Home Ground Allegany County Maryland

Sustaining Our Resources, Enriching Our Community

5th Annual Membership Banquet

Posted on October 3rd, 2016

Please join us for Home Ground's 5th annual membership banquet!

The evening includes dinner (and dessert) provided by the Flintstone Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, a silent auction, and a keynote speech by Dr. Kevin Dodge.


When:  Thursday, October 13th 2016,  5:30–8:30pm

Where:  Flintstone Fire Hall, Flintstone MD

Reservations Required: register online here or print and complete this form

Reservations requested by October 6th- For more information or if you need to make a reservation by phone, please email info@homegroundallco.org or call 301-707-3475.

Keynote Speech:  "Top Ten Cool Things About the Nature of Allegany County"
Home Ground members and guests will hear an engaging and information speech delivered by Dr. Kevin Dodge, Professor of Wildlife and Biology at Garrett College in Western Maryland and Director of Natural Resources and Wildlife Technolgy Program.   

Fall Foliage Bike Ride Along the Greater Allegany Passage

Posted on September 26th, 2016

Home Ground has contracted with Get Out and Play Outfitters,  the Tri-State area's #1 Outdoor Adventure service, to provide Home Ground members with the opportunity to participate in a one day bike ride on theGreater Allegany Passage from Deal east to Cumberland.

Take this opportunity to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage on this 25-mile downhill bike ride on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The GAP has been featured as one of the nation’s best rail trail conversions. On this ride you will see some of the most popular landmarks including: the Eastern Continental Divide, Big Savage, Borden and Brush Tunnels, Mason-Dixon Line and the Bone Cave. The group will stay together as our guide will provide interpretive information and opportunities for photos at stops.

Participants will meet at the Western Maryland Railway Station at 9 a.m. on Saturday October 22. You can park your car in the long term parking area under the interstate. You will be shuttled to the trailhead at Deal to begin your ride east to return to the Western Maryland Railway Station. We anticipate being back in Cumberland by approximately 2 P.M.

The cost for this adventure is $40 per person. A one day bike rental is $30.00. The price includes: guides, shuttle and bottled water. Please bring your own snacks. Rental bikes are available upon request for an additional fee.

Persons interested in participating will be required to RSVP to Tom Mathews at 301-707-3475 or via Email attommathews@atlanticbb.net no later than October 10, 2016.

6th Annual Discover Allegany Outdoors

Posted on September 16th, 2016

Another summer is coming to a close and what better way to welcome fall than to bring family and friends out for the 6th annual Discover Allegany Outdoors!

DAO promo-prelim

Home Ground's 6th Annual Nature and Outdoor Recreation Festival is on September 24th from 12-4:30p.m. Spend an afternoon hiking, canoeing, bird watching, and fishing around Rocky Gap State Park.

Discover animals, land forms, and stories that make our area rich in beauty and history.  You can identify edible plants, learn to fish, learn "traditional" games, and win prizes. Enjoy an entertaining Scales and Tales presentation and so much more! All events are free and family friendly. So save the date and join Home Ground and others for another educational and enjoyable September day discovering the benefits of our own backyard. View the program fo events dao-program-2016


For more information please contact Natalia Buta at nbuta@frostburg.edu.


C&O Biking and Camping Weekend

Posted on August 7th, 2016

Join fellow Home Ground members in an adventous biking and camping weekend!

Home Ground  has partnered with Get Out and Play Outfitters,  the Tri-State area's #1 Outdoor Adventure Service, to provide Home Ground members with the opportunity to participate in a two day bike ride with an overnight camp-out at the Paw Paw campground.courtesy of Carolyn Mathews

Participants will meet at the Western Maryland Railway Station at 1 P.M. on Saturday September 17th. You can park your car in the long term parking area under the interstate. You will be shuttled to the C & O Canal National Historic Park, located in Spring Gap, to begin your ride.


Day one: Spring Gap to Paw Paw campground-19 miles.

Day two: Paw Paw to Little Orleans – 18 miles. At the conclusion of the trip you will be transported back to the Western Maryland Railway Station.

Price includes: Guides, shuttle to Spring Gap and back from Little Orleans, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, Saturday evening dinner, Sunday breakfast, snacks, and bottled water. Rental bikes are available upon request for an additional fee. This program is available to Home Ground members only and will include an Interpretive Element.

The cost for this two day adventure is $150 per person. A two day bike rental is $60.00

Persons interested in participating will be required to RSVP to Tom Mathews at 301-707-3475 or via Email at tommathews@atlanticbb.net no later than Friday August 26, 2016.



photo courtesy of Tom Mathews

Evitt’s Creek Stream Safari

Posted on July 31st, 2016

It's time for another summertime stream safari! Come out and help us discover and identify aquatic life in Evitt’s Creek.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Crawford

Photo courtesy of Michelle Crawford

Join Tom and Carolyn Mathews, as well as other Home Ground members, on August 11th, as they explore a section of the creek that flows past Allegany College of Maryland. They will be looking for minnows, crayfish, and insect larva, as well as learning about the values of stream-side forests for soil conservation, water quality, and wildlife habitats. Family members should wear clothes and shoes suitable for wading in water approximately 12” deep and should be aware that the stream bank access to the creek may be muddy. Conditions in the creek may include a slow current and slippery rocks. This is an introductory learning experience for all ages. Children must be accompanied on the entire adventure by an adult.

