Poplar Lick is best known for the off-road vehicle trail that parallels its path. The ORV trail is permanently closed and, to the delight of trout hikers, the only way to fish this long stream is to hike or bike in. Since the trail is actually the remnants of an old Civilian Conservation Corps roadway built during the depression in 1934, walking is easy along the hard-packed surface. The trail winds its way back and forth across the stream 13 times with only five bridges, allowing you to go as far upstream as you care to, adding distance between where you stand and your personal perception of where the fishing pressure begins. There are numerous primitive campsites adjacent to the trail, just be sure to self register before you begin your trek.
Although Point Ridge looms dramatically above the streambed with the contour lines on the topographic map being close enough to make you cross eyed, Poplar Lick only drops 800 feet from its start at the base of New Germany Lake. This makes for easy hiking and biking. Like its brook trout friendly neighbors to the south, Poplar Lick is a mountain freestone stream with a good surge of water allowing it to expand to 30 feet wide at the base. There are a passel of pools that hold trout. In addition to brook trout, there are stocked trout, browns and rainbows, that run up from the Savage River in search of cool water.
Getting There: From Westernport, take MD 135 west towards Bloomington. Turn right onto Savage River Road. Look for the kiosk that marks the trailhead approximately five miles north of Big Run Road.
· Marked trailhead on Savage River Road (39.58434,-79.09181)
· Parking lot at the south end of the lake in New Germany State Park (39.632862,-79.122316)
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented Maryland DNR website.
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Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore