ParkQuest Diary

Hey Quest Families....We would like to thank everyone for sending in their photos and stories, they are wonderful. We are working on your submissions, and hope to get all the photos and stories posted soon. If you don't see a submission you had sent in, please contact DNR's Web Team. We generally update the page on Tuesday so check back each week.

If you have not written in about your adventures please visit our diary submission page and we will add your info to the page. Photos can be sent to aburrows@dnr.state.md.us.

Past Diary Submissions

Diary Home (current postings)  |  Week 1 & 2  |  Week 3  |  Week 4  |  Week 5  |  Week 6  |  Week 7 | Week 8 |  
                                                       |  Week 9Week 10 |
 

 


The Terrific Tigers
Calvert Cliffs State Park

We absolutely loved this quest!!!!! We knew nothing about this park and are so glad that Park Quest brought us to it! Thankfully we had our jogging stroller, since I'm not sure how we would have made it over all of the tree roots otherwise! We had such fun looking at all of the different types of mushrooms on the hike, had a nice picnic lunch at the beach and then spent over 3 hours playing in the water! We found 3 little shark teeth, sifting through the rocky sand in the water, and even saw a large stingray swimming pretty close to us! We will definitely come back here again!


The Bald Eagles
Calvert Cliffs State Park

This quest was awesome! From our 9 year old, In my opinion, it was the best Park Quest yet! I liked seeing the stingray, even though it was kind of scary : ) I also loved digging a very deep hole in the sand. We found plenty of fossils and 3 shark teeth, which was very cool!


Krazy Kin
Janes Island State Park

We took rented extra canoes and took several friends along with us on the Janes Island Quest. The mosquitos and may flies didn't seem bothered at all by the bug spray we used....we now believe there are more of those 2 types of insects along the path from the dock to the beach, than there are people living in the entire state of MAryland! (Ha! HA!) Seriously, we had a great time paddling, met some fun people from LaTrobe, PA (GO STEELERS!) and gave a shot at crabbing. The few biggies we caught, quickly escaped and the under-sized were returned to the water. The kids really freaked out when 2 canoes crashed into one another, but no one capsized. We've found a nice little crabbing spot which we will soon return to. We all had a blast that day!

Western Maryland Rail Trail
This was a great trail to bike ride on. We were so surprised at just how many cyclists were up & down the trail. The couple at the bike shop were very friendly. We saw several Rangers, but didn't get the chance to stop & talk to them. While cycling, KAiltyn let out a whopping squeal.....we though something awful had happened and almost crashed ourselves. Turns out she saw a ""humongous"" black snake; we'd gues it to be about 5 foot and very quick. Ran through severl sarms of knats...if you don't inhale, you won't breathe them in! The area was beautiful; very serene and peaceful. Again, another fun adventure we wouldn't have gone on if we hadn't found it through Park Quest!

Washington Monument State Park
Off we went on our little educational hike. We found spiders, a centipede and butterflies. At the very begining of the monument trail, KAitlyn spotted a young doe, which she decided to try to chase for picture. (We ended up with a blurr of green). The view from the monument area was just breath taking. The short climb to the top of the monument tower was impressive as well, although I was concerned about the kids who were hanging a bit too far over the edge for my comfort level! Steve, who was in the Museum, was very nice and full of historical information. This was a very educational trip for all of us. The historical perspective of the general area...civil war era....is spectacular. Now, the cross word puzzle was a litle difficult, but not as tough as Ranger Tammy was apparently trying for.......thanks for the challenge!

