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 |
 

 


FreeBird
Sececa Creek State Park

we loved this park. so far it is our favorite, we put on bug spray once and that seemed to be enough. we saw tons of birds and loved the trails. we always seem to encounter deer where ever we go and this was no different. While walking on the trail, a fawn jumped up from the bushes about 3 feet from us and ran, which scared us since we weren't expecting it. and the birds seem to know that we needed them to stay still cause they did not leave the tree even after 1/2 an hour of 4 kids trying to sing w/them and climb up the tree they were in. IT WAS AN AWSOME DAY


Nomad
Calvert Cliffs State Park

Once again the bugs got the best of us. Since most of the hike skirts a swamp make sure you bring some repellent that you know works.The best part of this quest was sifting for fossils. It was extremely fun. Sadly, we didn't find any shark teeth but we enjoyed it all the same.

Greenwell State Park
Mrs. Nomad really liked the location of this quest. She used the word, ""quaint"" many times. The location was superb and the quest itself was a nice break. The walk along the river allowed us to learn about the wildlife that frequents the area and little Nomad was impressed that he was able to meet two of the ""creators"" of this parks quest. We had never been to this park before and had no idea it was here. I did hear that fishing is pretty good from a local, so we will be back.

Tuckahoe State Park
Well, this was our 2nd attempt at Canoeing and man did I get sunburned. Make sure you lather up with some 50+ sunscreen. This quest has become our teams favorite quest to date. We didn't have a map but were able to find our way through the course with very little problems. Of course, we somehow managed to make a wrong turn a time or two but for the most part the course was easy to navigate. All along the water trail there were turtles sunbathing on logs. We have never seen that many turtles and it was very impressive. Being this close to the turtles was an excellent reward for the minor sunburn.


My Three Sons
Washington Monument State Park

We had a great time. The view was very nice and the boys liked climbing the tower. There was a lot of information learned.

Swallow Falls State Park
Great hike! the falls are nice, but so is the rest of the trail. simply a beautiful place.

Deep Creek Lake State Park
The GPS was fun and the boys liked taking turns finding the next place. Overall there just seemed like it could have been better. Maybe more points between to get more use out of the GPS.

Western Maryalnd Rail Trail
What a nice bike ride. We wished we had such a nice place to ride. The people at the shop where very nice. We will go back.

Gambrill State Park
The park ranger was a really nice person. The veiws are great as well. The boys could not get over the pay the CCC boys recieved.

Patapsco State Park
The guys loved the golf so much we played all 18 holes. While hard it was a great deal of fun. We will play this at home.


Wild Kinlochs
Deep Creek Lake State Park

Using the GPS was fun and educational.

Swallow Falls State Park
One of the most beautiful hikes anywhere! I only wish it hadn't stormed.


Team Voodoo

Team Voodoo
Tuckahoe State Park

We decided to do this quest on the long 4th of July break. What a great park! The young man at the boat house greeted us with a smile, gave us our pack and wished us luck.

We really enjoyed paddling down the creek and saw lots of turtles of all sizes, sun bathing. The kids enjoyed hunting for the clues and answering the questions. Make sure you read the map directions well because the creek trial does not follow itself around. You actually have to turn around at one point in time to head back the same way you came to get to the boat house.

We stopped along the way back, on a pad of stones and the kids really had a lot of fun playing and swimming in the creek. Mom even had a little extra fun while splashing Becca with the paddles. It was so funny! Cj and Mom wound up getting stuck on a log in one part of the creek. It was so funny seeing the back end of the kayak up in the air, but they managed to wiggle off of it some how and continue the trip back. All Mom could do was laugh and she wasn’t much help with getting us unstuck. We really enjoyed this kayak adventure.

It was a lot easier to kayak on the creek (Tuckahoe) compared to kayaking in the open water (Janes Island). We had lots of laughs and enjoyed spending all day at this park. Tuckahoe State Park was our last quest and we really enjoyed all of the parks this year. See everyone at the Finale!


The Chessies
Seneca Creek State Park

Our second quest was Seneca Creek State Park. it was actually alot closer to our house than we thought. We really took our time on this one and got to see alot of birds from the area. Megan had alot of fun trying to find the reproductions and she actually thought these were easier to spot and identify than the live ones. She was looking in the bird guide book all morning. it turned out to be a perfect day for quests, so, we decided to do another one. Off to Washington Monument State park we go...

