Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Visiting Carrie & the Nation’s Capital’s National Park

Thursday May 8 and Friday May 9, 2014
Greenbelt Park National Park, Greenbelt Maryland







I wanted to find some way to visit Carrie who lives in the greater DC area.  So I started looking for campgrounds.  Cherry Hill Park Campground advertises that it is the closest RV park to Washington DC.  But at $63 a night even for full hook ups, that’s not happenin’.   Then I discovered that there is a National Park in Greenbelt Maryland.  REALLY?  Just off I-95?

I contacted them about whether 35’ Winnona and a tow dolly with Ruby would be able to camp there and they said sure.  So we made the 129 mile drive from Charlottesville and arrived to find that there are pull throughs that are really just wide spots in the park road and one site big enough for Winnona.  We grabbed it!   So if you are bigger than 35’, you might want to reconsider using this great spot from which to visit DC.   Or like us, to visit relatives in the area.

The campground has no hook ups but it does have hot water and one very large shower in each of the men’s and women’s side of the bath houses.  Not sure how this would be in The season which starts in late May and reservations are available then but it was fine now during walk in time.  Of the 4 loops, only loops B and D are open.  D is the only possible big rig spot and that’s not for a very big rig at that.  $16 a night or $8 if you are old enough.  Smile

It was a grueling drive for me having to go on I-66 and I-495 and I-95 to get here.  I was exhausted and I wasn’t even driving.  But that didn’t spoil our trip to Carrie’s new place where she has been for almost a year now.  When we are back in Virginia she always comes to see us as she did this time but I really wanted to see where she is living and we did.






She came out to greet us and her kitties Sydney and Lila were in the windows checking us out. Carrie gave us “the tour” and her place looks just perfect for her.  She has a really nice deck overlooking Walker Creek.  It’s a beautiful place to sit outside.






Sydney followed us all around especially since I had a cat toy I was teasing her with but  Lila is seriously shy so she hid under the bed until Matthew, Carrie’s sweetheart, came home from playing soccer and coaxed her out so we could pet her.  Carrie says he’s a cat whisperer.








We chatted for a while but didn’t stay long since it was a work day tomorrow for them and we were tired from all the traffic.  But we’ll be back on Saturday and will spend Sunday, Mother’s Day together.





I spent most of the day today resting up and going through the inevitable pile of papers that accumulate.  Bills, notices, travel information.  Where does all this stuff come from.

But I did take a walk around the trails of the 1000 acre park plopped here in the middle of a very busy metropolitan area.  You can nearly always hear the traffic from MD 201 though it is muffled.

A great thing in my mind about this park is that you can walk to the College Park Metro station and take the metro to DC.  No need to drive or pay for parking.  The walk is just over a mile and about half of it goes through the park where today the wild azalea, the jack in the pulpit and spring beauty are blooming.  So beautiful.

The jack in the pulpit was particularly profuse.









I walked the ”metro” trail, the Blueberry trail and part of the perimeter trail. The “metro trail” was really the nicest one. The others were very heavily covered with blow downs of large trees. A couple of white tailed deer crossed my path but bounded out of sight as soon as they saw me. But the jack in the pulpit was kind enough to stand still for pictures.

















It almost seemed as though they had a severe storm  here although the metro trail didn’t seem that way at all.   I wouldn’t call this a great hiking area but it’s perfect if you want to visit DC and be able to bring your RV (if it’s small enough) and not have to pay the big park price or pay to park.  





I saw Cherry Hill and it isn’t any closer to DC than the park but it does have a city bus that stops at the campground to take you to the same metro stop you can walk to from Greenbelt.  It’s a 1.4 mile walk from D Loop.  I like $32 for 4 nights rather than $63 for one.  But it’s also true that I don’t mind boondocking and don’t need FHU.  Your mileage may vary.










  1. Loved the flower photos and the mushroom photos today! Great info, too, for people traveling to and from the DC area….

  2. Never knew there was a park there such as that one. Great find. Love Carrie's apartment and kitties :)

  3. Wow, what a great walk. You have found a jewel in the D.C. area. This goes on my pinterest list.

  4. Are the cool leaves Jack-in-the-pulpit? Love them. Carrie's kitties are adorable- I am especially drawn to tuxedo kitties. Have a great Mother's Day tomorrow! Love, Pam

  5. What a wonderful Mothers Day Gift to be with Carrie. I love her apartment. Your Flower pictures are beautiful too. You sure got your walk in. Did you go by yourself or was David with you.