Elk Neck State Park
What a beautiful day to head North, to the top of the bay! We cruised up through Delaware to get there from the Eastern Shore. We were all quite impresed with the Turkey Point area. The first cliff area we came to was beautiful, and what a terrific breeze we encountered. Interesting how far we could actually se form up there. Down in th water were a lot of animals swimming aout; ????sharks someone nearby insisted!!! Whatever was down there just offshore, there were a bunch of them..... I wouldn't get in the water. The walking trail to the lighthouse was better than we anticipated it to be. A few areas of really loose gravel were easily walked around to maintain our footing. We didn't see any birds or hawks, but e certainly heard a flock chirping up a storm as we appraoched the last segment of th trail brfore the light house. I was glad to see a simulated recylcling box for plastic bottles. The view from the lighthouse was pleasant....the steps were a bit steep and boy was it warm up there!

It was well worth the little hike to get out to it. Kaite described the area in general as ""very peaceful. We'll be stopping back when we head up towards LAncaster again.


Team Emandal

Team Emandal
Patapsco State Park

Out of our three Quests this weekend, the kids like this one the best. Probably because we played Frisbee golf in the rain. This was our first time playing and we were suprised to see ""regulars"" on the course with their bag of frisbees, just like a bag of clubs. We camped a Patapsaco as well (which was our second time camping at this park) and had a great time.

Gambrill State Park
This was truly an adventure. We headed out from Patapsco only to realize that Gambrill closed at 3:00. We made it in time to get our instructions from one ranger and another met us when we were done to stamp our passport. Up from Salisbury for the weekend, we are grateful to them for allowing us to get this quest completed. What a pleasant surprise while we were there, a wedding was taking place at one of the overlooks with the reception to be held in the Tea Room. What a beautiful day for a wedding and a park quest.

Elk Neck State Park
What a beautiful park!!!! We enjoyed a nice walk to the lighthouse and admired the view. This was a busy park with lots of visitors and we even saw other park questers while we were there. This is definelty a park we will come back to for camping.


Knights of Colombo
Elk Neck State Park

Climbing the lighthouse was fun. Our son felt like wearing his batman costume that day so he's probably the first caped crime fighter to stand at the top. :)


Horseshoe Crabs
Gambrill State Park

Gambril was very nice! The quest itself was not hard but the trail was very rocky and could be hard for younger children. The scenery was gorgeous. Beware of knats!

Western Maryland Rail Trail
Thr bike rise was very enjoyable. It was a very warm day but the trees kept shade on us the entire time. The clues werent very hard. The bike trail was about 9 miles round trip. Also renting the bikes was very very reasonable! Everyone should do this quest!

Swallow Falls State Park
Swallow Falls was beautiful. We got there early when it first opened. AS the forest warmed up all of the birds and animals were scurring about. It was a nice relazing hike. It my be difficult for small children - just grab a hand and hold on!

Deep Creek Lake State Park
It was a little hard ot figure out the GPS becuase we had never used a hand held one but once we got the hang of it, it was easy. They have added clues to make it a little harder and we were the first ones to do them... and they were challenging. But it was a beautiful park and we loved the fire tower!


JKTI
Patapsco State Park

This was the first time any of us had played frisbee golf. Had a great time and the kids can't wait to play again. Kinder Farm Park in Anne Arundel County has a course also and is near t's school.

Tuckahoe State Park
Quest #2, we had attempted earlier but canceled due to threat of thunderstorms. A week later, it was a go. First time for the kids in a canoe. i kept wanting to go home, but once we found the last clue, turned around and headed back, she relaxed, especially once we saw a kayaker. Saw lote of orioles, turtles and even a beaver. We're looking for a canoe of our own now. Thank you

Calvert Cliffs State Park
Quest #3, day after Tuckahoe. We had a good time looking for fossils, but the kids were alittle tired of the walk on the way out. saw a woodpecker, a couple of water snakes and 2 turtles laying eggs on the trail. Found a couple of good teeth


Team Scharch
Janes Island State Park

I should start this one out by saying if the park isn't letting people out unless you have your own boat- You should listen!! We took our own canoe out last weekend despite the warning and windy weather. We have paddles around Jane's Island before so we were fairely confident. LOL, NOT! It wasen't so bad when you first started out and when you get behind the trees it's fairely calm however! once we got close enough to the beach to see it the waves and wind picked up quite a bit! We didn't tip over but hit a few waves the wrong way and got pretty soaked. Oh, also note, leave passport in the car :-) ours need to be dried out when you got home. However the ""fun"" was our own fault. If you go on a calm day it is a VERY nice place to paddle around. Be sure to give yourself extra time to explore the other trails available. It is well worth it. It's a great park to camp at and we take the boat with us.

