Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Canicross Hike: June 27, 2009

"Who me?" asks Acadia

Our June 20, 2009 canicross hike at Gunpowder Falls State Park was re-scheduled to this past Saturday, June 27, 2009 due to rain on Saturday, the 2oth. While the weather was gorgeous, we did have a directions glitch that resulted in two of our participants missing the hike although they did finally find the trail head (after a scenic tour of Baltimore and I-83). While they missed the hike portion, they did get to hang out, socialize and swim with the dogs at Hillbilly Beach post hike.

Acadia pulling hard down the trail

Total hiking time was approximately two hours and total hiking distance was approximately 5.2 miles. Temps were in the upper 70s to low 80s but with low humidity. The trail is a single track wooded trail and is mostly shaded which also helped to keep the dogs and people cool and comfortable. Along for the hike was lead dog in training, Acadia, and veteran wheel dog, Okemo. Joining us post hike were Cara, Kevin and their Alaskan Malamute, Chelsea, and their adorable pup, Masu.

"Is it lunch time yet?" asks Okemo

Starting out on our hike we paralleled the Gunpowder River, hiking down steam following the white blazed Gunpowder South Trail. At the end of the Gunpowder South trail, we crossed the river and proceeded to loop back on the blue blazed Gunpowder North trail again paralleling the Gunpowder River but this time heading up stream. Along the way we saw two deer including a small, spotted fawn. We also saw kayakers, tubers and rafters on the river, all out enjoying the wonderful weather after many days of rain. Along the Gunpowder North trail, the dogs stopped for a brief cool down at Raven Rock falls. Post hike, we enjoyed lunch and swimming with the dogs at the local swimming hole which is sometimes referred to as "Hillbilly Beach." The big bend in the river provides a nice place to swim in the refreshingly cold waters of the Gunpowder. For the more adventurous there is rock jumping.

Acadia cools off at Raven Rock falls

Acadia taking a post hike swim at Hillbilly Beach

After swimming Acadia rolls in the grass

If all of this canicross hiking sounds like fun, our next hike is August 29th at Prettyboy Reservoir in northern Baltimore County followed by swimming at Hemlock Gorge. For photos of this truly spectacular area, visit our blog entry from last year's hike. For details on start times, what to bring, directions, etc., visit our Schedule of Canicross Hikes. To learn more about canicross, visit our website.

Don't have a dog and still want to join us for a hike? Don't despair, all are welcome on our hikes, with or without a dog. If you like, we will even pair you with one of our very friendly, very happy, hard pulling, sled dogs if you would like to try canicross hiking and don't have your own dog. Don't have a northern breed dog? That's fine too. We've had a variety of different types of dogs join us on our hikes. Any dog active dog over 30 lbs can be trained to pull and most dogs enjoying a day spent hiking and swimming with their owners. Dogs hiking on leash, with dog packs are also welcome.

Okemo's swimming sequence: Leaving the far shore

Wading in further....

Swimming (doesn't he look like a polar bear?)

In the shallows....

Coming ashore

Preparing for a....


And the water flys....

All better (don't my feet look big under water?)