Washington Monument State Park
The Washington Monument State Park quest was so much fun. Of course, Dan, the history fanatic, pretty much already knew all the answers. He did, however, let Megan, Bob and I find them ourselves. We had alot of fun playing around at the monument and the view was amazing. We are completely psyched for the next one, so, Gambrill here we come.

Gambrill State Park
We actually made to our third quest of the day, Gambrill State Park. We were starting to get a little worn out from all the walking, but, at the same time we were feeling pretty good about our success on our quests. At Gambrill State Park we learned alot of interesting things that even our history buff didn't have a clue about. We had so much fun today and the hikes were really great exercise and fun. We can't wait to finish our quests and make it to the finale.


Chase3sons
Calvert Cliffs State Park

This was our first Quest and we completed it on Mother's Day. It was a gorgeous day for a hike and our boys played for hours on the beach digging for fossils and shark teeth. So far, this Quest remains at the top of our list.

Deep Creek Lake State Park
Deep Creek Park is beautiful. We hope to camp there soon. There are four etchings needed to complete this Quest and those are pretty simple. However, they did add two for more of a challenge and my 11 year old insisted that we do them all. It added about an hour to the Quest but we loved where the hike took us...to an old mine and to a fire tower. The kids also loved using a GPS to figure out where we were and where to go.

Gambrill State Park
It was interestesting to learn about the Civilian Concervation Corps and all that they built.

Patapsco State Park
This was our first time playing Disc Golf and my family loved it. I think we'll actually invest in a set of discs! We only did 9 holes (to complete the Quest) but you can play all 18. We had been at this park many years ago but now we'll definately return sooner.

Washington Monument State Park
We did this Quest in the rain but still had a lot of fun (we did make it to the covered picnic table area for the downpour). The kids really enjoyed figuring out the the clues and the word search. Good history lessons to be found...

Tuckahoe State Park
What a great quest! We had two canoes paddling in tandem taking in the wildlife (turtles, nesting blue heron, & red winged black bird, to name a few). The Rangers were extremely helpful and enthusiastic. Awesome paddling trip up the creek. We will definitely be back. Just an incredible quest!


Shore Explorers

The Shore Explorers
Washington Monument State Park

Absolutely beautiful views from atop the monument. Lots of history with this Quest. Crossword was a little difficult, but thankfully Carly figured out the final answer with only about 1/2 the letters found. This Quest is an easy hike with awesome views.

Deep Creek Lake State Park
We completed this quest after Swallow Falls. A little difficulty with the GPS but eventually it all worked out. First 4 were easy. We decided to search for #5, which was a little tricky because of the GPS problems, but eventually #5 was found. Steep climb up but well worth it. No bears here, but we did find a bear print, and that was close enough to a bear for me.

Gambrill State Park
We headed out on a Monday to Western Maryland to complete the quests in this area. We made an appointment with the ranger since we were going through the week. The ranger was very helpful and accommodating. Spent a lot of time here learning about the CCC boys. The hike was moderate in one area, and the outlook views absolutely breath-taking. We saw a deer in the woods, lots of chipmonks and a small snake. We enjoyed a picnic lunch here. Washington Momument park only about 15 minutes from here.

Swallow Falls State Park
Hands down this is our family's favorite. We decided that ""beautiful"" is not even adequate to describe this park. The falls were awesome. Did not even know a place like this existed in Maryland. While it is a good distance from the shore, it is absolutely worth the trip. The falls, the rocks, the forest, the trail...all amazing. Just breath-taking. At the 4th fall, the girls took off their shoes and played in the water pool. We arrived early on a weekday and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Nice picnic area by the parking lot.


Girard Family

Girard Family
Tuckahoe State Park

We really enjoyed this quest. We loved the kayaking and saw many turtles. The scenery was terrific with lots of wildlife and beautiful flowers, bushes and trees. The canoe routes are well maintained. Its obvious that they have many trees that fall into them- we saw some sawed off to allow room for canoes/kayaks to pass by. We enjoyed lunch afterwards and the kids enjoyed the large playground. Thankfully there were no bugs!!!