Gambrill State Park
Gambrill is a beautiful park and we plan on coming back to camp here. The quest was a fun lesson in history and the kids thought it was very cool to look from the overlooks. We dont have hills at home on the eastern shore so it was a pretty new experiance.

Seneca Creek State Park
Senace Creek was our third quest this weekend and it is a lovely park. Very well laid out and worth the drive to enjoy it. The quest didn't seem that hard at first but we are not good bird finders apparently! We didnt see very many real or fake birds and had a hard time identifying the the ones we did see!


The Friedel's

The Friedel's
Calvert Cliffs State Park

This was a fun quest to take part in, we got there early and were the only ones on the beach for about an hour. We found many fossils, shells, stones and maybe a shark tooth, not sure if real or not. Our son had fun building a sand castle on the beach. Nice hike, bugs were so bad in the woods on the way to the beach. Make sure to take bug spray!! We saw deers, lizards, squirrels, toads. Took some really cool pictures of the family and the water and cliffs. We had a family picnic only the water after we got back to the car, nice place to visit and spend the day with the family.. Don't forget to take suntan lotion and use it. I think I might just be sore tonight, I didn't use ours !! lol Onward to our next Quest!!

Greenwell State Park
This was a very easy and short hike to take, no bugs. Some of the questions were hard to figure out, but we still completed the Quest. Park near the barn and your quest paper will be there in a box.. we parked in the other parking lot for the beach and then had trouble finding our Quest Paper. After we did our Quest, we went to the beach and went swimming, had lots of laughs and splashed each other. There weren't alot of people on the beach, very nice and cozy place to swim. IT is a nice beach for little kids. The water isn't that deep till you go out a ways and the bottom is so soft on your feet. There were these little girls out there just having a ball in the water... There are nice places to have a picnic lunch along the water. There is fishing allowed along the trail. Horseback lessons available and nice place to hold a wedding. The portable bathroom at the beach parking lot was locked, make sure you wear your swimming suits, cause you might just have to change in the car. Onward to our next Quest!!


Martini Time

Martini Time
Seneca Creek State Park

Well.... because two of our questers were a bit under the weather, this was a shorter adventure. At first, we had a diffuclty time finding any birds- it was like they knew what we were doing. Then they were here and there. We saw the typical grackles,a bobolink, and warblers. As always, the playground was a hit. The lake was calm and relaxing. Maybe next time, we'll get to explore a bit more and even play disc golf here.

Washington Monument State Park
Small park but how wonderful. We hiked up to the Monument and learned all about George Washington. Jackson and Jeffrey were happy that the hike was shorter after doing Gambrills earlier in the day. We met a hiker who had been on the Appalachian trail for a few months- he started in Georgia. That was really cool! Jackson was a whiz at the word search!

Gambrill State Park
Minus all the nats, we had a fun learning aout the CCC boys and all that they did for us. The views from the overlooks were amazing! Gambrills is a beautiful park and the tea room looked like a great place for a party!


Extreme 5

Extreme 5
Elk Neck State Park

We hiked to Turkey Point lighthouse after many side trips through the beautiful surrounding area viewing the soil compaction areas and gorgeous cliffs where we could see boats on the bay.

There are many trails to explore. On our way out we checked out your campground and the very cute resortlike town ""North east"" We had a lovely day at Elk Neck Park!




Three Jimmies and a Sook
Gambrill State Park

Though we'd been into Gambrill State Park camping before and to the Nature Center, we learned plenty anew in completing the Quest. This was our first Quest, so it was interesting figuring out the level of difficulty. Those Questmakers are sneaky sometimes! The beautiful views from the overlooks never cease to amaze us.

