90 Years Of Hiking History: MCM Prepares To Celebrate Its 90th Anniversary

In the fall of 2024, the Mountain Club of Maryland will celebrate its 90th Anniversary. Starting in May 2024, we will hold a series of events to celebrate this event and share information about our history, and our accomplish over nine decades, with our members and partners.

Below, we have provided some facts about our original founding and early history. Each month, we will share more information about MCM’s history; through short articles that will be posted as news blogs and then added to this page.

How MCM Got Started

Orville Crowder was the force behind the creation of the Mountain Club in 1934. After being involved with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Orville and some other hikers were interested in a Baltimore-based hiking club. The June 19, 1934 edition of the Baltimore Evening Sun included a story about the A.T., and Crowder was quoted as saying:

“A Maryland club to take over responsibility for a section of the (AT) trail will be organized in the fall.”

The very next month Crowder organized a hike to take place on Sunday, October 21 from Crampton Gap (now Gathland State Park) to Weverton Cliffs. He promoted it by writing:

“Looking to the later organization of a Baltimore Trail or Mountain Club, this hike is planned to provide an opportunity for local mountain-minded folk to become acquainted. Won’t you pass this information on to your hiker friends and suggest they come along?”

He was joined by 27 hikers for the hike that started at what is now Gathland State Park and hiked south to Weverton Cliffs. Crowder suggested the formation of a hiking club when the group stopped for lunch at Weverton. He led two more hikes in November: one from Smithsburg to Pen-Mar and one from Ilchester to Orange Grove. A meeting to discuss the formation of a club was held on Dec 4, 1934 at the Enoch Pratt Library.  There were 66 charter members. Crowder, Alex Kennedy and Osborne Heard wrote the MCM Club bylaws soon after the December meeting, and a Trip Schedule was created. The first official MCM hike was in January 1935. MCM dues were $1.00 in 1935. The club offered more than hiking and A.T. maintenance. Groups within the club focused on birding, photography, skiing, canoeing and other outdoor endeavors throughout the year.

How MCM Has Evolved and Grown

Since then, the Mountain Club has grown and prospered as an outdoors club. Like any organization that survives 90 years, we also have changed and evolved.

Click here to see decade-by-decade descriptions of club programs, events and activities. (TO BE ADDED)

Other Topics in Our History

  • TO BE ADDED: Notes on special topics related to our history in our history, including:
  • Our evolving role as an Appalachian Trail club
  • History of the Hike Across Maryland
  • Women in the Early Mountain Club History of MCM Hiking Shelters

Our 90th Anniversary Celebration

MCM will be celebrating our history and success throughout the next year. We have scheduled a series of events:

  • Anniversary Hikes: During the upcoming months, we will offer a number of hikes that attempt to recreate the routes of early club hikes. If you would like an opportunity to hike in the bootsteps of our club founders, look for the ANNIVERSARY HIKE designation in the hike title or hike description.
  • Kinetic Sculpture Parade: On May 4, 2024, an MCM float will participate in the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Parade. (For more information about this annual event sponsored by the Baltimore American Visionary Art Museum, click here: Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race (kineticbaltimore.com).
  • MCM “In-Person” History: Member Reminisces and Stories: starting in May, we will invite our members to submit anecdotes or reminisces about their experiences with MCM, which will be shared on our web site.
  • MCM Celebratory Gathering: On September 29, 2024, MCM will hold an event at the Howard County Conservancy to celebrate our 90th Anniversary. While the planning is still underway, we anticipate the event will include hiking, food, music, and more STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS.
  • Of course, we will also recognize and celebrate our 90th Anniversary during our regular club events such as the Hike Across Maryland in May, the club picnic in June, and the Holiday Party in December.