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Norman R. Stone, Jr.

Created from harbor muck, new stretch of Hart-Miller Island open to public

Created from harbor muck, new stretch of Hart-Miller Island open to public

More than 30 years after the first piles of muck dredged from Baltimore's harbor were used to create an island at the mouth of the Back River, state officials are opening 300 acres of Hart-Miller Island to public access.

Starting Friday, visitors to the island near Essex can ride bikes or hike along trails to its interior, past wetlands and marshes where red-winged blackbirds flit between cattails and ospreys soar overhead.

Previously, visitors — who must arrive by boat — were relegated to a sandy beach and a handful of no-frills camping sites.

"It's just a beautiful spot," said Ranger Dean Hughes, assistant manager of Gunpowder Falls, North Point...

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