Rocks State Park, Kilgore Falls, & Hidden Valley

My first hiking experience in Maryland came was a result of unusually warm February weather and the perk of having Martin Luther King Jr Day off (Perks of working for the government). Rocks State Park is an 855 acre area of forested land set aside by the state of Maryland. It was one of Maryland’s first state parks, the state acquiring the land in 1949. Rocks State Park is about 40 minutes north of Baltimore in northern Harford County.

The main area of the park includes 3.5 miles of well marked trails. The main attraction of the park is the King and Queen seat. The King and Queen seat is a rock outcropping that extends 190′ into the air and over looks Deer Creek. Deer Creek is a hot spot in the summer for fishing, tubing, and wading. I didn’t have the issue since it was February, but supposedly the park can fill up quickly and they’ll stop allowing people into the park after a certain number of vehicles.

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Shawnee Wine Trail

Southern Illinois is…….. wine country?

It’s true. Down in the hills of the Shawnee National Forest is a wine trail consisting of 11 wineries, all within 30 miles of each other. Here’s a link to the map, which is also below.

Shawnee Wine Map

Unfortunately I didn’t hit all of the wineries in my time in Carbondale, but I did hit 7 of the 11. I’ll start on the west side south of Murphysboro and work my way around, which was generally the path my friends and I took when doing wine tastings. It was always a pain to bounce between all of their sites for hours of operation when I was planning a trip down there, so I’m making a compilation (as much for myself for future trips as for the readers haha). This is also about raising awareness for the wineries as well. I loved going to them and hope to see them succeed.

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