Appalachian Trail ... Hiking the Maryland Challenge ... South of Foxville Road

(Gallery Has Five Pictures)

Sign on house-shaped holder on post next to trail

This picturesque sign signals to southbound Appalachian Trail hikers who have just crossed Foxville Road that this is the correct trail to follow. Maybe hikers in a car might also find it helpful for locating the trail, since it is quite visible from the road.

Milk crate with gallon-size bottles of water

Just a few yards from the road, a kind soul has left a gift to through-hikers, what is called "trail magic" in the vernacular of the trail, with a sign telling AT hikers to help themselves. If you were running low on water, this would indeed be a welcomed sight. Trail magic can range from this humble offering all the way up to extravagent food offerings.

Longhorn cattle in field adjacent to the Appalachian Trail

Just south of the trail magic were two big fields that ran parallel to Pleasant Valley Road to the east. The trail ran through the large fields, but the parts closest to the road were fenced off and included family residences. In one of those fenced off areas were these long horn cattle, which are descendents of cattle brought by the first Spanish settlers.

Orange jewelweed flowers and leaves

On the margin of one of these fields, numerous plants were growing including this pretty orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). Juices from stems and leaves of this native plant were used in Native American medicine for skin rashes, and there is evidence that it is effective.

Clump of White Turtlehead flowers and leaves

Nearby was this lovely clump of flowers, the White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra). This native plant was used in a method of birth control by the Abenaki people.

Copyright 2017 Yaakov Gridley. All rights reserved.