Apr 11, 2012

Cunningham Falls State Park -Easter Monday 2012

We spent 2 days in Maryland to start off our Spring Break.  We spent Monday at Cunningham Falls State Park.  I came here as a child, so it was fun to come back with my own children. 
We stopped at a Visitors Center first to look around and get a map.  We asked the Park Ranger for suggestions on which trail to take considering the stamina of a 5 year old and my foot pain.  The Park Ranger said we could go further into the park and pay a fee and there was a short trail to the Falls.  Or we could take a trail just off the parking lot of where we were for free.  It was about 1.5 mile hike through the woods and the last .3 miles of the trail was a boardwalk to the Falls.  He assured us this hike was suitable for our family.  So being the trusting type we took off on the trail.  The above picture was taken at the beginning of the hike.  See how happy they are?  We were all full of energy and ready and excited about seeing the Falls.

I didn't take any pictures of the hike itself because I don't like to take pictures of unhappy people, and we had to watch every step.  The hike started off easy enough, but then it was mostly uphill and rocky.  We regretted not driving further into the park and paying the fee for the easier hike. It was too late to turn back.   We tried to enjoy nature, the beautiful weather, and the smell of the flowering trees.  We took frequent breaks, but by the end my foot was throbbing so badly I wasn't sure I could make the hike back to our car.  The last part of the hike was a boardwalk to the Falls.  This was much easier on the feet!  The boardwalk ended in a deck with benches to sit on and enjoy the view.  My kids couldn't wait to scurry over it and climb on the rocks.

As they were climbing over we noticed a sign warning us not to climb on the rocks.  There were several people already climbing the rocks, so we were not sure what to do.  We decided the sign was there as a warning to us so the Park Authority couldn't be sued if something did happen to us while climbing on the rocks.   So, up and over the rail they went.  Nick and I stayed on the deck to supervise.  We instructed the kids to not go too high and not to step or climb on any wet slippery rocks.  They had a healthy fear of falling, so they did not climb high, but enjoyed getting a closer look at the Falls and playing in the stream.

They had so much fun.  Nick made the ultimate sacrifice and hiked back to get the car.  We estimated it would take him about an hour to hike back to the Parking lot and drive to the spot where the boardwalk started.  There was a small handicap parking area he could wait in the van for us.  I stayed while the kids played and gave my throbbing foot a rest.  When they were ready to go we walked back to the handicap parking area to wait for Nick.  He ended up getting there about the same time he did.  My foot is still recovering, but it was worth the pain. 

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