Washington Monument State Park
Tip: Pencils work better than pens on wet paper! It was little drippy on June 28, but not enough to dampen our enthusiasm. Not a bad walk at all up to the monument, especially compared to other parts of the AT. It's very impressive what men can do with stone and mortar and determination. We met and talked to some AT backpackers and shared some Gatorade from our cooler. The staff were very helpful and friendly as they were at Gambrill SP. On to the next Quest!


Dymowski 7
Tuckahoe State Park

Our friends from Maine met us for the Paddle Quest at the start of a shared vacation together. We had 4 canoes and 8 kids. Despite the weather threatening to downpour at any minute, we enjoyed our time on the water. We saw so many turtles that the 2 year old jack tried to jump out of the canoe to catch them. Beautiful park and we enjoyed our time there.


Flock of Shepards
Western Maryland Rail Trail

What an outstanding quest! We loved the rail trail and what it had to offer. This was the first quest we did on Memorial Day weekend. We were really proud of our daughter who rode the 9 miles round-trip on her training wheels, but after that experience, she wanted to take them off. So we are double happy what the rail trail did for our family; it finally gave my daughter some confidence on the bicycle! We look forward to a return trip in October to see the beautiful colors of fall.

Tuckahoe State Park
This was our daughters' first experience with canoeing. It was a little rough for them, as the dog was more brave then they were. But on the leg back, they felt a little better. Our puggle pup just laid down at the bottom of the canoe and enjoyed a day on the water with his people. There were a lot of low lying branches further up the Tuckahoe that took some navigating and ducking, but we worked around it. We commented that canoeing is great marriage counseling in communication. ;-) It was the first time in many, many years that my husband and I had gone canoeing, and it reinforced our lost love in the outdoors. Park Quest has certainly gotten us back in touch with the wonders of what the outdoors brings.

Patapsco State Park
Well, this was not one of our favorite quests. The disc golf may be great for older kids, but 3 and 8 year old girls really didn't have great aim in getting those discs in the baskets. I think we had more fun just hiking and trying to located the basket for each hole. I would have to say that the holes are not clearly marked, tees were not well maintained and without understanding the map well, you wouldn't know where to throw the disc. But the park amenities are very nice with a playground and picnic tables. We took a venture down to the rapids where our girls played around on the rocks. Our 3-year old nearly gave us a heart attack as she scaled and traversed the rocks without fear. We did dip our toe into the water, but just for a few seconds!


Pilgrams
Washington Monument State Park

This was a short hike compared to the other parks which was perfect for our 2 and 4 yr. olds. The gentleman at the museum was real nice and gave us alot of good information to prepare us for the quest. Our kids had fun answering the questions about George Washington along the trail. The view from the top of the monument was pretty amazing compared to what I had expected. The spiral staircase is a little steep and narrow so be careful with your ""little "" questers. I carried our 2 yr old.


The Barracudas
Tuckahoe State Park

What a beautiful day! The sun was shining, there was a mild breeze, and the turtles were everywhere. We loved the canoe ride, despite getting misdirected a few times. We laughed and laughed.

Patapsco State Park
It was a hot day and there were a few bugs, but WHAT FUN!!! We sent a frisbee down a hill and it landed right next to a HUGE snake. We had a great time at Patapsco Valley State Park!!


Stauffer 4
Tuckahoe State Park

It was fun, however the Passport says you can take dogs on your quest. However, dogs are not permitted in the picnic area which includes the boathouse, beach and playground - where the whole quest takes place. The man was kind enough to allow us to eat our lunch and take the dog on the quest with us given that we'd driven an hour and a half with him. However, I would think twice before taking along your furry friend.

We did love the quest though! We saw dozens of turtles, birds, a huge black snake and a beaver. It was a long canoe trip, so pack your water!