The event will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at Allegany College of Maryland. Participants should meet at the pavilion next to the walking track near the ponds. Participants will walk as a group from there to the creek. For directions click here and enter this address: 12401 Willowbrook Road, Cumberland, MD 21502

Read more on “Evitt’s Creek Stream Safari” »

Canoe/Kayak Trip Along the C&O Canal

Posted on April 14th, 2016

Join fellow Home Ground members in an enjoyable and relaxing canoe/kayak trip along the C & O Canal. We will be paddling a beautiful section of the  Canal located just upstream of the Town Creek Aqueduct. This is a very historically interesting area; the combination of the wetland and riparian habitats provided by the canal and the adjacent Potomac River makes this section of the canal very attractive to a diversity of wildlife and spring wildflowers.  Participants are reminded to bring their binoculars and dress for changeable spring weather. We recommend that you bring a change of shoes and socks for comfort at the end of the paddle. Although this is easy paddling on quiet water, this trip requires that we carry our canoes and kayaks approximately 200 yards from our vehicles to the water and entering and exiting the canal can be steep and slippery.

courtesy of Carolyn Mathews

courtesy of Carolyn Mathews

Participants are required to provide their own equipmentincluding a canoe or kayak, paddles, life jacket, (painter) ropes, lunch and drinks. Our group will meet at 9 am on Saturday, April 23 on Industrial Boulevard in the parking area in front of the Subway. This is the same parking lot were Planet Fitness is located. We will caravan approximately 30 minutes to the put-in at the Town Creek Aqueduct. The distance covered in the round trip paddle is 4 miles. We will be on the water for approximately 4 hours and should be back in Cumberland by mid to late afternoon depending upon how much the natural world entertains us!

This event is for Home Ground members and family only. Members interested in participating need to RSVP to Tom Mathews by April 20th.  Tom can be contacted via e-mail at tommathews@atlanticbb.net or telephone 301-707-3475.  Please feel free to contact Tom if you have any questions.

 photos courtesy of Carolyn Mathews

Campground Sing-Along 2016

Posted on March 29th, 2016

It has been a long winter but spring is finally upon us! Come out and join other Home Ground folks as we enjoy a relaxing, campfire-lit spring evening along the Potomac River. If we are lucky, we may be entertained by the spring sounds of nature like singing woodcocks, barred owls, spring peepers, and more.

campfire The event is for Home Ground members only and will include live guitar music and story-telling. Home Ground will be providing hot dogs, marshmallows, and s’mores. Please bring your own beverages and chairs. Come out and welcome spring with friends and family!
Parking is limited, so please carpool as much as possible. For more information contact Tom Mathews via phone at 301-707-3475 or by email at tommathews@atlanticbb.net
Date: Saturday, April 2nd
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Location: C & O CanalLocation: C & O Canal National Historic Park, Spring Gap Camping Area

Follow Route 51 south from Cumberland for approximately 5 miles. Entrance to the camping area will be on your right. If you get to the Spring Gap Post Office you have gone too far. As soon as you enter the National Park Service property take the first left into the camping area. We will be located at the “Group Site” at the very end of the camping loop.


Mother Nature’s Child Documentary Screening

Posted on March 16th, 2016

Join Home Ground members on Sunday, March 20th at 4:00 pm for a documentary showing a discussion session at Allegany College of Maryland’s Continuing Education building.

Mother Nature’s Child explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development through the experience of toddlers, children in middle childhood and adolescents. The film marks a moment in time when a living generation can still recall childhoods of free play outdoors; this will not be true for most children growing up today. The effects of “nature deficit disorder” are now being noted across the country in epidemics of child obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

For more information go to http://www.mothernaturesmovie.com/the-film/

Home Ground members will lead a group discussion at the conclusion of the film. Light refreshments will be provided.

Hike Your Home Ground-Rocky Gap State Park

Posted on February 18th, 2016

Spend a Sunday with Home Ground and our members, on February, 28th, as we Hike our Home Ground at Rocky Gap State Park. Hikers will meet at 2 p.m. at the Camper Contact Station near the entrance of the campground(Travel north on Pleasant Valley Road to the entrance of the Rocky Gap State Park Campground located at the north end of Lake Habeeb.) The hike will be approximately 5 miles around Rocky Gap and Lake Habeeb, with a easy to moderate degree of difficulty, and will include a discussion of wildlife and plants in the winter woods. Note: the length may be adjusted due to weather and/or trail conditions.Rocky Gap

Hikers are encouraged to wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy hiking shoes. Snacks and water are encouraged. For additional questions contact Tom Mathews at 301-707-3475 or Email tommathews@atlancicbb.net. For more information on trails and hiking offered at Rocky Gap please click here.

Reservations are not required.

Read more on “Hike Your Home Ground-Rocky Gap State Park” »

First Day Hike

Posted on December 21st, 2015

Welcome the New Year with an informal hike along the C&O Canal co-sponsored by Home Ground and the Allegany Center of Lifelong Learning.

When: January 1,  2016 at 1:00pm

Meeting Place: Gather at the mule statue in front of the Western Maryland Railroad Station in Cumberland (click here for directions)

Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike for all ages

Length of Trail: Approximately 3 miles

Things to bring: Wear clothes and sturdy hiking shoes appropriate for the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Camera and binoculars optional.

RSVP: Reservations are not needed but appreciated — email marybrd22@gmail.com or call 301-876-7545


Additional Information: Recent bird sightings in this area have included a bald eagle, a red-breasted merganser, a flock of buffleheads, mallards, Canada geese, Great Blue Heron, and American Kestrel.  Participants are also invited to join us afterwards for hot chocolate at McDonald’s. Click here for more information on the Allegany Center of Livelong Learning.

There is also a first day hike at Dan’s Mountain State Park.

Read more on “First Day Hike” »