• Story by Daniel Divilio | Photos by Arden Haley

Cure your winter blues by getting out into the Caroline County woodlands


February is prime tropical vacation time. And it’s easy to understand why. It’s cold and wet and gray, so gray, just all the time gray.

In seeking to cure their cabin fever, folks jet off for the islands and all that warmth and sunshine and blue, everywhere blue, blue sky, blue water, blue tropical drinks with little umbrellas and skewers of fruit slices.

And yet, there is so much to enjoy here on the Eastern Shore in the winter. Forget cabin fever.

Nothing says you have to stay indoors. Very rarely are we snowed in here.

My family’s favorite winter escape is to the woodlands of the 400-acre Adkins Arboretum and the surrounding 4,000-acre Tuckahoe State Park in Caroline County.

Both have so many routes to explore — different trails and loops and spurs — in a picturesque setting. Adkins boasts 5 miles of paths with connections to the 15-mile trail network comprising Tuckahoe. They are a hiker’s delight.

Tuckahoe also has the distinction of being a Mid-Shore favorite of mountain bikers — sans mountains — and horseback riders.

Even when the trees are bare in winter, Adkins and Tuckahoe are beautiful. The forest floor is covered in leaves. Babbling creeks and streams abound, cutting their way through the woods. And the quiet sounds of scampering forest life permeate throughout.

So we dig out our wool socks, our hats and our gloves. We don an extra layer or two. And we are off to explore, to breathe in the crisp winter air, to enjoy the Shore’s natural beauty.

While we usually just decide on a spur of the moment sojourn in the great outdoors, I recommend checking out the schedule on Adkins’ website — www.adkinsarboretum.org — to learn more about its additional offerings.

Along with tours, Adkins has an art gallery, a book club, plant sales and educational programs for adults and children. I recommend signing up for a Soup ’n Walk, which is just what its name says. The next one is Feb. 16 with a menu that includes red beet and cabbage soup, orange walnut bread and blueberry peach smoothies.

So forget the cold and kiss cabin fever goodbye. Grab a pair of comfortable shoes and get lost on the well-marked trails at Adkins Arboretum and Tuckahoe State Park this month. Stop trying to escape winter here on the Shore and embrace it.

For your map app, Adkins Arboretum is located at 12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely and Tuckahoe State Park’s address is 13070 Crouse Mill Road, Queen Anne.

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