Baltimore Singles Network

Activity Details

August 18, 1998


  1. Blob's Park
  2. Double Rock Park
  3. Full Moon Power Hike
  4. Hay Rides at Yoder's Farm
  5. High Acre cabin in Harper's Ferry, WV
  6. Rehoboth Beach, DE
  7. Tubing
  8. VFW, Jarrettsville

Blob's Park

Blob's Park is a great place to enjoy German foods, beer, and polka dancing. It was originally built in Jessup, MD about 1938 by a German immigrant, Max Blob, and featured a beer hall, bowling alley, and soccer fields. After WWII, it became a great place for people to eat, drink, and dance. In the mid 70s a new, large building, capable of holding nearly 1000 people, was built. The old wooden structure was replaced by an outdoor pavilion several years later. Every Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday afternoons, crowds of people from all over the greater Baltimore area come to dance to the sounds of the house band, Joe and the Rheinlanders, or other entertainment, including some famous Polka bands.

Admission price is generally about $4.00, but may be higher for special entertainment. Food and drink are reasonably priced. There is a happy, family-oriented atmosphere. On Fridays and Saturdays, the doors open by 8:00 PM, and the band plays from 9:00 to 1:00 AM. On Sundays, it opens between 2:00 and 5:00 PM. Most of the music is Polka, but also includes waltzes, cha-cha, and "jitterbug" or "swing". On special occasions, 50s music and other kinds may be featured, and sometimes dancers will perform special numbers.

To get to Blob's Park from Baltimore, take the Beltway (I695) to the exit for the Baltimore Washington Parkway (I295) South toward Washington, DC. About 8 miles out, take the exit for Rt 175 toward Odenton. As soon as you cross over the Parkway, look for a fire station on the right, and turn in front of it onto Max Blob Park Road. Follow this road around a sharp bend about 1 mile, and park on the spacious lot just before the main buildings.

Double Rock Park

Double Rock Park is a recreational area run by the Parkville Recreation Council of Baltimore County. It consists of a variety of wooded areas with a trail passing by a stream and small waterfalls, as well as flat, open areas for softball and other sports. There are many picnic areas with wooden tables and barbecue grills, and several enclosed stone pavilions.

Our group usually meets near a pavilion with rest rooms in the back section of the park. We usually have our picnics on the Monday Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays, from about 1:00 PM until dark (when the park closes). According to park policy, we do not charge admission to our picnics, but we ask that each participant bring a generous food or drink donation to share with others. On Labor Day, we also ask that people bring donations for Jerry Lewis' MDA campaign; $5 or more is greatly appreciated, but you are under no obligation to donate.

Activities include simply relaxing and socializing, taking hikes of various lengths, or participating in softball, volleyball, or horseshoes. The Catholic Alumni Club (CAC) have traditionally had their picnics here at the same time; they join us for volleyball, and we join them for softball.

To get to Double Rock Park, take the Baltimore Beltway (I695) to exit 31 South (Harford Road), toward Parkville. Go about ¼ mile, cross Putty Hill Ave at the top of a hill, and go downhill about ½ mile more to Texas Avenue, and turn left (there is a Texaco Station there). Continue about 1 mile to where the road ends at Glen Rd, and continue across into the park entrance. Continue on the access road uphill, past the softball fields to the right, and go to the back parking area. Look for a stone pavilion with rest rooms, and we will be in it or nearby.

Full Moon Power Hike

Our "Full Moon Power Hike" is a challenging but highly rewarding adventure along the Susquehanna River near PP&L's Holtwood Power Plant in Pennsylvania. We usually plan this hike around the time of the full moon in the Spring or Fall, and we time it so that we finish the hike near dusk, when the moon can be seen. The trails are part of the Kelly's Run and Pinnacle Overlook trail system, and cover a distance of about 6-7 miles. We start from the Holtwood Arboretum, and hike down to Kelly's Run, which courses through a rocky gorge with several cliffs suitable for rock climbing, and beautiful Rhododendrons. We cross the stream, and make our way up a moderately steep climb of about 500 feet, ending at the Pinnacle Overlook, which offers a majestic view of the Susquehanna River. Then, we take a trail along the cliffs, and work our way down through some interesting rock formations. At the bottom, we cross Kelly's Run on an old bridge, walk up an old road, and then turn onto some wide trails which ascend to a high meadow, from which we hope to observe the rising full moon. It is a short walk from there back to the arboretum.

After the hike, we usually go to the Delta Family Restaurant, which has good food at very reasonable prices, and return to our meeting place in Towson about 10:00 PM.

