Ask Outdoors Girl

Tim Sherman of Cub Hill writes: I fish at several locations in lower Gunpowder Falls State Park. It appears that anti-erosion measures have been taken to curb rain runoff near the parking area at Harford Road. I understand and applaud the effort. However, the conservation effort has made parking very dangerous. The width of the parking lot is so narrow that if you turn to back in, you have to go across two travel lanes. If you pull in, you have to back out into travel lanes. Anyone with a large SUV or extend cab pickup can forget about parking there. And cars will have a hard time seeing around larger vehicles and drivers will have to guess if there is traffic coming down the hill on Harford Road. Even with a mid-size SUV, I experienced this last scenario. Is there someone at DNR who can address this conservation vs. public safety issue and make parking safe once again?

Outdoors Girl turns to Andrew Hangen, the assistant park manager at Gunpowder, who replies: The improvements were part of maintenance efforts at five trail heads this spring. At this site, we placed crushed stone to slow the water that was washing down Harford Road, through the parking area and eroding the trail. We also removed the old metal gate and the rotting split-rail fence and replaced it with a new fence that was set back a few feet to accommodate the stone. The bulletin board was repaired, repainted and also relocated to be closer to the trail head. On the trail, the crew picked up trash, removed hazardous trees and re-blazed the trail. I think moving the fence and the bulletin board created an optical illusion that the parking bumpers were moved closer to the road and the lot is now smaller. The parking bumpers are still in the same location.

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