The #TravelingTalleys cannot speak enough about the fantastic opportunities to #OptOutside and #GetOutdoors that are available in the state of Maryland. One place that we had been looking forward to visiting for a long time was Catoctin Mountain Park. The park is only about an hour and a half away from Baltimore, and we knew we wanted to camp with our new equipment for an evening.
Catoctin Mountain Park is known for Camp David, the Presidential retreat, but there is more history involved in the area than just a Presidential retreat! Back in the 1930s the land was purchased with the idea to transform it into a recreation area. The Catocin Recreational Demonstration Area began in 1935 under the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. The land was split – the northern portion going to the National Park Service in 1936 and the southern area transferred to the state of Maryland as Cunningham Falls State Park. Beside honoring President Franklin D. Roosevelt with his progressive New Deal mandates, Catoctin Mountain Park also provides a glimpse into other culturally significant parts of American history. Native Americas quarried rhyolite for lithic tool production, and there are still visible evidence of the charcoal and iron industry along the trails and roads.
We mostly drove the beautiful drive from one end to the other and stopped along the way for a decent hike. It was wonderful being out in nature and truly escape the hustle and bustle of city life that we had been experiencing. We camped at Greenbrier State Park, which was another decent campsite in Maryland. We’ve found that the National Forests and the State Parks (depending on the state) are the best ways to go when looking for camping. A KOA is usually considered “glamping” (glamorous camping) to us and we don’t fully enjoy the experience. We like being in the middle of nowhere. Some people don’t like that, so if you want that type of experience then a KOA or camping inside the National Park may be the direction you should go!
A lot of these experiences were really just long drives to see how much we could still tolerate each other and the dogs, but more importantly trained ourselves for how to pack and what to bring when trying to plan an impromptu adventure. We always pack three bottle of water, even if they stay in the car, as well as plenty of snacks and a lunch in case we get out and about and lose track of time. I can’t stress enough how terrible it is to be out in the sun away from water and food! Don’t put yourself in that situation.
We love driving around Maryland. There is so much diversity, from the busy cities to the long stretches of beaches, to the quaint old, historic cities. Maryland is a great place to visit – and don’t worry, this isn’t the last blog post about a fantastic place for you to see! Thanks for enjoying the adventure with us, and until next time continue to #TalleyYourAdventure!