Five things to do outdoors this weekend
Saturday is National Get Outdoors Day. And National Marina Day. And the day in 1919 that Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner. And Gene Wilder's 75th birthday.
So much to be thankful for. Let's enjoy it.
1) Saturday is the second free fishing day in Maryland, a perk that's also being offered at some federal lands. In the Free State, all you have to do is supply the tackle and bait and stick to Maryland's regulations on size and number of fish. Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel is having a free fishing day for kids at its two ponds. The refuge will supply all fishing poles and bait. Registration is required; call 301-497-5887. Kids and adults may also fish with personal equipment at the North Tract section of the Refuge off Route 198. Youngsters under 15 can fish from 9 a.m. to noon at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Rock Hall. Loaner rods and reels will be available, along with bait and food. Staff will be on hand to help. Don't forget to bring a camera.
2) Preparing for a big summer vacation? Get some field experience in taking nature photos on Saturday at 10 a.m. from Natalie Brewer of Weeds and Wildlife Photography. This free workshop will help you anticipate great shots and take them. Bring your digital camera and walk with Brewer at the Howard County Conservancy Mount Pleasant Farm on Old Frederick Road. Rain or Shine.
3) Jump in on a free workshop on bicycle maintenance basics will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at REI Columbia. You'll learn how to lube a chain, fix a flat tire in record time, and make other minor adjustments to your bike. Visit the REI website to register or for more information.
4) Hike the Valley View Trail along the Patapsco River with the Sierra Club. The Saturday hike is about 7 miles, with some stream crossings. Bring lunch and water. Meet at 9 a.m. in Rockburn Branch Park, the entrance off Landing Road one mile north of Montgomery Road. Park in the lot at the end of the road under the power lines. Contact hike leader James Perschy, 410-964-1902 or email@example.com.
5) End the weekend surrounded by the sounds of nature at sunset during a relaxing 2.4-mile paddle in Days Cove at Gunpowder Falls State Park, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. You must be at least 12 years old. The cost is $8 per person. Save a spot by calling 410-592-2897.