This year, Frederick County Parks and Recreation and Wegmans have teamed up to offer a “Passport” to Family Wellness. The Passport lists paths/trails/loops around 17 Frederick County Trails and Parks. The Passport is easily downloaded (click here) and it has great Park maps listed in it (what a great resource). Simply print out the Passport and visit each park. Located at each of the sites is a plaque/sign that you can simply rub with a crayon to show that you visited the park and walked to trail or loop (Scout’s Honor!). The trails/loops range in length and most seem pretty doable with children.
J at Ballenger Creek Park. It’s an old photo but one of my favorites.
To start with, I printed out the Passport, punched holes and placed it in a three-ring binder. I included a small package of crayons in the pocket of the binder. Since I like to try to be prepared and organized as a Mom, I put the Passport Binder in our minivan. It’s ready to go when we want to go out and explore a park. Also, this will be good for us to do when waiting at a sporting practice, game or other activity.
A turtle I found at Catoctin Creek Park. He was crossing the parking lot so I moved him safely to the grass. I once learned during a Nature Center talk that if you move a turtle out of the street, always move the turtle to the side they were traveling towards.
We started the Passport program as soon as the weather got warmer. We’ve already completed two quests–Ballenger Creek Park and Fountain Rock Park. We love both parks. At Fountain Rock, we enjoyed a picnic dinner (which was really a nice way to end the work week) and we walked up to the Kiln and did the Quest. It was a little bit too chilly for the turtles to be out, but if the weather is warmer when you go to Fountain Rock Park, bring a quarter or two to buy turtle food to feed the turtles. Be sure to read the plaques located near the old Kiln. Great Frederick County History.
Fountain Rock also has a Little Free Library. It’s located near their Nature Center. Bring a book to leave and take a book with you!
Frederick County Parks and Recreation really offer some beautiful Parks and facilities. There’s a little something for everyone. Did you know that they have a wonderful Children’s History Museum at Rose Hill Manor? Combine your Passport hike with a visit to this wonderful museum! Walking through history sounds like a perfect afternoon to me. In the Spring, the gardens behind the Manor House are especially pretty. Sweet place to get a nice Spring photo of your kiddos!
Taking a walk at Catoctin Creek Park. We spotted two wild turkeys on this walk.
Another favorite park of ours is Catoctin Creek Park. This park has a fascinating Nature Center and many beautiful trails. They even offer a special Multi-Sensory Trail. There’s a nice playground and shaded pavilions there as well. Since the park is a little bit higher in elevation than the City of Frederick, our family finds it’s just a touch cooler at Catoctin Creek Park. Be sure to say “hello” to the turtles and snakes in the Nature Center if you go!
Walking near the dog park at Ballenger Creek Park. Great spot for dogs to play and to watch the dogs as well. Be sure to check out the trail that goes along the creek at the back of this park (over the bridge that’s located right by the Passport Sign/Marker).
Most of the parks offer playgrounds, restrooms, water fountains and neat activities (creeks). There’s something for everyone.
Our goal is do complete the Quests by the end of the summer. Every week seems to be busy for us but I hope that this program encourages us to get out and explore our County’s Parks. Also, I have a personal goal to lose a few pounds this year.
By the creek at Ballenger Creek Park. During the summer, we like to wear our creek shoes and wade in the cool waters. (not the best photo but it was a day I had promised the boys I would only take one photo :-))
After you have completed a certain number of quests, you can take your Passport to the Frederick County Parks and Recreation office located at 355 Montevue Lane in Frederick to receive a gift. Can we say, “PRIZES!” Just for walking and having fun! Really we don’t need prizes to take a walk and enjoy our parks but hey, this makes it super fun for my boys. I would recommend checking the hours that their offices are open before heading up that way—Just to be sure. Also, pick up a copy of their Recreater which lists all of their awesome events, sports teams and classes. I’ve personally never been disappointed with their programs and classes. The boys have taken many of them over the past 10 plus years.
I hope to see many of you out on the trails of the Frederick County Parks!
Make it “A Perfect Day in Maryland!” when you visit the Parks of Frederick County!