Directions from Baltimore are as follows: Take Baltimore Beltway (695) Exit 27 (Dulaney Valley Road) North. Continue about 5 miles, cross the Loch Raven Reservoir bridge, and bear LEFT onto Jarrettsville Pike. Go about 6 miles to Jacksonville, and turn right onto Sweet Air Road. Go about 6 miles to Baldwin Mill Road, Rt 165, and turn LEFT. Take Rt. 165 North about 20 miles into Pennsylvania, where it changes to Rt 74. After about 5 more miles, turn RIGHT onto Rt 372, and cross the Susquehanna River. Take the second left onto a road called Crystal Drive, and go about two miles, cross Holtwood Road, and enter the parking lot for the Arboretum.

Hay Rides at Yoder's Land of Promise Farm

Baltimore Singles Network has hosted hay rides at Yoder's Farm several times a year. We generally meet in Towson at the usual location, at about 6:30 or 7:00 PM. We wait about 15 minutes, as we allow people to sign up, then we caravan to Yoder's Farm.

To get there, take Baltimore Beltway (695) exit 27, Dulaney Valley Road, and head North. When you cross the bridge over the Loch Raven Reservoir (about 5 miles from Towson), bear RIGHT, and continue on Dulaney Valley Road. Go about three miles, and look for Peerce's Plantation on the left. Turn LEFT here, continuing on Dulaney Valley Road. Go about one mile, and turn RIGHT on Long Green Road. Continue about two miles, and cross Manor Road (you must make a right and a quick left). Look for the fifth driveway on the right, with a sign for "Land of Promise Farm". Turn RIGHT here, and take the gravel road to the parking area near a bonfire. Travel time is about 20 minutes.

We usually wait about 10 minutes by the bonfire, and then load into the hay wagon, which is pulled by a tractor. The ride commences through the fields and around the farm, and lasts about 45 minutes. Expect hay battles. We return to the bonfire, and set up a table with hot cider, hot water for cocoa, marshmallows, and hot dogs, which are cooked on the bonfire. After everyone has eaten, we get out our instruments and song books, and sing a variety of songs with guitar accompaniment, sometimes augmented by harmonica. We usually finish about 10:30 PM, and head back to Towson.

High Acre Cabin at Harper's Ferry, WV

High Acre is a three story Victorian home, situated high above the town of Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. It was donated to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, and they rent it to their members. It has 4 bedrooms, 1 bath, a full kitchen, oil heat, and can accommodate up to 12 people. Large windows in the dining room and master bedroom command a beautiful view of the Potomac River, and the Harper Graveyard is just over the stone fence behind the property. The Appalachian Trail passes directly by the house, and the famous Jefferson Rock is about 200 feet up the path. It is a short walk downhill to the main historic area of the town, and the Hilltop House hotel and restaurant are less than a mile away.

If there is sufficient interest, we can fix breakfasts and dinners in the kitchen at High Acre, but it is often more convenient to make use of the buffet breakfasts at Hilltop House (about $7), and dinner buffets (about $6) at the Bonanza in nearby Charles Town. There are also several major food stores located there. For entertainment, there is hiking along the Appalachian Trail or the trails up to Maryland Heights, and the C&O canal offers opportunities for either hiking or biking. In warm weather, wading and tubing is available in the Shenandoah River, and the Potomac is ideal for canoeing and rafting. There are many exhibits run by the National Park Service, and various gift shops and cafes in town. The busy railroad provides much entertainment for train watchers, and there are a railroad museum, antique shops, and several interesting bars in nearby Brunswick, MD. In the evenings, we often amuse ourselves with board games, jigsaw puzzles, sharing stories, and singing with guitar music. The clear mountain air and high elevation are also ideal for star gazing and comet watching. It is an ideal environment for just kicking back and relaxing on the spacious porch or in the comfortable living room.

Sleeping arrangements are determined by practical considerations. Each bedroom has two or three beds and blankets, but each person is expected to bring linens or sleeping bags.

Directions to High Acre from Baltimore are as follows: Take Baltimore Beltway (695) to the exit for I70 West, toward Frederick. After about 40 miles, just past the intersection with Route 15, look for signs to 340 West and Harper's Ferry or Charles Town. Take this exit, and proceed Southwest on US340 about 20 miles. You will first cross the Potomac River Bridge into Virginia, then after about 2 miles you cross the Shenandoah River Bridge into West Virginia. Take the second RIGHT onto Union Street (there is a Comfort Inn on the corner), and go uphill about ½ mile to High Street, where you will turn RIGHT. Go about ½ mile to a steep downhill section, and turn right onto Church Street, which is a steep uphill. Proceed several hundred feet, and directly ahead is a driveway with stone pillars. Turn up the steep driveway to the top, where you may turn around and park on a level area.

