MAFWDA Green Ridge State Forest Camping and Volunteer Weekend
April 10-12, 2015
For many years now Larry Pope MAFWDA president has been working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) to showcase the positive image of the four wheel drive community. As part of this effort Larry has organized volunteer work projects with the MD DNR Forest Service at Green Ridge State Forest (GRSF) and the MAFWDA member clubs. Prior year’s work projects included tree plants, trail clearing, and cleanups. These events are organized twice a year (spring and fall) and are a combination of camping, volunteering, mild trail ridging, and good camaraderie. This year was no different.
This year we had a small work crew because many of those who were planning to attend had to drop out at the last minute.
This year’s participants included:
- Larry Pope – MAFWDA President
- Mike Vincenty – MAFWDA Secretary
- Donna Edwards – Guest
- Andrew Taylor – CORE President
- Cherie Taylor – CORE Secretary
- Dennis Yoder – GRSF Supervisor
- Jim Halbertstadt – GRSF Tree Expert
Larry arrived Friday evening to set up camp at group campsite #6 in the southern area of Green Ridge State Forest near the Potomac River and the C&O canal. Andrew and Cherie arrived later in the evening.
When Donna and I arrived on Saturday morning, Dennis and Jim from the Maryland DNR Forest Service were already present meeting the volunteer work crew for the day.
I noticed that at the camp site there was an old stone chimney obviously from past enterprises in the forest. Larry told me about the fact that this structure was an old steam-powered sawmill from the mid 1800’s. Research on the MD DNR site tells us a bit about the history of this particular area and the chimney (http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/StateForests/greenridgeforest.asp):
In the early 1800’s, Richard Caton and William Carroll in partnership owned much of the land that is Green Ridge State Forest today. Richard Caton was the son-in-law to Charles Carroll of Carrolton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. William Carroll was the grandson of Daniel Carroll of Rock Creek, a framer of the United States Constitution. The land was originally patented from vacant lands during the 1820-1840 period for inclusion into various timber and mining interests, primarily the Town Hill Mining, Manufacturing, and Timber Company. This business venture was financed by the estate of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. The crumbling stone structure known as the Carroll Chimney, part of the steam-powered sawmill built in 1836, is the only known surviving structure of that period.
There is quite a bit of history in these western parts of Maryland that not many folks know about. Definitely worth learning about and exploring.
Our volunteer work assignment this year would be planting 25 apple tree saplings on the grounds of a former farm. Dennis and Jim led our small group to the work site, gave us some instructions on the proper way to plant these trees, provided tools, then they turned us loose.
Because of the heavy rains in the prior days the ground was extremely soggy. This made digging the holes extremely easy. Our work crew made small effort of this project. We planted all trees, laid mulch, install protective write mesh, and secured the mesh to wooden stakes driven into the ground. We finished up our work assignments by about 12 noon. After which we had the rest of the weekend for ourselves.
Larry and the Taylors headed back to the campsite to enjoy the rest of the weekend exploring the road and trail system in Green Ridge State Forest.
After lunch Larry took the Taylors on a ride of some forest roads that they had not previously been on. During this little excursion Larry took the group to a new overlook named after previous GRSF Manager Francis “Champ” Zumbrun who worked at the forest from 1978 until retirement in 2009. The overlook was built about a year ago and is located on Troutman Road. The overlook offers a spectacular view from Polish Mtn. to the west looking over the Town Creek Basin to Warrior Mountain and the town of Flintstone, Maryland.
This trip is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, promote the good will of the four wheel drive community, do something positive for the environment, and have a great time with good friends. How about you join us the next time?
Pictures courtesy of Larry Pope and Mike Vincenty