It's hard to pass up

Gearbox

Destination Outdoors

Hunting / Sailing / Hiking / Birding

December 29, 2005|By CANDUS THOMSON

If you enjoy the outdoors, the Maryland State Parks pass is the woodsy equivalent of a cheap date.

For an annual fee of $75, a pass holder can fill a vehicle with up to eight friends and family for free day-use entry to the state's 47 state parks and Cedarville State Forest.

The pass is also good for free boat launching at most facilities -- including Deep Creek Lake and Jennings Randolph Lake -- and a 10-percent discount on state-operated concessions and boat rentals.

If you enjoy picnicking at Sandy Point State Park outside Annapolis or cross-country skiing at Herrington Manor State Park in Garrett County or fishing and boating at Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's County, this is the ticket, literally and figuratively. With entry fees running $4 and $5 per person, the pass is a bargain.

There's also a $100 pass for out-of-staters and a free Golden Age Pass for folks 62 years of age or older that is good for day-use entry only.

The passes are for sale online at dnr.state.md.us and at most state parks. Still have questions? Call the main state parks number, 1-800-830-3974.

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