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is a small Atlantic Ocean resort town with a beautiful beach and a boardwalk about 2 miles long. Mid Atlantic Volleyball, or MAV, holds annual tournaments there. In the Spring, it is called "First Rites of Summer", and is held two weeks before Memorial Day. In the Fall, it is called the "Mayor's Cup", and is held two weeks after Labor Day. There are usually anywhere from 50 to 75 nets set up along the beach, from the North Shores community to the outskirts of Dewey Beach. Most of the competition is the traditional doubles format, but there is also a large number of triples teams, and there are several nets of mixed (COED) sixes as well. Saturday is reserved for Men's and Women's competition, and Sunday is all mixed format. Levels of play range from "C" (Just for fun) and "B" (Competitive), through "BB", "A", "AA", and "Open", where you will see some of the best talent on the East Coast, and sometimes even pros from California. Play generally begins by 8:30 AM, and often continues to 5:00 PM or later. Entry fees vary from about $5 to $15 per person. Prizes consist of trophies, T-shirts, and other volleyball gear, and there is a cash prize in the open division. On Saturday evening, MAV usually has a party, which is usually well attended and features lots of dancing.

To get to Rehoboth Beach from Baltimore, take the Baltimore Beltway (I695) to the exit for I97 toward Annapolis. Look for signs for the Bay Bridge, and take Rt. 50 East. Cross the Bay Bridge, and after about 10-15 miles look for Rt. 404. Turn left on Rt. 404 and follow signs toward Rehoboth Beach and Lewes. The road will change to Rt. 9 in Delaware. When you get to Rt. 1, just outside of Lewes, turn right, and go about 6 miles. Look for signs to Rehoboth, and turn left onto Rehoboth Avenue. Follow this about 2 miles directly into the center of town.

If you would like to camp, follow directions above, but when you turn right on Rt. 1, look for signs to the Cape May - Lewes Ferry. You will turn left about 1 mile down Rt. 1, onto Rt. 9 bypass, which dead ends at the Ferry access road. Turn right, pass the Ferry complex to the left, and continue about 1 mile to the entrance to Cape Henlopen State Park on the right. Proceed to the entrance shack to obtain campsites. There are about 130 sites, but they fill up quickly, so it is a good idea to get there early on Friday to avoid disappointment. There are other private sites nearby, but they are not as nice.

While in Rehoboth Beach, things to do other than volleyball include swimming, tanning, rides and games, shopping at factory outlet malls, renting bicycles, tennis, nature walks, bar hopping, and eating in a variety of restaurants. There are also historical exhibits in nearby Lewes, and a number of antique shops. Ocean City, MD is about 20 miles to the south.

Tubing on the Gunpowder

The group will meet at Timonium Park and Ride on Deereco Rd (off I83 between exits 16 and 17) at 11:00 AM. Tubes may be rented near the put-in point by the Monkton Station of the NCRR trail, or bring your own (recommended). Wear swimsuit and old sneakers, bring water to drink, life jacket (optional), and bring change of clothes. Group will hike about 1/2 mile N on the trail to put in, ride in water for about 3-4 miles (2 hrs), then hike back about 1 mile to Monkton. This trip is usually pleasant and slow-paced, with a few sections of moderate white-water. The water is often quite cold, and there are many submerged rocks that can cause unpleasant bumps and bruises, but with some caution these may be mostly avoided. If you wish, you may use an inflatable boat instead of a tube, and this reduces the problems of cold and hitting rocks. Oars or paddles may also help for maneuvering and avoiding obstacles. There may be sections where you must walk or carry the flotation device around or over trees and shallow areas. You may bring food and beverages in plastic containers. Glass and alcoholic beverages are prohibited by park regulations. Some of the group may participate in a lunch stop afterward, often at the nearby Pioneer House in Hereford.

VFW in Jarrettsville

The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in Jarrettsville host a number of events which BSN often attends. They have crab feasts during the Summer, Bull and Oyster Roasts in the Fall and Winter, and also have an "All Night Bingo" event and an annual outdoor concert, featuring the locally famous "Great Train Robbery". The food is generally very good, and it is a friendly crowd of mixed ages. The music is generally country and Western, but most bands also play some Classic Rock.

Directions from Baltimore are as follows: Take Baltimore Beltway (695) Exit 27 (Dulaney Valley Road) North. Continue about 5 miles, cross the Loch Raven Reservoir bridge, and bear LEFT onto Jarrettsville Pike. Go about 6 miles to Jacksonville, and turn right onto Sweet Air Road. Go about 6 miles to Baldwin Mill Road, Rt 165, and turn LEFT. Take Rt. 165 North about 3 miles, cross Fallston Road (152), and continue about 2 miles farther to Morse Road, on the Right. There will be a sign for the VFW on the corner. Take Morse Road about ¾ mile to the VFW entrance, which is uphill and to the left, at the bottom of a hill.