  6. Looks like a wonderful stop and we haven't even seen the weekend yet. So nice you can spend some time with Carrie in her space - I love the kitties too!

  7. We were at that park back in April of 2008! Great spot for visiting D.C.!


  8. It's wonderful to see how well your kids have done and the accomplishments they've achieved. Carrie's home looks beautiful, and close to her job. She done good.

    I knew about the National Park, but never went there because we lived so close to DC and chose the nearby Bull Run Regional Park for our weekend getaways. Never darkened the door of Cherry Hill, either, I refuse to pay prices like that unless it's somewhere I really want to go to (like Disney's Fort Wilderness).

    I shuddered when you mentioned driving on 66, 495 and 95. I've done that route too many times over the years, even in motorhomes. I swear those roads are possessed! ;c)

  9. Wow, I'm impressed that you can camp so close to a metropolis and be in a green belt. And oh how I LOVE seeing Jack-in-the-pulpits which I haven't seen in many decades in the Illinois forests. Have a wonderful visit.
    Happy Mother's Day!

  10. Gorgeous photos of Jack-in-the-pulpit! I've heard of it, but have never seen it -- and now I really want to. It kind of reminds me of the pitcher plants we saw together. Looks like you got yourself situated in a good place for visiting Carrie. Have a wonderful time!

  11. How nice to be able to visit with Carrie in "her" territory. Hope you'll post more pictures. Would love to see the creek behind her townhouse. Selfishly, I'm glad you guys are traveling again. Loved the posts from Charlottesville, but you are heading into some unfamiliar territory for me, so I'm excited to see it through your eyes. Have fun with Carrie and Happy Mother's Day to you.

  12. Happy Mother's Day!! Glad you will get to spend it with Carrie. We were just talking about going to DC, but the thought of driving up there is probably more than we are will to do;o(( So takes lots of photos and we will see it through your eyes!!

  13. How nice that you are able to be with Carrie on Mothers Day. It sounds like she has a great guy...after all he loves the kitties. :) Tell her to be careful with them sitting in the windows. I've had them push against the screen and the screen fell out....and the cat escaped.

    Are the cherry blossoms still out? I've always wanted to go to DC during the cherry blossom season.

  14. Great pictures of Jack with his head poking out! Always a joy to discover since it is not everywhere.

  15. I'm told that DC has those nooks if you know where to look. Of course, I can barely make my way to the mall, but I love it so much. We're lucky to live this close. Have fun. Happy Mother's day!

  16. We did think about staying at Greenbelt even though they didn't have hook ups since we were there to see Terry and LuAnn. But the tick reviews and warning on the park website put a quick stop to that. I don't use spray with Deet, which helps with ticks because it eats the soft leather that we have on all our furniture. We stayed at Cherry Hill in the fall and enjoyed it, so we went back there. I do enjoy my comforters and satellite dish:)

    Do keep a very close look out for those tiny deer ticks as you hike in the park. Enjoy your time with your daughter:)

    Happy Mother's Day, Sherry:)

  17. Happy Mother's Day, Sherry.... so glad you can be with Carrie ... love her apartment and the area is gorgeous!

  18. Beautiful park! What a great place to enjoy both the wilderness and D.C. How fun for Carrie to share her digs with the folks - especially on Mother's Day. Enjoy!!

  19. Carrie's place looks so nice and inviting. I briefly thought about Cherry Hill when I had a 34' 5th wheel, but the thought of driving anywhere near DC makes me shiver. I won't even do it in a car anymore. I used to live in Falls Church, off Leesburg Pike, right between the Beltway and I-66, and I know traffic can only have gotten worse. Still, I long to go back and see that area again.

  20. So glad you're going to be able to spend Mother's Day with Carrie! Have a wonderful day!

  21. Happy Mother's Day today Sherry. . .I know a hug from the kiddo makes it extra special.

    Loved the jack in the pulpits. . .not sure I've ever seen one. . .and the wild azaleas were divine!

  22. I am so glad you are here for Mother's Day and got to visit my place and my kitties! Thanks to all the commenters for the kind words :) We are having such fun! Once again - great blog :)

  23. I surely remember having to drive 66, 95, and 495 ... not fun at all. We'll have to do the 66 run out to Winchester at the end of May ... but luckily not with the coach.

  24. Yup, we were one of those that stayed at Cherry Hill and ate all the cost.
    For a moment I thought there were pitcher plants in DC but then it was Jack -in- the- pulpit which I have never seen. I like all your flower pictures, well done.


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