base (not the hard right down the dirt road), drive through the open mountain gate and up the winding mountain road past East View and all the way to the West View parking lot (the end of the road). There is a right-hand fork that you take toward the end of the road. We will meet at the wooden shelter near the portapotties.
Contact: Melanie Choukas-Bradley firstname.lastname@example.org. Cell: 301-502-7410
Bring: Light lunch/snack and water. Binoculars, hand lens, field guides, optional.
Notes: Dress for the weather keeping in mind that the summit of Sugarloaf is about 3 degrees cooler and often windier than Baltimore and Washington.
Cancellation Policy: We will go in light rain. We will cancel only if conditions are dangerous or miserable such as heavy steady rain or probability of thunderstorms.
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