Mason Dixon Trail, Glen Cove South to US1

copyright, Peter H. Anderson, Baltimore, MD, Sept, '99


Location. Parallel to the Susquehanna. ADC Map Page 6, Coords G8 to K13.

Description.

This is a pleasant but somewhat strenuous trek across boulder areas, through pleasant wooded areas and through fields. This is upstream of the Conowingo Dam and the resulting Lake Conowingo has flooded the primary flood plain. Thus, the Mason Dixon Trail is some distance from the river and crosses numerous ridges. In fact, it seems as if one is always hiking uphill.

Parking is available at the Glen Cove Marina.

Follow the blue blazes down hill toward the river and past the marina buildings to a private drive. After a short distance, the trail enters the woods on the uphill side. This area is somewhat rough going scrambling from one boulder to another. At 0.25 miles the trail crests a hill and then descends to a small stream (0.4 miles) and a larger stream (0.46 miles). There is a cement foundation at this point which straddles the stream, suggesting a building that was possibly used at one time for refrigeration or a water source for dwellings now flooded by Lake Conowingo.

The trail leaves the stream with a long climb to the crest of another ridge (0.52 miles), descends to a small freshet and climbs yet another ridge (0.7 miles) which provides a beatiful view of the Susquehanna.

At 0.75 miles the trail comes to a gate and an electric fence. The landowner has installed an insulated section for crossing, but I opted for opening the gate and entered a pleasant shaded clearing. The trail descends and enters a small open meadow. Take your time looking for the blue blaze diagonally across the meadow. The trail then follows a fence. At times there are good views of the river.

Noting cows at the far end of the field which seemd to take great interest in my approach, I rolled under the electric fence (1.2 miles) and hiked on the woods side. At 1.3 miles I came to the end of the fence and had lost the blue blazes. However, there is an obvious and well worn trail leading down through the woods to Hopkins Cove and then along the shore of Hopkins Cove to a road (1.4 miles).

At Hopkins Cove, there was a single commercial boat equipped with a ramp for driving a vehicle on and off. I hiked up the road and at 1.6 miles came to an open field with acres and acres of sun bleached drift wood and realized the boat is most probably assocociated with the Conowingo Dam in removing wood and then dumping it in this open meadow. I give PEPCO a good deal of credit as I assume a good deal more debris than driftwood gets caught at the Dam, but this is apparently carted away and the area is very clean.

Continuing up the road a short distance, and still finding no blazes, I found a well worn path which forded the stream that feeds Hopkins Cove. This is a pleasant stroll through the woods which eventually emerged onto Route 1) at a yellow gate near the top of the hill just south of the Conowingo Dam.

I opted not to return via the trail and hiked south on US1 to Castleton Road (2.4 miles) and then north on Castleton Road which is relatively lightly traveled. One item of interest is a minor "cut" for the Castleton Road and a primitive stone retaining wall. Although trivial by comparison with most public works projects, it does illustrate the amount of effort involved in even the most modest of road improvments.

Hosana Church and an associated Berkley Memorial Cemetary are on Castleton Road. The date of the founding, 1867, closely follows the abolition of slavery in Maryland and in looking through the cemetary I found a number of veterans of both World Wars, but no Civil War although many of the graves indicated men who were of age during this war. Of course, there are thousands of rural African American churches, but the 1867 date in a slave state suggests an interesting history. The church is also adjacent to the enormous farm which stretches to the cliffs overlooking the Susquehanna.

(I have subsequently learned that Hosanna was the first public school for African Americans in Harford County.)

On the opposite side of the road is perhaps the most cryptic historical marker I have seen. Something to the effect, "If LaFayette had not quelled a mutiny there would not have been a Yorktown".

I continued north to Berkley Road (3.0 miles) which is a cross road community of well kept modest two story dwellings, all quite similar and then north east on Berkley back to the Marina (3.5 miles).