Elk Neck State Park Quest - Penny Pine Puzzle

Introduction To Quest

This is what we know: The Penny Pines program was an effort in the 1930s and 1940s to help our nation’s forest recover from overharvesting, lack of replanting, and devastating fires. In 1940, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) partnered with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at Elk Neck State Park to plant 34 acres worth of pine trees in what would become the Elk River Campground to help reforest what was once farmland. Today, almost 80 years later, the forest in this area is making a comeback and the Penny Pines planting is presumably to thank. But why was this plot of land picked? How did the Penny Pines help? Why were DAR and the CCC involved? You will help us to decode the secrets surrounding this planting and solve the mysteries of the Penny Pines!

Attention Teams: Advanced reservations must be made to participate in this quest.

Quest Information

Beach at Elk Neck State Park

The Bonus Quest Adventure at Elk Neck State Park is available June 1st to October 31st (except for June 30th to July 4th; September 1st to 3rd; and October 6th to 8th). Park staff will have a guide available for teams when they arrive. The Quest will take place in the park’s Campground, near the Nature Center. This area is non pet friendly so please plan accordingly. The Nature Center will have limited hours, so plan your trip ahead of time if you would like to visit during open hours. The campground has a laundromat near the Park Store with an open bathroom.

The quest will begin at the Campground Office on Campground Road. If no one is at the building when you arrive, please call the Duty Ranger phone at (443) 252-4258. Portions of this quest will require teams to be in the direct sun or hiking in a forested area. Teams are encouraged to bring the following items: sunscreen, tick/ bug repellant, water, and snacks. Due to the nature of the quest, only one team can participate at a time. Teams are encouraged to call in advance and make a reservation for the date and time they would like to participate. The quest will be available on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the season for 1 hour time slots: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m., 1 p.m.to 2pm, or 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Your Park Quest Passport provides you and your team free entrance into the day-use areas of the park. Please show your Passport to the attendant at the Contact Station.

Park Information

Elk Neck State Park’s sandy beaches, marshlands, and heavily wooded bluffs are contained within a peninsula formed by the North East River, Elk River and the Chesapeake Bay. This Chesapeake Bay Gateway Site provides excellent recreation for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing on trails throughout more than 2,000 acres of scenic woodlands. An easy walk to our Turkey Point Lighthouse provides panoramic views of the Elk River and the Chesapeake Bay. Swimming, fishing, crabbing, and boating opportunities are abundant from various points along the coastline. Many forms of camping are available to those who wish to extend their adventure past an afternoon visit. For more information about the park and its amenities please visit our website.

Elk Neck State Park
4395 Turkey Point Road
North East, MD 21901

Directions to Elk Neck State Park

  • Baltimore/Washington D.C. and areas south - Take I-95 North to North East exit 100, MD Rt. 272. Proceed on MD Rt. 272 south for approximately 12 miles. Stay on MD 272 south to reach the park. Once in the park, turn left on Campground Road.
  • Wilmington/Philadelphia and areas north - Take I-95 South to North East exit 100, MD Rt. 272. Proceed on MD Rt. 272 south for approximately 12 miles. Stay on MD 272 south to reach the park. Once in the park, turn left on Campground Road.
  • Please note: When using a GPS for directions, it will take you off MD Rt. 272 and onto Old Elk Neck Road. Please ignore this. The bridge is closed on that road and you will not be able to reach the park. Just remain on MD Rt. 272 south and it will take you directly to the park.
  • Make a reservation to stay at the park.