On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, Preservation Maryland hosted a live telephone town hall that reached thousands of listeners to discuss the latest threats to the federal Historic Tax Credit and how we can all be advocates for this essential program. If you missed the call, you can listen and share the recording online now.
The Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM) has identified over 500 mills throughout Maryland — only a fraction of which are still standing. This exercise illustrates the need to preserve Maryland’s industrial heritage like Preservation Maryland is helping to do along the Jones Falls in Baltimore City.
Celebrating National Trail Day in Maryland
06/03/2017 By Waxter Intern
Each year the American Hiking Society leads and organizing special events for National Trail Day! It’s a great day to explore Maryland’s natural and historic landmarks – often connected through trails and byways. Read on for great trails through the Old Line State:
Brief History of the National Trail System
The National Trails System Act, in 1968, established three kinds of trails within the United States: scenic trails, recreation trails, and connecting-and-side trails. The hope was “to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation.” This act established both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail as National Scenic Trails, and recommended fourteen more as possible additions. By 1978, National Historic Trails had been added as a fourth designation.
TRAILS IN MARYLAND
The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail dates back further than the National Trails System Act to 1921 when forester Benton MacKaye conceptualized a trail through the Appalachian mountains, from Maine to Georgia, with shelter camps and communities throughout. Some sections of the trail were already in existence, when the first section constructed under Benton MacKaye’s supervision was completed in 1923. Two years later the two-day Appalachian Trail Conference was held to plan the details of the rest of the trail and led to the formation of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The trail was completed in 1937, and the Conservancy continues to manage the trail today.
Along the route travelers can see 35 historic sites sites, including where Harriet Tubman was born, enslaved, and fled from, and the region where she led the majority of her rescues. The trail is readily accessible by car, and there are a number places to hike, bike, kayak, and walk.
Potomac Heritage Trail
The Potomac Heritage Trail extends from the mouth of the Potomac River to the Alleghany Highlands in western Pennsylvania. Its main artery in Maryland is the C&O Canal Towpath, which winds from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland. The Trail actually makes up one section of the American Discovery Trail, which spans 15 states and Washington, DC, and is the “first coast-to-coast non-motorized trail,” connecting the coasts with a hybrid trail through cities, small towns, and forests.
Along the Potomac Heritage Trail visitors can travel the same paths George Washington covered over two-hundred years ago, learn about conservation and ecosystem restoration, and experience Maryland’s varied landscapes and history. The goal of the trail is to “connect local places with their national stories.” Abundant hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities exist throughout the trail. Easy access points to the trail within Maryland include the C&O Canal National Historic Park, Rock Creek Park, Point Lookout State Park, and Piscataway Park.