The Maryland Department of Natural Resources opens registration April 3 for Park Quest, the beloved family-based outdoor adventure program in state parks throughout Maryland. This year’s theme is “Off the Beaten Path — Arts, Activities and Adventures in Maryland State Parks.”
Park Quest aims to engage families in outdoor activities to experience Maryland’s vast cultural, historical and natural resources on public lands and parks.
Through this annual program, 1,000 qualifying teams — usually families — will get an opportunity to complete outdoor excursions in at least 20 different sites from May 1 through Oct. 31.
“We have prepared fun and challenging adventures for families to pursue in our beautiful parks around the state,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “To all our guests, as you explore and discover our rich culture, history and nature, I hope you will also find a lifetime of wonderful memories.”
From “Blending with Nature” at Herrington Manor State Park in Western Maryland to “Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake” at Janes Island State Park on the Eastern Shore, each planned adventure provides a unique challenge that offers education, entertainment and exercise for the whole family.
Teams must include at least one member 16 years of age or younger and at least one adult, with a maximum of 10 participants per team. Cost to participate in the program is $10 per team, which is then provided with a Park Quest passport booklet.
Registration is first-come, first-served and will remain open until 1,000 team slots are filled. Families who miss the registration process may still participate in Park Quest, by accessing the Park Quest worksheets on the Maryland Park Service website and paying the appropriate day-use service charges at certain participating state parks.
Another affordable option is the Maryland Park Service Annual Passport, which provides unlimited day-use access to all 75 state parks through the calendar year.
Teams can take advantage of cabin and campsite reservations and spend a night or two under the stars as they explore the state’s network of parks.
Registration and more information for this year’s program can be accessed at the Park Quest webpage.