Indian Springs, Maryland

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Indian Springs is an unincorporated community in western Washington County, Maryland, United States.

Geography[edit]

Indian Springs lies along U.S. Route 40 and Maryland Route 56 between Clear Spring and Hancock; it is located north of Fort Frederick State Park. The community is approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Hagerstown and is officially designated a part of the Hagerstown Metropolitan Area (Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Maryland-West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area).

The area is traditionally defined as encompassing the narrow tract of land north of U.S. Route 40 between Fairview Mountain and the Licking Creek.

Terrain in the area is generally rugged with elevations between 600 and 1,900 feet (580 m) above sea level, the landscape being primarily wooded. The terrain here differs greatly from the neighboring Hagerstown Valley, where elevations average less than 650' and is characterized by fertile, gently rolling hills. While land for farming is not as readily available in the Springs area, orchards have been a source of local livelihood for centuries.

The Indian Springs watershed is serviced by four primary runs: Lanes, Rabble, Rattle, and Indian Springs. These runs are tributaries of nearby Licking Creek. The Indian Springs for which the area was named have their headwaters on the west flank of Fairview Mountain.[1]

Two solutional caves are also reported to exist in this area. Revell's and Darby Caves are both said to be developed in the Tonoloway Formation, a thin-bedded dolomitic limestone of the upper Silurian.[2]

Much of the land not held by private individuals is part of the Indian Springs State Wildlife Preserve and is open to the public. A local sportsman's club also owns land adjoining the preserve. Several companies and institutions maintain equipment located atop the larger hills, including Johns Hopkins University, Verizon, and local radio stations; trespassing is strictly prohibited.

Tourism[edit]

Indian Springs is located near the state-run Indian Springs Wildlife Management Area, a 6,400-acre (26 km2) tract of forestry that draws tourists for fishing, hiking, and hunting. Fishing is popular at Blair's Valley Lake and hunting deer is famous in the wooded areas. Fairview Mountain, located in the WMA, once served as a Civil War military signal post.[3]

Camping is also common in campgrounds such as Indian Springs Kampgrounds, Maryland, McCoys Ferry Campground, and Little Pool Campground.[4]

In the mountains surrounding Hagerstown Valley, spring is a popular season for gathering the coveted morel mushroom. Visitors flock to the area yearly to seek the prized fungus, which is said to favor abandoned orchards, birch forests, and land recently cleared by fire. While visitors are usually unable to find these specimens, locals are said to know of secret locations and are often seen carrying these and other mushrooms out of the woods by the bagful.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ United States Geological Survey - Cherry Run Topographic Map; 1998
  2. ^ Caves of Maryland, Franz/Slifer, 1971
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°38′47″N 78°00′06″W / 39.646459°N 78.001650°W / 39.646459; -78.001650

References[edit]