As a long time resident of Harford County, I am proud of the beautiful parks and outdoor amenities that are available to the public. I enjoy hiking in the Rocks, biking with my children, play dates at Annie's Playground and running with my dog, Molly, on the Ma and Pa Trail.
As spring approaches, I am excited to get outside every day that I can and enjoy all that Harford County has to offer. However, year after year, I am hugely disappointed in the maintenance and upkeep of one of Harford County's treasures" the Ma & Pa Trail.
Take a walk or a run with your dog on the trail and you will surely end up needing a hose, a scrub brush and a shower to get the mud off of you. There's no dodging the huge sections of low-lying areas that used to be crushed gravel, but now consist of a sloppy mess of gray "quick-sand like" mud. Hit the trail and you have just committed yourself to the arduous task of mud removal. Bank on needing to bathe yourself and hose off your shoes and clothes before you throw them into the washing machine (or risk clogging the filters with the remnants of crushed gravel). And do all of that before turning your attention to your pet. Make sure you allot the tremendous amount of time needed to give your dog a head to toe bath! No small feat if you own a larger animal.
In the colder months, if the temperature isn't at or below freezing, forget it. It's muddy. In the spring and summer, if it's rained in the past two weeks, forget about it. The trail is a mud pit.
I understand that the Department of Parks and Recreation may not have a budget for replenishing the gravel in the low-lying areas, but I think it's time to bring attention to a maintenance issue that has needed to be addressed for many years. Instead of focusing on raising money to connect the trails, let's raise awareness and funds to maintain the safety and beauty of the trails we currently enjoy.