I love being outside and winter is no exception. I will choose running outside over the treadmill on even the coldest days of winter if the sun is shining and the air is fresh.
I’ve always preferred hiking in winter because the air is crisp and you can see so much more without leaves on the trees — and if there is snow on the ground, it’s even better. I remember going for a hike in Patapsco Valley State Park on Christmas Day 1998 — the day Maggie, my oldest, was due to be born. My husband and I were hoping the hike would help me go into labor, which it didn’t, but it was a memorable hike anyway.
Since then we’ve taken our kids on many winter hikes. We’ve climbed up to Maryland Heights overlooking Harper’s Ferry in a blustery wind, hiked to Annapolis Rocks outside of Hagerstown in the snow and been on many trails in Patapsco Valley State Park when the streams and even the river were frozen over.
Maryland parks offer so much family fun in winter. Click here to find cool ideas for winter fun in parks nearby as well as those a bit farther afield. From ice skating at Quiet Waters to dog sledding on the North Central Railroad Trail to snowshoeing in Western Maryland, there are some winter adventures worth checking out.
Or create your own adventure. Before we had kids, my husband and I took our toboggan into Patapsco Valley State Park one snowy day and found the steepest hill we could — a ridge that was cleared for a gas line. Along with two friends, we flew down that hill multiple times that day, crashing in a heap before we got to the bottom on every run. It was a near perfect winter day.
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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 17, Lilly, 15, Adam, 15, and Jonah, 11.