On a beautiful cold and sunny Saturday in February we bundled up and went to explore a nearby park. The parking area for Wincopin Trails is just 5.5 miles from Laurel Manor House Bed and Breakfast. From the lot, you can walk down the sidewalk along Vollmerhausen Road to the bottom of the hill, cross the street, then follow the easy Patuxent Branch Trail upstream along the Little Patuxent. The path climbs through a sheltered valley about 1.5 miles to the Guilford Pratt Truss Bridge, which is near a parking area off Guilford Road. We saw a belted kingfisher and a pileated woodpecker along the trail, which follows the path of an old railroad bed. The trail continues along the river another two miles to Lake Elkhorn.
The next day we returned to the same parking area on Vollmerhausen Road, and followed the red and green trails in Wincopin Trails Park. The well-marked trails wind through the woods and descend to the Little and Middle Patuxent rivers. The two branches merge at the far end of the park at Sharpe Point, just upstream from Savage Mill. You can see the remains of a granite quarry and the foundation of the stone finishing plant. The trails climb and descend a bit more than the Patuxent Branch Trail, but they are still fairly easy. The loop we took was about three miles, and we spent about 1.5 hours, stopping often to admire the forest and the flowing river.