Healthy "U" February Newsletter
Escape to Western Maryland State Parks
by Oney P. Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
With the demands of our everyday lives (and the mobile devices that often control them), getting away for a day trip or short vacation can be strong nourishment for body and soul.
For me, traveling to western Maryland to visit New Germany State Park or Herrington Manor State Park is an ideal getaway. Just three hours from Frederick, these parks are great escapes for day trips or extended stays of camping or cabin rentals.
For more than twenty years, I have had the good fortune to fish rivers and streams in western Maryland with my colleagues from Hood (and Fort Detrick), including Dr. Kevin Bennett and Dr. Drew Ferrier. On cold winter days (like the February day as I write these sentences), my spirits are lifted and warmed as I ponder our May trip to New Germany State Park located in Grantsville, Maryland. The week after Hood's graduation, our small group will travel to the park and rent one of the eleven cabins (reserved six months ago) for our annual fishing hiatus. Complete with bathroom, fully furnished kitchen, dining area, bedrooms (BUT no linens or towels), outdoor porch, and charcoal grill - our rented cabin will serve as "home" for four days of fly fishing. Day trips to the Savage River, Youghiogheny River, and Bear Creek for trout fishing will fuel our desire for meals, the "tying of flies," and of course, the "telling of lies" (best told by Dr. Bennett!) when we meet back at our cabin home.
Visiting our state parks in western Maryland offers much more than fishing - outdoor enthusiasts can find hiking and biking trails, cross-country skiing, canoeing, swimming, and a variety of park-sponsored events for folks of all ages. These parks offer great vacations spots for couples and families any season of the year - where cabin rentals average $100 per night.
If you are interested in renting a state park cabin and want access to those "modern conveniences," a trip to Herrington Manor State Park is a good start. Located in Oakland, Maryland, this park is 20 minutes from Deep Creek Lake with access to restaurants, shopping, and a movie theatre.
This past New Year's Eve, my wife and I celebrated the holiday in a cabin in Herrington Manor State Park. We stayed for two nights and dined out in Deep Creek Lake with friends from Frederick who also rented a cabin. One of our favorite excursions during this trip was a 15-minute drive to Swallow Falls State Park to walk the 1 1/4 mile trail which included photographing the 50-foot waterfalls where Muddy Creek flows into the Youghiogheny River:
If you would enjoy vacationing in western Maryland, including the attractions offered by our state park system, these links have additional information:
New Germany State Park (cabin rentals, camping, and day use)
Herrington Manor State Park (cabin rentals, camping, and day use)
Swallow Falls State Park (camping and day use)
More importantly, should you try these vacation escapes - I hope you experience, as I have, the rich nourishment these scenic parks offer for body and soul.
February is American Heart Month
BHS Wellness Bites February 2015 edition outlines a plan for a healthy heart. Check out 12 Weeks to a Heart Healthy Lifestyle.
Fitbit Challenge - Ending February 27
Walk/Run to the North Pole and back. The challenge began November 3 and ends February 27. Please submit your Fitbit report to Human Resources by the end of the day, March 2 to be entered into a prize drawing. All participants' steps will be combined to reach the goal of 6,998 miles (the distance from Frederick, MD to the North Pole). Stay active and be part of the challenge!
Relax and learn stress reduction techniques by meditating with Beth O'Malley in the McHenry Interfaith Prayer Room, Coffman Chapel basement, Mondays and Thursdays, 1:35-2:05 pm. All are welcome!!
The Dance Studio in Gambrill Gymnasium is reserved for yoga sessions Wednesday nights, 5:15-6:15 pm for the spring semester. The last class ends April 29. Class will not be held March 11 due to spring break. Free yoga classes are sponsored by Sol Yoga.
Hood Walking Group
- Still Walking on Tuesdays
Hood's walking group leaves at noon from the fountain at Gearey Alumni Plaza (between Alumnae Hall and Hodson). The
group walks for approximately 30 minutes rain or shine.