Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Park Quest

We love to be outdoors: swimming, hiking, fishing, exploring nature, you get my point. Being cooped up inside is to chaos, as being outside in nature is to peace. . . and I love PEACE.

Azara building in the sand.

Our new awesome homeschool friends told us about a wonderful perk of living in Maryland: Park Quest. Maryland Department of Natural Resources sponsors an outdoor adventure "where a family becomes a team" as the motto goes. 23 Maryland State Parks will offers free entrance to 1000 families to complete a an adventure quest. Quest can be anything from canoeing to an Island, riding your bike along a mountain trail, or going on a mock archaeological dig.

I am really grateful that my family was able to become one of the 1000 families. I know many people were not able to. I registered at 10:06, six minutes after registration opened and we are team #361! It took less than 2 hours for the registration to fill up. The good news is that even if a family was not able to register, they can still participate in the quests by paying the fee entrance to the park, many of the quest packets can be downloaded free on the site.

On May 26, the adventure begins! Although their are 23 quests, a team need only to complete 10 to participate in the Grand Park Quest Rendezvous in September. Sounds easy enough, right? However, we plan to be out of town in June and Ramadhan begins approximately July 20th and last until August 18th. That does not leave many days to complete these quest that will take you all over Maryland. The furthest one from us is 187 miles or 3 hours and 22 minutes away. So I did what I do best, create a spreadsheet to help me prioritize and set dates for completion. And yes for you Marylanders, I am sharing it here with you.

Google Docs Spreadsheet with mileage from Baltimore: Park Quest 2012-Baltimore
Google Docs Spreadsheet without mileage: Park Quest 2012
You can download it into an Excel Document
I prefer Google, if you have google, I believe you can save the doc and then edit it with your information.


The spreadsheet organizes the parks alphabetically as they are on the Park Quest website. The address, what is the purpose of the quest, and where the packet is located are listed first. Followed by the park hours, days, and how long it will take to complete the quest. A special note on the best time and days to go is provided. The most important feature of this spreadsheet is the "Water Feature", so this category was added to help me prioritize. A park with white sand beaches will make the top ten list! I also put in a category called "hubby" and I wrote yes or no in the box, depending on if I need him to go with us. For instance a canoe quest would definitely be a "yes hubby" weekend quest. Some of the other quest we can do during the week when he is at work with friends. Other topics include: is camping allowed, what date I plan to go, what to bring, what are the restrictions, how far from my home, and what parks are nearby so that we can hit multiple birds with one stone or multiple parks with one tank of gas. Maryland State Parks are extremely beautiful, so we are excited about completing the quests. We live near Patapsco State Park, so here are some pictures from a previous visit. Happy

Read more about Letterboxing here

Other Park Quest Post
Park Quest 2012
Patapsco Valley & Rock State Park
Tuckahoe & Wye Island
Greenbrier & Gambrill


  1. Looks fun and educational! We love to take advantage of our state parks too :)

    1. State Parks are the best! Thank you for visiting!

      ♥ Kamilah


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