Anthony S.
Glen Burnie, MD
Joined September 2016
Ranger Review: Ice Mule Pro at Assateague Island

Camping at Assateague State Park 

Assateague Island is a national park located in Maryland that offers plenty of beach camping and hiking trails. I decided to camp on the Oceanside walk-in which is means that we had to walk from the parking lot about 200 ft to our camping area. They also offer camping areas you can drive up to as well as areas that are on the bayside of the beach. Our reserved spot on the beach included a fire ring and a picnic table and the perfect beginning to a great week of camping. During our time we were able to do some hiking along the 37 mile long park, kayak on the ocean, and Bay, see some wild ponys that rove the park, and enjoy the very clean facilities that the park offered. The Island is not far from Ocean City either if you wish to go to the Board walk which we did experience one night. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to camp along the water and listen to the waves hitting the shoreline however booking must be done in advance as reservations fill up very fast every season. 

Link: https://www.nps.gov/asis/planyourvisit/marylandcamping.htm

Ice mule Pro XL 

The Icemule Pro XL was great at what it was advertised for, which is keeping items cold. My Icemule was able to keep all the ice in its solid state for about 16 hours while sitting on the hot beach(90+ degree Fahrenheit) before melting to ice cold water. Once melted though the water stayed ice cold for roughly 30 hours. This was great because I didn’t have to refill the ice every day. The cooler was very popular with the crowds as multiple beach goers and friends would stop and ask me where I got it as they thought the design and concept of having a wearable backpack cooler was very neat. While the cooler did its job and the design was a good concept I found that it was very heavy when filled to its max. I do not believe that ordering the Icemule XXL would be realistic based off of this. Another issue I found was that packing drinks had to be done logistically in that you would have to put drinks, then ice, then add more drinks, and ice on top of that. Instead of a normal cooler where you would pack all of the drinks then pour the ice on top. This was an issue because many of my friends wanted to add some of there drinks to the cooler after I had already added the ice. None the less the drinks still stayed cool with the coolers cooling material. As mentioned I used this product while camping on the beach for a week and then used it again while watching some fireworks on the 4th of July and while the cooler did hold up the coolers back pack straps already had torn after about 10 uses. One final thing I found unfortunate was how the cooler closed. In my personal opinion Folding the opening of the cooler and buckling it was very tedious and many of my friends who used it wouldn’t go through the trouble of closing it. A regular cooler is easy to close in seconds where this takes a little more time and work. In the end it is a good cooler if you are looking for something portable and hands free but it is not something to use if you don’t have a strong back. 

Link: https://icemulecoolers.com/products/the-icemule-pro-x-large

BrandyWine Falls

A beautiful waterfall that drops into a pretty deep collection area. Be careful after rains as this area has some rapid moving water and can overflow. Lovely area for a day camping and relaxing.

Blue Hens Falls

This place is a great place for a day hiking/ camping trip. It is well traveled and visited and parking is kind of a pain as the parking lot is small. Dogs are welcome and there is a fantastic waterfall not far from the parking lot. Park police frequent this area often and hammocking is not allowed to close to the water as I found out. Overall a great place to spend the day and read or have a picnic.

Nelson Kennedy Ledges

This place is a great place to take your kids and pets. There is a decent amount parking that is available, a large field to participate in numerous activities; flying kites, football, fetch, picnics. There are numerous trails for different skill levels and tons of caves to explore. Also the view at the end is fantastic and is a great place to relax and read for the day.

Cuyahoga Falls

This area is filled magnificent trails that you wouldn't believe are so close to a highly populated city. This is actually under the bridge that you take to enter the City of Akron. Lovely place to fish, hike, camp. paddle, or just relax for the day. The water is always flowing and there is a pretty neat dam right as you enter. If you get the chance take the time to visit.

Shi Shi Beach!

I LOVED this area. we did a day hike hike not to far away that was stunning. It took a while to get to the views and sights and it was really muddy but it was worth it. You get the chance to scale the side of this rock with this rope that is installed to help you get to the top. The view of the beach is beautiful. Tons of starfish and wildlife. Unfortunately there was a dead whale on the beach when I went but that made it even more interesting to see. The weather was great. Just be sure to bring some shoes that you don't mind getting a little dirty. The trail was called Shi Shi Beach.

Extreme Adventures

If you are looking to see the most North Western part of the United States this is the place to be. The views you will find here are absolute breath taking. You get to see the waves crash against the shore and the white caps out at sea. There are tons of birds flying around and the trails are well devloped. They have a nice viewing area when you get to the end as well. Highly recommend this as it was very clean and not a tourist trap as you would imagine. Cape Flattery.

Breath Taking views

This site has some fantastic well put together trails. They are well marked, well defined, and the area is spectacular with lots of vibrant green and brown colors from the moss, grass, and trees. This particular hike that I did here called the Marymere Falls was beautiful as the trail opened up right to it. Highly recommend you visit. Watch out for nettles though.

Adventurous

This camp ground is fascinating. It is on the water and there is a chance for some great kayaking and views of the lake. Plenty of Wildlife to be seen and plenty of amenities to use if you are going to put your kayak or paddle board in the water. John Wayne even has a house nearby which you can see from his marina down the street. There is a lovely beach as well to take nice long walks on during the sunset and sunrise.

Hurricane Ridge

This site is phenomenal. I visited it in June and there was still a ton of snow on the ground. Plenty of well marked trails and great areas to explore. There is a ski lodge that wasn't operating at the time I visited and a great visitor center with very clean facilities and a gift shop. This area had the most beautiful views you could imagine of all the mountain tops in the area. I highly recommend you visit.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington States greatest attractions. This waterfall is breath taking. A lodge sits at the top of the waterfall surrounded by beautiful scenery and there is a railroad that passes over the river. This is a great place to hang up the hammock and have lunch while taking in the fresh air.

Great Kayaking

Roland Lake in Baltimore County is a great place to kayak on the Patapsco River. Tons of wildlife, facilities, and amenities for you and your family. The park was clean and it had knowledgable staff.

Fantastic

I go here annually. It is a very nice walk about 2 miles to the beach where you can hunt for fossils. The beach has gotten smaller over the years however the trail has gotten much better. The trail now is very well marked, clean, and there are facilities down by the beach to use. They do have a nice park for the kids by the entrance and a very well kept pond at the beginning of the hike to fish from. Highly recommend this trail/park.

Harpers ferry hike

The hike that leads to the lookout about harpers ferry was fantastic. This hike takes you well above the town settled in West Virginia. While some points are pretty steep don’t let this deter you from completing it. The trail is well maintained, marked, and exciting. It is filled with tons of history and when you walk across the bridge from the town be looking out for all the locks on the bridge that have been left behind by other avid hikers

Patapsco valley state park

This park has a wide range of activities for kids. The hike I did was not very long but was well worth it. The trail was well marked but there was some confusion at one point on where we were suppose to go. Luckily I had an app that kept me on trail. There are some pretty cool Bridges, old houses, and a water fall. I recommend this to any beginner hikers.

Old Rag Mountain

I absolutly love this national park! The facility is clean, trails are well marked and there are plenty of different day hikes and camping grounds. My favorite is Old Rag Mountain. It is a pretty decent hike that requires a good amount of climbing and has great views at the top. There is a bathroom on the back end of the trail but it was a little dirty. Parking is a struggle sometimes as it is a good 1 miles hike to the trail head. There is a 10$ entrance fee per person. Overall a great day hike and a great national park. Highly recommend this