Gorman Stream Valley Natural Resource Area
- Name: Most published maps show
much of this site as "Gorman Park" which is not the current
designation. Since Gorman Stream Valley Natural Resource Area is
an unwieldy name, it will be shortened in this site guide to
Gorman NRA, designating one side as Gorman–Eden Brook
(North) and the other as Gorman–Kindler (South).
The site description includes both county open space and Columbia
Association (CA) open space.
- Size: 215 acres of county land
and several hundred acres of CA open space. Paths exist on both
sides of the Middle Patuxent River between Old Columbia Road and
Murray Hill Road.
- Habitat: Mixed deciduous
upland and floodplain forests along both sides of the Middle
Patuxent River; south side features a small swamp as well as
hemlock groves and mountain laurel along palisades; north side
has a sediment pond and pine stand, as well as grass and shrub
areas under transmission lines.
- Best Months: Early April to
early June; September to mid-October.
- Coverage Time: One hour for
short forays to four hours or more.
- Trails/Paths: Dirt paths (some
rutted) on county parkland; paved only on short old sections of
roads (Eden Brook Drive and Kindler Road). Connections on north
side to paved Columbia Association (CA) path system. There are
fishing trails, horse trails (south side), deer trails, and
utility line rights-of-way crisscrossing the park. Both sides
contain steep sections; boots may be required for stream
crossings except during extended dry periods.
- Notable Birds: Wild Turkey,
Northern Bobwhite, American Bittern, Black-crowned Night-Heron,
Merlin, Black-billed Cuckoo, Red-headed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher,
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo,
Gray-cheeked Thrush, Golden-winged Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler,
Connecticut Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Summer Tanager, Lincoln's
- Amenities: No facilities.
Although there are several CA tot lots along the asphalt path on
the north side of the river, the trails are not recommended
for small children.
- Handicapped Access: The
remnant pieces of Eden Brook Drive (north) and Kindler Road
(south) are paved, and descend to the river from higher ground.
Although Eden Brook is in better condition, either may contain
dead branches, windrows of leaves, or downed trees. On the north
side, a few CA paved paths have steep grades. The unpaved trails
along both sides of the river are inaccessible.
- Operation and Hours: Howard
County parkland, dawn to dusk or as posted; CA: open space 6:00
a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Special Attractions: Migrant
warblers on both sides; thrushes during migration; and palisades
with hemlock grove on south side. The many riffles are good for
dragonfly and damselfly riverine species. Despite deer
depredation, there is still a nice diversity of spring
Compiler: John McKitterick