Park Hopping

Most of you know me well enough that the following statement will not shock you.  I can officially find my way to 3 parks without the GPS now, but I still need it to get to the grocery store.  Silly me!  I love all three of these places and I'm sure we'll be going back to them soon.  Josh didn't get to come with us to the last two.  Noah was at school when we went to the first.  These were the preliminary visits.  Next time we bring everyone (including dogs) and picnic lunches, sand toys, water... all that fun stuff.  These parks all made "Allie's Fabulous Natural Southern Maryland" list and are all less than 30 minutes from my front door :)

This is Gilbert Run Park.  On the weekends it has paddle boat rentals and a complete concession stand. They also sell fishing licenses.  The playground is impressive.  The trails are well marked and a decent hike, but not too much for the kiddles.

This is everyone's favorite so far and we can't wait to show it to Josh.  Calvert Cliffs State Park.  We have only seen maybe 1/3 of what this place has to offer.  Docks, camping, hiking, fishing, cabin rentals, beaches, picnics, fossil hunting, playgrounds, trails at different difficulty levels.  We walked in the woods, then by the swamp, and arrived at the beach... how cool is that!!  The guy manning the gate that day was awesome and gave the boys some free shark teeth so they would know what kind of fossils to look for.  They were ecstatic.  Tristan said that man must be a scientist.  We walked just shy of 4 miles there and back.  The walk back is always longer, especially if you have tiny legs and it's past naptime.  I'll be better prepared next time.

This is Battle Creek Cypress Swamp and Nature Center.  This lovely little park is free and a mere 10 minutes from my house.  Also it's AWESOME!  The nature center is fabulous. There are lots of hands-on specimens for the kids to get into, live animals, and on the weekends the reptile guy is upstairs to tell you all about his creatures.  He gave the boys snake skins and had some cool insects on display as well.  Really nice old man with tons of knowledge to share.  The boys meandered on the trails and mused at every tiny little thing.  They spent half our hike crouched down... but, that's what they normally do at parks :)  We had a great weekend!  Now I have at least some places to take Ben and Nate when they get here in a few days.  Maybe we'll explore Rt 6 together.

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