by Lisa Schauer
Sunny skies and warm weather drew families to Hancock on Monday afternoon to enjoy the town’s outdoor activities.
Bella Shoemaker, 12, of Berkeley Springs was playing beach volleyball at Widmeyer Park with her mom, who said they came to Hancock to do something different.
“I’m practicing to try out for the volleyball team at school,” said Bella, a rising seventh grader at Warm Springs Middle School.
Down at the other end of town, the Caris family from Mt. Airy were loading their bicycles into the family’s minivan as their pooch Ginger, a lab mix, drank thirstily from a bowl of water placed under a shady tree.
“We like to go biking and see scenery. We’re outdoors people,” said Payton Caris, 17. His sister Maddy, 16, said she likes to go biking and be outside.
It was the family’ s first time in Hancock, and they had just completed the two and one-half mile bike trip from Hancock to Round Top on the Western Maryland Rail Trail.
Round Top is on a ridge of Tonoloway Mountain that’ s shaped like a small volcano. Ruins remain of an old cement company there along the C&O Canal called Round Top Cement Company. Workers there made and shipped barrels, bags and sacks of cement mix from a warehouse on the West Virginia side of the Potomac onto the B&O Railroad from 1837 to 1903.
The Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. is built on a foundation made with Round Top Cement.
Dad Andy Caris, visiting from Mt. Airy, called Hancock “soul soothing.” He said he especially enjoyed the flat and scenic shady trail, where he said he saw a lot of people biking along the trail enjoying the day.
Caris said he found out about Hancock by searching online, and decided to come in part because the town has lots of parking. He and his family headed into a local restaurant they said they heard good things about on the trail before they headed home from their summer trip to Hancock.