Schroyers the Destroyers
Janes Island State Park

We really enjoyed the quest. I would suggest getting there as early as possible. We have a team of four and when we arrived around 10:30 there was only 1 one man kayak and they didn't think another would return for possibly hours. I did the quest (mom) and my husband and kids caught crabs off the pier. We all ended up having fun.

Pocomoke River State Park
We learned a lot on this quest and there were many things to do!

Calvert Cliffs State Park
Lots of walking and lots of wildlife. We saw several beavers up close. They didn't seem intimidated by us at all. When we landed at the beach we had a great time collecting shells and shark teeth. Loved it!

Greenwell State Park
This is a really pretty park. It was so peaceful and beautiful.

Patapsco State Park
One of my kids favorites!


Extreme 5
Western Maryland Rail Trail

What a beautiful scenic ride! Along the way we saw old foundations (remnants of a bridge) cool caves up the steep cliff, and even a couple of snakes crossing the path! We rode farther than stated in the quest just to enjoy the trail. Plan to visit again!


PA Explorers
Gambrill State Park

We loved the history connection at Gambrill. It was a learning experience for the entire family.

Washington Monument State Park
The Washington Monument was a very unique park.


Fearless Furlows'
Patapsco State Park

What a great way to start the day with the kids! They loved playing disc golf and even want to go back and do it again. The directions were pretty easy to follow and my son took charge of the map.

Elk Neck State Park
This was also a great one to do. The weather was perfect for a nice hike and some sightseeing. We all were able to go to the top of the lighthouse, and enjoy the sights. We even were able to do a geocache that was there as well. My daughter was excited to see a bunny on the trail as we were hiking towards the lighthouse.


Sidell
Assateague State Park

Had a great time. Our children really enjoyed the walk to the bay and wading around in the bay. We also had a great view of the ponies while we walked.

Pocomoke State Park
We really enjoyed this quest. We had a great time measuring the soil temp. and water temp. We caught some fish and interesting insects in our nets. The walk length was perfect for our family. Thumbs up for this quest.


Krazy Kin
Seneca Creek State Park

Seneca Creek State Park was very easy to get too. As soon as we started the walk Kaitlyn spotted a buck and a doe. They were shy, so scattered pretty quickly. A few of the trails were difficult to walk with knee injuries (and 1 child wore flip flops), so that was discouraging. The web site had indicated the 6 bird stations could be driven to, but the gentleman at the boat dock said we had to walk to them.....turns out we really could have driven after all. However, the hike was adventure-some and fun. The skeeters down near the old bath tub seemed to enjoy feasting on us, but we were quick to spray them away!. Ranger Powell was quite friendly knew the birds that appared while we were taling with him. We completed the quest in time to go on the pontoon boat tour around the lake. ""seasonal"" ranger GArrett was enthusiastic in answering all of our questions and providing inormation about the park. Overall we had a great time.


Three Jimmies and a Sook
Pocomoke River State Park

What a neat park this is! We had a couple of problems following the trails (it helps to follow the map and not look for signs), but we made it eventually. Optional trail is tough if you are short on time. We loved the pond and creek and look forward to coming back and fishing. An ice cream cone from the camp store topped off the afternoon.


Barracudas
Washington Monument State Park

We had a beautiful day at the park. We worked hard to answer all of the questions about George Washington, and complete the word search and mystery question. The view from the top of the Tower was amazing. We found lots of wild blackberries just around the tower. Lots of fun!


Dymowski 7
Gambrill State Park

We went with another Questing family and 2 other families who did not join the ParkQuest this year but were curious. 4 moms, 13 kids (15 to 2 years old), and a beautiful day meant that we were going to have a lot of fun. We really did. We enjoyed the easy walk that was the quest as well as one of the more challenging trails near by. We saw a copperhead right beside the Black Locust Trail as we made our way over to the Tea Room. That was pretty exciting! We had fabulous views from each overlook and a wonderful experience with ranger Thomas. Great Quest!

