Monday, March 20, 2017

Fun day trips from D.C.: Terrapin Nature Area

Our family likes to take regular day trips from the D.C. area, usually within a 2-hour driving range. Last summer we finally made our way into Maryland, east of D.C. With so much history and nature to see, I have a whole bucket list of places I want to go in that region. 

Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to delve into the history since we were on our way to points north but we did spend a few hours exploring nature. We decided our stop would be in Stevensville, Maryland at the Terrapin Nature Area. I'd always wanted to visit Kent Island and thought we could at least see this small corner of it. 

Totally worth the stop! This was in August and it was pretty balmy out, so I'm thinking a spring trip might be fun to do. We parked our car (there is ample parking) and set out on the trails. There are a few different ones posted on the signposts near the parking lot and we took one of the longer ones that led us through both wooded and marshy areas with lots of wildlife spotting opportunities. We spotted many different kinds of birds, dragonflies, crabs, fish and a few other critters too.

The trail we took also leads to the beach area on the Chesapeake Bay. It's a narrow strip of beach and offers stunning views of both the bay and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Tip: Take a photo of the signage before you set out or have a map opened on your phone, we didn't see much signage on the trails and actually had gotten a little lost, meaning we'd taken a longer path than we'd intended. It was totally worth it but being so hot (upper 90s that day) and with plans to head right back on the road we originally didn't plan to be out that long. 

The park is open from dawn until dusk. General admission and parking at Terrapin is free. The park is across the bay from Sandy Point State Park (which is on the Annapolis side) - I've never been there but if you're headed that way you might be able to see both, according to Google Maps it's about a 7-mile ride. Definitely a trip I'd like to revisit in the spring. Fall is probably very pretty too.

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