I’VE BEEN A REGULAR visitor to Cabin John Regional
Park for more than 25 years. When my sons Sam and
Mike were young, I took them to the playground and
for rides on the miniature train. When they were older, I
coached their hockey teams at the Cabin John rink and
their baseball teams on the park’s fields. And I’ve run and
hiked on every trail the park has to offer.
So I was surprised during a recent hike when I
saw a sign for something I didn’t know was there: a
campground. According to the park’s website, the Robert
C. McDonell Campground is open year-round and
consists of seven “primitive” sites and some picnic tables
not far from Tuckerman Lane. It’s not exactly the great
outdoors, but it’s a campground within a mile of Westfield
Montgomery mall, nevertheless.
With all the debate and discord these days about the
pace of urbanization in Montgomery County, it’s easy to
overlook the fact that the county is home to a remarkable
number of parks and a lot of parkland. In all, there are 421
county and three state parks totaling 50,000 acres. The
county parks range in size from the three-tenths of an acre
Acorn Urban Park in downtown Silver Spring to Little
Bennett Regional Park in Clarksburg, with 3,700 acres, 91
campsites, an 18-hole golf course, 25 miles of trails and 14
Casey Anderson, chair of the Maryland-National
Capital Park and Planning Commission (and of the
county’s planning board), is on a quest to visit all 421
county parks this year. As of late July, he had made it to
223. (His highest number of parks visited in one day is 17.)
“It’s always interesting to see how people are using
our parks,” Anderson says. “I have seen several people
practicing kicking footballs—I had no idea we had so
many aspiring placekickers in Montgomery County. I also
have seen people roller skiing [a hybrid of cross-country
skiing and rollerblading].”
Anderson would be a great tour guide for people trying
to figure out what parks to visit, but, alas, he’s kind of
22 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 | BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM
to our readers
Editor & Publisher
busy with his day job. So we asked writer Margaret Engel
to find the most interesting and unique features and
experiences in our parks. I think you’ll be surprised, as I
was, at the diversity of what she found. Engel’s story, “Our
Parks,” begins on page 108.
WE HAVE PUBLISHED a total of 86 issues of Bethesda
Magazine over the last 14-plus years—and Maire
McArdle, our design director, has designed every one of
them. That’s over 12,000 editorial pages (and that’s not
counting our annual Newcomers Guide).
This issue is Maire’s last. She and her husband,
Steve Walker, a longtime art teacher at Gaithersburg
High School, are retiring. They have moved to Easton,
Maryland, on the Eastern Shore, where they will paint and
enjoy the slower pace of life.
Maire’s creativity and work ethic were exactly what a
small startup needed in our early days and what helped
fuel our growth through the years. From her first day to
her last, Maire cared deeply about the magazine—and for
that I will always be grateful.
A REMINDER THAT THE Best of Bethesda Readers’
Poll is available at BethesdaMagazine.com through Sept.
14. You can vote for your favorite restaurants, stores
and much more. The results will appear in our January/
February “Best of Bethesda” issue.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Bethesda Magazine.
Please email me your thoughts at steve.hull@