Soldier's Delight N.E.A.

Description: “Located along the longest remaining serpentine barren in the eastern United States, Soldier’s Delight Natural Environment Area (N.E.A.) features a unique natural ecosystem. The area supports over 39 rare, threatened or endangered plant species, as well as rare insects, rocks and minerals. Visitors will enjoy hiking on the trails or stopping by the visitor center to enjoy interpretive exhibits.” – Maryland D.N.R. map.

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Trail Notes: Turn your back on your parked car and turn left onto the white blazed Serpentine Trail. It initially passes through woods and passes an old hunter’s lodge on the left. The trail is wide but somewhat rocky in places as it explores the barrens. It will weave in and out of patches of stunted woods. You’ll pass through a power line swath two times before arriving at the overlook parking area on Deer Park Road in 1.9 miles after leaving the visitor center. Cross the road and join the Choate Mine Trail. In 0.1 miles visit a chromite mine on the right. Continuing on turn right in another 0.3 miles to join the yellow blazed Dolfield Trail. Almost immediately pass a junction with the Red Run Trail – a shortcut. The trail will make a hard left as it approaches Dolfield Road. In 1.0 miles from the last trail junction cross a paved road with more optional parking. In 0.3 miles continue straight on orange blazed Red Run Trail. Here the trail descends through more typical Mid-Atlantic forest along a tributary of the run before turning left to follow the run itself. As you climb out of the fertile drainage you’ll once again join the barrens. In 0.7 miles from the last trail junction turn left onto the Choate Mine Trail and in another 0.3 miles arrive back at the original trail junction for this loop. Turn right and backtrack to Deer Park Road. Cross it and bear left onto the continuation of the Serpentine Trail. Arrive back at the parking lot in 0.3 miles.

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