Suzy stumbled upon something online called the Patuxent Challenge. The state is encouraging people to explore outdoor activities along the Patuxent River Watershed. Complete an activity in the city of Laurel and each of the 7 counties the 115-mile river flows through and you’ll get a prize. Sounds like something right up our ally.

Nate was away at camp so Suzy and Chris and I headed to St. Mary’s County at the southern-most end and started working our way north. We went to the Sotterley Plantation, a historic landmark plantation house (circa 1703), and walked around looking at the grounds and walking the trails. Next we went to the Maxwell Hall Park in Charles County and got utterly lost hiking 2.8 miles on a confusing spider-web of poorly marked trails with only (literally) a map drawn in crayon at the trailhead (minus the map key).

The next stop was Kings Landing Park (Calvert County) where we thought we could rent a third kayak to use with our two. But apparently we were too late to rent one. So took turns paddling around in our own boats. Our final stop was at the Patuxent River Park Jug Bay Natural Area in Prince George’s County. At this point we were running out of day but this looked like an even better place to come back to go kayaking.

Not sure when we’ll get to the other 4 sites. Technically they say we have a year to complete the challenge but they also say the prizes will be mailed out in January of 2019. Here’s hoping we can complete it in 2018, just in case that’s the cut off. But either way, we explored some neat new areas, a couple of which we’d like to return to.