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Warmer weather draws Harford residents outside to Ma & Pa Trail Saturday

Rhonda Utz, left, with her dog Kobie, and Margie Gallagher, with Maverick, run the Ma & Pa Trail from Williams Street to Tollgate Road late Saturday afternoon.
Rhonda Utz, left, with her dog Kobie, and Margie Gallagher, with Maverick, run the Ma & Pa Trail from Williams Street to Tollgate Road late Saturday afternoon.(Erika Butler / The Aegis)

With temperatures in the mid-40s Saturday, many people took to the outdoors in Harford County.

The Ma & Pa Trail from Williams Street to Tollgate Road in Bel Air and from Tollgate Road to Annie’s Playground in Fallston, as well as the playground, were bustling with activity.

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Among the nature lovers were Margie Gallagher and Rhonda Utz, who were out running with their dogs. They’re members of the Pup Run Club, a group that gets together a couple times a week to run with their dogs.

Gallagher was with 6 1/2-month-old Maverick (of “Top Gun” fame), a Labrador retriever, and Utz had Kobie, her 2-year-old vizsla.

They had started at Williams Street and were running to the dog park at Tollgate and back. Two other club members met them late Saturday afternoon but chose to walk the streets of Bel Air rather than the muddy Ma & Pa.

The dogs are great runners, both owners said, and they really pull them along. They ran without the dogs Friday and realized how fast they were with their dogs.

Two-year-old Cylas Zimmerman gets ready to go down the slide on the fire truck jungle gym at Annie's Playground Saturday.
Two-year-old Cylas Zimmerman gets ready to go down the slide on the fire truck jungle gym at Annie's Playground Saturday.(Erika Butler / The Aegis)

Over at Annie’s Playground, 2-year-old Cylas Zimmerman was going down the slide of the fire truck jungle gym. He was there with five of his cousins, up to age 12, who were all visiting their grandparents in Bel Air. They stayed back at the house while the cousins played for an hour or so.

It was Cylas’ first time at Annie’s Playground, but his grandparents have brought the other kids there before, his mom, Katie Zimmerman, said.

“He loves it,” Zimmerman said. “He was a little worried about the big part.”

But he seemed to hold his own. He even joined in with the older kids, including the 11- and 12-year-old who were having just as much fun as the younger kids, Zimmerman said.

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Six-year-old Caroline Mongeau plays at Annie's Playground Saturday after riding her bike on the Ma & Pa Trail while her mom, Rachel, walked beside her.
Six-year-old Caroline Mongeau plays at Annie's Playground Saturday after riding her bike on the Ma & Pa Trail while her mom, Rachel, walked beside her.(Erika Butler / The Aegis)

Caroline Mongeau, 6, and her mom, Rachel, were visiting Annie’s from Cockeysville.

“We like coming up here. We come about once a month — it’s a nice drive,” Rachel Mongeau said.

Before hitting the playground, Caroline rode her bike with training wheels down the trail while her mom walked. Both were bundled up in purple coats and winter hats.

“She did better coming back up the hill,” Mongeau said. “Going down she was worried about losing control on the downhill.”

Being able to play on the playground was a great incentive, she added.

“I had a great ride,” Caroline said.

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She likes to run around the mazes and all the other equipment at the playground. The first-grader paused for a minute at the large painting and note to Annie from her parents and siblings: “Welcome to Annie’s Playground Garden. We all miss you sooooo much. You will never be forgotten. Love Mommy, Daddy, Susie, Alice Madelyn.”

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