It's that time of year again. The 10th annual Ma & Pa Trail Connection Walk in Bel Air is coming up Saturday starting at 1 p.m.
Walkers will again gather at the Williams Street trailhead in Bel Air, where buses will be available to shuttle them to Blake’s Venture Park in Forest Hill for the start of the walk.
The annual event is organized and hosted by the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail Foundation, a nonprofit, all-volunteer group that works to promote and improve the trail.
The event is free, but donations to the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail Foundation Inc. are welcomed.
The annual connection walk has been held to raise awareness of the need to connect the trail between Williams Street and Blakes Venture, completing a continuous 7.5-mile trail from Annie’s Playground and Edgeley Grove Park in Fallston to Friends Park in Forest Hill.
Phil Hosmer, one of the leaders of the foundation, said via email that this may be the last annual connection walk in light of Harford County’s significant progress in building the trail connection.
All of the rights-of-way have been acquired to build the 2.5-mile trail connection, and construction is expected to begin soon on the project’s first phase, from Williams Street across North Main Street.
Though short, the construction of the at-grade crossing of North Main makes this among the more complicated aspects of the connection project, because a number of government agencies are involved, a county official explained this summer.
Completion of the full connection, which also involves the construction of boardwalks through wetlands and stream crossings, is expected in 2021.
Participants in Saturday’s connection walk will have an opportunity to see where the connection route will be. More information is available on the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail Foundation’s Facebook page.
With all the rain Harford County has experienced, the woods will be very wet, and walk participants are urged to wear boots, long pants and sleeves.
“We will meet at the Williams Street trailhead at 1, where a bus will shuttle people to the trailhead at Blake's Venture,” the Facebook page post reads. “We will then walk back to Williams Street, following the general direction of the planned connection route.”