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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
This is a no-fee, single–ramp, shallow water (not recommended for boats larger than 17′) access to the Wicomino River, a tributary of the Potomac River. It’s a great area for rockfish, spot, white perch, croaker and crabs, and and an ideal kayak launch. The parking area accommodates 12 vehicles and trailers. This is a Charles County Park facility with no launch fee. From Route 301, travel east on Route 257; in Issue make a left onto Hatton Creek Road. Follow to the end.
Open seasonally. Within this scenic wooded parkland are hiking and nature trails, picnic areas (grills and tables), picnic pavilions, playground areas, fishing piers, and a boat ramp (electric motors only, please). The main attraction is a 60 acre fresh water lake which affords fishing, pedal boating, rowboating and canoeing. Fishermen are able to catch bass, bluegill, trout and catfish. Fishing supplies, fishing licenses and concessions are available. Gilbert Run Park is located 8 miles east of La Plata on Route 6.
Tucked about midway on the Nanjemoy Creek, four miles from the main stem of the Potomac River, this ramp is ideal for power boaters seeking a sheltered launch site. It offers easy access to the river or the great fishing in a wonderful tidal creek where bass, white perch, yellow perch, and catfish abound. For the kayaker, canoeist or small boater this creek offers miles of scenic marshes which abound with wildlife. The winding creek has many high banks offering protection from strong winds and nesting sites for Bald Eagles. The ramp is adjacent to deep water and has a pier to aid in boarding. No launch fee, and the ramp and dock are also designed as a free fishing zone. No fishing license is required by shoreline and pier anglers. The paved parking area accommodates 14 vehicles and trailers, including handicap access. Because of the limited facilities, fishing tournaments of any kind are prohibited at this ramp. This is a trash free park, take out what you bring. Route 6 West from La Plata to Ironside. Turn left onto Route 425, to a left onto Friendship Landing Road. The road ends at the ramp.
This little out of the way ramp has a very scenic setting and is ideal for car toppers, canoes or kayaks– no trailered boats allowed. Located on the beautiful and historic Port Tobacco River, the ramp is simply a low spot in the shoreline with a sand and gravel launch. No launch fee, parking is limited, gravel road to ramp. Route 301 to La Plata, take Route 6 West (Port Tobacco Road) left yield onto Chapel Point Road. Follow Chapel Point Road to park entrance on right (gravel road) and follow signs to the ramp.