Washington Monument State Park
We went with another Questing family,2 other families who did not join the ParkQuest this year but were curious, and my brother and his 2 young sons. We were quite the entourage as we arrived on South Mountain. More fantastic weather and a great park right beside trhe parking lot started the experience on a happy note. The trail to the monument was easy to navigate for the 4 moms, 15 kids (15 to 2 years old), and dad that made the trek to the top. Beautiful view from the monument and the kids (most of whom had recently visited Mount Vernon) found the quest questions pretty easy. They ran up and down the monument for awhile, and then we met some people who were hiking the Appalachian Trail. The kids were intrigued and wanted to do that too. Two moms took most of the kids about 2 miles into the trail and back, while three of us scrambled on the trail with the under 3 crowd. Fun for everyone. We had a huge picnic back near the playground after the hike down. Great Quest!


Team Murdoch
Elk Neck State Park

This was the first quest we tackled. The hike was easy and fun and we learned some interesting things. It was our first time inside a lighthouse!

Janes Island State Park
My favorite quest so far. The paddle out to Jane's Island was challenging because it was a windy morning, but it was a great feeling to accomplish it. My daughter was pretty nervous, but still enjoyed it. We saw a skate along the way - very cool! The island was so peaceful!

Pocomoke River State Park
Lots of fun! Our only mistake was not allowing enough time to fully enjoy everything this quest had to offer. Give our two kids nets and a pond and we could spend days! We found a a very cool-looking (dead) moth and took it to the Nature Center to try to identify it. At the Nature Center, Sally was wonderful, searching first the books there and then the internet to try to identify it. She later found that it was a Giant Leopard Moth and was kind enough to call us and let us know what we had found. She also answered our children's many questions about the animals in the nature center. Sally rocks!

Assateague State Park
We had been to Assateague before, but this quest caused us to take a closer look at all the wildlife there. Our resident artist (daughter Ruth) completed most of the drawings for the field guide. We all enjoyed the rest of the day on the beach and, unlike some of the others there, were undisturbed by the ponies. (Our kids were amused by the one who decided to find lunch under one family's umbrella. I'm sure that family wasn't so amused.)


Goofy Galloways
Elk Neck State Park

Elk Neck was yet another beautiful park. The boys and I enjoyed the easy walk and the fabulous view from the cliffs. We did wish we'd been forewarned that smallish ones can't climb the lighthouse. My youngest (a small five year old) was a good six inches too small and both boys were very disappointed.


Benson Bunch
Seneca Creek State Park

This was our first quest and it was hard for our kids to find birds and identify them. In the woods, the mosquitoes were huge, and although we ran, we were bitten numerous times (even though we plastered ourselves with insect repellent prior to starting). Our kids enjoyed the park, but did not find the quest fun.

Washington Monument State Park
What a coincidence that we went on July 4, which is the day in 1847 that the citizens of Boonesboro began building the Washington Monument! The quest was fun, easy and educational. Our kids loved climbing inside to the top of the monument and seeing the incredible view. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring our camera, but they want to go back again.


Poor Bunnies
Patapsco State Park

A hectic summer full of June weddings & christenings has delayed our Park Quest adventure. Eager to enter the race, the Poor Bunnies headed to MD's ""first park"", Patapsco. Upon being given the discs, the 3-yr old was excited. Little did she know how much walking there was to come. After a few drops down the slide & pushes on the swing, we headed to the first hole. After a couple of throws it was evident that this was going to take a while! Working our way through the course we had 2 potty breaks & 1 raspberry picking break while searching for a lost disc. The ninth hole was abandoned as the youngest's interest had waned & was once again fixated on the playground. One quest down... at least 7 more to go!


Wild Kinlochs
Calvert Cliffs State Park

We found 4 shark's teeth!!!

Greenwell State Park
What a beautiful walk. But the kids were beat since we did this one after the Calvert Cliffs hike... and our quest picture shows it!


Terrific Tigers
Assateague State Park

The quest has 3 locations to visit, which we thought would be great. We did the beach part first and thoroughly enjoyed it, but then we took the long walk down the main road and, even with bug spray on, got completely attacked by mosquitos in both of the other 2 areas. We were miserable and tried to race through these parts as fast as possible. Not a fun experience!!

Janes Island State Park
So disappointing!! We made the trek to the park, to find out that they were not letting canoes out because of the higher than allowed winds. We won't be able to go back since it's so far away, so make sure to call first so you also won't have the same experience!