Category Archives: Parks

Three Notch Trail

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The Three Notch Trail is a ten ft. wide, asphalt multi use trail is being constructed along the 28-mile County railroad right of way which runs south from Hughesville (in Charles County) to Lexington Park (to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station).  The trail, in northern St. Mary’s County, provides recreational, tourism and transportation opportunities and will promote the health and wellness benefits of hiking and biking.

Phase one begins at Route 236 in New Market and proceeds north to just beyond the County line, for a distance of about 2.25 miles.  Also, Phase five of the trail is now open, running from John Baggett Park in Laurel Grove to MD 5 in Mechanicsville.

Other phases of the trail are planned for construction and opening in the near future.

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St. Mary’s River State Park

21250 Camp Cosoma Road, Callaway, MD 20620
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/stmarysriver.asp

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Situated at the north end of the St. Mary’s River watershed, in the center of the county, the park consists of approximately 2,000 acres of land with a 250-acre fishing lake.  The relatively flat landscape of St. Mary’s County is not usually thought of as mountain biking terrain; however, the nine-mile course encircling the 250-acre lake at St. Mary’s River State Park is a little known treasure.  This course is also available for hiking.

St. Clement’s Island State Park

38370 Point Breeze Road, Colton’s Point, MD 20626
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/stclements.asp

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Visit the site of Maryland’s birthplace.  In 1634, English settlers landed here to establish a colony of religious freedom.  Enjoy a hike around the 40 acre island, a relaxing picnic at the pavilion, and scenic views of the Potomac River.  The Island also features the newly reconstructed Blackistone Lighthouse.  Educational panels provide island history.  St. Clements Island Museum is located nearby on the main shore.  Pier and docking facilities are available.  A seasonal water taxi to the island runs on select weekends from the museum.

Point Lookout State Park

11175 Point Lookout Road, Scotland, MD 20687
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/pointlookout.asp

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Located at the tip of St. Mary’s County at the confluence of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay, Point Lookout served as a watch post during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  During the Civil War, it served as a Union hospital and a prison camp for captured confederate soldiers.  There are 143 wooded campsites available; 26 of these have full hook-ups. 31 of these have electric.  One campsite for youth groups is also available; reservations are required for the youth group site by calling the park.  The park features three fishing areas available 24 hours, including a 710 foot pier (24 hour operation May 1-November 30). A valid Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing license and appropriate stamps are required. Swimming is available from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Lifeguards are on duty.  The beach area has grills, picnic tables, and a playground.   Facilities include showers and restrooms.  A boat launch facility and fish-cleaning station are available for boaters. Boat rentals and supplies are also available at the camp store.  The Civil War Museum/Nature Center is open seasonally.  Park open daily dawn to dusk April – October and 10AM to 4PM, November – March.  Call for museum hours.  Point Lookout occasionally fills to capacity on summer weekends and holiday weekends.  During these times you will not be able to enter the park, nor will you be able to drive through the park.  You may call 301-872-5688 to check on our visitation volume, however we can make no guarantees that we will not be filled to capacity by the time you arrive.

Newtowne Neck State Park

Newtown Neck Road, Compton, MD 20627
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/newtowne.asp

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Cradled by Breton Bay, the Potomac River and St. Clements Bay, this 776-acre property of woodlands, wetlands and agricultural fields recently purchased by the State of Maryland offers low impact recreational opportunities such as biking, walking, birding and fishing. Capt. John Smith explored the waters surrounding the property in 1608. Newtowne was the first settlement in the Maryland province after St. Mary’s City. Its geographic location places it within view of St. Clement’s Island where the English colonists first landed in 1634. Prior to its settlement by the colonists, the Piscataway Indians and their forebears had occupied the site for many centuries. The park is open daily dawn to dusk. Check website for park opening dates.

Greenwell State Park

25420 Rosedale Manor Lane, Hollywood, MD 20636
Phone: 301-872-5688 or 301-872-5389
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/greenwell.asp
http://greenwellfoundation.org

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Greenwell offers nearly 600 acres, 10 miles of trails, and 2 miles of waterfront along the Patuxent with an accessible 50 foot pier.  Kayak/canoe launch sites, beach and picnic areas throughout.  Wheelchair accessible facilities include the Pavilion and Knott Lodge (an overnight facility for up to 16 guests).  Historic Rosedale Manor, the Chapel and gardens can be reserved for weddings and special events.  Horseback riding programs, summer camps and special events are offered.

Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park

44720 Lighthouse Road, Piney Point, MD 20674
Phone: 301-994-1471  •  www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/museums

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Climb the oldest lighthouse on the Potomac River, constructed in 1836.  The site was once a summer resort for Washington dignitaries including several U.S. presidents.  Today, a 6-acre park surrounds the lighthouse and keepers quarters with a picnic area, kayak launch, a boardwalk, pier and sandy beach.  The museum details that site’s history and also includes artifacts from the WW II U-1105 Black Panther German submarine which lies just offshore in an area designated as the state’s first Historic Shipwreck Dive Preserve.  A maritime exhibit of historic wooden boats that once plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay is housed in a separate building.  Accessible by water, call for information.

Sweden Point Marina

Smallwood State Park, Marbury
Phone: 301-743-7613
www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/smallwood.html

Located just one mile from the main stem of the Potomac River, Sweden Point hosts many bass tournaments.  The marina has six boat ramps and piers to facilate launching.  Many park amenities are available.  Take Route 301 to Route 225 West in La Plata and left onto Route 224 and follow signs to the parks.  From Route 210, take Route 225 East in Indian Head to right onto Route 224 and follow signs to the park.

Smallwood State Park

2750 Sweden Point Road, Marbury, MD 20658
Phone: 301-743-7613  •  www.dnr.state.md.us
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Located on a Potomac River tributary, the 628-acre park features a marina, boat launch, camping, tournament level bass fishing, the Mattawoman Creek Art Center and Smallwood’s Retreat, home of Revolutionary War General William Smallwood.