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Morning Choice and Rockburn Branch

Intermediate
 3.7 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A hike with decent singletrack, river crossings and some twisting, technical turns.


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Map Key

4.4

Miles

7.1

KM

Loop

333' 102 m

High

137' 42 m

Low

325' 99 m

Up

325' 99 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

9%

Max Grade (5°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features River/Creek

Overview

This hike has some technical singletrack with nice ups and downs, river crossings in two places, and a few parts with somewhat difficult climbing involved. There is a nice portion along Rockburn Branch Trail where you hike along the river and also make a crossing.

Description

Start at the Morning Choice Trail entrance off Landing Road and take the left hand trail. Shortly after is a river crossing with stepping stones (or just hike through if it's warm :-)). After this, a short ascent begins, and this area is popular with walkers and mountain bikers so keep an eye out for them. Take the path to the Avalon Area when you see the sign for it and the Cascade Falls Trail.

About 500m past the second Old Track Loop trail entrance, take a left. It is not very obvious and not signposted. Carry on through the forest, into open land, hugging the edge of the field. You'll see a ruined building in the woods after this open area. Another open area comes up and then back into the forest for some twisty singletrack before heading down hill into the Avalon Area. At the intersection, continue straight on, now following the purple blazed trail.

Now on Rockburn Branch Trail, follow it round and when you come to a wooden bridge on the trail, keep to the left. Continue until you come to a thin tree with a purple blaze. The trail to the left isn't obvious, but you'll see it if prepared. Soon you'll come to a river crossing, and there are stepping stones to go across, or if the temperatures are good, just splash straight through!

Keep hiking along the trail, and at this point, there are some short and steep uphill sections with rocks. Cross the lane and carry on the trail for the home stretch. Beware that if the trail is wet at this point, it can be quite tricky to complete this without taking a few strategic navigation stops. I had to contemplate the best route a fair bit when it was too muddy to hike straight through. Furthermore, this section is popular with mountain bike riders so there will be tire tracks to contend with. Just watch your footing here. You'll soon come to a junction where you take a left and hike 100m to the finish.

Contacts

Shared By:

Chris Freeman

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 6 votes

#3882

Overall
  3.7 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#42

in Maryland

#3,882

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Photos

Stream cutting through Morning Choice Trail.
Sep 25, 2017 near West El…, MD
Ruins of an old house, maybe a mill house, with graffiti.
Jul 9, 2017 near West El…, MD
Crossing the meadow.
Sep 15, 2019 near West El…, MD
Wooden bridge before having to make a left turn
Feb 24, 2018 near West El…, MD
Blaze marking along trail. Trail turning is hidden, but it's on the left.
Feb 24, 2018 near West El…, MD
A roots-laden exit from the forest into the meadow.
Sep 15, 2019 near West El…, MD

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Check-Ins

May 23, 2019
Kristen May
Got caught in a thunderstorm but I didn't get lost!
May 19, 2019
Patrick Heinecke
May 19, 2019
Zack Trieb
Mar 23, 2019
Emilie Sullivan
4.4mi — 2h 00m
Mar 17, 2019
Eddie Bleiberg
Beginning of trail is pretty easy. Gets more difficult at the end. Watch to make sure you don't go up rockburn trail at the 2/3 mark. 4.4mi — 2h 30m
Feb 23, 2019
Jeff Mollica
Really muddy and there are a lot of unmarked branch paths. 4.8mi
Dec 30, 2018
Taylor Witte
Great hike! 4.4mi
Dec 30, 2018
Sandra Remancus
Great trail but had to cross a stream twice on slippery rocks. 4.4mi