Places to Go - Car Camping at Cunningham Falls State Park, Houck Area Campground (Thurmont, MD)


In my 20s, I camped and backpacked a lot. Seems like almost every summer weekend my friends and I packed up the Jeep and headed somewhere or other; living in CO really does give one a great appreciation of the outdoors. I planned on continuing such excursions throughout my 30s, but I worked at a law firm (often on weekends) and then the babies came and all of a sudden my sleeping bag was crammed into a corner of the attic, unused for years. When the girls were little (3 and 2) we tried camping at Assateague Island, but P wouldn't sleep (she kept waking up every hour to "go see the stars" - cute, but exhausting) and the wild horses figured out how to open the latch of our cooler (nothing beats awakening to random strangers laughing outside your tent and saying "I bet they don't even know yet"). After that Dan proclaimed "no camping til they're older." And FINALLY they're older (well at least two out of three are). So we planned a camping excursion with good friends and their children. As far as car camping with children goes, Cunningham Falls State Park has a lot going for it - clean bathrooms (with showers), lots of families, even small cabins if you reserve early enough (we didn't). The sites were small, but adequate. And the kids all loved exploring the outdoors (oddly while playing Star Wars), sleeping under the stars, and roasting smores. As for me and Dan, returning to ground sleeping proved difficult and somewhat painful (our poor backs). But the stars, WOW, it's amazing how many of them there really are. Amazing.

If you're interested in visiting, Cunningham Falls also has a lake for swimming and a short hike (0.5 miles) leads to a large waterfall (more on this tomorrow). Unfortunately, neither the lake nor the trails are accessible from the campground, but the drive to them is pretty short.

P's all about the tattoos lately. Just a phase? Time will tell. I think she kind of looks bad-ass with them.

drive cars
*The girls spent the morning at a build a bear birthday party, where they made pink dogs (Pinky and Pinkalicious), who (of course) HAD to come camping with us.
*All the older kids are taking tae kwan do, so we witnessed a lot of kicking. A lot.
*T's obsessed with driving the mini-van. Obsessed.

*Dan loves T's "Jungle Buddies" shirt, primarily because all of the animals featured (a lion, a zebra, and giraffe ) neither live in the jungle nor are they buddies. Good job Carters, way to do your research.
*It took T hours to fall asleep, so I walked him around the campground in his stroller. And he cuddled the lantern like a baby, until, eventually, I saw his head drop to the side.

f find
I love when they act as "nature explorers", the more acorns the better.

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