Our First, But Definitely Not Our Last, Trip to Greenbrier State Park in Maryland

One of the boys is “fishing” with a bug net.
One of our alleymates (neighbor who lives off the same alley as us) invited us and another alley family  to Greenbrier State Park in Boonsboro, Maryland today.  She had been a few times before and said it was a nice park with a beached lake, not too crowded during the week and within an hour of where we live.  I could not wait to check it out!  So 3 moms, 4 boys, a cooler and beach bags piled into a minivan and headed to Boonsboro.
The drive was lovely and the weather was absolutely perfect today!  Fluffy white clouds were constantly rolling by, so you weren’t too cool not too hot for long.  Since we do not live in Maryland, it was $5/person (exception – the children in carseats were free); Maryland state residents pay only $3.  You can choose to set up your chairs/umbrellas/towels on grass that has some trees for shade, but we went right down on the beach.  I was surprised that there were rocks mixed in with the sand, but it wasn’t a bother to me.  If your feet are sensitive, you can wear your flip flops down to the waters edge.
As you can see in the pictures, there are two roped off areas.  The 1st one probably goes out 30′-40′ from the shore and the 2nd one is another 20′ after that.  B, who is 4’10” went out to the farther rope and the water was just below his chin,  The shallow water, combined with no waves or current like you’d find at the ocean, makes this park friendly for kids of all ages and makes me feel safe letting B roam (swimmers must remain inside the roped areas).  In addition to swimming and sunbathing at the lake, they had paddle boats and fishing outside the ropes.  In fact, the lake is stocked with trout, largemouth bass and bluegill.  There are picnic tables available and even charcoal grills.  Besides the lake, the park offers camping, hiking trails and lots of flora and fauna to see.
The bathhouse with restrooms, showers and a first-aid station was right behind us and there are lifeguards on duty from 11am – 6pm.  One of the boys got sand in his eye and the lifeguard offered to call up to the first-aid station for an eye wash to be brought down.  The boy and his mom decided to walk up to the station, but I was impressed the lifeguard was paying attention and offered that assistance.  I also like that there are no trashcans.  Any trash you make, you must take with you.  Full trash cans can not only be smelly and unsightly, but they also attract bugs.
The lake is man-made and the bottom is soft sand and some rocks, like the shore.  The waters in the swimming area were clear and you could see down to the bottom.  There were also lots of little fish playing tag with the children.  Our boys were trying to catch a fish with bug nets most of the day and finally one of them caught a fish in a sand castle bucket – that’s talent, right there!
All 7 of us had a great time.  Greenbrier State Park is close, inexpensive and relaxing, in my opinion.  We will definitely be frequenting this park!
When we arrived, this is what the lake in front of us looked like…
…and to the left of us…
…and to the right of us.  I’d say over the next 5 hours another 40 – 50 people came and went.


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