One of the joys of becoming an outdoor person myself is dragging my family along on my outdoor adventures. On Independence Day, while visiting my parents on R&R, I woke up feeling like taking a hike. I quickly researched the area options, and inspired by fond childhood memories, settled on Sugarloaf Mountain. By the time everyone else had woken up, had their coffee, and gotten dressed, I’d already settled on a plan for the day, packed a picnic lunch, and was eager herd my family into the car.
Sugarloaf is a single mountain sitting in the middle of Maryland farmland and was used as a lookout in both the Revolutionary and Civil War. It’s got some great and well worn hiking trails suitable for all ages—meaning perfect for Mom, Bertrand, myself, and the girls.
There are several hiking paths, and I chose an easy loop. Stairs up the summit, then an easy walk down through the forest. There are more challenging walks for the more adventurous, but with two preschoolers unused to longer hikes, I wanted something simple.
After a few mesadventures trying to find the correct trail head (including pausing to take the family photo above at a lookout), we finally found parking and the trail we wanted.
The girls were enchanted by the adventure. We pretty much let them roam free, much to Bertrand’s chagrin.
It took us about 45 minutes to reach the summit, not because the hike was challenging, but because Jasmine and Grace are both very short and very distractible.
At the top of the mountain, we stopped to rest, eat, and play. The kids were too excited at the prospect of clambering over the rocks to eat a lot (although they drank their weight in water, thank goodness).
Despite the warnings on the trial maps, the walk down was relatively easy, and beautiful. The light shining through the bright green trees made us feel like we were walking in a fairy forest.
What better way to celebrate Independence Day in the US than by appreciating the unique history and beauty of nature?