Richard D. L. Fulton
For the bicyclist enthusiast who has no issue with braving the winter months enjoying bike trails, Mountaindale appears to offer several challenging options in any season.
Mountaindale, itself, is located in Frederick County and has been described as a “log cabin community.” The community remains in a generally rural area of Frederick County.
The first trail system established in Mountaindale and the surrounding county lands was essentially established as game trails by prehistoric nomads thousands of years ago, before the Native American tribes with which everyone is generally equated even existed.
Archaeologists have even discovered prehistoric spearheads, so unique that they bear the name Mountaindale points, dating from the Middle Archaic Period (4,000 to 6,000 B.C.).
Even though prehistoric inhabitants were well acquainted with the area, very little information about Mountaindale has yet to make it to the 21st century internet.
However, information regarding a number of Mountaindale biking trails has been reported.
All of those in the trail systems noted below are located wholly or mostly within the City of Frederick Municipal Forest and Watershed and/or Gambrill State Park, according to trailforks.com, and the trails below also employ the names as given on that website.
Hikingupward.com described the trail systems within the Municipal Forest and Watershed as being “a virtual labyrinth of interconnecting trails.”
Just a few are noted below.
Salamander Trail (also known as the Skink and Salamander Trail):
The length given for Salamander (loop) Trail is 3.7 miles and is classified as suitable for mountain bikes and hiking, according to trailforks.com.
The trail begins on Gambrill Park Road, a short distance to the north from the intersection of that road and Tower Road, and then continues in a circuitous loop until it returns to its starting point, according to alltrails.com, who also rates the trail as “moderately challenging,” and takes a little over one hour to traverse. The trail also leads past a geographical feature known as Salamander Rock (also known as Salamander Mountain).
Gambrill Yellow (loop) Trail (apparently also known as the Yellow Poplar Trail):
The length given for the Gambrill Yellow Trail is 7.2 miles, and is listed by alltrails.com as appropriate for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, and is described as “moderately challenging,” and can take some three hours to complete the trek. Dogs are welcome but must remain leashed.
This loop trail begins and ends in the parking lot of the Gambrill State Park Trail System parking lot. The trail passes several landmarks, including the Middletown Overlook, Bootjack Springs, and North and South Frederick viewpoints.
Knuckle Buster Trail, VW Trail, and Catoctin National Recreational Trail:
Knuckle Buster Trail, VW Trail, and Catoctin National Recreational Trail is a loop-trail system, which begins and ends in the area of Hamburg Road Parking Lot.
The loop is given as being 2.8 miles in extent, according to alltrails.com (note: for just using the Knuckle Buster Trail alone, refer to the references listed at the end of this feature). The loop can take from a little over an hour to an hour and a half to complete and is classified as being “moderately challenging.”
The trail may be used for hiking, mountain biking, and running. Alltrails.com reports that dogs are welcome but must remain leashed, further noting, “The trail is not well marked in places, so downloading the map ahead of time is recommended.”
Lawn Mower, Rocky Stream Bed Trail, and Kubla Khan Loop:
Lawn Mower, Rocky Stream Bed Trail, and Kubla Khan Loop is a 4.1-mile trek, according to alltrails.com, which also classifies the trail as “moderately challenging.”
The trail has its access located off where Gambrill State Park begins, and ends on an access road off Gambrill State Park. Alltrails.com noted, “this is a popular trail for mountain biking.”
Dogs are welcome, and may be off leash in certain areas.
For maps and information on other Mountaindale trails, visit trailforks.com and alltrails.com.