A black jeweled spider perhaps?
Hello! I was out hiking through the wilds of the Patuxent Wildlife Reserve in Maryland and I came across a lot of these spiders. They were roughly a quarter to half inch long, their abdomens had several spikes "crowing" the top, and they were striped black and white. They spun their webs in a common circular pattern, but they did so at eye-level (5′ 6" for me) across the hiking trail. Their webs were spun about every 12 to 20 feet along the trail for nearly 2 miles! I have attached a picture collage of these spiders. I have tried to identify this before, but no luck. Any ideas?
This pretty little spider is a Spined Micrathena, Micrathena gracilis.