Beat the heat at Tuck­a­hoe State Park

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

QUEEN ANNE — Tuck­a­hoe State Park tucked away in Queen Anne on Crouse Mill Road is only a few min­utes from Cen­tre­ville and eas­ily over­looked, but the park of­fers 20 miles of hik­ing, bik­ing and eques­trian trails along with a 60-acre lake for boat­ing and fish­ing.

In the heat of the sum­mer and with out-of-town traf­fic clog­ging up the roads, a quiet respite can be a wel­come change. The park has two pic­nic ar­eas, each of­fer­ing shaded sites with pic­nic ta­bles, char­coal grills, play­ground equip­ment and horse­shoe pits. Six cabins are also avail­able for rent through the state park web­site and reser­va­tion sys­tem. The cabins sleep four to six campers and are equipped with ceil­ing fan, elec­tric­ity, air con­di­tion­ing, grill, fire ring and ta­ble.

The park has a launch ramp avail­able on one side of Tuck­a­hoe Lake for boaters. Although gaso­line mo­tor use is pro­hib­ited, ca­noe­ing is a pop­u­lar ac­tiv­ity on both the lake and the creek be­cause of the park’s abun­dant wildlife. Kayaks can be rented for use on the lake above the dam for a daily fee from April through Oc­to­ber. Cur­rent fees and ad­di­tional rental in­for­ma­tion is avail­able by call­ing the park of­fice.

A re­cy­cled tire play­ground on one side of the lake of­fers lots of play area for chil­dren and a vol­ley­ball net and sand court. There is also a small fish­ing pier in the same vicin­ity.

One of the best kept se­crets at Tuck­a­hoe is the Chal­lenge Course, which of­fers zip lines, low ropes, a rock wall and gi­ant swing for a thrilling ex­pe­ri­ence and team build­ing ex­er­cises. The course is open to groups by reser­va­tion and to fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als on holiday week­ends and Fam­ily Fun week­ends in the spring and fall.

Ev­ery week­end, Memorial Day through La­bor Day, the park and staff of­fer free fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties. The park of­fice has an up­dated list of what is hap­pen­ing and when.

On July 22, day campers with the Queen Anne’s Parks and Re­cre­ation pro­gram from Cen­tre­ville and Church Hill and the sur­round­ing area spent the af­ter­noon at Tuck­a­hoe. Valerie El­liot, camp staffer, said the chil­dren had en­joyed a na­ture walk and scavenger hunt be­fore wad­ing on the shore­line and try­ing their hand at fish­ing. The camps try to take one or two trips each week and El­liot said they were pleased to have such a short ride to en­joy spend­ing the day out­doors.

The park is open sun­rise to sun­set, and pets are wel­come. Tuck­a­hoe State Park is lo­cated at 13070 Crouse Mill Road in Queen Anne. For more in­for­ma­tion call 410-820-1668.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Caro­line New­comb, right, gives her dad, Jim, a ride on the fam­ily trac­tor dur­ing the pa­rade of equip­ment at the 2015 Wheat Thresh­ing, Steam and Gas En­gine Show.

Fish­ing at Tuck­a­hoe State Park.

Play­ing on the gi­ant tires and swing at play­ground at Tuck­a­hoe State Park.

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